Dispatches from the Head

Where I’m at.

Hi, People-

It’s an unusual week. We are doing three episodes. Today, Monday, I will run a re-edited version of my two-part interview with Louie CK. It is re-edited in the sense that I contextualize the episode at the beginning and both parts are now in one episode. The reason we are doing this is because Slate is commemorating 10 years of podcasting today with a ranking of the 25 Best Podcast Episodes of All Time. The WTF with Louie CK is ranked number ONE!

Frankly, I’m excited to re-post a great episode that isn’t for a tragic reason. I know many of you have probably heard the episode before but to be honest with you there are a lot of people that haven’t and I want them to listen to it. I think that some of you might even listen to it again. I just did and it moved me. I actually hadn’t listened to it since I had the conversation and I was surprised how immediately all the emotions came back. I can report that Louie and I are friendly again. We talk when we can and hang out sometimes as well. The last time I was at his house and he was showing me his stuff he actually said it was exciting to be able to share things with me without me getting jealous. So, that’s progress. I was still a little jealous, but don’t tell. It was minor. I don’t really need a boat.

Let me catch you up on a few things stream of consciousness style. Still off nicotine and coffee. Too much tea. Lots of tea. Starting to hate tea. Not sure the no coffee thing is going to stick but the no nic has to stick. Done with dependence. Fat. Is. Coming. Pants are tight. Metabolism has changed without the nic which will surely drive me back if I can't get it under control. Vain. Don’t know how to exist with fat. Cats are good. Fountain is gone. Gave away. They didn’t like it. Ghost of dead feral that died under the house haunts me a bit. Poor guy. No sign of Deaf Black Cat lately. I always think he’s dead then he comes. Hating tea a bit. Niece was in town. Had a good time. Other niece. Not the one that’s been here before. Definitely think it’s better I’m not a parent. Buying records compulsively. Not good. Crazy. Why? Why? Why? Do I really need REO Speedwagon’s ‘You Can Tune a Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish?' Do I? No. Did I have it in high school because my dead friend Dave liked it? Yes. Did I listen to ‘Roll with the Changes’ a lot? Yes. Do I NEED it? Do I? I bought it. Two bucks. That’s where I’m at. Chubby. Jonsing. Rolling with the changes. Confidence not great with fat. Fuse short. Painter is good. We’re doing okay. No crazy shit. Fat…fat. Fuck. Craving.

On TUESDAY we will post my talk with St. Vincent, a.k.a Annie Clark. She’s intense and together. Interesting artist. On Thursday me and Adam Goldberg get a bit unruly musically and talk about a variety of things. We kind of match crazies. Good times.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

It will level off.

Crawling out of my skin, Folks -

First. Largo at the Coronet. Me. January 8th. I’m going to do at least an hour of ‘polished’ material. As polished as I get anyway. That’s the plan. Real show. Real venue. Come if you can or tell your friends.

I’m in my fifth day of nicotine withdrawal and it’s very uncomfortable. I’m in and out of crawling out of my skin. I know some of you have been through this with me before but I don’t see it as a failure. I’ve been on and off some kind of nicotine delivery system since I was fourteen. For the last decade they have been ‘better’ than cigarettes. Gum. Snus. Lozenges. I just don’t think any of it is any good. I'm sick of the dependency. It is real. It is deep. It is tough to kick. I had at least a half a 4mg nicotine lozenge in my mouth almost at all times right up until I went to bed. I have no idea how much I was on or how that compared to smoking. I just know I was strung out on it AND coffee. I was chasing that buzz, that balance all day every day. I was drinking about two pots of coffee a day. It speaks to my profound adaptive addiction strategy that happened outside of my reasoning and choice. I was medicating heavily on shit that wouldn’t fuck up my life and could keep me level. It just became too much. I began to hate it. Just the smell of coffee was repelling to me. So, welcome to that bottom.

I am now a raw, open nerve with seemingly no real defense against emotions. I don’t know how I forgot what it was like to pull away the buffer between me and the weight of the world and my own emotions. All my senses are amped up and even my skin feels sensitive. I can smell things too intensely. I went to a show last night and the smell of the people in front of me—the smell of the soap they used—almost made me gag. It wasn’t the smell of their bodies, it was the smell of whatever they were using to cover up the smell of their bodies combined with the smell of their bodies that was disgusting to me. My brain is spinning. The only thing holding me together is reactive OCD. I’m doing a lot of cleaning. Came very close to taking apart my washing machine yesterday. I’m doing a lot of cooking. You’d think I was running a small restaurant over here. I’m doing A LOT of eating. Trying to keep it healthy. I’m eating these disgusting licorice candies that only I like compulsively as well. It will level off. Then I will just have to deal with the boredom of my brain chemicals at low tide. Life.

