Mark Jagiello

Mark Jagiello

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Problems with colors

I was in Home Depot with my dad purchasing some drywall (sheetrock, rockwall, really heavy awkward building materials) when a scraggly-looking man across the isle began barking questions at me.  He looked to be around my dad's age and at first I couldn't understand half of what he was saying but it sounded as if he was asking if I knew where a specific product was.  At first, I thought he was talking to my dad but soon realized he was looking directly at me.  After giving him a blank stare, he paused and said "Oh, do you work here?"  Do I work here?  At Home Depot? What the hell?  "Mmmmnope", I said, as my dad started chuckling.  Do I work here?  Really?  What gave this guy any indication I was an employee of Home Depot?  I had to stop and take a look at what I was wearing.  For starters, I was wearing a hat; a hat I bought at Walt Disney World with a picture of Mickey Mouse on it, for Christ's sake.  Last time I checked, Home Depot employees didn't wear hats.  What else?  Shorts.  I was wearing shorts.  Cargo shorts with stains on them, perfect attire for loading drywall onto the back of a truck.  I was also wearing an old t-shirt I picked up at a charity walk for multiple sclerosis.  I continued down the isle clueless as to how this guy thought I worked at Home Depot and hit me.


The t-shirt I was wearing...was orange!  Home Depot's team colors are orange.  Like a Great White shark, this guy saw red (orange, in this case) and just went right for it.  "Orange equals Home Depot", is what fired off in his brain.  I know that orange carries a lot of meaning in this place, but usually it coincides with, oh I don't know, an apron, a name tag, something that displays the phrase "Home Depot."  I've been in other stores, such as Gap, Target, Barnes and Noble, etc., where I've been wearing a shirt and tie and people have asked "Do you work here?"  Compared to this orange aficionado at Home Depot that day, these people at least had the brains to first ask if I was an employee.  

Maybe, just maybe, this guy doesn't know that the color orange is called "orange."  Maybe he learned the color orange is actually called "Home Depot?"  What if this guy coaches a youth soccer team, and if so does he provide his players at halftime a bag of freshly cut-up "Home Depots" to snack on.  "Honey can you pick up a batch of oranges on your way home.  " mean "Home Depots?"  I can't imagine this guy having children and spending a nice Saturday afternoon coloring with his son or daughter.  "Hey, sweetie, can you pass me Home Depot, Police Officer, Grimmace, and Stop Sign when you're done?"

This reminded me of the worst game of Circle of Death I've ever played.  If you're unfamiliar, Circle of Death is a drinking game where drawing a 10 card has players call out things in a certain category decided by the person who drew the card.  For example, someone may call out "bars in Boston", or "players on the 1927 New York Yankees", or "sizes of sheetrock at Home Depot."  Whoever cannot identify another "thing" within the category has to drink.  So, back to this game I was in.  One of our friends we were playing with had brought his new girlfriend who had never played Circle of Death before.  So, she draws a 10 and has no ideas for a category.  At the time, I'm thinking "Man, come on.  It's really not that hard."  After racking her brain for what seemed like an eternity, her best category she could come up with regarding ANY topic in the history of the world...was COLORS.


This could have been epic.  We could have had a rousing dialogue on Civil War generals, reminisced about players from the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, or tried to list as many United States Presidents as possible. But, no. We picked colors.  All 6 of us that were there that evening went around and picked a color.  Any color.  Sienna, burnt orange, sea green, just to name a few.  Finally, one of us just simply said "this is ridiculous" and drank to end that person's turn.  That lousy round of Circle of Death would have ended a lot earlier if the scraggly old man from Home Depot was part of it.  I know it would ended with him drinking up after saying "Home Depot." 

On a side note, our friend is no longer with this girl who called out "colors" in a game of Circle of Death.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The End Of An Era (of hating the New York Yankees)

Its the end of an era as I know it, and I feel...grown up.

