Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What did the toothless termite ask when he walked into the bar?

Is the bar tender here?  AHAHAHAHA get it? Oh, I crack myself up, but obviously I have no future in stand-up comedy.  However, my most recent attempt to rise to my self-proclaimed challenge left me in awe of those who rock the world of stand-up.

To give credit where credit is due, my friend Jayme found an advertisement for Wisecracks Comedy Club in the Telegram.  (For those of you not native to Worcester: 1st I'm not sure why you find this blog entertaining, but I'll take it as a compliment and 2nd the Telegram is the local Worcester paper, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette [The New York Times it is not, but it does the job].)  Jayme has so kindly offered to aid in my quest for fun things in Worcester until she abandons me for the U.K, but that is a story for another time. Anyway, after a bit of googling, we discovered that Wisecracks has a venue in Auburn.  So, barring the announcement of something cooler to do in Worcester over the weekend, we scheduled a tentative trip to our neighboring suburb.  As luck would have it (in a rather serendipitous display of coincidence) the next day Groupon was having a half price deal on Wisecracks.  This solidified our decision and instead of the heafty $12 admission fee, our small bunch paid a whopping $6 per person to see 4 pretty decent and bordering on hysterical stand-up acts. I <3 Groupon by the way, so this might become a theme in my posts.

Alright, so the night begins with us trekking down Route 20 towards Oxford to Halligan's Sports Bar.  The place looks like what I will affectionately call a deserted truck stop. It's claim to fame is it's vicinity to The Harley Davidson Dealer and Ronnie's Fried Clams, try not to get too excited.  We pull into this dreary looking dive and head towards the door for Halligan's HOWEVER we astutely notice a sign (I kid, but this sign was blocking the sidewalk, so you really couldn't miss it) that Wisecracks was really being held in the Royal Lounge, which I've come to learn is part of Halligan's but separate.  Either way, we hand in our groupons and find seats.  This was not a tasking event, as I am a very prompt person and since the tickets said doors at 7:30 and show at 8:00, I arrived at 7:30.  No one else did.  In fact, most people didn't show up until 8:15ish.  You'd think they'd be rude for walking in during the middle of the act, but no worries for the late-comers, the show hadn't started yet.  (Thank goodness there was a bar to keep us occupied and satiated while we waited). The show started around 8:30 and we were thoroughly amused.

I'm not going to give you an lengthy review of the comics, but I've made a decent outline of the events.

I. The American Indian/Irish/Italian/Portuguese/etc
  A.  Made jokes about being old and fat
  B. Was successful because he was old and fat
  C. Favorite joke:  "I had a baby last week.  It was delicious."

II. The guy I can't remember
  A. Couldn't have been too great because I don't remember him
  B. Couldn't have been too horrible because I don't remember him
  C. Favorite joke: again I can't remember

III. The short guy
  A. Had some awkward interaction (borderline hostility) with an audience member that was exciting and amusing.
  B. Some great jokes about Southerners - he married a woman from Georgia or Louisiana or somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.  (As a New Englander I appreciate this humor immensely)
  C. Favorite joke: Meeting a guy in Vegas from Worcester, England and when the brit said "We were first" the comedian responded, "Yeah, well, we won the war!" heh.

IV.  The main event
  A.  This guy was a St. John's High School grad. (A little background, St. John's is the brother school to my high school Notre Dame.  There are a billion stereotypes of St. John's guys and 90% of them are true. Nuff said.)
  B. Was crazy good (wow, I promise to never use that again) at accents.
  C. Made fun of small children and overbearing parents!
  D. Favorite joke: His description of a father's psyche on his daughter's prom night.  I was in tears from laughing.

Either way, I would definitely recommend this event.  The prices are great, the beer is cheap and the stand-up is excellent considering the cost.   So, grudgingly I have to admit that Wisecracks is tipping this scales in Worcester's favor.

Until next week!

<3 K

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did I mention I'm a bit competitive?

Two years ago, in D.C., I was introduced to pub trivia and it changed my life.  Okay, I'm exaggerating, but truthfully, I'm a trivia fiend. At one point, we had created an unstoppable entity that was disbanded when our trivia master was fired for reasons unknown (we suspect drugs were involved).  So, our small group attempted several other trivia venues. None of them were all too promising and we stopped our weekly trivia ritual. (Note: I blame cheating GW law students at a certain "pharmacy" for ruining one experience, well, that and an undergrad teammate that joined us one week who tried to convince me that Mount Rushmore was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World... sadly, I'm not kidding.)

In the spirit of being proactive and giving things a second chance, I decided to attempt to create a trivia team here in Worcester.  Some friends and I tried a night at Tweed's based on some facebook posts that recommend it, but I wasn't too impressed by the atmosphere.  It just wasn't for me, but they did have a rowdy crowd of regulars if you are looking for that ;-)  Which leads me to...

