by Dave Hill, June 8, 2012 12:41 PM
T.G.I.F. I've always wanted to say that. And not just because there was a T.G.I. Friday's near my house growing up but my parents would never take us there because the girl next door swears she found a Band-Aid in her hamburger or something. Or maybe it was the other way around. In fact, the more I think about it, it probably didn't even happen at all. From where I'm standing, the T.G.I. Friday's people seem to run a tight ship and have been serving up delicious and affordable meals for your entire family for basically as long as I can remember, so the odds of them dropping a goddamn Band-Aid into one of their dishes aren't exactly great. Then again, I've never been there, so I can't really say for sure. Love the sign, though. Someday, someday.
Getting back to that whole T.G.I.F. thing, however, the reason I bring it up is that for the majority of my adult life, I have avoided working in a 9-5 type situation where Friday comes along and there is a reason to get really excited since you totally don't have to show up at that goddamn office the next day. Don't get me wrong — I am not knocking the 9-5 way of life (though, for the record, I do hate it). It's just that I've generally made my way in this world in other, non-9-5 ways that I can't really go into right now because I worry how it could possibly effect the trial. But now, for the first time in a seriously long time, I am finding myself showing up at an office five days a week to write on this television program that I will totally tell you the title of just as soon as someone tells it to me.
To be fair, I actually work 10-6 p.m. every day and usually show up a little late and leave a little early, so I'd still like to think I'm slightly dodging becoming a part of the American work force. Also, this job ends in about two months, and then I will likely return to my sitting-around-in-my-underwear-until-at-least-4 p.m.-every-day ways. But, for now, I am showing up every morning, every weekday, coffee cup in hand and my hair still dripping from the vigorous lather-rinse-repeat I subject myself to most (okay, a couple) days of the week so I might seem slightly more approachable at work. There is a kitchen in the office, and sometimes I will go in there to get a drink of water or more coffee and I will make light chitchat about everything and nothing at all with whoever happens to be in there at the same time. Today, there was a pizza party (you know, cuz it's Friday), and I totally showed up for that and ate some pizza with the other people who work here in this office.
"Pizza!" I said to anyone willing to make eye contact with me at the pizza party.
"Yes," they'd usually reply. "Pizza is good."
"It's SO good," I'd agree, while also upping the ante on things and subtly suggesting I like pizza perhaps just a little more than whoever just said that to me. "I basically rule at eating pizza!"
My point with all of the above, of course, is that now I know what it's like to be glad it's Friday, the weekend is here, and I can get back to hanging out without pants on for a couple days before I have to start the whole "grind" (word I learned from other people who work in this office as well as other people I have met who have jobs) again on Monday. When I'm up to my usual, non-9-5 tricks, every day is pretty much the same — I get up in the morning (time flexible depending on pills, etc.), hold down the fort as president of Dave Hill International until about six or seven, and then either go do a show of some sort before starting the hammering process and continuing it until the bartender tells me I should probably go home and take a good look at myself in the mirror. In short, I'm living the same dream/nightmare pretty much every day. The weekend only seems special because it means my 9-5 friends can totally hang out with me and show me their babies and stuff, which is great. Sometimes we even get brunch, something I just can't get enough of. So now — as I sign off after this electric week of blogging like the wind for the incredible people of Powell's — I can say to you with both confidence and firsthand experience, T.G.I.F., for I, too, know what it's like to be happy to totally not have to put pants on and show up somewhere reasonably on time tomorrow. Of course, this is all quite bittersweet as well, because, what with it being Friday and all, this is my last post here on the Powell's site. Unless, of course, they let me do it again all next week too, something I am not at all opposed to and would most likely reduce myself to begging about if I didn't think it was going to affect my word count too much.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I've had a nice time blogging here. And I hope you've had a nice time reading my blogging here. Also, I would like to stay at your house sometime. Oh, and buy my book. They sell it at Powell's, which is basically the greatest bookstore of all time, and you can basically ask anyone. So there.
Dave Hill (from
by Dave Hill, June 7, 2012 12:41 PM
Hi. How are you? Thursdays, am I right? It's crazy to think that there are just a couple more days of me sitting here and blogging like the wind here on the Powell's site. This past Monday seems a world away. We were just kids then, weren't we? And it seemed like anything was possible. And — ha! — what was I thinking with the hair? Live and learn, I guess. At least we'll be able to look back and laugh at the funny pictures for a long, long time to come.
