Archive | November 2014

Wearables

Wearables 1What do Darth Vader, Geordi La Forge, and Tony Stark have in common? Wearables. Wearables refer to wearable technology. Like the Smarthome industry, it weaves technology into everyday life to make things easier.

The main functionality we see today is related to quantified self. If you aren’t familiar with the quantified-self movement, it is a way for us to incorporate technology into the collection of data. Like physical activity, sleep patterns, heart rate, etc. They come in various forms: watches, wristbands, and of course Google glass.

The most popular wearable being talked about these days is the Apple Watch. Features mentioned in the Apple Keynote include messaging and calling, communication with Siri, fitness tracking, and Apple Pay. (Which I am excited about). Other popular wearable brands include the Nike Fuel Band, Jawbone Up, Fitbit Flex, and Google Glass.

ABI research predicts that 90 million wearable devices will be sold in 2014. Big brands are definitely on this bandwagon and so are startups. When it comes to perception, I’m sure there are many people who think wearables are not overwhelmingly beneficial. However, I think they are useful in the same way that smartphones are, only in a different form. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them. Because the way some of us always have our phones, it might as well be an additional limb. The beginning of this industry may seem clunky at times but these things will most likely be one of the keys to help us live longer.

There are so many directions they can go. Can you imagine, for example, a toe ring that automatically dispenses insulin when the body has an allergic reaction…or earrings that give you your daily dose of vitamin C? Marrying science and technology just expedites this self-care marathon that we call life. I am really looking forward to seeing the world post Apple Watch.


Behold the various forms of wearable technology:

Mota Smart Ring

Interact with your notifications without constantly being on your phone.

Mota Smart Ring

 

 

Ringly

Similar in functionality to the Mota Smart Ring but for the chunky jewelry enthusiasts.

Ringly

 

 

Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt

Tracks and streams biometric data to your phone in realtime.

Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt

 

 

Moto 360

Features include fitness tracking, voice control, and notification capabilities.

Moto 360

 

 

Mimo Baby Monitor

Provides realtime insights about your baby’s activity (including body position, temperature and breathing pattern).

Mimo Baby Monitor

 

 

Google Glass

Bringing technology more seamlessly into everyday life by providing a second screen for your mobile device.

Google Glass

 

 

Sensoria Fitness Bra

This sports bra is equipped with a heart rate monitor. (Compatible with various fitness apps).

Sensoria Fitness Bra

 

 

Apple Watch

Last but not least, this customizable watch lets you see and respond to messages, track fitness activity, make payments, and more.

Apple Watch

 

~Jazmin Butler

Tips To Avoid Holiday Overeating

Holiday OvereatingWith the holidays right around the corner, we’re getting ready to eat massive quantities of food. Some people prepare differently than others. I personally get ready to eat a big turkey by warming up on some chickens first. But the most important thing this holiday season is balancing between eating healthy and eating like a good ol’ American! Ah yes, Aunt Lina’s mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, broccoli and gravy, cranberry sauce, and glazed ham… and that’s just one dish! Don’t forget to add a candy cane for Christmas. So how do we avoid overeating this time of year?

We could celebrate the holidays strictly with wheat germ. We could also not buy each other presents and just talk. It’s the holidays, live a little! No one is saying to feast in excess but a few tips can help you cut back on meals while still partaking in some good chow.

  1. Seconds are Good. Thirds are Trouble

Say there’s a nice dish of sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows and brown sugar. Of course you’re going to want seconds. But dropping the shoulder like a running back to knock cousin Artie out of the way for thirds is going to raise a few eyebrows. Sure cousin Artie stole your girlfriend in 10th grade and never admitted to denting your first car. He probably deserves a good stiff arm to his ugly mug. But save it for the park, not the dinner table. In this case, if you decide to go all Expendables on Artie just to get that third helping, Artie is in the right and you’re not. Besides, if you go for thirds, there may not be much leftover to bring to work the following Monday.