I will admit, I've been so disconnected from Major League Baseball I might as well own a pink Red Sox hat and get a custom jersey with my last name on the back.  Ever since my daughter was born in 2012, I have absolutely no time to watch a 4 hour baseball game.  I mean, for God's sake, when I watched baseball religiously, NESN (New England Sports Network) would have a Pre-show, the actual 4 hour ballgame, a postgame show called Extra Innings, followed by Extra Extra Innings.  Unless you're retired and don't garden for 30 hours a week, who has time to watch that much baseball?  I've also given up playing fantasy baseball, something I played for over 14 years.  I'd spend hours a day researching, checking stats, ruining my productivity all so I could tell my friends I was the winner of a virtual trophy courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

Last month, I went to Fenway Park to see the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees.  I haven't seen the Red Sox play the Yankees since the infamous Gary Sheffield "Roid Rage" incident of 2005. Since I couldn't find a video, here's a photo courtesy of USA Today of Mr. Sheffield using his Super Steroid Powers to shove some drunk, most likely Irish, Red Sox fan:

This most recent game I attended had such a different atmosphere than any other Red Sox/Yankees game I'd ever been to.  Sure, Red Sox fans booed the hell out of A-Rod, the last true asshole left from the generation of Yankee players I hated during my early 20s. Fans chanted "Yankees Suck", but not nearly as much.  It was a much more civil atmosphere.

(A shirt I bought in 2003.  Come on, even Yankee fans find this hilarious)

It's strange.  I never thought I'd say this, but I don't hate the Yankees as much as I did 10 years ago, even 20 years ago.  I think the reason why may be due to many factors.  One, I have no clue who the hell is on the team anymore.  Back in the day, I was so emotionally invested in the game and it was, frankly, exhausting despising a plethora of overpaid, roided-up, douches, such as Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Jorge Posada, Jeff Nelson, just to name a few.  I lived for the walk back to the train after each game at Fenway and hoped to snag a "JETER DRINKS WINE COOLERS" t-shirt from one of the independent shirt vendors.

As we get older, we let go of grudges...hopefully.  We grow up.  For God's sake, I used to have a bumper sticker that said "I don't brake for Yankees fans."  Pretty immature, right?  On second thought, that is actually still pretty funny.  We learn to let things like a team loss roll off our shoulders, mostly because we have to put our energy into more productive activities, such as remembering to stop at BJs on the way home from work (aka being an adult).  Again, I just don't have time.  I come home and spend time with my family, I play with my band, write stand-up comedy, and fix things around the house.  The Red Sox have also won three World Series since 2004, which has eased the pain of the 86 year World Series drought. If in 2004 you told Red Sox fans the team would win three World Series in the next 10 years, most fans would say they'd die happy knowing that they would win one.

So, this is it.  All these names I previously mentioned are almost all but retired now and I find myself watching the Yankees and having no emotional connection to anyone on the roster, let alone anyone on the Red Sox roster with the exception of Big Papi.  Right now, its nice to just go to a baseball game and enjoy it.  It's nice to sit in an uncomfortable grandstand seat, eat overpriced popcorn, show up in the bottom of the 3rd and leave in the top of the 8th (you know, like Dodgers fans), and not become so emotionally invested.  I'm sure at some point I'll be back to watching hours of baseball, maybe when the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry heats up again to the point of needing armored police back on the field again.  Or maybe I'll get back into it when I'm retired and taking a break from 30 hours of gardening a week.

Friday, May 20, 2016

"The Bossy Chatterbox Show"

Last weekend, following a family event, my wife, daughter, and I ended up staying at a hotel near Boston.  We had a great time swimming in the pool and hot tub, and enjoyed a delectable continental breakfast, basically a plethora of nothing but stale, white carbohydrates.  Ava enjoyed making her own waffle but, being the maple syrup snob family we are, was turned off by the aspartame laden Golden Malted brand "maple syrup."

