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    Happy Sad Things – Episode 16 – We’re Back!

    July 2nd, 2013

    Happy Sad Things

    Comedians Jay Abbondanza and Andy Kleiman bitch, complain, fight,discuss Jay’s desire to never go to Jersey or pay for comedy, and spoil Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

    @jayabbondanza and

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    Hypothetical Question – Political Trance

    April 29th, 2013
    When in the course of human events.... You are feeling very sleepy...

    When in the course of human events…. You are feeling very sleepy…

    Are attempts to speak to me about politics and history a plot to lull me into a trance like state so that you can take my wallet?

    Every now and again while in the midst of rambling about Mad Men, opinions about superhero movie casting decisions, and why aren’t more people watching Treme, Girls, and Shameless topics of my conversations stray unconfidently and awkwardly into the realm of politics. The conversation has no idea how it got there and is unsure what to do, how to act, and who’s going to hurt it, but unfortunately it stumbled into that forest and forgot to leave pebbles on its path in order to show it the way back to pointing out the benefits of Limp Bizkit. This dank and ominous forest is inhabited by an evil witch able to take on different forms, but most commonly personified by an older man with a greying beard armed with actual knowledge and a differing opinion to whatever nonsense I just spewed forth from my face. I don’t trust this man and I question his motives.

    Anyone who has heard me talk about how I came to understand the plight of New Orleans through the HBO Series Treme should be able to understand that they are dealing with a being of lower cultural understanding if not outright intelligence. Therefore why would they waste their time educating me about whatever stupid thing I said about what Obama “should do”? There must be more to the story.

    With that in mind, are they attempting to lull me into a trance or is it something else?

    When someone speaks to me about politics without referencing something specific that I saw on an online clip of the Daily Show or an episode Veep. My consciousness actually enters an autopilot like state. I am able to recognize people leaving and the mouth of the person speaking, but the only information that is accepted is the cue that I am allowed to speak again. I only take in the physical clues to speak so that I am able to semi-gracefully state, “well, that’s something” and then run away. However, with every non Veep/Daily Show reference that is made, my consciousness strays further from my body. Phrases like “when Congress”, “well, actually”, and “in 19(whatever)” sends signals to my consciousness to go on a break because it’s going to be a while.

    I remember once, a discussion over a diplomatic solution to the situation with Cuba led to a weeklong trance. I attempted to get out of it early on in the proceedings, but I was unable to make the Godfather 2 reference quick enough. The next thing I knew I was staring at a picture of myself on a “missing” poster in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. People were worried.

    Is this the plan? Luckily, to my knowledge I have not been taken advantage of yet, but it must be coming. There, but for the grace of god go I once discussion of Supreme Court proceedings proceed. No one brings up amendments in the 20’s with me unless they have some sort of ulterior motive.

    Something Else
    If they aren’t trying to take my wallet then there are a limited number of options left. The reasons that come to mind are as follows: they want to feel superior to someone, they are working on their doctoral thesis about the effect of boredom on loudmouths, or they actually want to educate. The option of wanting to engage in a spirited round of political discourse has been eliminated due to the disparity of intelligence between the combatants and the unlikeliness that anything intelligent could follow the phrase, “did you see the latest Riff Raff video on YouTube.”

    Well, I think they’re trying to get my wallet. What do you think?

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    Hypothetical Question – Open Door Pooping Correction

    April 25th, 2013
    The only reasonable solution that I can think of

    The only reasonable solution that I can think of

    If you purposely poop with the door open while other people are around should we constitute the stocks and place you in them as a people?

    Last night I was watching The Real World on MTV. Yes, The Real World is still on and yes, I still watch it, and no I am not a 14-year-old girl, but I digress. I was watching the program and a character on the show finds it incredibly funny to move his bowels with the door open much to the chagrin of the unfortunate roommate who continually walked in on him.

    On the same episode one of the girls tricked one of her male roommates into revealing his penis after which she gave him the moniker “millimeter peter”. One of the other female cast members read an email from a female friend of her fellow cast member/boyfriend to her boyfriend and instead of inquiring about the email maturely, she instead passive aggressively argued with him and flirted with other guys. In my mind both of these sophomoric displays paled in comparison to the egregious flouting of society’s conventions that is of course pooping with the door open.

    Therefore, I believe that a punishment is in order. Negative reinforcement is a controversial and increasingly unpopular solution to a problem, but an argument can be made that if you step outside of the agreed upon rules of decency there must be some sort of response in order to force the offender to right his or her wrongs.

    Pooping with the door open is an awful thing to do to people. It is offensive on three fronts. The victim is assaulted visually, olfactorily, and emotionally once the laughter is introduced. Imagine a right thinking happy person’s world being shattered when they enter a restroom in order to relieve themselves like a person, in privacy and without incident, and they are confronted with a degenerate who has chosen to lure unsuspecting victims into his den of shame and stink. Already this is a terrible situation, but instead of encountering shame and apologies, the victim encounters laughter and the shame is mirrored onto them. This is wrong and something must be done.