  1. Know Your Salads

Salads are a healthy choice this holiday season. However, not all salads are created equal. Not even in Thomas Jefferson’s house. Just because something is labeled a “salad”, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. While I admit this is more of a summer food, please beware of potato salad. I’m certain at some point this holiday season, Uncle Frankie will forget to bring the asparagus side dish when leaving for his in-laws, thus, forcing his wife to demand he stop to buy something on the way. Most likely this will be potato salad. In my opinion, there shouldn’t be such a thing as potato salad. You can’t make a salad out of the same stuff you make French Fries from. Salad contains leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, croutons, and dressing. If it’s a veggie, it can go in a salad. Seafood, pasta, poultry, red meat, and even fruits have turned salads into a regrettable Thursday at Applebee’s.

  1. Watch the Football/Basketball Games

Many families will divide holiday meals into courses. You start off with some cheese, crackers, chips, and pepperoni when arriving at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Next, of course, is the appetizer portion. If you’re Italian like me, that’s when the family sneaks in a small plate of macaroni and sauce. That macaroni appetizer dish is a very Columbus-like way to mount a flag and remind everyone “We’re Italian!” Anyway, after appetizers is dinner followed by dessert and more alcohol. To break up the monotony of all this food, sit down and watch the games in between courses. I mean really sit down and watch the game. Get out a scorecard and keep track of stats if you have to. This will give the stomach a break and a chance to digest. Plus, watching the game is a good way not to talk to Cousin Jimmy who forgot you already returned his lawnmower last month.

  1. Save Some for Monday!

I touched on this earlier, but I wanted to elaborate. A good technique to avoiding eating so much is realizing that this much food can feed a person for a month. Sure it’s impressive to eat more than Uncle Sal (or Aunt Bonnie for that matter), but it’s also impressive to have Thanksgiving for lunch for a whole week! And think of the money saved by brown-bagging it! You can finally take that trip to Dollywood instead of blowing your cash on Chipotle everyday. Although Chipotle is a respectable passion to many of us, it will still be there after returning from Dollywood. Or even skip Dollywood and save that money to pay your rent!

  1. There is Only So much Room at the Table

The holidays are a time when there will be a fire hazard amount of people in your home. It’s the reason families keep an extra table in the basement. Sure you never use the thing and want to toss it, but you realize you may need it for when your sister, bother in law, and their family band of kids come by for the holidays. So keep in mind how much room there will actually be on that table(s) to put food on. The more people seated, the less room there will be for meals and dishes. And speaking of dishes, small plates can be used. This means less room to pile on the creamed spinach. With an overcrowded dinner table and small-sized china, there will be less to eat. You will avoid over eating and falling asleep mid-chew.

The holidays are great time to make great memories. Nobody forgets that time Cousin Paul got stuck in the neighbor’s tree trying to get the Nerf football out. Heck, the fire chief brings it up every time you see him at the bank! So enjoy them thoroughly. Eat well and eat smart. If you have any more tips on how to avoid over eating, share them below. And just remember, the Lions have to show up on Thanksgiving but Aunt Gertie’s soufflé doesn’t if you “accidentally” lose her invitation.

~Mike Sgroi

 

Myq Kaplan

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Jamie: Ok, I’m here with the brilliantly funny Myq Kaplan. Thanks for taking the time out to do a quick interview Myq, I appreciate that.

Myq: I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. Thank YOU.

Jamie: I start everyone off with a question about the cause, so let’s get right to that. What is it about cancer aide and awareness that made you want to get involved? Was it just a general compassion, or have you had the misfortune of witnessing someone go through it?

Myq: I always want to do anything I can to help whatever suffering exists.

Jamie: Let’s go back to the early stages of your career. You actually got your start in music, tell us a little bit about that.

Myq: My parents were music teachers and I played the violin since I was four. I didn’t really like it but I had to, which I’m ultimately glad for because those skills helped me teach myself the guitar quickly as a teenager. That became my first dream, to be a singer-songwriter for a living. In college, I began pursuing that wherever I could, and one of the places that let me play some songs was a comedy club called the Comedy Studio in Cambridge, MA.