About an hour after we checked in, we all went down to the pool.  While we were swimming, another family came into the pool area with their, what looked like, 5 year old son.  He was a chubby, blonde kid with a bowl cut that looked like a combination of Dennis the Menace and the curly haired kid from "Bad Santa", with the demeanor of that kid from the movie "Problem Child."  I say that because as soon as he got in the pool he sat off to the side and tried splashing Ava and I every time we swam by.  In all honesty, it was playful and did not warrant a good spanking.

So, we're swimming when all of a sudden this kids father/guardian/really big guy  who Ava later said had "boobies" got in the pool, turned to us and said "You know who that is?", pointing to the pudgy doughboy in the pool.  "No", I plainly said.  "He's on TV!", replied the gentleman.  I looked at this kid a little closer and thought "Well, I've never seen him before, but he does have that child star look about him.  He's got those rosy red cheeks that grandmothers across the country just wanna pinch, rip off, and put in their change purse.  Maybe he was on some awful sitcom on ABC or something. " "You know who he is?  He's the Bossy Chatterbox!"

What the...

At first, I thought this guy was referring to his son as a "Bossy Chatterbox" in a way that most people would do when talking about a child who is a, well, bossy chatterbox.  "Hey, this kids such a bossy chatterbox, he might as well be on television, wink-wink, nudge-nudge!"  And if this kid was a television star, why the hell isn't he staying at the Four Seasons instead of a LaQuinta for $94 a night?  I shook my head and pursed my lips as to say "nope, no idea what you're talking about."  "The Bossy Chatterbox Show!", the man replied.  Now, I'm thinking "OK, we're close to Boston.  Maybe this is some poorly produced public access show that has a cult following.  "No, never saw it."  After that, we slowly drifted to the opposite side of the 3 foot deep section of the pool.  "Bossy Chatterbox?  What the hell is this guy talking about?", I thought to myself.  Minutes later, an 8 year old girl swam by and this guy pulls the same stunt with her.  I sat in awe as this certified nutball asked this little girl, who just wanted to do cannonballs all day instead of being asked ludicrous questions by a man with "boobies", the same bizarre questions I got.  Part of me couldn't wait to get back to the room so I could Google "The Bossy Chatterbox Show", which would either confirm I was in the presence of a child television star, or just some random child with his family at a LaQuinta.

I got back to the room and Googled "Bossy C" with the hope that "The Bossy Chatterbox Show" would come up.  Nothing.  I typed in "Bossy Chatterbox."  Nothing.  I tried "The Bossy Chatterbox Show."  Nothing.  Google stated that there were "no results for The Bossy Chatterbox Show."  Period.  I was hoping to find a clip of this "Bossy Chatterbox Show"on YouTube or Hulu, but nothing.  Before knowing this show was completely non-existent, I envisioned the whole concept of this show just being this little bowl cut blonde kid talking his parents ear off and every now and again the father turning to the camera and saying "What a Bossy Chatterbox!" (cue studio audience laughter).

And here lies the problem in all of this: The next day, we drove away from the hotel and I couldn't stop thinking about this ridiculous encounter from the day before.  When you're a comedian, you people watch, and you have to know why certain ridiculous things are the way they are, you end up following up on things others may dismiss as poppycock. Maybe this kid was on television.  Maybe the television was just a little television inside his father's head and "The Bossy Chatterbox Show" was just something he watches while he daydreams.  Or, this man was just trying to make small talk and crack a joke about how much of a "Bossy Chatterbox" his son was.   Most people when asked if they've seen "The Bossy Chatterbox Show" would have said "no" and moved on. Either way, I'm disappointed in how much time I actually spent trying to Google "The Bossy Chatterbox Show."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jack of all trades, Master of Dung.

So, how about that stomach bug, eh?  Pretty awesome, huh?

"There's something going around!"

People love saying that, whenever someone gets sick.  "Well, there's that bug going around!" Of course there's a bug going around.  There's always a bug going around.  That's what germs do...they move around.  Otherwise no one would get sick.

In the spring of 2016, I finished my Master of Education degree.