Anyway, it's my second day back in New York City after my brief West Coast invasion, and I am settling back into things reasonably well, despite all those weird stares I keep getting for some reason. I go to the same coffee shop, Grounded, in the West Village, pretty much every day when I'm in town. It's great. I saw Glenn Close there once and everything, something that — being a guy from Cleveland and all — really makes a morning special (you know, because of the glitz and the glamor). Today, I decided to anonymously buy an everything bagel for everyone in the place and then just walk out the door like I was the goddamn Lone Ranger or something. It's a power move I've been getting into lately, what with me being an author and all now. Expensive, sure, but the look on people's faces when they realize they are about to enjoy a delicious bagel (toasted) entirely free of charge makes it worth every penny.
Last night, I did that show I mentioned in yesterday's entry at Union Hall in Park Slope. The bill included me, the great Jon Glaser, Streeter Seidell, Erik Bergstrom, and Dan Wilbur, all comedians who have also written books, the theme of the show. For my part, I ended up telling a story about how a homeless guy dumped an entire Gatorade bottle filled with urine (his, presumably) on me in the subway a couple weeks ago. It's touching, trust me. And, sadly, true. I've got the dry cleaning bill to prove it. Life, right?
After the show, Jon Glaser and I headed into the night to watch game four of the Stanley Cup. I'm a big hockey fan (I'm a 1/4 Canadian. I have no choice), but I'm not really into the Kings or the Devils, so I'm not necessarily rooting for anyone. That said, I was glad the Devils won because that means there will be more hockey to watch, which is great for me, a guy who totally likes doing that kind of thing. Jon and I watched a little of the game at a bar before heading over to our friend Patrick Borelli's, a writer at the Jimmy Fallon show, to watch the third period. Patrick has a wife and a dog, but it seemed like neither of them were that into the game. Even so, I'm pretty sure everyone had a really nice time, and Patrick only asked me to leave because he was tired, not because of what happened.
I should probably wrap this up now because I am writing this from work. Against all odds, a few weeks ago I took a job writing on an as-yet-untitled cable television program created by my friends, the unshaven comedy duo of Evan and Gareth. The job will last all summer (unless they find out what I did with the copy machine) and is the first time I've gotten up to go to an office every day in about six years. It's taken some adjusting, but I'm having a lot of fun and am really getting the hang of this putting-on-pants-before-four-in-the-afternoon thing. After being away for a few days doing book tour stuff, though, I actually had to write a note to myself reminding me that I had to go to work at an office the next day. I was afraid I might wake up in my apartment and just sit there scratching myself for a few hours like I normally do instead, oblivious to the existence of this new life I am briefly leading. So far, it's working out great. Today I didn't even need the note. It's a great, great feeling. I might even go grab a sandwich with my co-workers in a few minutes and everything. I'll let you know how it goes. I think tomorrow might be Casual Friday, but I'm not really
by Dave Hill, June 6, 2012 3:06 PM
Hello and happy Wednesday. Today I write to you from New York City, the place I live in an apartment all by myself because I am a grown man. I got in last night after a largely uneventful flight home from San Francisco. I slept for about half the flight and ? as a result ? missed the in-flight meal and beverage service, something I really look forward to as it really breaks up all the time I spend flipping through the pages of SkyMall and ogling at all the cool things I would like to have embroidered with the logo of my imaginary company where I am the leading regional sales manager for five years running now. And since I missed all the food and beverages, I also managed to not have to go to the bathroom for the entire flight, which left me sitting in my coach seat for the most part motionless for more than five hours. I keep reading about people getting blood clots as a result of such in-flight inactivity, and I flew into a mild panic somewhere over Chicago that death must certainly be near. Normally, I'd dismiss such thoughts as hypochondria, paranoia, or the result of being just plain hammered, but this whole getting-a-blood-clot-from-not-moving-for-an-entire-flight thing actually happened to my brother, so I decided my freaking out was entirely warranted. As the story goes, he was flying from Italy to New York when he decided to take an Ambien, Xanax, and/or elephant tranquilizer and then conked out for the entire flight. The next thing he knew, he was writhing in pain in the back of a cab and, a couple days later, had to start taking blood thinners, which don't seem like they have any recreational potential whatsoever, so it's basically a lose-lose. There is talk of also installing a baboon heart at some point, but that might just be an Internet rumor or something. Regardless, my brother is a walking miracle any way you slice it.
