Rock On, Dude

It is with a very heavy heart that I write and publish this essay. On Tuesday I learned that a friend of mine, Rick Haegg, passed away in his home on Sunday. According to his wife, Abigail, on Facebook, he passed peacefully, surrounded by friends and music.

Music was incredibly important to Rick, and his skill as a guitarist was one of his most impressive and identifiable characteristics (in addition to others like kindness, compassion, and supportiveness). He was my guitar teacher throughout all of my high school years and the beginning of my college experience. He’s the reason I made studying and understanding music such a massive part of my life for so many years. It wasn’t just his technical skill as a musician that I learned from, but it was his enthusiasm for learning. It seemed there was nothing more thrilling to him than picking up a song by ear as quickly and accurately as possible, or than bending a string to its limits to screech into the exact right note, or than discovering the perfect tone. He was seemingly never satisfied, and his indefatigable pursuit of knowledge made him happy. He was always happy, any time I saw him.

Continue reading

Missouri Loves Company

Hey Missouri friends, I am crazy-thrilled to be back doing comedy in a city that’s as near to you as it is to my heart. A tour of respective home towns begins TODAY with some of my fellow Missouri-to-Chicago transplants, the great Dan Friesen (Columbia, MO–founder of The As of Yet Unnamed Comedy Show, The Comedy Evening, and The People’s Temple of Comedy at the Laugh Factory), the outrageous Kevin White (St. Louis, MO–founder of Bare Knuckle Comedy, cohost of Arguments and Grievances), and the garbage baby Dan Sheehan (started in Columbia, MO–brain behind I Suck At Tinder, co-creator of We Still Like You).

Come see us in Columbia, Springfield, and St. Louis! Love you and all of the thanks!

Hometowntour11_2014

Verona

After a hefty break, I am continuing my series of Italy Stories. The following takes place during my first night in Verona, after spending two nights in Venice.

From Venice Kay and I took a train to Verona. Even though it is a city so old that its origins remain unknown to this day, Verona felt more like a modern city than any we’d explored in Italy yet. But despite having fewer dilapidated roads and a more familiar style of street-arrangement, getting from the train station to our bed and breakfast proved difficult.

Kay had a picture of a map and directions on her phone, and so, like normal, she led the way. My friend is her least communicative when she’s lost or stressed, and so we lugged our belongings around Verona in silence. After a fair amount of struggling to make sense of what the directions were saying, we agreed to peek into a bar and grill restaurant to ask for some guidance. It was a hot, clear-skied afternoon, and the bar appeared to have just recently opened for the day’s business. The first person we saw was a large man sitting on a bar stool, and so Kay asked him for directions in broken Italian. He could tell from her speech and accent that Kay was not Italian and responded in English that was far-less-broken by comparison. He understood where we were trying to go and told us, “Forget everything Google has told you.” The man set us straight, and we tried to memorize his verbal instructions. At first, Kay was no more relaxed in her stride now that we knew what was allegedly the correct path to our newest temporary home, but we came across an area that looked more metropolitan, and then found our bed and breakfast, and a wave of relief washed over both of us.

We were greeted by Stefan, the man who owned and operated the bed and breakfast. Stefan was short and fit, with a thick black beard and a full head of groomed black hair. He also had black hairs covering his forearms and protruding from the collar of his polo shirt, like they were gasping for air. He spoke in a somewhat nasally voice, and he spoke very fast, in an accent that was difficult to pin down—perhaps vaguely Irish or Scottish? His eyes and eyebrows were very expressive and the way he looked and spoke reminded me of Robin Williams (like, if Robin Williams had just inhaled in a little bit of helium).