Jamie: How much do you still dabble in music? Are we going to see any future releases?

Myq: I play the guitar for fun whenever possible, or whatever stringed instruments are lying around. I also actually enjoy playing the violin from time to time now again, because my girlfriend plays it as well. We’ve started having fun improvising together, not for any released recordings right now, but who knows about the future! (Answer: no one.) I also do still write and perform musical comedy songs with my good friend Micah Sherman. A few years ago we released an album called “Please Be Seated” and this year we put out a mixtape called the Micah Myq Mega Mixtape. And finally, my good friend, wonderful comedy rapper Zach Sherwin, and I have been writing podcast theme songs and producing them with the help of my other good friend Sam Kusnetz. We’re thinking of putting out a mini-album of all of them (they’re only about 20 seconds each) but right now they can all be heard for free at the beginning of podcasts like “Hang Out With Me” (that’s mine), “Here We Are” (our friend Shane Mauss), “Universe City” (Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, and Raj Sivaraman). And more to come possibly! Thanks for asking.

Jamie: Absolutely. I’ve been a guitar player since I was a kid, so there’s a natural interest there for me. Now… you got your master’s degree in linguistics at Boston University right around the same time you transitioned into comedy. Throughout his career, George Carlin really picked apart and found the humor in language. You have a similar astute knack for finding the humor within language and terminology. How much would you say studying linguistics played a part in developing your cerebral style?

Myq: When I found out linguistics existed, I was thrilled, because it illuminated a subject that I didn’t even know WAS a subject. I’ve always enjoyed words… a weird set of words to say, maybe… and so I think that that’s what drew me to both linguistics and some of the comedy that I enjoy. Maybe learning about linguistics influenced some specific things in my comedy along the way, and vice versa, but mainly I think there was something in me that manifested as both an interest in linguistics and comedy, as opposed to those things necessarily influencing one another. Does that make sense? If not, that’s okay.

Jamie: Speaking of your cerebral style, I want to touch a little more on your approach. As a comedy writer for various comedians, I write a lot of jokes and bits that aren’t really what I consider my style. When I keep jokes for myself, I tend to go with the ones I consider to be more clever, or satirical rants, versus the raw or straightforward type jokes. The odd thing I’ve noticed about that though is that the masses, or even just certain crowds for that matter, tend to prefer the raw straightforward jokes in many cases. I’m channeling my inner Lenny Bruce-Bill Hicks, or Steven Wright-Mitch Hedberg, and sometimes all they want is Dice Clay-Dane Cook. When you’re writing your material, how much do you balance between what you know is funny or clever or more your style, and what you think the crowd or the masses will find funnier, and have you ever found yourself in front of a crowd that you knew your clever stuff was a little over their head, so you made a conscious effort to dumb it down a little, so to speak?

Myq: No. Or maybe earlier on, but early on, most aspiring comedians are just trying to figure out what works. What about oneself is funny? Now, I never think about what people are going to like during the writing process. Of course I think about it later, in the performance, or more when I’m listening back to performances to see how new ideas went over. But while coming up with ideas, I let myself think and write and say whatever I want, regardless of how I think people are going to respond. I mean, I’m not thinking about how they’re going to respond. I’m thinking about the fact that I like what I’m saying. I like what I’m constructing, and my goal is to get what I think is worthwhile, my best work, out there to people who will enjoy it. No comedian is exactly right for every audience. Everyone has different tastes. So if as a comedian you try to do what you think “people” will like, what people are you talking about? One of the worst things has got to be failing with material that you don’t even care about or believe in. Second-worst I think is SUCCEEDING with material you don’t care about or believe in. Second-best and best are failing/succeeding with material you do care about and believe in. In either order. The results don’t really matter. The process is what’s important. This is not to say that I live my life in a creative vacuum, and what I say is funny goes for everyone. If I were performing for only my grandmother’s friends, I might not do my Holocaust bits, even though they’re anti-Holocaust, and if a crowd doesn’t like a certain kind of joke, or topic, sure, I might do some math in my head and think about what jokes of mine they MIGHT like, and trend towards those… but I wouldn’t think of that as dumbing it down. I’m never going to not be myself. I’m going to be myself, if the self exists, which it might not, and hope that people who like the self that I am or am not will come to my shows and enjoy them, and the people who wouldn’t, won’t. I mean, for their own benefit. I want everyone to be as happy and fulfilled as possible.

