Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Post
I am making my way across the country.  I will blog when there is an opportunity.  Very busy week, but great stories to tell upon re-Blogging.

In the mean time enjoy this:  

A guy walks into a drugstore and sees the lady behind the counter. She looks familiar to him.  He says, "Did you know you look like Helen Brown?"

The lady behind the counter says back. "Well I don't look to good in green either."

As you were,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

As long as it must have taken to do these tatoos....don't you think he would have sobered up at least for a second or two?

Friday, April 23, 2010

JAYSON'S Magic Eight Ball
Friday Blog Business Announcement - Jayson's Magic 8 Ball, predicting device, over heated and melted this week from trying to predict human behavior. Future services of the Magic Eight Ball device will be limited. 
Answer Hazy - Ask Again Later
This graphic represents my muse, so hot that it is burning itself up. The question is this: is passionate creativity self destructive? Can there be too much inspiration? Can too much enthusiasm be detrimental?
As you were,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Return from the Sea
For some reason I thought a flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles was about two hours or the same as Dallas/Los Angeles.  Not so, it is double that with a flying time of four hours. After three hours in the air, airplane time begins to blur and it just becomes tedious.  I convinced myself that the flight back home was not so long. I really wasn't ready for a day spent in the air with small breaks standing in immigration lines.  But hey, the audience won't come to me, I have to go to them. It baffles me that some people actually *travel* for vacation.  I find nothing relaxing about traveling, it is a necessary part of my job but not my favorite part.  I have nightmares about things like the Iceland volcano causing such massive travel problems while I am on the road.  I'm glad I was on this side of the Earth this time.
At one of the immigration points,  and there were three "inspections" before I got to the US, they took my passport for a long time.  In a room full of other people I wait almost an hour while officials huddle, look at me and whisper phrases in Spanish.  After a while I hear one of the officers call out, "Yaycant".  No one responded.  The officer looks a little perturbed and says again, "Yaycant".  Nothing. Finally I hear him say with great purpose and force, "Yaycant Yonson".  I realize he is calling the name on my passport "Jay Kent Johnson." I even have problems understanding English when it is spoken in Mexico. 
We docked in Hualtulco, Oaxaca, Mx which is a days sail south of Acapulco. Now although it is spelled Hualtulco it is pronounced  Watoolco.  After mispronouncing it for a day I was told that the "h" has no sound in Spanish and is substituted with the sound of "w".  It was a guy named Hector Hernandez who told me that.  Rules such as this are very confusing to the dyslexic.
It was an hour flight to Mexico City from Hualtulco, a couple hours of layover and then the four hour flight home. I have flown Mexicana Airlines before but not since the airlines have gone "nickle and dime" on us.  I was happy to find that Mexicana still operates like the old days.  Coach class actually got a meal and free drinks, not just coke and juice, but adult beverages for free as well.  A couple of Tecatés make a coach seat much more tolerable for four hours.
As you were,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shameless Promotion
I am away from the blog today working. But just wanted everyone to spread the word that  "Jay Johnson:The Two and Only" will be at the Laguna Playhouse June 11-13 & 18-20.  The theatre is  beautiful and Laguna is also a wonderful place to hang out.  A great arts community by  on the beach. This is just a week or so before Laguna starts their world famous arts festival so it is the perfect time to come and relax. 
"The Two and Only"  not only won the Tony  Award© for Best Special Theatrical Event... it also has the official stamp of approval see here.
Laguna is about equal distance between San Diego and Los Angeles . So you Southern California types (and those willing to travel further) who couldn't come to the Colony Theatre in Dec to see my show  have another chance. So mark your calendar.
Hope to see you (yes I'm talking to you) there.
As you were,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why children are afraid of puppets.... sleep well my little kiddies.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Man Arrested for Abuse
(UPI - Kentucky) An unidentified man was arrested this week accused of abusing and killing a purplish humanoid creature. Seen here in a photograph taken moments after he was caught pulling the lifeless body of the little alien out of a black suitcase where he had been forced to reside. The strange man seems to be a transient living in a bus traveling from city to city, but never staying more than a day or two. What little is known about the offender is contained in a documentary called "I'm No Dummy" which was released to the public early last week.  But the documentary offered no explanation for why the middle aged man would do such a terrible act. The accused murderer offered no resistance to officers as he was handcuffed, gagged and taken to jail.  When reporters asked him "Why?" the man was heard to reply, "I thought it would be funny."  
He is being held at the Fort Mitchell, KY County jail. Judge J.R. Mahoney denied bail saying the man was a danger to society as he showed no remorse over the trouble and outrage he has caused. Brook Brookings, the transient's court appointed attorney, said he would look into the matter. Brookings only comment about the charge was, "You never know what drives people to do what they do. There is probably no explanation for the way he acts."
Attempts to revive the purple creature were unsuccessful and emergency medical personnel pronounced the color challenged unfortunate dead on the scene.
"We don't know how long the alien has been dead,"said one of the emergency responders, "We have never seen anything like it. He apparently never had a chance, since we could find no vital organs." 
For more information on this story go to:  Http.//ABUSER.con/registered offenders/