Ian Edwards is one of my favorite people to see and talk to out in the world. I’m glad we sat down and talked in the garage for today’s show. Chris Rock calls me on the phone today as well to talk about his new movie. On Thursday Jenny Slate slays me. I love her. So talented and so funny and so familiar feeling to me for some reason. Jews.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I think it was the chopped liver.

I’ve almost made it through, People-

I’m still here. Yes, I am still in Florida as I write this. Pray for me.

I am leaving this morning. So, if something drastically dramatic doesn’t happen in the next couple of hours I will have made it through the Thanksgiving ordeal and the days that surround it without too much drama or aggravation. It’s a miracle OR maybe I’m just finally growing up. But that seems ridiculous.

I believe I detached. I shut down a bit. I was mentally and emotionally constipated. Then, after the feast, physically as well. I didn’t want to lose my shit on any level. So, I shut down a bit. It happened innately. It wasn’t a choice. I think I do it most of time when I come here but it used to be like a simmering. Like I was a bomb waiting to go off. I didn’t quite feel that. I think I was actually doing the right thing. I engaged as much as I could and I behaved like an adult instead of child—for the most part. I didn’t snap. Well, maybe twice. Twice at my mother and once at her boyfriend. What are you going to do? It happens. They’re annoying. The cooking went well. The food was the best I had ever done. Seeing my aunt and uncle and cousins and their families was great, actually. I couldn’t quite understand why things went well and why I didn’t feel aggravated the whole time. Like I said, I am older and things are better with me in general but not really emotionally. I’m working on it. Coming along. There was some other force at work. I think it was the chopped liver.

Every Thanksgiving my Aunt Barbara makes chopped liver. This is a Jewish thing. Many of you don’t know chopped liver. Usually it’s a recipe that’s been in the family for years passed down from one grandmother or the other. The recipe my aunt uses is my Grandma Goldy’s. When I was a little kid in Jersey everyone used to gather at Jack and Goldy’s in Pompton Lakes. When I lived there as a young kid and up until I was in college I would visit that house and the family would congregate there. Eventually my grandparents moved to Florida. They are both gone now. The fact is, now maybe I see what’s left of my extended family on my mother’s side once a year at Thanksgiving. It had been two years this time. As I said everything went fine but there is always a weird distance. People get older, they have their own problems, there is sickness and death, kids are getting older. They have lives that I have nothing to do with. So, it’s weird dropping into their lives for one yearly meal. There can be a sadness to it. Especially if emotions are triggered somehow. This year, for some reason, Barbara really nailed the chopped liver. Just nailed. I had one bite of it and it triggered the amazing feeling of family unity and warmth that existed at Goldy’s when I was a kid. I couldn’t stop eating it. It leveled whatever detachment or aggravation or sadness I had and brought everything together emotionally for me. My entire emotional history was sated by a spread on a cracker and I enjoyed the day. Powerful.

On Monday I speak to the amazing Norman Lear a lot about his early days in television up through All In the Family. Great talk that could’ve gone on for hours. It was late though. He’s 92 and he still came to the garage. On Thursday Chrissie Hynde hangs out in the garage. Intense story. Intense woman. The new record is great.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I am going in with a good attitude.

Give thanks, Folks-

This is it for some of us. We are entering the fire this week. We will come out stronger.

I’m going to keep this short. If we can (I know I’m not talking to all of you, but those who I am talking to know who they are) let's try to keep our shit together this Thanksgiving. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been with family for this clusterfuck but I am going in with a good attitude. I going to be patient and openhearted and I’m going to try to appreciate my family. I am going to have personal boundaries, especially while I’m cooking, and I hope everyone respects that. Mom, you know who you are. She reads these.

It’s weird as we all get older that if you really realize it and appreciate it there’s no reason family stuff has to be a nightmare. I know we all have resentments and trauma but some of that is on us to fix apparently. Most of the time the perpetrators (and I’m using that term brashly and comedically ) are clueless as to their part in it anyway. Obviously there are some traumas worse than others and I am not in any way trying to trivialize them, but as time goes on and I learn more abut myself, my particular set of traumas are getting more trivial to me which is spectacular. What am I going to do when I’m free of them? When you press the culprits for answers after a certain point they’ll comply and agree just because you’ve become so consistent in annoying them and that is never satisfying. More often than not, they think they did the best they could. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Whoops, see. Still a little mad. Not quite free.

Nope, this year I’m going to appreciate that I am alive and those others in my family that will be there are alive and this being alive business isn’t that long a run at its best. So, I guess what I am saying is give thanks but also try to forgive. Damn, I can’t believe I’m writing this stuff. Mom, don’t use this email against me when I lose my shit at some point during the week. I will try to limit it to one tantrum.