Stefan was very sweet to Kay and I, and he was very passionate about his B&B. To keep the accommodations in tip-top shape, he posted adorable signs throughout the rooms, halls, and kitchen, which said things like, “I’M MISTER DOOR. PLEASE DON’T SLAM ME! IT HURTS!” Several of the objects in the house had particular requests as to how they should be treated—Mister Refrigerator insisted that one make sure his door was closed, Mister Toilet asked that his trip lever be held down for a few seconds to ensure a complete and satisfactory flush, etc. Strangely, no objects of the female gender could be found in the place. Continue reading

Reviews of My Mustache

Over the Halloween weekend I shaved my hard-earned beard in order to display a surprisingly robust and courageously solo mustache. I’ve always wanted a mustache, or at least I’ve always wanted the ability to grow one, even since I was a kid. This was a big weekend for me.

In that shirt I look like a cowboy magician.

                   In that shirt I look like a cowboy magician.

My Halloween costume was Freddie Mercury. I got the idea from the last time I tried to sport a mustache unaccompanied by a beard, because many told me I looked liked Freddie Mercury. The resemblance is pretty uncanny, especially when I’m in costume (white pants, white shoes, white tank top, and a red woman’s sports coat from the Salvation Army, confidence). When I’m not in costume, however, I was identified as many other things, and received other sorts of unsolicited feedback.

freddieM

Here’s what some people said I about me and my mustache:

“You can finally grow the mustache your dad grew at age 19.” (That was from my mother, by the way.)

“You look like weird Hall & Oats!” (I don’t know what that means…I look like both of them together? Are they not already weird?)

“[Your mustache] looks like a caterpillar too fat and lethargic to ever become a butterfly.”

“You look like 1920’s-era Hemingway with muscular dystrophy.” (Cruel and literary—I like it.)

“You look like you’re a wife-beater away from being an actual wife beater.”

“It looks, not like you applied an artificial mustache to your face, but that you actually grew an artificial mustache.”

“Your mustache looks like it just learned to play ‘Night Moves’ on guitar.”

“You look like either the biggest hipster possible, or someone who thinks talking about cars is cool.”

“You look like a porn star that has never had sex.”

So I have now shaved my mustache. Maybe someday it’ll grow on others the way it grew on me.

Following My Open Letter To Holiday Inn

Good afternoon, everyone. On October 20th I wrote an open letter to the InterContinental Hotels Group regarding a less-than-positive experience I had at a Holiday Inn in Soho, NYC. In the open letter I detailed at length (probably too much length, honestly) how I discovered my computer had been stolen out of my hotel room due to a faulty lock, how I was treated by the hotel’s GM, and why I deserved to be compensated for my now long-gone computer. I emailed IHG the letter and I posted it to Facebook and Twitter.

Within 48 hours I was speaking over the phone with Kari, a lovely Executive Liaison for IHG. She started by saying, “So your story has come across my desk a couple of times…could you tell me again what happened in Soho?”

I retold my experience and before I was even done, because she’d read it already, she began to explain her proposed solution. She said that her team of execs discussed my case and decided as a group that I should be reimbursed; that this was an issue with the hotel which should be corrected. She spoke with the Soho GM directly, and it’s my understanding that the conversation wasn’t exactly productive. The hotel needed to agree with IHG’s decision because my claim of theft was technically a “hotel issue,” as opposed to an “IHG issue.”

Hearing this, I was immediately concerned that this meant a dead end. But Kari then said that her group decided, for reasons which were equally pragmatic and compassionate, that they’d like to just go ahead and reimburse me for my requested amount, which was $1,169 (the cost of the refurbished model of the computer which was taken). I was floored.

Continue reading

An Open Letter To Holiday Inn

To Customer Care Representatives of the InterContinental Hotels Group, and others whom this may concern,

Good afternoon. Thank you in advance for reading this open letter. My name is Tyler Snodgrass and I am reaching out to you because last week I was sleeping in and keeping my belongings in a hotel room at the Soho Holiday Inn, located at 138 Lafayette St, New York City, NY 10013. Around a week ago, on Friday October 10th, room 701 was broken into and my MacBook Pro was stolen out of my backpack. I believe I’m entitled to some form of compensation in order to help me afford a new laptop.

In order to best demonstrate why the InterContinental Hotels Group does in fact owe me recompense, I will chronicle the events that occurred and the information that was obtained following my discovery of the burglary.