There was a guy, much older than me, in one of my classes who failed to wash his hands every single time he went to the bathroom. Well, I assume every time, as every time he didn't wash I happened to be in there with him.  Every time we'd have a break during class, and we both just so happened to stroll into the men's room together, he'd completely bypass the sink as if he was ignoring a homeless veteran asking for change.  And even then, he had no confidence in his disregard for basic hygiene. "Soap?  Oh, you mean those sissy television dramas my wife watches? Me man!  Me no need soap!" He'd walk out in this sheepish, hunched-over manner as if to say "yeah, yeah, I know.  I've got poop on my hands." At least make me believe you're making an attempt to wash your hands, you know, make me feel confident that I won't walk out of here with a norovirus.  Maybe turn on the water for a couple seconds or wave your hand underneath the paper towel dispenser? I'm sure part of his thinking was "well, my grandparents survived diphtheria due to inadequate plumbing.  I'm sure I'll be just fine."  I felt as though even if I called him out on his lack of handwashing, his reaction would be similar to the Seven Dwarfs response to Snow White's request of washing up before dinner.  "Wash?  Why wash?  We're not goin' nowhere."

Here's my problem with all of this: This guy is finishing a Master's Degree.  This means that he has MASTERED something, an academic discipline, no less. Do you know what the percentage is of people in this country that have a Master's Degree?  Less than ten percent!  So, how is it possible that someone holding the title of Master in anything somehow fails miserably in a life skill my 4 year old daughter can do without prompting?

On the last day of class we were to present our final projects.  And it just so happened that this guy was to present just before I was.  There was one problem: We were both doing a power-point presentation, which required fingers to touch computer keys.  I sat in my chair watching this guy, almost in slow motion, fumble around a keyboard with his norovirus-saturated sausage fingers, knowing that in about 10 minutes I'd have to sacrifice my upper extremities to this bacteria playground he's created.  How can I go through with this?  How am I supposed to use the same keyboard he did knowing full well he hasn't washed his hands?  I wanted to run out and pull the fire alarm just to give me a chance to sanitize the workspace we shared.  I thought it would be ridiculous to say to the class "Talk amongst yourselves while I squirt this bottle of Germ-X onto a paper towel and give the keys and mouse a little bath."  I almost wanted to call him out on it right in front of everyone, you know?  I'd basically be committing academic suicide by refusing to present my power-point presentation and ultimately failing the class and not graduating (very reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld refusing to eat a poop topping pizza knowing full well he'd insult his girlfriend and her father who made the pie). But, hey, at least I know I wouldn't be spending my weekend shaking, sweating and freezing at the same time on my bathroom floor.  It would be epic just to stand in front of everyone, very stoically, and state "I chose not to present, because of YOU!"  Maybe at that point I could call and audible and present a lesson in hand washing and just stare at this guy the entire time.

In the end, graduation day came and everyone in my class had made it.  We had all received our degrees...even Mr. Poopy Hands.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Night of Fool's Comedy Show!

April 1st, I will be at "A Night of Fool's" comedy showcase at the Common Folk Artist Collective space at 18 Holden Street in North Adams!  Tickets are limited, so order now here!:

Also, be sure to check out this article in the Berkshire Eagle about it!  It saves me from writing down any more details...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

High Mud Comedy Festival Aftermath

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to the inaugural High Mud Comedy Festival at Mass MoCA!  I had an awesome time performing Friday night and got to hang out with some pretty awesome comedians.  It also proved my point that whenever you mention Key West at a comedy show in North Adams, people will laugh...a lot.  I enjoyed many helpings of Pirates Booty, free bottled water, complementary carbonated beverages, and beer (also free!) in the green room while chatting it up with Dave Hill, who I opened for almost 6 years ago at Mass MoCA, when I was still pretty green.  Dave has a new book coming out titled "Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore."  A big thank you, as if the above three were not enough, to Tom Lewis for asking me to perform.  I am completely humbled just by looking at the program and saying "My God, I'm on this bill?"  More fun was had afterwards at Desperados...why don't you come eat some've been out eating Jack's Hot Dogs...for so long.  Anyway, it was pretty sweet hosting the "after-hours" portion of the festival and introducing more local and regional comics.  Let's do it again next year!