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Close Encounters
There are things you see all the time that are so familiar and part of your environment that they seem to disappear after a while. That sort of mental editing is facinating to me.  
Some friends came by the house the other day.  They said they weren't sure they were at the right house until they saw the alien standing guard in the front.  I had forgotten he was there until they mentioned it.
Some people have a lawn jockey or a garden gnome, we have a green space alien in the front yard. I guess for a family that has vent figures standing watch over the pool table this is not so unusual. 
Because there is a high hedge and a fence that obscures the street you really can't see him until you are walking up the drive way.  He is about four feet tall and used to scare me at night when I would catch his shadow out of the corner of my eye.  No more, I think I would find it odd if he wasn't there anymore.
I'm not sure when he arrived but it was back when the kids were in high school living at home.  He showed up after a party they had when we were out of town.  They moved him around the yard for awhile.  He finally found this place and has been there for some time.  So long that I don't even notice him any more until he friends mention him. I call him Roswell. Seems to fit. He doesn't complain.
As you were,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ventriloquist Bar
Several people have sent me this. I thought I would be the only one to actually get the joke. I guess not.
As you were,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The advantages of Dyslexia*
                               * I can read and write this way...
As you were,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Look into the eye....You are getting sleepy.... sleepy.... your eyes are beginning to close... the image begins to wiggle in front of you... you are sleep...(no I'm not I'm reading this paragraph!) you are now under my power.... The next blog you read here will be extremely funny.... you will LOL so much you will LYAO.... funny.... funnny......

Friday, April 09, 2010

It's Friday and I got nothing. Perhaps if I would get out of the house and stop writing I would find some humorous things to blog about.  Spaulding Gray was asked to write a novel.  He said he couldn't do it.  All he could do is wait for something interesting to happen to him and write about that.  I find his sort of narrative much more entertaining than pure fantasy. Although, once you start to tell a story it is hard to distinguish the fiction from reality.  My wife is fond of telling people, "Jay never lets the truth get in the way of a good story."
The minute an event hits paper or, in this case, pixels  it changes from life to prose.  It is why stand up comics are always experiencing funny things.  We all face the same events, it is just that the comic can structure an ordinary event into a funny experience.
I do miss being in New York City for that reason.  There was  a funny event to experience every time I walked out of the apartment. I remember walking to work down 7th  Avenue one day. An old lady pushed an apple she was holding in her hand toward my direction.  She said, "Apple Dearie?" and cackled like the witch from Snow White.  A block later there was a guy in a Spiderman costume looking up at the side of a building, as if he was getting ready to shoot a web.
In LA nobody walks. Casual meetings are rarely accidental. You only see others from the waist up through the tinted window of an automobile.  There is no eye to eye contact, only  an eye to headlight connection.
At my corner of Ventura Blvd. they are constructing buildings and commercial real estate like Encino was populated by people who walk around.  All the businesses have these great entrances that front the Blvd.  However, the parking is always in the rear, so you end up approaching them from the back entrance.  There is nothing like walking through the kitchen hallway to get to your favorite table at the cool restaurant. Kind of takes the magic out of the moment.
Quoting Spaulding Gray again, he said that Los Angeleans have "a 30 mile per hour consciousness. " From the time LA  kids are born they are packed in a car, ride on a tricycle or glide on a skateboard down the street.  He says we have evolved into a species which can not register an image on our retina  unless it is moving past us at 30 mph. I believe he is right.
When I moved to New York I sold my car to save the expense.  The savings were substantial enough not to want to jump back into being a two car family right away, so we have gotten by with only one car for a year or two.  Most of the time I am out of town  and my car would sit in the garage anyway, so in these economically depressed times it still makes sense.  At times it is a problem because LA  public transportation is living in the dark ages but so far we have worked it out.  Other than meetings across town, everything I might need is  a short walk away.  However, I have to get to Ventrua before I ever see another human being walking.  It is great for solitude, bad for writing about human experiences.
So there you go... I told you... I got nothing. Hopefully the weekend will bring an experience that I feel good about sharing.  If not I will be writing more blogs about how I have nothing to blog about.
As you were,