Wednesday Night Trivia at the Piccadilly Pub on Shrewsbury Street

I'm digging this trivia night.  You can either play in the bar or throughout the dining room and seating isn't usually a problem. They have a six person max on teams, if you are looking to win the prize, but they are fairly laid back as far as trivia "masters" go. 

They play Stump Trivia, which admittedly isn't my favorite format, but after a few weeks, it is starting to grow on me.  It's divided into quarters that consist of 4 questions each with bonus rounds after each quarter.  They start at 8pm (usually.  This is my one BIG complaint.  They really need to start on time and keep to the schedule. It's a Wednesday night and people have jobs.  Trivia should last 2 hours tops, but I digress...) The questions cover a really wide range of categories, but movies are a most definite for their bonus rounds.  If you can make a team that covers more than one generation you will be at an advantage.  Honestly, they baffle me with their questions about 60s and 70s pop culture, but it is all in good fun -- alright, let's be serious, the point of this post is to recruit someone older than 30 to join our team.  It kills me when we don't even place every week.  I feel as if I die inside.  My competitive nature is still smarting from leaving early last week. We quit! I never quit!  I try to sit there and act all nonchalant about the game and be a "good sport" -whatever that means- but I can't lie to my readers. I might go prematurely gray if we don't win soon... wow, where did that tangent come from? I'm a little embarrassed... moving right along.

Piccadilly Pub is not my first choice for places to eat in Worcester.  It doesn't even rank in my top 20, but they have a decent beer selection and cheap wine, which normally sells me.  They give you as much free popcorn as you like and they have some decent entree selection.  Bonus: a brownie sundae that rocks my world.  Their waitstaff is sweet (even after having a pint of beer spilled down my back - it was an accident and my meal was comped- I will still return) and pretty decent about splitting bills, etc.

Feel free to join us and week. We need all the help we can get er... umm... I mean the MORE THE MERRIER!

Next week, there is rumor of a cheap comedy night... I'll keep you posted.

Until next time!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welcome to Worcester - $1.25

Lame. I know. Toll Booth Willy references are tired, but so is Worcester, MA.  After 8 years of living in Newport, RI, Rome, Italy and Washington, DC, returning home has been challenging to say the very least.

I've been back for over 6 months now and have created a very productive series of avoidance tactics. 

Distraction 1- The Big Move
Issue: Moving away from the busting DC summer nearly killed me.  Drinks on the Georgetown waterfront called to me as the Uhaul drove me (and my fiancee and my possessions) north.
Consolation: I was closer to family and friends. I enjoyed some much needed "mom time." I had a bigger apartment. I spent time with my godson.
Verdict: Entertainment to last me through August. Barely.

Distraction 2- The New Job
Issue: Being unemployed for 2 months made me ridiculously lazy ... and broke.
Consolation: I found a job a local college (fun fact: Worcester has about 10).  Pay is good.  Title is excellent. Job is a little questionable, but in the end -- I am employed, yay!
Verdict: This job is probably not it for me, but I'll stick it out for a while.  My boss has assured me that after a year, I'll have some projects... yippee.

Distraction 3- The Wedding
Issue: Quite an important event loomed on the horizon, which refused to be ignored.
Consolation: No distractions provided by Worcester to stop me from wedding planning. (w00t!) I've said it to just about everyone I know, but here it is again-- I wouldn't wish wedding planning on anyone.  It makes you turn into a version of yourself that you've never seen before. I feel like it is a chance for you to show your least flattering self to your intended spouse before it is too late to turn back.  Despite being the reluctant bride I was, I planned my behind off (literally-- I ate soup for 3 months straight to look amazing in my dress) and, with the help of many, produced a kick-ass wedding.
Verdict: The wedding rocked.  It has taken me 3 weeks to recover and catch up on the sleep I lost. I'm happily married to a wonderful man...

and I am still in Worcester... without any new distractions in the near future.

Onward to the point! I've found little to entertain in the smallest city/biggest town in New England.  (Disclaimer: I know a lot of people would disagree with this description, but honestly -- I don't care, so there :-p )

However, I am an optimist at heart - as obvious as that is from the tone of my blog, but honestly, don't mistake sarcasm for pessimism.  I am issuing myself a goal - one post a week with something positive about living in Worcester.  To make this even more difficult, I am going to try to have one post a month be something free and one to be family friendly (ie. not directly related to alcohol consumption).

This is a chance for me to get out there and try new things.  I'll blog about my experiences and rate how each place, event, etc is swaying my opinion of Wormtown.*  I'll be looking for suggestions and letting everyone know the week prior what I'm attempting for the next post so you can join in if you want.

Wish me luck!!!

<3 K

*This is the one and only time I will refer to Worcester as Wormtown... be advised.