Jamie: Well said. Sometimes I’ll trend away from the rants if I feel like a crowd isn’t really into listening to me rip certain things apart, but I never stray from the style of jokes I choose to keep for myself, unless its online. My online material is basically just a bunch of leftover shit I haven’t sold or plan to use on stage myself, so it’s all over the comedic spectrum. I’m just like fuck it, it’s the internet… someone will find it funny. Let’s talk about when it all started to click for you though. Almost every comedian goes through an inner struggle early on where they’re not 100% sure if they’re going to be able to make a long-term full-time profession out of comedy. At what point in your career did it just click that this was it for you? What was your defining moment where any and all doubts disappeared and you just knew you’d be making a full time career out of it?

Myq: I wouldn’t say there’s ever a time that there are no doubts about the future. Right now, who knows what will happen in the world tomorrow or next year or a decade from now? I knew from the beginning that I WANTED to be a full-time comedian, and I knew the way to do that was to just do it as much as possible. I was working a few different jobs at the time, living as an RA at Boston University, working at the bookstore cafe there, among other things… I was fine with the idea of being a barista as long as need be until I didn’t need to anymore, and I was fully aware that that day might never come. About six years in, I had the good fortune of booking a large enough number of college gigs that I didn’t need to have any other day jobs for a bit, and I was optimistic that if that could be sustained, then I could be sustained. But I didn’t “know.” Sometimes they say “leap, and the net will appear.” So I leapt, and the net did appear… or more like steps in the air that you build and construct yourself while you’re leaping, and also other people help you out, and sometimes you stumble mid-air but ultimately you head in the direction you want, or you start wanting the direction you’re heading. The point is, if you don’t leap at any point, you won’t get anywhere. So, leap everyone! If you want. You don’t have to. You can just walk wherever you want to go also. Did I answer this question fully? To summarize: no one ever knows the future, but I knew I could be a fulltime comedian for at least one year when I was one, and then the next year I knew I could be one for two years. And so forth. And so on. Until now. And hopefully later too.

Jamie: You never run out of material, so I think you’ll be doing this as long as it still interestes you. How about venues? Out of all the venues you’ve performed at, what’s your personal favorite?

Myq: There are too many favorites to name just one, and I’m sure I’ll leave some out, but here’s a few… The Comedy Studio where I started in Cambridge, MA, will always be in my heart. Acme in Minneapolis is a club that I’ve loved every time I’ve performed there in the past several years. I recorded my album “Meat Robot” there and the audiences are always just super. And the other comics. And the staff. And the way everyone treats everyone. I also love the various Helium locations. Portland is one of my favorite cities, and performing at the Helium there has always been a treat. There are many more… the Comedy Cellar, UCB, Meltdown in LA, tiny places that have a show once a week like “Gandhi Is That You” at Lucky Jack’s in NYC… I like anywhere that the audience is happy to be. With low ceilings. And vegan food. And I get paid a million dollars. And I’m in love.

Jamie: What would you say is the strangest or oddest thing that’s ever happened during one of your live shows?

Myq: I don’t know. Probably a lot of things happen that people would think is weird that I don’t really even notice anymore. One time I was performing in the round on a rotating stage outdoors in the daylight under a tent opening for KC and the Sunshine band for an audience that wanted to see not me, but KC and the Sunshine band, and a little girl gave me a thumbs down. How does that strike you?

