Saturday, September 26, 2015

Excuse Me, Can You Help Me?

Not sure if it's my baby blue eyes, boyish smile, softish/average figure, or my constant dandruff, but strangers seem to always ask me for help. The other day I am waddling into my office building, which is right off of Sunset in a sketchy part of Hollywood (then again every part of Hollywood is sketchy.) Right as I'm about to press the code to enter a gated door, I hear someone behind me yell out "Excuse me, can you help me?" 

I turn around to see a middle-aged man getting out of his car and walking aggressively towards me. Feel free to call me a wuss if you want, but the fact that he was getting out of his car weirded me out. I mean, if the guy wanted directions or something wouldn't he just stay in his car and roll down his window like a sane person? And why did he have to approach me with such an aggressive manor? I'm not saying he needed to skip or gallop, but let's just say he didn't make the best first impression.  

The man was probably in his mid-to-late 40s. average height/weight and looked like the comedic actor Matt Walsh from "Veep," but with hipster glasses. He kind of looked like someone who you would hear about in the news going postal and murdering everyone at a coffee shop. (Where I am currently as a write this. And why is some random man staring at me? Maybe I should go home.)  


In the split-second, two quick scenarios popped in my head about what this guy was going to do to me. 

1) Immediately punch me in the face and take my wallet. 
2) Somehow manage to chloroform me, put me in his car and live in his basement for the rest of my life. 

Also, if this guy was going to indeed attack me. Why me? I get that internally I'm a wuss, but you think most people would choose other targets than a 6'3/200lb male (rounding down) in his 30's with decently broad shoulders. (My mom told me once they looked broad) 

I respond to him and say, "I'm sorry, I can't. I'm late to work," and frantically try to open up the gated door. In an extremely irritated tone, the man says "Fine!" gets in his car and drives off. It puzzled me as to why he would drive off, if he was in such desperate need of help. I mean why not wait for the next, klutzy, tall, awkward Jew to walk by and ask for help? I probably will never know what that man actually wanted, but at least I am alive to write about it. For now... (The guy at the coffee shop is still staring at me) 

A few days later, I was put in a similar predicament. I was heading out for a jog at around 7am (I'll wait for your shock to ware off) and am stopped by a random gentleman trying to prop open the door of my apartment building. He says, "Excuse me, can you help me?"  

All I could think is here we go again... And how about the timing of this? If I just would have been 15 seconds earlier or later I probably could have avoided this. Why God? Why????
This gentleman was also in mid-to-late 40s, but had a British accent, which made it even more suspicious. He kind of looked like that Desmond character from "LOST."


Desmond explains that he was moving in and something was not working correctly with his keys. I told him I can't help him and to contact the Apartment Manager. (Like any other human would do when they first move into an apartment building) Plus, why the hell should I believe him? It wasn't too long ago that the car parked next to us in our parking garage was broken into and stolen. I will also admit I wasn't the most pleasant, since I am not a morning person and not extremely excited about my upcoming physical activity. 

Desmond rejects my reluctance to help him and continues to show me his keys. I tell him again that he needs to contact the apartment manger, like every single tenant in apartment living history. Desmond glares at me and says sarcastically "Great to meet you neighbor." 

Later that morning, I call the apartment manager to let them know about Desmond. And of course the husband (of the apartment manager) answers who is elderly, South-African, and not the easiest to understand. I explain to him what happened...

Jonno: Do you know of a British Man that is supposed to be moving?

Elderly/South African Apt. Manager: What did you say? 

Jonno: Is there a British Man moving in?  

Elderly/South African Apt. Manager: No, I don't believe so.  

Ah-Ha! I was right that Desmond was a phony and up to no good! In that moment, I felt like a hero and that I saved the apartment building and the tenants from a dangerous individual. Until...

Elderly/South African Apt. Manager: Oh wait! Did you say a British Man? Yeah, he's moving in to the unit right next to the elevator. 

Jonno: Lovely. Wonderful. Thanks for your help. 

CUT TO: Me being attacked by the Matt Walsh look-alike (from story #1) and the only person that can help me is Desmond. Instead of helping, Desmond jumps in and beats my ass as well. 

I'll tell you one thing, I would be willing to help in any situation and that's a juicy and delectable 6-piece Chicken McNugget

1. Pitching a new game show: "How in the hell do I know that person on my Facebook news feed?" 

2. I was so moved by "A Football Life" about Doug Flutie that I'm going to reduce my height to 5'9.   

3. Is it just me or does the latest winner of HBO's "Project Greenlight" look kind of like another famous TV personality?  

4.  After attending the LA Podcast Festival and meeting podcast fans, I think there needs to be more podcasts about the importance of grooming and good hygiene. 

5. Spoiler Alert: In "The Intern" Robert DeNiro teaches Anne Hathaway life lessons that will help her grow and become a better all-around individual.  

