The J.Keith van Straaten Show

The J.Keith van Straaten Show Returns!

I am the sidekick on a VERY cool late night talk show.
We’ve been on hiatus for a few months, but now we’re coming back!
Here’s the details. If you’re gonna be in LA, come to the show, and meet me afterwards!!!
*Mark Your Calendars!! Save The Date!!*
*Primetime Special Benefit Show!*
*Thursday, August 30 ~ 8pm!!*
That’s right, The J. Keith van Straaten Show, “the best TV talk show not on TV …yet,” invites you to put down the shotgun and regain a sense of hope and wonder, as we return for our first show of 2001! Yep, it’s been eight whole months since we left the stagewaves and now we’ve got a great reason to come back: J. Keith is in training to run a marathon to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Let that sink in for a minute: J. Keith….marathon….raise money…. Believe it, baby! It’s all true! So this next show is a charity fundraiser, which means we’re pulling out all the stops we can find! Deluxe accomodations and surprises galore!
More details will come your way soon, but meanwhile, make sure you hire the babysitter and put it in your Palm Pilot now for Thursday August 30 at 8pm. This is a show you won’t want to miss!
ADVANCED TICKETS WILL BE REQUIRED – They will be available online soon at www.jkeith.net!
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Here’s what we know so far…
Scheduled Guests for Thursday, August 30:
(A Partial List. More guests will be announced, and some will be a surprise!)
*KEVIN NEALON – 9-year cast member of “Saturday Night Live”
*NINA GORDON – Singer/Songwriter, formerly of rock band Veruca Salt
*RICK OVERTON – The comedian’s comedian and longtime friend of the show
*WIL WHEATON – Your ship’s purser. (note that Keith didn’t say “Ensign”…I have a better rank on thisshow, baby!)
…plus the triumphant return of house band ADAM & THE CHESTERS (featuring ADAM CHESTER).
Come see the Good Cause Funny!
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WHAT: The J. Keith van Straaten Show
“The Best TV Talk Show Not on TV …yet!”
WHERE: ACME Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood
(1/2 block south of Beverly Blvd., next door to Farfalla)
WHEN: Thursday, August 30, 8pm
COST: TBA
SHOW HOTLINE: Call 310-289-2345 for more information.
WEBSITE: http://www.jkeith.net
Please note: The public is encouraged to call the show hotline or visit our website for the most up-to-date information, including currently scheduled guests.
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THE CAUSE:
The AIDS Marathon, run on December 9, 2001, will be J. Keith’s first endeavor into the world of long distance running –or any distance running, for that matter. The marathon raises money to support AIDS-related causes all over the country. Sponsoring J. Keith will help raise needed funds for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Contributions and ticket purchases will be tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
For more information, please visit www.aidsmarathon.com or www.apla.org
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Thanks! With your support, I’m really going to run 26.2 miles, and raise money to help people living with AIDS! That rocks!
Your best friend in the world,
J. Keith van Straaten
The J. Keith van Straaten Show
The Best TV Talk Show Not on TV …yet!
“Best of L.A.!” –Los Angeles Magazine / “Pick of the Week” –LA Weekly / “Best Bet” –LA Times
www.jkeith.net ~ 310-289-2345
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Dodger Baseball I am a

Dodger Baseball

I am a HUGE baseball fan.
I play.
I watch.
I listen.
I kick the computers ass on PlayStation MLB2001.
And I go to the games, most often with my mom and dad, because they have seats two rows above the Dodger dugout. As a matter of fact, you can see us in the background whenever a right-handed batter is up, if we are at the game.
There is a GREAT story about why we have the seats, which I’ll tell you another time.
Well, dad took Anne and me to the game tonight, so we could watch Chan Ho Park throw a perfect game through 4, a no hit shutout through 7, and leave the game with a 3 hit shutout in the 8th.
Of course, these are the Dodgers we’re talking about here, so they only managed 1 run while stranding 13 runners over 8 innings, so when Jim Tracy brought in our “closer” Jeff Shaw, we weren’t heading for the parking lot, confident of a Dodger victory.
So Shaw comes in, Expos (yeah, I forgot to mention that, we were playing the Montreal Expos) get 4 quick runs, and the Dodgers lose, 4-1.
Take me out to the ballgame!