Today I talk to the lovely, amazing and funny Julia Sweeney about all of it and I mean all of it. On Thursday the too-good-looking-to-be-as-cool-as-he-is Rhett Miller talks about life and music and plays a bit.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

My panic knows no bounds.

I’ve got nothing, folks.

Busy. I am immersed in writing the show. I am doing one more long set at Trepany House and then it’s mostly production from here on out. The stories are coming along and the writer’s room is humming. The real trick is not putting on 20 pounds from eating shitty snacks at the office. It seems when there is a creative lull in the room the only thing to do is dump granola bars, chips, yogurt, candy and whatever is there into the mouth of the lull until something funny or a story point comes out of its mouth.

I almost lost my mind over bullshit today. You know why? Because I like to lose my mind over bullshit. It keeps me away from losing my mind over bigger things because I don’t need to lose my mind. My panic knows no bounds and I am sick of it. Things are going well, so instead of accepting that and just doing the work, some part of my brain feels like things aren’t going well. At least I've grown enough to know not to fuck up what is going well. Instead I just drive myself crazy over a book I can’t find. Which I did. I was literally beside myself with self-judgment and anger because I couldn’t find a book that was sent to me as promotion for a guest. I decided over the twenty minutes that I was looking for it that I was an idiot, not good at what I do, irresponsible, disorganized, not well represented, disrespectful and possibly in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.

I’ve never seen so clearly my need to beat the shit out of myself with things, people, behavior. It’s right there. I just have to stop. It sneaks up on me though. I think I do things just so I can beat the shit out of myself instead of just doing what is right or deeper and good for me. Which means I am more comfortable beating myself up then growing. I guess it’s pretty obvious but when you work it out on paper it just seems like a stupid waste of time. I’m such an asshole. See, did it again.

Monday I talk to John Mulaney. John is a sharp young comic who has a show on the TV. From all appearances it looks like the show is not going to make it. I talk to John about how that feels and where he is with his career. It’s hard to get the big shot and feel it not go the way you want it to. On Thursday me and Bret Easton Ellis are a couple of middle age guys sitting around talking about what that’s like. We’re pretty smart so it’s not just ‘these kids today’ talk, but it's slightly elevated ‘these kids today’ talk.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

That voice.

How are ya, People?

I’m doing a couple more shows at The Trepany House and that will be it for a bit. Tomorrow, Tuesday November 11th and the 18th . There should be a few tickets left. Grab 'em if you want them.

I want to thank everyone who came out the The Skirball Center at NYU for my New York Comedy Festival shows. They were great. I had psyched myself out a bit. I really wanted the shows to be structured and tight so of course they were kinda structured and pretty tight. I felt good about the shows. It is odd to me that I just can't let myself feel great about things very often. There’s this part of my brain that insists I’m never as good as I can be. I guess that’s a good thing to have in your brain in terms of constantly trying to be better and do better work but I’m not sure I’m doing that. I mean, I work hard, but is it really hard enough. See, that’s the voice. I think it’s just something I seem to do to keep myself in check and humble and never quite happy. That’s how we like it. Right, people? Honestly, if there were a way to remove that part of my brain and turn that voice off I’m not sure I would do it. I mean, who else would I talk to when I’m lonely? I need to be in an ongoing negotiation with the part of me that thinks I suck to find any balance at all. It’s been better lately. Occasionally that voice begrudgingly tells me he’s proud of me. Progress.

I have to tell you people that performing at the Boston Garden at the Comics Come Home benefit on Saturday was spectacular. What a great show it was. I had a lot of fun. As some of you know I started in Boston so I have a weird relationship with the city. I learned how to do comedy but those were tough gigs, tough days, some of them a bit traumatic. So to kill it Boston-style for 12,000 people was great. I got to see some guys I hadn’t seen in years. Joe Yannetty is a comic I used to do open mics with in the mid-eighties and I hadn’t seen him in almost 30 years. He just beat throat cancer and did a great set and I love seeing that guy. It was like a reunion. I did the very first Comics Come Home and this was the 20thanniversary. It was great seeing Denis Leary, Lenny Clarke, Tony V, Bill Burr, Jimmy Fallon, Robert Kelly, Adam Roth, Cam Neely and Jim Gaffigan. I met the Boston Bruins and it was amazing and I know nothing about hockey. What a blast. I hope we raised a lot of money for the Cam Neely Foundation.

Today I talk to Dave Ross. He’s great young comic and I really enjoyed talking to him. On Thursday the brilliant Allie Brosh talks to me in the garage. Her blog and book Hyperbole and a Half makes me laugh more than almost anything. I was so glad she came down from the mountains to hang out.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

The blues.

Hello, People!