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Getting Weird?
About a week ago our friends Lynn and Tom were  at the house for the evening.  I had just acquired a walking-puppet from my friend René. Until he finds a better place to reside, the new puppet now stands next to John Henry (yellow shirt in the picture ) who occupies one of my Helen Hayes theatre seats in the pool room.
While Lynn and Sandi were in the kitchen, Tom and I were playing pool.  Tom said the puppets were throwing his "Nine Ball" game off by staring at him, so he wanted to have them face another direction.  I try to understand the idea that not everyone is comfortable with the unblinking attention of these effigies.
In an effort to improve Tom's pool playing, we left our Nine -ball game to "re-pose" the wooden people so they would not be giving the pool table their undivided attention.   Several tableau's were contemplated, but a scene of them watching the people who would be coming into the room was the idea  we went with. 
It took several attempts and a photograph or two for us to be satisfied with our scenario, and soon the pool game was abandoned completely in favor of moving around these life size action figures.
So, here are two grown men posing puppets and photographing them as their wives suddenly walk in the room.
Sandi looks at what we are doing and says, "Now this is getting weird." 
Lynn immediately said, "Getting weird? At what point was this not weird?"
If we were moving furniture around or hanging pictures we would be decorating.  By moving puppets to suit the room we are "weird."  It goes to the thesis of my theory that ventriloquists are not crazy, they only appear to be crazy by the nature of their art form.  I am sure this defense will be of no help when Sandi and the boys have me committed (any day now).
Just a note... Tom's Nine-ball game did not improve afterwords.
As you were,

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

TV Guide!
I made the cover of TV Guide. This is my first magazine cover, ever. My picture has never graced the front of any publication before. And, I have lusted to be on the cover of TV Guide for at least 35 years. 
This is the current issue of TV Guide and SOAP is ranked as one of TV's Top 50 families of all time; and a family photo of the Tates and the Campbells made the cover. (Follow the arrow to the white circle of Bob and me - we look much bigger in real life.) 
Making the cover of TV Guide is a huge deal to me.  I grew up idolizing the television stars pictured on the cover of TV Guide. And now I have joined their ranks proving it's never too late to accomplish a dream. 
When we moved to Los Angeles I signed with a personal manager.  Just so I don't get into some legal trouble let's say his name was Dick Linke.  He managed a lot of hot television actors at the time.  Framed TV Guide covers with their pictures filled his office walls. I would see those covers every time I went to see him.  I ached to have my picture up on that wall with the other celebrities. To be on the cover of TV Guide hanging on Dick Linke's wall.  It was a dream. 
I didn't make it onto the wall and Dick Linke didn't make it as my manager.  We parted ways pretty soon.  When I fired him he told me I would never do any better than what he could do for me. I am happy to say he was totally wrong... because.. I just made the cover of TV Guide Mr. Linke! Or in the words of Homer Simpson:  "In your face, Dick."

It was Jack and Amy "Darlin'" that made this happen. Thank you. Dear friends *are* dreams fulfilled.
As you were,

