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…for spreading the word of the Black List Live! event for Saving Charlie Chaplin.

Read the piece here, then learn more about CCAD here.

Trying to make ’em proud,


Nandita! Eighteen years later!

…when we both moved into the freshman dorm at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) in Columbus, Ohio. We haven’t seen each other since she graduated in May 1998.

Last night, Nandita and her husband Raj came over for dinner.

It was great seeing her again after all this time, and I promise to not let another 18 years pass before we see each other again.

Reconnecting with old friends dulls the pain,



…this may look familiar.

Can’t believe I still have that,


this print from my good friend Amanda Hope Cook, I also bought this print as a belated Christmas gift for my sister Bethany!

"Planters Peanuts" by Amanda Hope Cook!

Couldn’t post it until I gave it to her,


"Goody Boy" by Amanda Hope Cook.

…of the Michael’s Goody Boy Diner sign in Columbus, Ohio.

From May 1999 to July 2003, I lived just a few blocks away from Goody Boy. I saw that sign nearly every day for over four years. It’s pure nostalgia for me. And one hell of a painting.

Learn more about Amanda and her work (and then buy some) here.

Yep, that’s a painting,


…for this post, I came across this image:

October 1996: The 3rd Annual Pumpkin Picking Extravaganza

It shows the gang (minus my friend Alyssa Shaw, for some reason) from the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Picking Extravaganza in October 1996.

From left to right: Marcia Kranz, Michelle Ciappa, Jeremy “Jocco” Scott, Dan “The Goon” Blosser, Mark Mattson, some guy who was dating Alyssa Shaw (not pictured) at the time, Bryan Loar, a six-month-old Anya Loar, Alisha Loar, and Alisha’s friend who I can’t remember the name of for the life of me.

The 22nd Annual is in ten months,


…an old CCAD friend named Mike Olenick posted this on his Facebook page:

“Every year when Halloween rolls around I’m reminded of one of the great mysteries in my life from my freshman year of college in 1996. I would like to solve this mystery, and so if you know anything about it please let me know. I want to know who shit on the dance floor of the basement of the CCAD dorms (AKA the cafeteria) DURING the Halloween dance party. Was it a Stormtrooper? Or could it have been Godzilla? Or was it someone else? Did he/she have accomplices? Maybe you were there and saw something. Maybe you heard about it afterward. Maybe you were the shitter? Please feel free to share any pictures you may have of this event. Even if this remains to be one of life’s great unsolved mysteries, I will never forget Joe Frash holding a microphone and pointing to a turd on a floor repeating, ‘This is not funny… there is feces on the floor.’ Let’s share and tag the heck out of this until we get some answers. You can also tell me privately if it needs to remain a secret. Justin Shady, do you know anything?”

Yes, you read that correctly. On Halloween 1996, someone took (or left) a shit in the middle of the “dance floor” at the Halloween party in the cafeteria at CCAD. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the mystery shitter was, but I do have a bunch of photos from that night.

So here you go, Mike-O. I hope these jog someone’s memories… if not their colon.

Michelle Ciappa as a pregnant nun and… shit, two more people. The older I get, the more names disappear from my brain.


Dave Buenning as Uncle Fester and Emily Reineck, who also just so happened to be my girlfriend at the time, dressed up as a princess.


Apparently, my idea of a costume back then was a bad wig, an ugly shirt, an elephant mask, and lipstick applied haphazardly around my lips. I still own (and wear) that shirt, though. Seriously.


Two fellow RAs: Aaron Zimmerman and Jay Mueller as a priest.


Mark Mattson in what might be one of my all-time favorite Halloween costumes.


I can’t remember the names of the two guys on the left, but the fabulous man in drag on the right is Johnny Photos.


Marcia Kranz, Jamie Coulson (in the mask and military outfit), and two more human beings!


Aaron and Jay with two non-costumed folks.


I want to say the guy on the left was named Jay, but I might be wrong. Princess Leia and Han Solo? No idea.