I’m heading to NYC this weekend and I’m excited. I’ll be there for the NY Comedy Festival. I hope to see some of you at the shows. Sorry if you couldn’t get tickets. Next time.

I’m also doing a couple of more shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater on November 11th and 18th. Should be some seats left if you want to grab them.

One other thing... This is a heads up that Brian Jones has made another batch of mugs up in Portland. You can try to snag one. I don’t know if they will sell out immediately or not but here is the link to his shop.

Cat fountain update: They won’t go near it. Both Monkey and LaFonda acknowledge that the fountain is there. They don’t know why it is there but they know their food is near it so they tolerate it. I am not giving up on them one day drinking out of it with joy and excitement. For now I will just have to see it as a calming sound for me as I do stuff in the kitchen. The gentle sound of a futile idea gurgling in the background, a sort of failure zen tone as I load the dishwasher or cook or eat over the sink like a lonely idiot.

Look, I like guitar. I like to play blues. I don’t listen to a lot of blues if I am not playing along with them. I don’t seek out live blues too often. I appreciate it deeply but I just don’t know who does it well anymore or, more specifically, who makes it new. Well, I went to see Gary Clark, Jr. and The Tedeschi Trucks Band the other night at The Greek. One of Derek Trucks' guys set me up. I had met Derek briefly when we appeared on the same Conan show. I knew he was good. I had heard he was a wizard and had been since he was a kid. Obviously having your uncle be a member of the Allman Brothers Band is a good influence for that blues-based southern gumbo-style rock and roll, but a gift is a gift. I had the record. I listened to it a couple of times. Susan Tedeschi is amazing. But I couldn’t lock in or identify what was great about them. Then I saw them live and it was mind blowing. He has taken the guitar, specifically slide guitar, somewhere it has never been. His phrasing both with and without slide is uniquely his and just odd and jarring and exciting to listen to. She is an earnest blues player as well and her voice is astounding. The band was mind-blowing. They take a form that is arguably tired and turn it inside out with originality and musicianship and make it totally their own. The whole concert was spectacular to witness. Gary Clark, Jr. is a little more gritty and loose as a player but it wasn’t until he got up there and jammed with Derek that I really saw him play the blues. Keeping up with Derek pushed some serious licks out of him that he made his own as well. Taking the blues, a simple musical form, and making it totally your own is the challenge of it. They all did. They all owned it. It was great. I’m quitting guitar playing. Derek did it all for everyone. Okay, I won’t.

You like him or you don’t or you find him annoying or you think he is wonderful. No matter how you feel about him, the provocative Dr. Drew Pinksy is on the show Monday. We had an honest talk about a lot of things. Speaking of guitar the virtuosos, Jimmy Vivino talks and plays on Thursday’s show. He’s a lot more than just the band leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan O'Brien Show. He’s got stories, man. AND he lets me jam with him.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Cat fountain.

Okay, Folks, here we go!

First off, I’m doing a few more shows at The Trepany House here in LA at The Steve Allen Theater. The shows are tomorrow, 10/28, as well as 11/11 and 11/18. All Tuesdays. I won’t keep you out too late. They’ve all been sold out so grab tickets. They’re fun shows.

Well, in the continuing saga of Monkey and his bladder I went out and bought a fountain. I was told by some people that cats love to drink out of a fountain of running water. That it was their preferred way of drinking. Sure enough there are several models and brands of cat fountains to choose from. I, of course, had to get the ‘good’ one. I bought my cats a porcelain cat fountain that I assembled while the majority of men in this country were watching football. I’m proud of that. I have nothing against men who watch football but their attitudes towards us no-sports folk are actually much worse than our thoughts about them. We know that many of them are limited emotionally and intellectually and that we threaten them with our disinterest. As a man, I built the shit out of a cat fountain, played guitar, did some writing and reheated some Indian food. That is serious man shit. While men were watching monsters beat the shit out of each other for a ball and running the emotions that they are unable to access or express through the plays of a game that has nothing to do with them, I was sending big fat distorted blues riffs into the ether. I was fighting evil with my Gibson 335. Yeah, that’s right. A fucking Gibson 335. That is a man’s guitar. Fuck football. Let’s see fatty football guy get off the couch and push his feelings through some tubes out into the streets. You want to have a pissing match with me, football guy? My dick is so big it was annoying the neighbors but it was melodic so they didn’t complain.

Oh, yeah, so I’m not sure monkey likes the fountain. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with it exactly. We’ll see what happens.