Catch me next on April 1st at 8PM at the Common Folk Art Gallery, 18 Holden Street, North Adams, MA for their inaugural "Night of Folls."  Featured performers include:
Thomas Attila Lewis
Mo Haskins
Adams Tobin
Madelyn Gardner
Hosted by: Seth Brown

All for one Abraham Lincoln. 

Dave Hill and I after Saturday's show.  I'm wearing a Beavis and Butthead shirt under the lumberjack shirt.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Breakfast at Taco Bell

Taco Bell is now serving breakfast.

I'm not really sure why Taco Bell started serving breakfast given that their target demographic is guys in their early 20's who live in their parents basement and play Halo for 9 hours a day. You know they're not waking up before noon.

Have you seen the commercials? BREAKFAST DEFECTORS.  These people have DEFECTED their regular breakfast routine and gone to Taco Bell.  Defected!  Normally when you defect from something, you’re making a change.  When you make a change, you’re changing because you’ve found something better!  "This is great!  I’m going to stop what I’m currently involved with cause this other thing sounds awesome!"  So, my question is, if you’re defecting to eating breakfast at Taco Bell, what the heck we’re you eating before?  "You know, I’ve eaten bacon and eggs every day for the past ten years, but I’m ready for something that will turn my organs into horse manure."    Have you seen the menu?  It's obviously inspired by authentic, traditional Mexican cuisine, as evident in the offering of Cinnabon Delights.  Its basically the lunch and dinner menu stuffed with eggs.  That’s it.  Just add eggs and you can suddenly eat it for breakfast.  Its very similar to when kids have pizza for lunch at school and then oh-so conveniently the next morning the cafeteria serves “breakfast pizza.”  

High Mud Comedy Fest with Tig Notaro!

So, if it's been a while since you've seen me perform, or never at all, or if you're one of those people who say "Hey, Mark!  When are you performing again!?", then say "Yeah, I'll try to make it!" then never show up.  If you're really looking for an incredible show, well...

I'll be performing at the High Mud Comedy Festival w/ Tig Notaro at Mass MoCA on Friday, March 11th at 8PM!  The festival is Friday and Saturday and has an incredible lineup of comics.  I'll be performing alongside my good friends Seth Brown and Thomas Attila Lewis.  I'm also excited to be performing with Dave Hill again, who I opened for my first time at Mass MoCA in 2010 when I was still a very green comic.

Get tickets here!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Girlfriend describes male best friend as "big teddy bear."

Boston(AP)-In revealing how she “gets along better with guys than girls”, Florida University student Michelle Sanders recently revealed to her new boyfriend, Chris Mansfield, how she and her best male friend, Brody Johnston, have become such good friends this semester.

“He’s like a big teddy bear.  I can’t even fit both arms around him when I give him a hug!”

Johnston, a jolly, 6 foot, blubbery man with short, curly hair and just the right amount of stubble to hide his inflated, pear-shaped face, can often be found laying low in the corner of the room “manning the keg” at most gatherings.  A fan of wearing more than one polo shirt at a time, Johnston consistently has noticeable sweat marks in relatively cool temperatures.  Peers are often greeting by him with jubilant phrases such as “LOOK AT THIS KID!”, often repeated many times.

“He’s just such a sweet guy”, Sanders stated.  One night we were walking home from this 80’s party at the Lambda house and it was freezing.  And he just gave me his fraternity hoodie right off his back to wear the rest of the way.  I was like, awww, thats so cute.

Sanders said she can’t understand why her new boyfriend, Chris Mansfield, gets incredibly jealous whenever he comes up in conversation.

“I mean, really?  How could you not like him? Brody is such a sweetheart.  I can always count on him for relationship advice.  He’s like a big brother to me and I know he feels the same way.”

When reached for comment, Johnston was busy vividly sorting through his fantasy files consisting of the countless hugs given to him by Ms. Sanders.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I refuse to wish my wife Happy Birthday (on Facebook).