Catwoman and Pale-Faced Girl.


Jay and Michelle.


Reagan (or possibly Regan), who, if I remember correctly, was student council president at the time.




Mandy, Jamie Breitsch, Mike Olenick, and Brian (sorry, I can’t remember everyone’s last name). Mike is the one who put the call out on Facebook.


More Jamie Breitsch!


And finally, the obligatory gaggle of Stormtroopers. Though it remains unclear if any of them were Stormpoopers.


So there you go, Mike-O! I hope these help.

A night I’ll never forget… because, you know, someone took a shit on the floor,


You may remember this, which detailed that move.

Anyway, nine years later, in July 2003, I moved out of Columbus.

Before last month, I had only been back to Columbus twice since 2003: once to give a lecture about Tastes Like Chicken at my alma mater (CCAD), and another time when I was passing through on my way to Pennsylvania.

Oddly enough, that last time was in October 2008, and I was going to Pennsylvania to celebrate the recent marriage of my good friend Jamie and her new husband Dave.

Last month, I returned to Columbus a third time (in 11 years… holy crap) because Jamie and Dave (who are now expecting their first child) threw what would prove to be a memorable (and epic) reunion party.

Old friends, some of whom I’ve known for over two decades, came from all over the country to celebrate food, friendship, and a little bit of fire.

We kicked shit off right at Thurman Cafe. Oh, sweet baby Jesus… I’ve missed you.

A burger from Thurman Cafe. This would be my death row meal.

After a day of prep (to be read: a shitload of drinking to cope with our Thurman-induced food comas), we kicked off October 11th with a stop at Young’s Jersey Dairy, the farm we spent our first pumpkin picking at in October 1994.

There are three people in this photo who were also there on that first outing 21 years ago: John Marshall (first guy on the far left), Bryan Loar (fourth guy from the right), and yours truly (idiot wearing the bright-as-fuck orange pants all the way on the right).

The first stop: Young's Jersey Dairy!

Three-quarters of the original 206 Crew reunited (We miss you, Special K!)…

The 206 Crew: Part I

…who pretty much look like slightly older (and in my case, balder) versions of these three kids from December 1994.

Three-quarters of the 206 Crew.

Later, we were joined by a second-semester 206 Crew member: the Goon!

The 206 Crew: Part II

So many folks showed up! I love each and every one of them dearly.

The whole gang was there. And I love each and every one of them.

We quickly fell into our old hijinks… which, for some reason, usually involve farts.

Old shenanigans.

Before I left, a few of us ventured over to 886 N. Dennison Avenue, which (from 1999 to 2003) was famously known as “The Coop.” The two windows on the left of the second floor look into my old bedroom. This is also the building where Tastes Like Chicken was born.

The Coop: Original

I experienced so many amazing moments in this building…

886: 1999 - 2003

…and I experienced all of them with these two guys: Milan and Brett, my fellow original members of the Coop Crew.

The Coop Crew: Now

The last time we were together was at Brett and Marci’s wedding in September 2005. Before then, one of the last times we were together was in this photo, which was shot on the front steps of the Coop near the end of June 2003, just before we moved to Milwaukee, and Brett moved up to Cleveland.

The Coop Crew: Then

When we were living at the Coop, our good friend Michelle lived right next door at 888 N. Dennison.

Michelle and I returned to reenact our neighborly feud (which never really existed). Thankfully, no one was home at the time; that, or they just wondered why some old strangers were snooping around and taking photos on their back porch. Either way, this photo made it all worth it.

886 vs. 888

Back in the day, Milan had a habit of “tagging” Michelle’s apartment. He would write “WALL” on her walls, or “FISH TANK” on her, you guessed it, fish tank. One day, he wrote “MICHELLE” on the ledge outside her window.

It’s still there.

Michelle's name (thanks to Milan) is still written on the side of the building. In crayon.