My friend Cody rented the hotel room in Soho and had given me one of the two room keys on Tuesday night. During my visit to New York City I was participating in some unscheduled couch-surfing at various friends’ apartments and sleeping in the hotel room when it was more convenient for me. I hadn’t slept at the Holiday Inn on the previous night, so at around 5:30pm on October 10th I dropped into room 701 to change clothes and grab some of my belongings before leaving again at around 6:05pm. Unfortunately, one of those belongings was not my barely-two-year-old MacBook Pro (13-inch screen, mid-2012, model A1278, 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, 750GB of storage, originally priced at $1,499), because when Cody and I returned to the hotel room at around 4am I discovered that my computer was no longer in the room (neither was the charger). It had been stolen out of my backpack in the time while we were away, and nothing else had been taken as far as we could tell, but it was difficult to take inventory of our remaining belongings as Cody’s clothing had been rearranged within the drawers and all of my possessions were no longer tucked away inside of my backpack, but instead were sprawled across the floor in a collection of messy piles.

Continue reading

I’m Doing Shows in New York

I’ll be doing shows in New York this week. Here is where you can see me if you live there.

10/7 – Creek Cave Live
The Creek and The Cave, NYC
10pm

http://creeklic.com/events/creek-cave-live-3/

10/8 – Tandem in NYC
Tandem Bar 236 Troutman st.
9pm

10/10 – Cobra Club in NYC
6 Wyckoff Ave (Jefferson Stop off the L Bushwick)
Doors @ 9pm, Show @ 9:30pm
doors 9pm. show 9:30 free

10/11 – WE STILL LIKE YOU: NYC
(more info coming soon)

10/13 – Sack Magic in NYC
Legion Bar
9pm
Free!
sackmagic.tumblr.com

Cool Dad Podcast Episodes 7 and 8, And COOL DADS LIVE!

Cool stuff is happening in the Cool Dad universe! First of all, we have TWO new episodes for you (available on Sound Cloud and on iTunes)–the first features an interview with Joe Kwaczala, the host of Chicago’s best late night talk show, The Late Live Show. Since running the successful show in Chicago for several seasons at such venues as The Den Theatre and iO Chicago, Joe has become a producer of The Wheel Show at the Nerdist Theater in LA. And you’ll never believe this, but his DAD* WAS THERE TOO!

Episode 8 features a co-creator of We Still Like You, Chicago’s best and only story-telling show that is also a house party, Danii Gallegos. Right before she heads to Austin, TX, to start some new comedy- and non-comedy-related projects, we managed to sit down and have a chat with one of our best friends. And CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? HER REAL DAD** DROPPED IN!

One final Cool Dad Podcast promotion: Dan and I are excited to announce that we’ll be doing our first ever COOL DADS LIVE–a live version of the Cool Dad Podcast–at The Hungry Brain in Chicago this upcoming Thursday at 9:00 PM. It’s free and it’s going to be super fun. It will feature an interview with Marty DeRosa, one of Chicago’s best comics. He’s a producer of Chicago’s best standup showcase, Comedians You Should Know, and host of the incredible podcast, Wrestling With Depression. Don’t miss this!!

Art by Rudy Schulz

Art by Rudy Schulz

Continue reading

Cool Dad Podcast Episode 6: Goodrich Gevaart!

Stoked to share the newest episode of The Cool Dad Podcast, which features an interview with Chicago comedian Goodrich Gevaart. Goodrich is one of the most likable and funny comics in Chicago, and is a producer of a ton of great things including the show Freak Happening (which takes place at SAKI record store in Chicago), the Arguments and Grievances Podcast, and The Comedy Exposition (a wonderful annual DIY standup festival). He tells us about his dad, who is real punk rock and very cool, and then–GET THIS–we surprised him by bringing his REAL DAD* into the studio!

*Katie McVay, one of Goodrich’s good friends and another great comic who spearheaded The Comedy Exposition of 2014 in Chicago.