Friends

Name Amy’s Book

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My friend Amy has written a book. The book’s running title is Taxi Confidential: Confessions of New York City Cabbies and Passengers.
It’s a mouthful, kind of like my last two titles: In the Event of My Untimely Demise and The Deposition of Lou Bagetta.

Amy is troubled. Deep in her heart she feels like somewhere out there, somewhere not here, is someone with a killer title for her book. Maybe a clever play on the taxi thing. Like Fare Play or A Checkered Past.
Maybe that person with a killer title is you or someone you know. It certainly isn’t Yul Brenner, who died in 1985.
This is your chance to be in the acknowledgements page of a book. You can drag your friends to Barnes & Noble, take it off the shelf, open it up, point to your name and say, “That’s me!” It could be the start of a proper book titling career. This could be the recession-proof job you were looking for. Or a lark.
This is from Amy herself:

“The book itself is a compilation of true NYC taxi experiences collected from both drivers and passengers, taken from the ’70s through present day. The answer to the question I’m always asked: Yes, there’s a chapter on sex in cabs.
Right now, the cover is going to be semi-graphic, mainly black and white with some bright color worked in, a la Sin City. So the title should reflect this. In other words, “Yellow daisy ride” wouldn’t work. Also, the publishers will want key words somewhere in the title or subtitle for search purposes (taxi, cab, driver, new york city, etc.).
Anyone who successfully names this book will get a big thank you in the acknowledgments, and if they live in NYC, a chocolate milkshake on me.”

And a copy of the book.
No pressure, but she’s got little more than a week before the publisher commits. Leave your ideas in the comments section so no one can claim they thought of it first.

Mass Historia

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My friendsticle Chris Regan has a book coming out, Mass Historia: 365 Days of Historical Facts and (Mostly) Fictions. You should rush and pre-order it because it’s bound to be funny (pun intended). He’s got a very highbrow sense of humor which you can discern by checking out his website. Also, I interviewed him here many moons ago.
He wrote for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for seven years. By the time I realized it would be okay to try and use him to get a foot in the door there he left the show. This gets a mention in my book.
We both worked on a sometimes very clever comedy show in college called The Nothing Special. Alumni from that show went on to work at Conan O’Brien, Daily Show, MAD-TV and Bill Maher. Meanwhile I panicked and went into advertising.
Amazon has his book and mine under the “better together” category, which is kind of cool.

Corn Bread & Feta Cheese @ Sage Theater

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I met Elza Zagreda years ago in an improv acting class that I really didn’t need to take. I liked her straight away. Not only was she pretty on the outside, but she had a functional brain and perceivable talent on the inside – unlike many of the pretty boys and girls in the class.
I liked Elza enough to actually attend her one-woman show when she invited me. Usually when someone invites me to their one-woman/man/improv/sketch/music/puppet show I pretend I am from another country, point towards a landmark and run.
Corn Bread & Feta Cheese was originally performed in a shoe box. Very uncomfortable for me with my long legs. But her show has grown, she’s taken it out to Los Angeles, and now she’s back and at the Sage Theatre near Times Square, New York’s Las Vegas.
It should be known that Elza has played a Russian whore on Law & Order: SVU, and she’s appeared in a commercial with Carrot Top.
Corn Bread & Feta Cheese

Corn Bread & Feta Cheese

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Corn Bread & Feta Cheese is my friend Elza Zagreda’s one woman show about growing up fat and Albanian. Although she is no longer fat, she is still hopelessly Albanian. Her looks and accent came in really handy when she played a Russian prostitute on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The show is good, I saw it last year. It’s been to Los Angeles where it was well received (meetings, lunches, agents, predatory men) and it’s back in New York City this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s worth checking out. Reviews and the like can be found on her site.

Regan weds, Zagreda performs, Everitz codes

Congrats to my newly-married friend, former Daily Show writer Chris Regan (profiled here). His wedding reception was at the Friar’s Club where old comedians get stapled to the wall when they pass on. It was a fun time because it was a room full of comedians and comedians are totally well-adjusted people. There was a lot of reminiscing about college, and lots of comedians who needed more attention than other comedians. The speeches were pretty funny and contained lots of references to things I wasn’t immediately getting – kind of like when Dennis Miller talks. We all laughed, drank, and then the Friars kicked us out at midnight so we laughed and drank at the Pig n’ Whistle. Chris’s website, This Day In Mythstory, should be on your list of websites for work avoidance.
I met Elza Zagreda in an acting class a couple years back. The class wasn’t very good – like most acting classes – but she’s lovely so it made the class worthwhile. Her one-woman show/memoir Corn Bread & Feta Cheese: Growing Up Fat and Albanian just started running in Los Angeles this week, so if you’re one of the eight people in LA who goes to theatre I’d like to recommend it. She’s good.
Chad Everitz at Everitz Consulting has been helping to tweak Banterist all week. He upgraded me to Movable Type 3.33 and fixed things that are beyond me – pretty much anything regarding Movable Type. The end result is the Tag system that’s now up and running, which should be a great way to help folks navigate the site and find other posts they might like. There’s a Tag Index and individual Tag Searches – like for Monkeys or Hitler or Blue Humor. Chad knows Movable Type and Typepad and provides a valuable service in return for money. I heartily endorse his product. Which is actually a service.