Once I got back into Manhattan in mostly one piece and, as best I can tell, entirely blood clot free, I got a text message about one of those grown-up adult wine parties I keep hearing about and ? despite being pretty wiped out from the past few days ? decided I should probably attend since I am a published author now it seems like that is something Christopher Hitchens, John Updike, or even Jackie Collins would have done if they got the cool text message I did. The party was fun, but everybody else there had jobs and spouses and houses and babies and stuff, so I really had no idea what anyone was talking about most of the time, which left me with little choice but to just stand there and laugh knowingly whenever anyone finished a sentence. There were also a few nice dips and things like that, so when the laughing knowingly ran its course, I just stood in the kitchen all by myself and stuffed my face while pretending to receive a series of important phone calls and/or humorous text messages.
I have spent most of today doing crunches, struggling with my hair, and practicing a look of concern in the mirror in case that baboon heart thing turns out to be true. It has been going okay mostly. Tonight, I head out to Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn, for a show in which authors do anything but read from their books. That is the rule, I'm told. I feel like I have a pretty great idea for what to do, but the odds of me getting my hands on a live chinchilla by 8 p.m. aren't very good, so I might have to just stand there and talk instead. I will let you know what happens. Wish me luck. And if anyone has a line on a live chinchilla in the New York City area, do not hesitate to get in touch immediately. I promise he will be in good hands, and I'll get him washed
by Dave Hill, June 5, 2012 3:00 PM
Hi. It's Dave again, you know, from yesterday. Today I write to you from lovely San Francisco, where last night I did a show at the Punchline with the great Mike Drucker and Jesse Elias, two hilarious guys with incredible hair. I've been mixing it up between doing readings and comedy shows on my book tour. The readings make me feel like the classy author I wanted my mother to be proud of, and with the comedy shows you get free drink tickets and maybe some chicken wings or something, and — if you play your cards right — there is a very good chance you could wake up on some stranger's bathroom floor the next morning or afternoon. In short, they are both very exciting in very different ways. So far, I am finding the readings to be a bit scarier. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can totally read and have done so in front of a room full of people staring at me many times before, but for some reason, on this, my first book tour ever, I keep thinking everyone just showed up to the bookstore because they like coming to bookstores in general and they have not entirely ruled out the possibility of lobbing something from the reference section at my head just because. Keeping all that in mind, I just stand up randomly and start talking/reading/shaking for a while until the guy at the front desk tells me they really need to close soon, and maybe I should wrap things up, or he will call the cops. Then I break out my Sharpie and furiously scribble all over assorted copies of my book until the permanent marker fumes send me into a dreamlike state, and I have to be escorted out of the building by some guy or nice lady who claims she is "just doing this for my own good." I'm told that's how it was with Elvis toward the end a lot of the time, so I'm still feeling pretty good about it, even when there is name calling and other surefire feelings-hurters involved.
Getting back to San Francisco, it's my first time here in about a year and, despite the fact that my hotel room window looks out onto some aluminum siding about five feet away from my head, I am really enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells. The last time I was here, my friend's girlfriend announced after a few drinks that she wanted to show my friend and me where she worked. A few blocks later we found ourselves at a place called the Lusty Lady. As hinted at in the name, the Lusty Lady features women in various states of undress being stared at by guys in Member's Only jackets who appeared to have come there by themselves. More interestingly, though, is that the Lusty Lady is the world's only unionized, worker-owned peep show co-op, which is to say, yes, you should absolutely avoid touching anything in the place, but at least the women working there are getting a much fairer shake than the gals down at (fill in name of your favorite adult entertainment establishment whose name is almost impossible to utter without getting all giggly). They also sell nice T-shirts (100% cotton, I'm told. Great for summer).
After sheepishly ducking inside, my friend, her girlfriend, and I were escorted into one of the larger booths they had there by some guy in a green sweatshirt who was loitering around the lobby. Once inside, we waved at the women dancing around behind the glass for a couple minutes before I started to stress out about the dry cleaning bill I'd be stuck with after this visit, and we decided it was time to go. On the way out, we ran into the green sweatshirt guy again, who was now inexplicably brushing his teeth in the hallway.