Kids Are Cool Tonight, while

Kids Are Cool

Tonight, while I was sitting here, cursing up a storm while I tried to get the new site closer to operation, my step kids decided that they wanted to watch The Mummy on DVD.
So I told them that they could, but Ryan had to shower before he could start it, and Nolan would have to wait for him.
So Ryan runs off to his room, (kids have two speeds at 12: the excited run and the sullen stalk), and shouts back to Nolan, “Make some popcorn!”
Nolan looks at me, and says, “I’m really burnt out on popcorn, Wil.”
“So just make some for Ryan,” I replied, “that would be a really cool thing to do.”
So he goes into the kitchen, (he hasn’t hit the 2 speed phase yet) and gets out the popcorn (I can’t endorse Newman’s Own enough- it rules, and the profits go to charity, so we all win).
I sit back at the computer, trying to make the new site look less lame (it’s not coming along as well as I’d like, dammit), and Nolan calls to me from the kitchen.
“Wil! There’s a lot of smoke coming out of the microwave!”
I get up, and as I get closer to the kitchen, I recognize that smell that is so familiar to college dorms…no, not weed, jackass. The smell of burnt microwave popcorn.
Nolan is standing there, looking so perplexed, like he can’t figure out what is wrong with the microwave. So I stop it, and asked him how long it’s been in there, and he tells me 4 minutes, because that’s what it says on the bag. Now, whenever I make it, it’s 2 minutes 25 seconds. I’ve gotten it figured out. But I somehow didn’t pass that knowledge on to the next generation, and now, at 2:50 am, my house STILL smells like burning popcorn!
Well, Ryan comes out of his room, and Nolan looks crestfallen.
“Ryan, I ruined the popcorn, and it was the last one.” He says, looking like a puppy who’s just been caught chewing up your Boba Fett that was still in the blister pack.
Ryan looks at me, and back to his upset little brother, and he totally says, “That’s okay, Nolan, I’ll eat it anyway.”
So we open the bag, and take out a black ball of burning popcorn, toss it into the sink, and Ryan pours the rest of the popcorn into our popcorn bowl. (You see, when you’re married, all of a sudden you get all this stuff that only has one use. Like The Popcorn Bowl, or The Water Glasses. I don’t know about you, but when I was a bachelor, I only had 2 bowls and about 5 glasses, and they pulled serious double and triple duty.)
Sorry. Tangent.
So Ryan ends up sitting on the couch, eating the totally burnt popcorn, and all was right with the world.
See what I mean about kids being cool? Nolan made the effort to do something for his brother, and Ryan made the effort to appreciate it, even at his own peril.
I wish adults were more like that.

New Site News! I haven’t

New Site News!

I haven’t gotten around to posting any of the other stories about the weekend, or the Tahoe stories, because I’ve been working on the new site all day.
I’ll tell ya, without the visual quickstart guides, I’d be even lamer than I already am.
So here is the big news! I finally installed, uploaded and configured a message board for the new site!!
Hooray!
The templates haven’t been changed from the default, because I haven’t decided what the new site will look like, yet, but you can check it out, and I’m pretty sure you can post there, if you want to.
Just remember that it’s still considered BETA. (I’m working on a VHS version)
Wil

Procrastination Look at me! I’m

Procrastination

Look at me! I’m a cowboy! Howdy, howdy, howdy!
Anyone remember that from The Far Side? It was one of my favorites when I was in school.
Well, kids, it’s too damn hot today to do anything but stay inside, and since my house is such a complete and utter disaster, I’m putting off cleaning it up, and bringing the old Burrito Blog up to date. I’m going to go in reverse order, starting with last night’s excursion for Anne’s birthday, yesterday afternoons Improv show, and yesterday morning’s meeting with Roger. Then I’ll give up the promised stories from the Tahoe trip.
I really need to get a digital camera, so I can include cool picture links in these stories, don’t you think?
Before I get started, I want to clarify something, so you can understand a little something about your Sweet Uncle Willie:
I hate, and I mean hate places like “the mall” or these big shopping/dining/consumption oriented places, like The Bock At Orange, and The Irvine Spectrum. I’d MUCH rather go to a little community-oriented street fair or shopping district, and give my money to and spend time around real people, rather than big corporate behemoths.
But Anne’s friend Michelle lives near Irvine, and there is this one cool place there, so I sucked it up, and met them, and our friend Stephanie (who introduced me to and Anne) for dinner, and entertainment.

Dinner, or When The Waiter Came, I said “eww! Look! The waiter came!”