Some of you may be familiar with the infamous censoring of Bill Hicks on Late Night with David Lettermen. On Monday I talk to the comic whose set was used to replace Hick’s on the actual broad cast. Bill Scheft tells me what happened from his side of the event. It is a side that has never really been talked about other than when Letterman had Hicks' mother on to apologize, which was pretty fucking great. I don’t know where you stand on Camper Van Beethoven or Cracker but I fucking love them both. David Lowery, the front man of those bands, talks to me and plays a song on Thursday. It’s a good week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Cats and caffeine.

Hi, People-

I don’t even really know how many people read this. I like doing it. When Sunday comes I always freak out about getting this written but I’ve gotten used to freaking out about it. I just hope that people enjoy getting a personal email from me just catching you up with things in my life or what I am thinking. You all are actually the only people I write to consistently.

Lets start with cats. Monkey is alive and perky and running around like crazy. He’s bounced back from whatever it was that I may have been overreacting to OR NOT. You just never know with that bladder stuff. I started giving him only canned food and actually mixing it with a little more water to get him overly hydrated. Then I called my vet and asked them if they carried that c/d food for urinary issues. I CALLED THEM. My vet didn’t recommend it. One of you guys did. They DID have it. The receptionist had to ask my vet if it was okay to prescribe. This is the vet that wanted me to come in AGAIN in two weeks for a blood test and biopsy because of the general inflammation of his bladder. Look, I hope I’m not the asshole here by thinking I was being taken advantage of by the vet and I hope Monkey remains well for a while but here is what I think and I’m going on a hunch: He’s had chronic bladder issues. I’ve seen blood in his urine in the box before. I just didn’t know that’s what it was. He had a UTI. The antibiotics got it. He still has the inflammation that he’s lived with for years. I now give him only wet food and for a while I will give him the special food. He’s seems awesome at the moment. I WILL change vets because if you are going to be a doctor of any kind the very least you can do is be attentive to your patients and up to speed on the issues with the patient and the patient’s owner in this case. DO ALL THE TESTS WHILE YOU HAVE THE CAT UNDER. Especially if you know the cat gets severely traumatized going to the vet. Fuck it. I’m letting it go. I’m okay. Monkey is okay. LaFonda seems fine. Deaf Black Cat is good. Scaredy Cat is back around. The raccoons are fine. Hummingbirds are fed. Squirrels weird me out a little.

I am deeply addicted to caffeine and nicotine. I am now driving around with a thermos full of coffee in my car at all times and I have part of a nicotine lozenge in my mouth almost always. I gotta kick. I HAVE TO KICK. I’m hoping that saying it out loud here will help me choose a day. Not tomorrow, but soon. And that statement is how years go by without action. I’m aware. I get it. Hey, it’s not heroin, right? I just don’t need this shit anymore. Tiring.

Today, Monday, I talk to Martin Starr. I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t necessarily think he was a ‘talker’ by what I knew of him but he wanted to do the show and I wanted to get to know him. It turned out to be a really good talk. He’s a solid human. On Thursday I talk to Andre Royo. You may know him as Bubbles from The Wire. He is a fucking dynamo. Real NYC kind of cat. It was a blast talking to him.

Stay Ebola free!

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Pets get old.

Hey, People!

I did it. I had Fall. I was in NYC for two days and, when it wasn’t cloudy or drizzling, the skies opened to give me about 4 hours of beautiful Fall weather. I wish I had stayed longer but I had to get to SF where it’s always kind of Fall. Doesn’t count.

It’s actually been a difficult few days. I brought the cat back to the vet for follow-up on the bladder issue. Monkey is so tweeked about the vet they had to sedate him just to get a urine sample. Monkey has a chronically inflamed bladder. No UTI. No crystals that we know of, just an inflamed bladder for unknown reasons. No sign of bacteria. The vet wanted to put him on more antibiotics after he’d just cycled through a ten day shot. He gave him the first dose and I brought him home and he was vomiting repeatedly. I think it was a reaction to the antibiotic because he was pukey after the last shot, but I was panicking and called the emergency vet who said he may be blocked. I didn’t think that was possible due to the tests and what I learned from the other vet but it made me more frightened. I didn’t know what to do. I had to leave early the next morning. I tried to get Monkey in a cage and he went wild and attacked me then went under the bed. I almost lost my mind and canceled my trip.

He eventually settled down. I left him in the care of a friend who is a cat person and he seemed to be doing fine. I am furious at my vet. He wants me to come back in two weeks to give him a blood test. He wants me to get Monkey an anti-inflammatory and wants me to try to administer an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory and I can't get that cat to take anything. Then he started talking about a biopsy. I just don’t know why they don’t do it all at once when they had him under sedation. The cat gets too traumatized to deal with this shit. It takes him a week to recover from a fucking vet visit. I don’t want to feel like I’m being taken advantage a bit by the vet for short money. He should know this cat. I’ve had him in there several times. I hate not being able to fully trust people you have to trust. He made no dietary suggestions or any alternative care ideas other than what he prescribed. I switched his food to wet food because several people told me I should and I’m trying to be less anxious myself so I don’t make him more anxious.