I refuse to wish my wife Happy Birthday…

...on Facebook.

For starters, I talked to my wife about this subject and she completely agrees with my argument.  When I woke up on my wife’s birthday, the very first person I saw was her.  I rolled over, hugged her, gave her a kiss,  looked her in the eye and the very first thing I said to her while we were still in bed was “Happy Birthday.”  When she went downstairs to get ready for the day, I left her a new framed photo of us for her desk and a birthday card that I wrote “happy birthday” in.  Normally I leave cards for my wife in a familiar place for both of us, so I usually leave it on the toilet seat.  She smiled, I gave her another hug and said “Happy Birthday, hun.”  Later on in the day, I wrote her an email to check in on how her day is going.  At the end of the letter I wrote “Happy Birthday, hun.  I hope you’re having a great birthday.”  She usually calls me on her way home from work, and I answered the phone that day with a big “Happy Birthday!”  I took her ice skating, something she has been wanting to do for a long time. We pulled into the parking lot and I said “Surprise!  Happy Birthday!”, as I did not tell her where we were going.  For her special day, we went to one of her favorite restaurants and I made her a big red velvet cake, lit some candles and, of course, our daughter and I sang “Happy Birthday.”  Then, after a long day, we climbed into bed, I looked her square in the face and said, one last time, “I hope you had a Happy Birthday.”  
Now, I know that many people wished her “Happy Birthday” on Facebook on her birthday, but 97% percent of those people who were wishing away will not see her that day.  Since you couldn’t wish someone happy birthday in person, which is always the best way to do so, you’d want to at least send them some sort of virtual greeting via a social media avenue.  This is where I’m seriously confused as to why I would need to go to my wife’s Facebook page and write “Happy Birthday” in such an indirect way that makes it feel as if this other person is hundreds of miles away and I barely see them, when I’ve already said this to her, in person, numerous times throughout the day. Its absolutely ridiculous.  The Facebook birthday wish should be reserved for those you do not see on a daily basis.  Saying "Happy Birthday" via social media to someone you live with has to violate some fundamental law of physics.  If I’ve seen someone in person on their birthday, there is no need for me to write “Happy Birthday” on their Facebook wall.  Why?  Because I’ve already wished them “Happy Birthday” in a much more formal manner!  If I wanted to say “Happy Birthday” to my wife on Facebook, I’d probably send it in a private message with some pillow talk added on. Yes, I know you’re probably thinking “wow, what an asshole you are, Mark.”  It sounds bitter, and I know that most people are just doing it because they are happy for that person, but its simply a logistical thing.  These are the things I think of when I’m waiting to fall asleep at night. I can’t help it.

People often times wish a birthday on someone who they know will never see the posting.  Sometimes people will say "Happy Birthday, Gramma!  We love you!"  I'm sure grandma would love to see that, but its too bad that grandma DOESN'T OWN A COMPUTER!  What is the point of writing that statement on Facebook when the closest thing your elderly relative has to a computer is an antique cash register from 1953 that she displays as a decoration in her living room.    
Sometimes people will post on their
own wall a message like “happy birthday to my wife.  I love you more and more each day.”  Now, this is even more ridiculous because you’re directing it towards your wife but not even on her wall.  Its as if you’re saying it out loud to a room full of people and not one of them is your wife.  It would be like if fifty years ago, when there was no Facebook, you would say to your wife “Happy Birthday” then write a letter and mail it to each of your friends saying “Happy Birthday to my wife, I love you more and more each day.”  I've done it too.  Last year I wished my daughter a "Happy Birthday" on Facebook.  At that point she was just learning to walk, let along navigate a Facebook newsfeed.  If you live with someone, and you wish them a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, is it because you really want to wish them a happy birthday, or is it because you want everyone else to know that you wished that person a happy birthday?

*End bitter rant*

(This is where I told my wife that I was going to write "I love you" on her Facebook wall later that night.)