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Past Projects 
Yesterday being Monday I decided to look around for unfinished projects awaiting my return.  Since it rained last night I  have to wait a day or two for any outside projects to dry, so that means I must search my list of inside projects.  I have spent the weekend drawing so my art muse has been active.  I decide my "writing muse" should be exercised. (Or is that exorcised... both words would be appropriate given the perception of the task at hand.)
I look through my list of documents and find my book on "How to be a Ventriloquist".  I have been writing this book for almost 40 years and have a file of drafts and research that fills a small flash drive. Several people have expressed an interest in publishing it and I have always wanted to write it.  It just seems to be the project that never ends.  To reacquaint myself with the text, I chose to read a draft with the most recent date.  Even this draft is a couple of years old.
It's fun to read stuff you've written long ago and forgotten what you said.  I was actually enjoying the draft, correcting, rewriting and editing as I read.  But after 20 pages or so the narrative suddenly went in a direction that didn't make any sense.  I seemed to have written myself into a corner.  That's when I came upon the last paragraph in the draft:
I have lost the muse and I can’t write anymore. The washing machine incident has left me hung out to dry. The arms of Morpheus have left me bereft of energy and desire to continue. The anticipation of a trip to beautiful Fargo has left me cold.
I don't remember what the "washing machine" incident was but I vaguely remember a corporate show in Fargo, ND in the middle of winter a couple of years ago and I was not looking forward to going there at 20 below.
You would think that a book on ventriloquism would be very easy for me to write.  It is one subject that I know most everything about.  Perhaps that is my problem, there is just too much to tell, the scope is just too big.  Like that analogy of five blind guys describing the elephant, each part is correct but it doesn't convey the total picture. 
Rather than push past the "lost my muse" paragraph I decide to write a blog about it.  I have know my muses to come and go on a schedule of their own,  but this vent book muse is really taking her time. If you see her... send her my way soon, Okay?
As you were,

Monday, April 05, 2010

Shaken and Stirred--
We intended to have a very low key Easter afternoon. It was a lightly overcast Easter Sunday, the Lakers lost and I was on the couch with a sketch pad.  Sandi had just walked outside to the back yard.
She immediately called me to come out and look at the pool.  Neither of us had ever seen what was happening to the water.  There were large waves sloshing around and lapping on the sides.  At the same time it felt like the entire yard was on the deck of a boat in a light sea.  It was a dizzy floating feeling. At the same time the wind chimes began to clang and there was no wind. There was no doubt that it was an earthquake, but where and how strong?
I turned on CNN and they were breaking the story, and eventually they joined KABC, one of our local stations. We were feeling the rolling shock wave of  a Mexicali 7.2  earthquake that struck Southern California/Mexican border at  3:40 p.m.  We were not close enough to feel the magnitude but the rolling earth was still able to move water out of the pool a 7 hour drive away.  Since the rolling did not cause anything to fall or break, it was a pleasant momentary  dizziness, like rough seas on a ship.
The picture above  is a set up; I didn't have my camera with me at the time.  I wish I could have videoed the movement of the water.  It was very spooky.  We forget how powerful the earth is until it flinches a little. 
As you were,

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Saturday, April 03, 2010

"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it is too dark to read.." Groucho Marx

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday
It's Good Friday.  Here is hoping we can make it Best Friday.  As for me Del Mar is calling and perhaps a little time at the ocean searching for that perfect sunset again.  I always feel like everything is right in the universe when the roses in front of the house pop and blossom on Easter weekend.  I love it when the calendar and life seem to be in sync.
As you were,

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tuesday night after one of the gentlemen sang his song on American Idol, Simon Cowell said :
 "The problem I have with you right now is, as a person and I hope you don't take this personally but you come off as very boring"....
How is someone supposed to take a statement like that except personally?  He says, "As a person..." Since it is addressed to his person, it is by definition personal.  It is now part of our language.  As the rude factor goes up in society it is okay to attack someone as long as you say, "I hope you won't take this personally?"
At one time I was a devoted closet watcher of American Idol.  It's not something I would share with a lot of people.  Six years ago it became email fodder for a group of my writer friends.  It was a three person game coming up with the quickest laugh line after a Tuesday American Idol show.  Email makes it an exacting sport since each entry is time stamped.  Unfortunately one member of our group died suddenly.  The two of us tried to keep it going but it was never the same.  My interest in American Idol waned as the writer's game was ultimately abandoned. 
 Now I just tune in occasionally but don't really know the contestants that well. This Tuesday I tuned in to see the changes.  I think the show has run its course.  The talent pool has been mined and the contestants are not as good this year as in years past.  Four judges is too many, and although I am a fan of Ellen DeGeneres she really doesn't add anything to the show.  I would suspect with Simon leaving this year could be the last for the franchise. You wonder what Simon Cowell will be qualified to do after his stint on American Idol.  I suggest he go to work for the California Department of Motor Vehicles... his sensitivity and personality would fit right in there.
As you were,