    Positive Reinforcement
    If you are of the opinion the negative reinforcement will only serve to reinforce negative behavior then you are of the opinion that a person in their 20’s should be rewarded for using the bathroom the way they should. In practice this would mean getting a piece of candy every time they make a doodie with the door closed. In my opinion this is infantilizing. The behavior is certainly juvenile, but perhaps we’re too late in the game to maturely handle this behavior. Perhaps at this juncture we should assume that the individual should know better and therefore suffer negative consequences.

    Negative Reinforcement
    In my opinion there is no other option. My emotional side wants severe physical pain to come to this individual. I want there to be a reaction that adequately mirrors the joy that he feels, but in a negative way, but perhaps there are more mature solutions. That’s why I introduce the concept of the stocks.

    This person has proven himself or herself to be a person who prefers attention so let’s give them attention, but in a way that is less comfortable than they are accustomed. Put them in the stocks, put them on display, and make them the subject of ire. Perhaps if they get their fill of attention they will learn that certain things should remain private and thusly we will improve society and thwart the scourge of open door pooping.

    Who’s with me? Someone get up to Salem and get me some stocks we’ve got order to restore.

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    Hypothetical Question – (First Name) The Dark Knight (Last Name)

    April 24th, 2013
    I am so honored that you've chosen my name

    I am so honored that you’ve chosen my name

    If you gave your son the middle name “The Dark Knight” would that have a negative or positive impact on their life?

    Middle names are a peculiar quirk in modern times. The serve no purpose and are barely used. In many cases they serve only to humiliate the bearer of the name when the inevitable question is asked. Feelings about middle names usually range from apathetic to antithetical. With that in mind why wouldn’t two proud parents take advantage of this inconsequential vestige and turn it into a positive?

    The Dark Knight Trilogy is a cornerstone of modern culture. In addition to the trilogy itself, the term “The Dark Knight” is something that’s been a part of the American lexicon for many generations. It stands for strength, justice, and an unspoken coolness that few other names conjure. Why not utilize the popular connotation to advance your heir?

    On the first day of school when every child is sitting in their desk with cautious anticipation, unsure of their status in life outside of the welcoming walls of their home wouldn’t it be nice to have a token of symbolism with which every child can identify? Imagine the mundanity of a teacher reading aloud the full names of each child broken by the phrase “The Dark Knight”. Each child will scour the room to find the one lucky soul whose status warrants such a grandiose moniker. Your son will, if he possesses any charisma at all, be handed the keys to a world of popularity and questions. He will be the most popular boy in the class. Girls will want him despite his inherent yuckiness and boys will want to be him. You will set him out on a lifetime path to leadership and success.

    Later in life when talking to strangers, when everyone else searches their brains for interesting anecdotes about their weekend or the weather in order to connect with others, your son will need only to introduce himself and a conversation will begin. No person could learn of such a courageous derivation from the norm without learning more of its origins, much in the same way Christopher Nolan delved into the origins of the hero Gotham needs.

    If for some reason your son rejects the name, decides he’s more of a Superman guy, or doesn’t wish to be associated with any film once directed by Joel Schumacher then he needs only to hide the name and assume another identity. If he wishes, only the IRS, DMV, and College Admissions boards need to be aware of his name. No one needs to know your middle name and it’s easy to tell people something different. If the heir to the Wayne dynasty can hide his nocturnal vigilantism, your son can easily respond, “Cornelius, it’s a family name” to the question of what lies between his given name and surname.

    Bold actions warrant bold responses. Perhaps understanding how to handle the weight of such a name could be too much to bear for your son. Perhaps he’ll be meek or chubby and the contrast between the name and his appearance will create a dissonance that will be undesirable. Perhaps it’s best not to name your child after the most famous orphan in modern history.

    These are all valid concerns and clearly this is not a move to be made hastily, but the conversation has begun.

    I look forward to your responses.

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    Happy Sad Things – Episode 15 – Top Ten Moments of Madison (The Final HST)

    April 16th, 2013

    Happy Sad Things

    Comedians Jay Abbondanza and Chris Lay tackle a wide array of topics while disagreeing and attempting to figure out why they’re friends. This is our last episode! Listen to Chris’ fears about hard boiling eggs and Jay’s top 10 moments of Madison.

    @jayabbondanza and

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    Happy Sad Things – Episode 14 – The Most Fun I’ve Had All Day

    April 8th, 2013

    Happy Sad Things

    Comedians Jay Abbondanza and Chris Lay tackle a wide array of topics while disagreeing and attempting to figure out why they’re friends. This week Nick Lynch joins the guys to discuss his tweets and Spring Breakers

    @jayabbondanza and

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