Jamie: (Laughs) That’s the way uh-huh uh-huh, she didn’t like it, uh-huh uh-huh? If you got a thumbs down, I can only imagine her reaction to Tony Soprano singing disco in a Hawaiian shirt. How about material selection? To me, there’s a big difference between a comedian and a comedy writer. Most comedians can get by on limited material, whereas comedy writers have to face the constant struggle of coming up with endless new and fresh material. I’m more of comedy writer because I write so much material for others and do standups of my own so infrequently, so it’s actually very easy for me to determine what material I’m going to use if and when I do a standup of my own. You, on the other hand, are a hybrid of a comedian and a comedy writer. You come up with endless amounts of material for yourself, something that is a very rare quality amongst comics. Between your standup material, your Twitter account, your blog, podcasts, your YouTube clips, etc, etc… you’re just an endless source of comedy material, and you do countless standups and appearances. With so much material constantly swirling around in your head, how do you narrow it down and determine what you’re going to use for your standups and appearances? Do you go into your sets with a game plan, or do you just kind of pull from the plethora of material that’s always in your head on the fly?

Myq: Thank you for the very kind words. I feel bad having to start this response by saying I disagree with your characterization of comedians, in that they can get by on limited material. I think that most comedians that I know are constantly creating new material, because for so many of us, that’s the most enjoyable part of the job–coming up with something new that works. Or coming up with something new and MAKING it work. The alchemy from which an idea in a notebook turns into a crowd’s laughter over the course of days, weeks, months, or even years… that’s a huge part of what being a comedian is all about. So, I’m not sure which comedians you’re referring to, and names needn’t be named, but the best comedians are always creating, I would say. Of course, comedians are humans, and there is a diversity amongst us. Some might not write as much new stuff. People work at different rates. But saying comedians can get by on limited material is like saying “musicians can get by without writing new songs.” Some musicians might just play their hits for years. But some bands or solo artists put out new albums every year. Or every couple. Or what have you.

Jamie: I should probably clarify that before you get me in trouble here. I don’t mean to imply that comedians aren’t creative. I’m just saying a comedian can write some material and then use it for weeks, or even months because they’re frequently seeing new crowds who haven’t heard it yet, whereas comedy writers don’t have the luxury of getting extended use out of their material. Guys who write for websites, or television, or other comics, etc… it’s basically a one and done thing for their material. Hell, you can’t even repeat a tweet 2 or 3 years later without someone pointing out that you already tweeted that joke. Hear that comedians? I’m totally not knocking your creativity. You know I’m going to forward all the hate emails I get to you now, right? (Laughs) Where the hell were we? Oh, right… how you determine what material to use.

Myq: Well, it depends on the context. If it’s a show where I’m aiming to workshop some new ideas, like a weeknight at a club or bar around NYC, I’ll probably have a set list with some new ideas or bullet points jotted down, and I’ll go up and get into those. Or I might riff some on whatever has been going on in the room or my mind or earlier in the show. In that type of situation, it can be really loose. If I’m headlining a comedy club on the road for a weekend, I’m much more likely to have at least the framework of the hour I’m going to do ready. I might not do everything the same every night. I might still riff and get some new ideas in there. But the general shape of things might be at least similar from night to night. I heard a quote once, sorry I don’t know the source… something like “repetition makes us feel secure; variety makes us feel free.” And as humans, we want both of those things, so I aim to strike an equilibrium between them. Doing polished, honed material provides security… sometimes job security, sometimes the security of knowing that these jokes work, and trying new things is freedom. And it’s also the thing that leads to new polished, honed material, so it’s all necessary. All part of the same machine. The life machine. I’m a robot. Beep boop.

Jamie: See now, that’s the part I’m envious of. Sometimes I’ll come up with something I really like, and I want to use it again for the people who haven’t heard it, but can’t. I don’t do standup enough to quench the thirst of reliving polished jokes… so it ends up carrying over into my personal life because I shoehorn it into every day conversations when I know I’m talking to someone who hasn’t heard it yet. Speaking of writing though, there are a lot of comedians with good writing skills that find themselves getting offers to be regular writers for sitcoms, or asked to do acting roles. Could you see yourself writing for sitcoms regularly or possibly taking on an acting career at some point? Or possibly even a screenplay of your own? Have you considered going down those roads?

Myq: Sure! Who’s asking?

Jamie: Someone who doesn’t have a sitcom.