"Thanks for coming," he said while extending a toothpaste and saliva-drenched hand in my direction. "I hope you had a nice time.”
I declined his minty handshake, and we continued on our way.
"Was that your boss?" I asked my friend's girlfriend.
"No," she answered. "I have no idea who that guy was.”
That's the thing about the Lusty Lady I guess — you never know who you're gonna meet. I hear they do a nice brunch, too.
Alright, that about covers it for now. I'm headed back to New York City tonight for a few days before my Tasteful Nudes book assault on America resumes this Saturday in Philadelphia at Underground Arts, located right there in the heart of it. Come by if you're near. Afterward, we can go get a sandwich or something and then, you know, just see what happens I
by Dave Hill, June 4, 2012 12:39 PM
Hi. How are you? I'm really great. Thanks so much for asking. I'm guessing they probably already put my name somewhere around this blog entry telling you that I am Dave Hill, a guy whose first book Tasteful Nudes
totally just came out and stuff. But ? in case they didn't — I am Dave Hill,a guy whose first book Tasteful Nudes
totally just came out and stuff. I'm really excited to be blogging on the incredible Powell's site this week, not just because I love harnessing the power of the Internet whenever possible and am also thrilled that the people at this library have finally agreed to let me use the computers again after what happened, but also because ? wow ? look at this font! I also like Powell's a lot and have totally been to their store and everything. Here's how it all went down:
I was in Portland a month or so ago for the Bridgetown Comedy Festival (a reputable festival held right there in town, right near all the shops), when I decided to go for a long walk. As these things often go, most of this walk ended up involving me having a few drinks and then hanging out at the bus station for a few hours. But then after that, I wandered over to Powell's. I was feeling a bit saucy and perhaps a bit drunk too, so my original plan was to just walk in, stroll on over to the information desk, and tell whoever was standing behind it that I am Dave Hill, a guy whose first book Tasteful Nudes is totally about to come out and stuff (NOTE: The book wasn't out at this point. But it is now, in case you were thinking of buying it, which you should or my feelings will be hurt). But then I thought, Who do I think I am? Goddamn Bret Easton Ellis or something?!, and then just decided to head quietly to the photography section instead like a reasonably normal person. I was hoping to make a day of it there, but I quickly started getting strange looks (I don't want to get into it) from basically everybody, so I decided to head over for a bit to the coffee shop they've got there and pull myself together. While I was there, I had a large coffee and some pastry of some sort while doing my best to stare down anyone willing to make eye contact. It was great.
I did end up buying a book while I was at Powell's. I can't remember the title, but I can tell you that I am a couple chapters in and the main character is in Mexico for some reason and ? despite his best efforts and overall joie de vivre ? his life is a goddamn mess and ? despite all warning signs ? he really didn't see any of this coming, especially the outfits. I'll keep you posted on what happens next.
As for the present, I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but, as I type this, I am in scenic Los Angeles, home of the stars, where last night I did my first-ever West Coast reading of my popular book Tasteful Nudes, mentioned earlier. The reading was at Stories Books, a great independent store in Echo Park (a neighborhood on the rise/popular with the young people). The reading took place outside on the patio behind the store, which had me concerned that the entire audience or maybe just I would quietly sneak out the gate into the adjacent parking lot just as I'd gotten a few sentences into things. But then I demanded they lock the gate so no one could go anywhere goddammit, myself included, until I was good and ready to stop reading aloud from my book and demanding people ask me questions about my "process" and also my hair. In the end, however, the reading ended up being a lot of fun and there was no reason to get all worked up and swear at that one lady like that. There was a good crowd and ? as best I can tell ? no one even thought about throwing anything at my head at any point, a going and perfectly reasonable concern of mine. Afterward, a bunch of folks who came to the reading and I went to a place called Taix down the street. I was there several hours and I still couldn't tell you how to pronounce Taix for the life of me. The note I just found in my pocket suggests I had a really nice time, though, and that I should call the number at the bottom, you know, whenever. I will keep you posted on this and other topics tomorrow once the fog has lifted, the duct tape is completely removed, and I get to the bottom of exactly whose bathroom I am locked in right now. Until then, stay street and keep