Pets get old, fragile, sick and it’s just hard and horrible. I guess I get afraid for myself as well. I love my cats. I just want everything to be okay. I want things to be in their place so I can be comfortable. I’m like a cat like that.

I’m sure I’ll let you know what is going on. My cats have been the only consistent things in my life for the last decade. Sometimes I forget how much of my heart I have invested in them. Sometimes that feels sad but at least I know my heart is working on that end.

Wow, sorry to be a downer. I’m feeling pretty good otherwise. It’s just what’s going on. The striped feral I hadn’t seen in months who I assumed dead, again, is back and fat. Haven’t seen Deaf Black Cat in a while but I’ll give myself a year before I fully freak out.

On Monday I talk to The Daily Show’s Larry Wilmore. We were a little tight on time but I think we got a good talk in. On Thursday I talk to the ‘Ol Rube' Bob Rubin, about his struggle with absurdity and sanity. Good talks. Good week.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Snow would be fine.

Hey, People-

When is the heat going to relent? WE NEED RAIN. I need seasons. My cats are melting. My air conditioner is losing its will. I feel like my energy is being depleted upon waking up.

I thought both my cats were ill for days. I couldn’t understand why they both seemed so lethargic. I know Monkey was really just sick but he should’ve been over it. LaFonda never gets sick and she was sagging around. I thought my cats had Cat Ebola and I had the bad luck of having Patients Zero and One. Then I realized I was sluggish and exhausted. I thought maybe we all had Ebola and it would only be a matter of time until we were all bedridden and dying. Me and my cats, going out together, as it should be. Then it dawned on me that it had been about 100 degrees for several days straight and no matter how much air conditioner you have the weight of the heat will zap you of your life force. I can honestly say that I have had it with this relentless ‘good’ weather out here.

I think the lack of seasons does something to your brain. You don’t feel the time passing. You feel stuck in a seemingly eternal smear of okay days that don’t fluctuate. Because of this season deprivation my memory doesn’t engage in the beautiful nostalgia that comes in waves because of seasons. Fall was always very powerful to me. It seems that most of my memories of feelings, romance and just the excitement of being alive are all sourced in the crispness of fall. Because I haven’t fully experienced a fall in years I feel like those parts of my heart and mind that the memories are attached to have become atrophied and because of that my sense memories that are attached to the events are fading. I’m losing access to some of the most valuable and moving feelings of my life. I HAVE TO GET TO SOME FALL NOW.

Thankfully I’m heading to the East Coast this weekend for the New Yorker Festival and again in November for the The New York Comedy Festival. Hopefully the fall will hold up until then and it won’t be snowing yet. Though even a little snow would be welcome at this point. Fuck it, a lot of snow would be fine.

This week I talk to Chris Parnell on Monday. It’s another SNL story. I may get to all of them before my life is over. On Thursday I’m excited for you to hear the extremely powerful story of Ms. Pat. Patricia Williams came through some truly tough times to become the comedian she is today and she’s not afraid to share her truth. Strap in for this one.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Uncle-ing.

Hey, People-

Big weekend being the cool uncle.

My 15-year-old niece was in town for the weekend and I think we did okay. That’s a judgment on me. Let me rephrase that, we had a good time. I’m an insecure guy when it comes to spending time with kids. I don’t do it that often. I find that I am innately protective and make sure they are safe but I’m not always sure I’m connecting, which is a little uncomfortable for me. I didn’t say anything about it because I knew it was just me. What I did do was buy her whatever she wanted. That seemed to work. Is that the wrong way to connect with a 15-year-old or is that exactly what a good uncle who lives out of town is supposed to do?

I had shows at LA Podfest both nights so she was able to come with me and enter that world. I thought the world of loyal podcast fans would be a fine environment for her to be in. I was right. Good people. I’m not entirely sure that some of them aren’t emotionally her age. I’m not sure I’m not. I did feel like it would fun and safe for her to hang out and see a very specific world of performance and comedy and grown-ups doing cool shit. It was safe for about 10 minutes. We walked in and I was walking around with her declaring she was my niece to anyone who came up to me. I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea. I mean, she definitely looks 15 but I know some people think that I’m that guy. Not a pedophile but a guy that might date a women who looks fifteen. As we were walking through the lobby a large bearded man hurried up to us. He had a laminated pass on so I knew he was with the fest. It turns out he was part of the crew of Eddie Ifft’s ‘Talkin Shit’ podcast. I didn’t know him. He rushes up to me and my niece and says, ‘You want to come on the podcast. There’s a tranny.’ I said, ‘What? When?’ He says, ‘Right now. There’s tranny on and he’s got his dick out. You want to see it.’ I said, ‘This is my niece. She’s 15.’ He said, ‘Oh, shit, sorry. So, no, right?’ 'No, man.’ I said.