The plan was to meet Anne and the girls at The Cheesecake Factory, but I guess the wait there was 45-70 minutes. 45-70 minutes?! does anyone really want to wait that long for a seat in a restaurant? Sure, at Hooters I can understand that, but at The Cheesecake Factory?
I guess the girls all felt the same way, so they went to some place called “Champps Americana”, which is sort of a sportsbar/micro-brewery/I’m-having-a-mid-life-crisis-and-I-want-to-eat-at-a-place-like-the-ones-I-went-to-in-college place.
So we get seated, and we’re ordering, and, right in the middle of Anne giving her order, the waiter cuts her off, points towards me, and says, “Hey! The kid from Stand By Me!”…Now, whenever that happens, I don’t quite know what to say. Should I jump up and shout “Traaiiiiinnnn!” or tell him a story, or what? I never know how to handle that…I don’t want to say, “Yes! You are correct, sir! Now please treat me differently the entire course of our meal, for I am from movies!”. So there’s this tiny, uncomfortable pause, and my friend Stephanie follows the waiter’s pointing finger, over my shoulder and says, “You know, I think that is Corey Feldman, right over there!” And we all laughed, and it was okay.
So we’re waiting for our dinner to come, and waiting, and waiting, and getting hungrier and hungrier, and this runner finally comes by with some food. He sets Steph’s ribs down in front of her, and as he’s leaning over, he dumps a huge, Ron Jeremy-sized load of alfredo juice all down the shoulder and back of my cool fairview t-shirt! Suddenly, he realizes two things: The food is not ours, it goes to the table next to us, and he just spooged pasta sauce all over my back. So what does he do? He picks up the ribs, says NOTHING about my back! Nothing at all! Not even, “sorry” or “who’s your daddy, wesley?”
So this is a huge mess down my back, and it takes two napkins to wipe it all off…and Stephanie says, “The lest he could have done is bought you dinner before he came on your back.” And my wife says, “Yeah, now you are totally his bitch.”
I realize that some of you are having your image of sweet little Gordie and uber-square Wesley completely shattered right now, but I think it’s best that you get to know the real me sooner than later, that way it won’t hurt so badly when we break up.
Okay, back to the story: FINALLY, our food comes, and it is brought to us by the manager. So I see this guy in a tie coming over, and I think, “Sweet! This turkey burger is on the house!”
He sets our food down, apologizes for the wait, and leaves!! He doesn’t even acknowledge the stain down my back! Now, maybe he didn’t know….I can’t imagine this conversation:

Runner: Uh, sir? I just came on the back of Tv’s Wil Wheaton
Manager: Good job, Darryl! I always hated Wesley Crusher anyway!

But you know what I really think? I think the huge, corporate, “sportsbar/micro-brewery/I’m-having-a-mid-life-crisis-and-I-want-to-eat-at-a-place-like-the-ones-I-went-to-in-college place” doesn’t care about your Uncle Willie, and you know why? Because he isn’t the target audience. He wasn’t wearing penny loafers without socks and corduroy shorts. He didn’t have a ponytail, and he wasn’t drinking Smirnoff Ice when the Zima ran out!!
Oh well. The food wasn’t too bad, and the waitstaff did come and sing “Happy Birthday” to my wife…and our waiter was pretty cool…he could keep up with our sarcasm and jokes and stuff…Oh, and there were lots of interesting people to watch while we ate…which reminds me, and get out a pencil and write this down, people: Just because they make a babydoll t-shirt that says “sexy” in rhinestone across the chest in a size 18 doesn’t mean anyone should wear it! Because, damn, man, dimples, okay? Okay.
Is anyone still with me?
The next place we went was actually really really cool:

Sing Sing With A Swing

“Sing Sing” is a cool piano bar, where 2 guys sit at facing pianos and sing popular tunes and stuff. It is really rowdy, kinda raunchy, and super fun. They play all sorts of songs, from blink 182 to elvis to freebird (because skynard isn’t really a band anyway, they’re just that one song, and ‘sweet home alabama’, right? Oh! interesting fact about skynard: their high school guidence counsellor told them that they’d never make it as a rock band. His name? Leonard Skynard. No shit. And the guy who started FedEx? He presented the idea as a thesis in college, and he professor gave him a terrible grade, because “this will never work.” So let that be a lesson to you. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Unless it’s me, and I’m telling you to stop wearing those damn babydoll t-shirts, okay? Okay.)
So there is much singing, much dancing, and a very eclectic crowd, which is rare in cookie-cutter Orange County. And they take requests, so we request “Jesse’s Girl” and “Don’t Stop Believin’”…and they played them, and the whole place went CRAZY! It was really cool. If you can find a Sing-Sing near you, check it out.
Okay, I’m posting this, so I can work on the Improvathon story, and the meeting with Roger story, before I get into the Tahoe saga.
I am spending entirely too much time on this weblong and website thing. I really need to get a life. Or a job. Or a ride to the arcade.

50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong

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