Myq: Sincerely, my main goal is to keep doing standup. And it’s a goal I achieve every day. Tip: set goals for yourself that you’re already achieving. You’ll feel real good about yourself. I have been on a few TV shows and written a few things. I like doing those things and would be happy to do them more. But I KNOW I’ll keep doing standup. As long as I want to and can.

Jamie: I’ve actually been working on a rough outline for a comedic screenplay, and once I have enough time to get it to a point where I’d actually show it to someone else… you might be one of the first people I contact about contributing… but that’s a conversation for when I’m not interviewing you for a charity website. Speaking of television though, you have a long list of television appearances on your resume, including Conan, Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Seth Myers, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, etc. Which one was the most enjoyable and/or most rewarding, and why?

Myq: They’re all the most rewarding. Or maybe the most recent one is the most rewarding. No, all of them. I mean, the Tonight Show with Conan was the first late night set I did, so that was a real thrill. And the next time I did Conan was a real thrill because that meant they liked me and I could keep doing it. Same with the times I’ve done Ferguson. It’s just always appreciated to have external markers of your progress. And when I got to do Letterman the first time, that was really something because I had been submitting to that show for years and years. And Seth Meyers was exciting because it was new, and I really like Seth. (I really like Conan and Letterman too). And the Comedy Central half hour was an amazing opportunity. And the hour I just put out this year on Netflix, my first hour special, that’s something that I’d wanted to do and was happy to get the opportunity. So, all of them. Everything I do is ideally enjoyable and/or rewarding. Otherwise why am I doing it?

Jamie:  Let’s talk about the releases. 2010 was a pretty big year for you. You did Last Comic Standing, had your own Comedy Central Special, and also released your first album Vegan Mind Meld. Tell us a little about your debut album, and what it was like to be you in 2010.

Myq: That was a big year. I had recorded the album in 2009, and then all the other things started happening, I think. That’s the way it is, in general. It’s all gradual for years and there are no tangible concrete results that you can discern, and then seven or eight years have gone by and the tree starts bearing fruit. You planted a tree at the beginning of the metaphor, I guess? I started really pursuing standup in 2002, so by seven years in, I was headlining colleges and some clubs, and had written a lot of stuff that I was happy with, so the opportunity to do an album then was greatly appreciated. Jason Riggs of BSeenMedia approached me and asked if I wanted to, and I did, so we did. And in the meantime, I had just done “Live at Gotham” on Comedy Central in 2008, so the next step, ideally, was to hopefully get a half hour special, and I believe I actually used a video recording of my album taping to submit for that, and good news, it worked! Spoiler alert: this all happened in the past. So the special also taped in 2009 and then aired in 2010, right around when the album was coming out and when Last Comic Standing was starting. So it was like a perfect storm of good weather. I feel very fortunate to have had all those things happen, but I’ll also say that 2008 is when I moved to NYC and started having no day job, so that was really the time that I first felt like a fulltime no-other-job comedian, which had been the goal. So all this stuff just became icing on the cake. You know, the best part of the cake?

Jamie: You followed up that debut album with Please Be Seated in 2012. Everything was really clicking for you by then. Amongst other things, you were in the midst of being a regular returning guest on Craig Ferguson and Conan. Tell us a little about that album and what it was like to be in such high demand.

Myq: It’s the musical collaboration I did with my good buddy Micah Sherman. As far as being in demand, did you know you can just keep putting albums out whenever you want? It’s true! But also yes, I was fortunate to receive multiple bookings on different late night shows, and that was a real appreciated thrill every time. I mean, I’m just writing and doing standup as much as I can and want, and since there are so many late night shows out there, it’s great that there are so many opportunities to keep getting to put it out there.

Jamie: And of course your one hour special Small, Dork, and Handsome appeared on Netflix in May of this year, tell us a little about that as well.