6. My biggest disappointment from the Emmys is that I did not win for best supporting chin in a dramatic series. 



Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Karate Kid

The 80s was a fascinating decade that had plenty of Ups and Downs. For example, some of the "Ups" were Michael Jordan, Capri Suns and Alf, while some of the "Downs" were the Cold War, AIDS and my entrance into this world. Recently, I was reminded of one of the "Ups," which was the movie "Karate Kid." Seeing this movie again proved it is truly one of the best all-around movies in history. And if you have nothing else better to do with your life (like me) check out 8 reasons why.  

1. Emotion: I rarely ever cry during a movie, but as a kid I recall weeping my chubby little heart out during the tournament when it appeared Daniel had no hope as Johnny was intentionally injuring him. Even watching that scene recently, I wanted to jump into the screen and help save Daniel. (Spoiler Alert: Daniel ends up winning and is able to fully heal from his injuries.) And if you care to know, I almost cried in the underrated movie “About Time” when the main character goes back in time one last time to hang with his dad on the beach before he dies. (Excuse me… I'm a bit Ver Clempt and need to step away.)

2. Bad Guy: Come on. Is there really a better bad guy in movie history than Johnny? The guy truly oozes douchebaggery and cockiness. How the hell could you not friggin hate this him? He’s good-looking, athletic, rich, embarrasses Daniel in public, and treats his girl like crap. And where is this dude's Oscar? His karate moves and choreography are off the hook. (Working on my hipness) Plus, to make this movie even more believable the actor said in a recent interview that he is still best friends with the guys who were part of the Kobra Kais! (Villain Shout-out: Also goes to the teacher, Kreese. Man, was that guy a manipulative piece of crap!) 

3. Iconic Quotes: "The Karate Kid" has some of the most memorable quotes that we still obnoxiously repeat 30 years later.

"Wax on, wax off." 
Not only did this scene teach me how to wash a car, but also how to masturbate.

"Sweep the leg." 

This is also what my mom would say to me when the deli guy didn't give us enough lean corned beef.

    4. Daniel LaRusso: We really don't see many characters like Daniel LaRusso anymore. Typically the protagonists in these type of movies are geeky, lack confidence, schlubby, awkward... (Woah, just realized I'm pretty much describing myself here.) But Daniel is the complete opposite. He's cool, calm, athletic, tough as nails and has a way with the ladies.  

   5. Elizabeth Shue: Speaking of ladies... (Segue!) Even at the ripe age of 21, Alli with an "I", stole every young boy's hearts and made us desperately want her to be our babysitter. (Sorry for the creepiness factor)

"Adventures in my Pants" Am I right?

6. Improv Scene: In my 20s I attempted to do improv for a few years in Chicago. (I'll wait for your applause.) I was an extremely average improviser because as my mother kindly described during one performance, "I looked like I was constipated." My best performance came during one of my final shows at IO (A.K.A. Improv Olympic.) Every show the audience would give some sort of suggestion and for this particular show it was "the 80s." So I came into the scene and said "Mom, Dad, Sis... I saw the best movie ever! And I have to take karate."

I fully realize that line is not overly humorous, but because everyone grew up with "The Karate Kid" they erupted with laughter. During the middle of the scene, I get interrupted by some random dance music. I didn't know what the hell was going on, or what to do. So I just decided to beat the crap out of my improv family with Karate Kid moves and the audience went nuts. #humblebrag #StillBadAtImprov

P.S. After the show, the DJ told me he hit some button by mistake and did not intend for the music to play. #NotSureIfIShouldHaveToldThisStory #StopWithTheHashTags

 7. Cameos: Not only did this film feature great character and actors, but there were also stellar cameos that you may have missed. 

-Frances Bay was Daniel's crazy, older neighbor with dog. You know her best from "Seinfeld" as the lady that Jerry steals the marble rye from and of course Adam Sandler's grandmother in "Happy Gilmore."

-Larry B. Scott was one of the fellow karate contestants that Daniel beats the crap out of in the tournament. We know him best as the flamboyant Lamar in "Revenge of the Nerds" and also from the highly underrated "Space Camp." 

        (Rumor has it, these two had a steamy romance on set)

  8. Music: Believe it or not some of the music from the movie still holds up with such gems  as "Cruel Summer" by Banarama and of course the chilling, but ultra-motivating "You're the Best" by Joe Esposito. And if you have never danced to this song in the confides of your home in just your underwear... Then frankly you haven't lived. 

Just try to block-out that this is the actual singer of the song

There's really one thing that's more satisfying than watching "The Karate Kid" and that's a delicious and mouth-watering 6-Piece Chicken McNugget. 

1. Every time I see a skateboarder practice their moves, I really just want to to say to them.... "You realize, nothing will come from this, right?" (Some may think the same thing about this blog entry as well)  

2. I might not have any role models in sports, but I do have a ROLL Model thanks to Penn State's Freshman Kicker.  

It's probably the Freshman 75

3. Staying on the sports subject...  If Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn have a child together, it's going to have a great arm with nice tits.

4. My biggest takeaway from the film "No Escape" is to NOT take your wife and kids to Thailand when there are riots going on and they want to kill you. 

5. From my parents, I've learned that older people not only suffer from memory loss, but also from severe butt-dialing.  

6. Some people have resting bitch face, but I suffer from resting double-chin face.