We stopped next door and visited (and smoked a filterless Lucky Strike with) our old friend Eddie (who famously gave us this shotgun as a going-away present when we moved out of Columbus)…


…and his sweet wife Rose.


Before it all ended, a group of us met for lunch at Katalina’s for Nutella-filled pancake balls and thick-cut bacon.

The Last Supper (or, more accurately, Lunch).

As Jamie drove Michelle and me to the airport, we made our way through downtown one last time. The city looks completely different than it did when I left 11 years ago, but somehow it still feels exactly the same.


It was such a great weekend. Seriously, it was one of the top-three events of my life, right up there with our wedding on October 30th, 2011, and my surprise birthday party on September 3rd, 2006.

Sure, the food and booze helped, but it was the friends (who are family), the laughter, and the love that made the weekend so amazing.

The bathroom walls in Katalina’s are covered in chalkboard paint; sitting in a tray beside the sink are sticks of chalk, which everyone is encouraged to use.

I did.


And I do.

Let’s do it again… soon,


…I moved into the Melvin L. Schottenstein Residence Hall at CCAD (Columbus College of Art & Design) in Columbus, Ohio.

At the age of 17, I moved nearly 500 miles away from home without having any clear idea of what in the hell I was actually doing. I hadn’t toured CCAD before moving in; in fact, I had never even set foot in Columbus (or Ohio, for that matter) before August 27th, 1994. To be honest, I chose CCAD because, of the three art schools I got accepted to, it was the only one offering a scholarship.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I met some amazing people that first week, including my roommate Jeremy “Jocco” Scott…

Jeremy "Jocco" Scott

…and my suite-mates Bryan “Cesar” Loar…

Bryan "Cesar" Loar

…and Sanathana Kalpa “Special K” Ariyawansa.

Sanathana Kalpa "Special K" Ariyawansa

I also met Alisha Flippert (who is now Alisha Loar, and seen here with her future husband/father of three amazing daughters)…

Alisha Flippert

…Michelle Ciappa…

Michelle Ciappa

…Jason “McFly” Kincaid…

Jason "McFly" Kincaid

…and John Marshall.

John Marshall

I’m happy and proud to say I still consider all of these people dear friends today.

Columbus and CCAD took some getting used to. In fact, I almost moved back home after the first semester. But as it turned out, I ended up spending nearly nine years in Columbus, and without question, it was one of the greatest periods of my life.

Three-quarters of the 206 Crew.

Here’s to the next twenty,


PS: Obviously, I met many more wonderful, amazing people at CCAD in 1994, and I’m still friends with a lot of them. I just didn’t have photos of everyone from back in the day, so no offense to anyone who feels left out. Yes, I’m talking to you, Brandon Doherty!

…I was a junior in college and taking a video class with Kon Petrochuk at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) in Columbus, Ohio.

That year, I created a bunch of different videos for Kon’s class (many of which are now trapped on Hi8 tapes in a Rubbermaid container in my dad’s basement).

Last year, CCAD hosted an alumni get-together here in L.A. and who should show up but Kon Petrochuk! Over a few free beers, Kon mentioned that he remembered a video project I created for his class. In fact, he said that he regularly showed said project to his video class at the start of each school year.

When Kon got back to Ohio he sent me the video on a DVD. Now, nearly seventeen years after I created it, I’m putting it up here on the Blarg.

The video is a pastiche of both shot and found footage. It comes together as an unofficial music video of sorts for Soul Coughing’s song “Screenwriter’s Blues” from their 1994 debut album Ruby Vroom.

A few old CCAD friends make brief appearances including Jamie Bowers (I think those are her hands, if I remember correctly), Marcia Blanchard (she’s the one spinning), Mike Olenick (he’s one of the lovers who murder each other), and Jamie Breitsch (that’s her ear repeated over and over again).

You’ll probably also notice a quick glimpse of Drew Barrymore’s breasts from an old issue of Playboy.

Anyway, on to the video!

You are… listening,


Old Poop!