Myq: Sure! Also, one year before that came out I put out one other standup album, “Meat Robot,” which I recorded in late 2012 at Acme in MN. I hadn’t recorded an album since 2009, so I had maybe 3.5 years’ worth of material to choose from, plus other older jokes that I still liked that hadn’t made the first album, so a lot of that is what ultimately became that album plus some of the special which I recorded the following year. I thought about only putting out one album and special, and having it be the most honed, creme de la creme of all the material I had to choose from, but my friend Micah pointed out that there might be people who thought some of the stuff I was leaving out would be creme as well. He told me about a Michel Gondry quote, the point of which was something like “quality fades; quantity doesn’t,” which sort of aligns with another things I really like that I don’t know who said first, that goes “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” Which is all to say if you spend too much time making everything perfect before releasing it, you might not release anything, and things of value will go unseen. So I put out the best album I could in 2013, and then wrote a lot more and had a whole new special in 2014, which is the “Small, Dork, and Handsome” you mentioned. I really liked doing it, and now I’m really looking forward to recording the next hour, and the next one, and the next one. Is that what you wanted to know?

Jamie: And lastly, let’s touch on some of your extracurricular stuff. Tell us about your podcasts, your blog, or any other side projects you’re currently working on, as well as what we can expect from Myq Kaplan in the future.

Myq: Thanks! Pretty much everything I do is available through MyqKaplan.com… my albums, my late night sets, my appearances on other podcasts, a link to my own podcast. It’s called “Hang Out With Me” and it’s generally me having a conversation with two other people, give or take a person or two, about life, comedy, philosophy, art, silliness, whatever. My goal is always to have it be fun, meaningful, both, or neither, and I believe that is achieved regularly. I’ve had folks like Maria Bamford, AJ Jacobs, Adam Busch, Laraine Newman, Paul F Tompkins, Christopher Ryan, and so many more… people I love and respect having real fun great conversations. Other than that, it’s mostly standup… and Twitter and Facebook …and whatever robots exist in the future. Thanks for checking out whatever you do. Enjoy life! Or enjoy not enjoying! Or don’t! Whatever you want or don’t.

Jamie: Well we definitely enjoy you, you’re one of our absolute favorites here. Once again Myq, I want to thank you for taking the time to sit down with Comedians for Cancer and giving us a chance to pick your brain a little. I’m sure we’ll see you again down the road, possibly at one of our benefits, it’d be fun to have you perform with us. We wish you continued success and health.

Myq: Thank you! Same here!

Jamie: There you have it folks, the brilliant Myq Kaplan. Be sure to check out his website, releases, and blog, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and click on the 8 gazillion links in this article if you want to laugh because he’s relentlessly funny.

Website

Podcast

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Facebook

iTunes

Chicken Saltimbocca & Spinach Salad

Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Saltimbocca
Spinach Salad

Take chicken cutlets, or thin-sliced breast, and pound them until they are evenly flat. Using two sheets of waxed paper or putting them into a large freezer bag works well. Lay a slice of prosciutto on each flattened piece of chicken. Next, take some chopped spinach seasoned with salt and black pepper and toss it with a couple spoons of extra virgin olive oil. Don’t use a lot of oil because you don’t want to make spinach pesto, you just want to moisten the spinach. Spread the spinach over the top of the prosciutto, making sure it is evenly covered. Generously sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over the spinach. Starting from the short tapered end, roll them up like you would a jelly roll. Use a couple toothpicks to secure them. Heat a skillet on high heat with a little bit of oil.

Place the rolls into the pan and cook until golden brown on each side, about 5-10 minutes altogether. Next, reduce the heat to medium and add about 1.5 – 2 cups of chicken broth and the juice from a fresh small lemon. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the burnt brown pieces on the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken and place them on a plate, and remove the toothpicks. Turn the heat back up to high and simmer the broth until it reduces down to about 2/3 to 1/2 cup. Reducing it down will intensify the flavors. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken just before serving.

The salad is light, refreshing, and very easy to make. Add to a large bowl about 5 or 6 handfuls of spinach leaves. Add 3 green onions, thinly sliced. Add 1/3 cup of dried cranberries. You can use raisins if you’re not fond of cranberries. Add 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half. Add 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts. Add 1/2 Grannie Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced. In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix these ingredients well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well, until everything is evenly coated and the ingredients are mixed well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. Top the salad with crumbled Feta cheese.