Now, I am in awkward situation with my niece for a couple reasons. Outside of the opportunity to look at an adult penis was the language problem. I said, ‘Tranny is not a nice word. The proper word is transsexual or transgender. I’m not sure what applies here.’ She said, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘Sorry you had to go through that.’ She said, ‘It’s okay.’ I said, ‘I think we’re making the right decision not going to look at the penis don’t you?’ She said, ‘Definitely.' I thought that was some good uncle-ing. I would never have taken her in there but it had to be discussed. I’m not even sure it was legal in that moment for that guy to be soliciting that in front of a minor.

After the penis incident she watched me as a guest on Aisha Tyler’s show and it was fun. She probably learned more about me than she needed to know but I was okay with it. As we were walking out of the hotel Sam Tripoli was running around the lobby yelling, ‘Did anyone see where the girl holding the black dildo went?’ The fact that we had weathered the transsexual penis incident rendered this one harmless and funny. We had not seen the girl holding black dildo.

Obviously these were isolated incidents and we did other stuff. The following night she watched me talk to a panel of women on my live WTF and I had them all talk a little about where they were at when they were 15 and what they are doing now. I hope it made an impression. We did a lot of shopping. We went to the Griffith Observatory. We ate burritos and I gave her a couple of pedals for her guitar playing boyfriend. Cool uncle. Me.

This week I talk to Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on Monday. He is notoriously challenging but I think we did good. The new Weezer album 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End' comes out next week. On Thursday we have a Portland double-header of separate interviews with Ian Karmel and Ron Funches.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Texans.

Howdy, Folks!

I’m in Texas, again.

Before I talk about that I just want to thank the folks that came out to the Trepany House last Tuesday. It always pushes me to new places. I don’t expect to go there but having loyal fans is a double-edged sword. The place only seats about 140. Many of the people that came out had been to my other shows there. I asked. It was about 50/50. That means that half the room had seen some of the stuff I was working on which made me feel bad. I know the nature of the shows is to work stuff out. I try to tell myself ‘it’s a cheap ticket and they know the score’ but I still feel like I have to push myself to give the people that haven’t seen any of it and the people that have seen some of it something completely new and I do it, not for the whole show, but I get there. I talk about things I didn’t know I was going to talk about at all and that is where the new stuff comes from. The hidden well of ‘I don’t know, I hadn’t thought about that before.' So, thanks for coming out and pushing me and I hope to see some of you at the upcoming Tuesday shows.

I have to say I like Texas more and more every time I’m here. Most of my judgment of the place was based on old information. Old ‘growing up in New Mexico’ information. Old ‘being from the state next to Texas and having to deal with Texans’ information. There are many ski areas in New Mexico and Colorado. My family frequented a few of them during the winter. Taos in NM and Purgatory in Durango, CO, mostly. We liked to ski and we could do it pretty well. There are no ski areas in Texas that I know of. That apparently left them no other option but to come to our little secret ski areas and just take over sometimes. It wasn’t even that I felt that as a kid. Someone must’ve said something but generally if you saw people with all of the newest equipment and most expensive outfits with hair done looking like they were going out to dinner they were Texans. The other tell was their inability to really ski but they looked perfect if skiing were a non-motion activity. In my mind they got in the way and acted like they owned the place, any place. Texans.

I still feel that large personality of the people here, but the difference is they are here in Texas and it is large and they earned it somehow. Texas is it’s own country and the people that live here feel that. I’ve grown to appreciate it.

I rented a Mustang GT and drove from Dallas to Houston. I’m not really that guy but I can be that guy for four hours and I have to tell you it was great. Texas has some of the few stretches of flat open highway left in this world and I mean OPEN. AND a beautiful 75 mile an hour speed limit that you can push to 85. Felt good. Felt fast. Felt American.

Sunday was the last of the Oddball Festival shows for me. They’ve been great. These shows here in Texas and the two in Irvine have been the best ones for me. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m getting the hang of Stadium Comedy or maybe I just don’t give as much of a fuck at this point. Either way it’s been more fun.

Nick Frost came by the garage for Monday’s show. I love talking to people from the UK. I just know so little about growing up there and living there because I didn’t, so it was fun to talk to him. He has a great, surprising story of how he became an actor. I liked it. It was all based on friendship. On Thursday Tim and Eric talk to me and act a little less like Tim and Eric than usual. I have interviewed Tim before so this was a bit Eric centric.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

Kallax shelving.