~Robert Clement

Raiders of the Lost Art

Latavius Murray Over the past decade, the NFL has continued to gradually implement rules geared towards turning the league into a high scoring passing league. You can no longer breathe on a quarterback or receiver without being flagged. However, despite the ridiculous direction the game has taken, it’s still the lost art of running the football that puts good passing teams over the top. The only 2 teams in the league averaging over 150 rushing yards per game are the 6-3 Seattle Seahawks and the 7-3 Dallas Cowboys. It’s safe to say that if you look at the top of any fantasy league’s standings, you’ll also find in nearly every case, the leaders are getting great production from their RB slots. This is one of the primary reasons why the crystal ball in these fantasy based C4C articles has focused on finding sleeper running backs. If you find yourself a productive RB for free off the waiver wire, there’s a good chance you’ll be making a run at the title. If you were paying attention a few weeks ago, you would’ve gone out and grabbed Charlie Sims. I touched on how he was still a few weeks away from significant production, but those of you who took the leap will start seeing the move pay dividends this weekend.

You may be asking yourself,  if we’re focusing on the lost art of running the football, why the hell am I featuring the Raiders? They’re currently averaging a ridulously terrible 62.1 yards per game on the ground, which is the worst since 1946 when the Lions could only manage 42.5 yards per game. That’s the exact reason I’m focusing on the Raiders, actually. Evidently they weren’t paying attention to any Jags games last year, because this past off-season they signed a washed up Maurice Jones-Drew in hopes that he could resurrect their running game. The result? 2.2 yards per carry. He was so bad they turned their attention back to Darren McFadden. Run DMC’s results? 41 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry. Clearly, neither back has anything left in the tank. At 0-8, it’s a safe crystal ball bet to assume they have nothing to lose by finally giving Latavius Murray a crack at showing what he can do as a feature back. Murray is a chiseled physical specimen at 6’3 228 pounds, and he has the ability to pick up yardage even without the offensive line providing gaping holes. He also runs a 4.3 forty, so he’s not lacking in explosiveness either. Pro scouts have been dubbing him the most electric athlete on the Raiders ever since preseason last year, so it’s a mystery why the run-starved Raiders haven’t given him a shot yet. If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed that these crystal ball running back selections have all been super-sleepers, which is a direct result of being in very deep leagues… but a guy like Murray surfacing as a productive feature back this late in the season can help managers in even the shallowest of leagues. The Raiders have given no indication that they’re ready to turn over the reigns to him, so he’d be a true crystal ball selection, but all signs point to them coming to their senses over the next couple weeks to see what they have in him.

Murray was superb in his senior season at Central Florida in 2012, racking up 19 combined touchdowns in only 11 games. He averaged 5.6 yards a carry with 15 rushing touchdowns, and added 4 more in the air on 27 receptions. What’s even more telling is that he only ran the ball 198 times in his senior season, and just 453 times over his college career, so at 24 years old he has something going for him that neither Jones-Drew or McFadden have… fresh legs. In fact, if there were an opposite of MJD or DMC’s beaten up bodies and washed up legs, it would be Murray. Now is the time to pick him up if you’re hoping to beat the inevitable rush that will be flocking to him once the Raiders announce that they’re removing their heads from their asses and giving him a crack at the starting job.

Comedians Needed For Dec. 12th

unnamedComedians needed for a December 12th Cancer Benefit in Syracuse, New York.

If you’re able to perform a set on that date between 7pm and 10pm, please contact us immediately at ComediansForCancer@gmail.com

If you would like to attend the benefit, please also contact us at ComediansForCancer@gmail.com

Food, drawings, etc will be between 5pm and 7pm.

Music and comedy between 7pm and 1opm.

For additional information, you can also contact:

Donna J. Tupper

Ellipsis Events Inc.
670 S. Main St. – PO Box 194 Central Square NY 13036