I am tired of me, People-

I’ve been told I need to take a break from myself for bit, a trial separation from me for a while. See how that goes. I hope I don’t get myself in trouble while I’m trying to get some space from myself.

I’m going to tell you all again that I am doing a series of Tuesdays here in Los Angeles at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I need to keep working on my hour. I need to get it structured and polished. I need to do something I have never done before. I need to actually know what I am going to do next. I don’t like the idea. No one is telling me that I need to do this but me. I’m just very hard on myself about standup and I never feel like I work as hard as I could be so I’m going to try to work harder. I’m afraid that working harder might not mean being funnier. I don’t know though. Lets try it.

I was inspired by how smooth and solid Jim Gaffigan was at Oddball Fest. What a fucking pro. Made me mad and then motivated. Which is better than mad and self defeating.

I just assembled an entire piece of Ikea shelving naked. It is hot as fuck here today and there were no other options. And, yes, it is Kallax shelving. Anyone who knows anything about the sickness of vinyl and amassing records knows that Kallax is the record collector's choice. It is perfect for storing many records and yes, I got the biggest one available because apparently I’m out of control. It would seem dangerous to build furniture naked but no major tools are used and it all went fine. I did come up one wooden peg short. I don’t know where it went and I would’ve known if I lost it inside of me somehow. There was no way that would happen. Wait…

This week on the show, on Monday I talk to Dax Shepard about his career and childhood and stuff. It was a great talk. Exciting dude. On Thursday I talk to the director Nick Stoller about his relatively cushy rise in show business and his artisanal bread hobby. I’m a little hard on him but he’s a good sport.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron

I think I can handle it.

Yes, people. Yes.

I’m very sorry about the passing of Joan Rivers. She was the funny, filthy, raw, real deal. One of the best is gone. Sorry I didn't get to talk to her on my show. I talked to her on hers though. We were in bed together. She was great. RIP.

I will be doing a bit of a residency at The Trepany House in The Steve Allen Theater here in LA for several Tuesdays in September and October. Check the calendar at wtfpod.com for exact dates. These are workout shows so it will be a nice cheap ticket with all proceeds going to the theater. The other great thing about these shows is THERE’S A FREE PARKING LOT THERE. So, if nothing else, enjoy a night out where you can park easily. ALSO—NYC! I’ve added another show on November 7th at the Skirball Center for the NY Comedy Fest. So, come if you can. Should be able to get tickets to the late one. The early one is sold out.

I’m on a plane. I don’t usually sit by the window but I am today. At some point being able to get up and go to the bathroom without stepping over people became more important than looking peacefully out towards the cloud horizon or trying to figure out what those strange circles of crops are and what is growing in them. I guess age changes priorities. It’s nice to be by the window. It’s relaxing me. It’s easier to sleep here, too. Getting stepped over is just part of air travel. They’ll deal.

Thanks to all who came out for the two shows in Nevada City at the film fest there. It was kind of trippy playing in an old foundry meeting hall. The whole town is kind of trippy actually. From what I gleaned having done no research at all, Nevada City was at the heart of the gold rush back in the old gold rush days. Whenever that was. I’m going to speculate that Nevada City was essential in helping our country make the gold standard vital back when money was worth something. I’m going to say that Nevada City in some way was part of the heart of fueling American industry with the gold it needed. There are mining relics there like water cannons and rock crushers. Most of the architecture has a sort of western pioneer vibe. You can feel the ghosts of greedy bearded desperation hovering around. I have to assume there were many men who died violent death trying to get those rocks either out of the ground or out of another guy's bag.

Well, for environmental reasons of depletion and abuse, the gold rush is no longer upon Nevada City. The weed rush is. Apparently a lot of good weed is grown in the hills up there. Some of it legal, some of it not so much. It is the industry of the town. With that comes industry people like farmers, pickers, drivers and what not. I saw a lot of dreads, wispy facial hair, hats, sandals. For every three or four people I saw in and around the town of Nevada City, there were probably a set of disappointed parents in another state.

The interesting thing to me, and again I am speculating, is that as important as Nevada City was in building the monetary foundation of turn-of-the-century America with its gold, it is now helping to ease us through the collapse of that system with its weed. We cannot underestimate the importance of weed as we enter the big decline. I’m going to take it sober but that’s just me. I think I can handle it.

As you know, I can and do get a little starstruck. When that is compounded by the fact that the star is adorable and amazing it can get a little much. I think I kept it together during my talk with Anna Kendrick. You can be the judge. On Thursday I just tried to get a word or two in with Kath Griffin. It was good to see her. It had been a long time. We kind of new each other back in the day and I kind of didn’t like her then but we’re good now.

Enjoy!

Boomer lives!


Love,
Maron