Saturday, May 30, 2009

Losing One's Head in Maine

What you are about to read is details of a disgusting true crime story. Please don't read this if it will upset you. I'm talking to you, Alice.

A friend in Portland (who knows the perpetrator, but not the victim) began delivering the details of this story to me as they came out in the press this week. It is such a disturbing tale, I assumed he was pulling the story from the catalogue of Newbury Comics, the story he manages. I knew it was time to google down the facts.
  • Investigators find body in burning apartment on Monday night (5/25)
  • Fire was set to cover up murder
  • Chad Gurney, 27, known around the Portland scene as a nice, thoughtful guy, arrested, entered no plea
  • Former lacrosse champion, Gurney lived off a settlement from 2005 team bus accident, played for Liberty College, religious school founded by Jerry Falwell
  • Reports of mental instability, but no history of violence
  • Victim: 18-year-old Zoe Sarnacki
  • Gurney allegedly cut off her head with a samurai sword
  • Unsubstantiated claims say Gurney allegedly had sex with her headless body, sodomized her with a crucifix and torched her
Please let me know if you find reputable sources reporting that the last bullet point is true. I need to know. And I need to see the episode of Law & Order they base on this story.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jen Biederman and I are doing a show tonight at SideWalk Café at 8 PM sharp. Come on out and listen to us sing funny songs. We're going to make you laugh while you enjoy two items from the reasonably priced and delicious food and drink menu at the SideWalk Café. (94 Ave. A at the corner of 6th St.).

We start at 8 pm sharp and will wrap up by 8:50. Come hang out with us and toast to a busy summer.

Smell Yo Keith & the Girl

Doug Russell heard me on the Keith and the Girl show on Tuesday, talking nonsese with those guys for a couple hours... I also sang a last-minute duet of Smell Yo Dick with the Girl, Chemda... After a couple of false starts, we finally hit our stride. Doug edited out the the false starts, rewriting history, and sent me an mp3 of it...

Thanks Doug!

Here's the "Smell Yo Dick" mp3 by me and Chemda and Doug.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Provincetown Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend in Provincetown is Women's Weekend, and the place is overrun with crazy lesbos. Some crazy gays too. People get drunk and act a fool at night and get drunk and mill about looking at stores during the day. I went up there with Chantal Carrere and Claudia Cogan to do a comedy show at the UU Meting House. We barked on the street to the thousands of people and got a good crowd to chanté, stay, while some people decided to sashay away.

Claudia described the atmosphere as "a cross between a women's collegiate athletics conference and Guantanamo Bay." I think that's pretty right on. It was fun and yet a little bit like water boarding. Hope to get back up there this summer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Badass Burlesque at the Bowery Poetry Club

Badass is a fun show, usually a little darker or more twisted than regular burlesque. The theme for the evening was Janis Joplin. And my friend Diane hosted, doing a real burlesque routine, and an amazing job of keeping up the Janis persona all night long. Yes, those are pot leaf pasties.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Colleen Crumbcake and the Pantone 292

My friend Colleen started Pantone 292 in 2005. It's a CD club where membership is limited to 20 or fewer. Once a year, you make a mix CD and send it to everyone in the club. The rest of the year, you receive mixes from everyone else.

This kind of thing is hit or miss. But Colleen is a professional DJ and she's friends other pro DJs and one-time DJs and music lovers in general. The mixes are always interesting. I have to go through and scan the cover art from CDs I've received over the last four and a half years of Pantone 292. The music is great. Sometimes there are lyrical themes, sometimes genre themes, and sometimes great songs get shoved together for no rhyme or reason. But no matter what, every mix exposes me to a piece of music I wasn't familiar with. I don't always love the new stuff, but it's so nice to have a group of people saying collectively, "This is what we listen to."

Here are some of the CD covers I've made in the past:

2006, "Now That's What I Call Pantone!" Vol. 10

2007, "Friends of Mine"

2008, "Anatomically Yours"

My month isn't until October this year, but I'm feeling inspired. I think I'm going to make a mix for my new boyfriend. ("I miss you, but I haven't met you yet," Bjork.) Or maybe I'll make a mix for the Somali Pirates. ("Left my soul there, out on the sea," Morcheeba.) Or maybe I'll make a mix for Jessica Delfino's cat, Miss Puss. ("I'm gonna pounce! Pounce!" Nellie McKay.) It's like scrapbooking. But less embarrassing.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Open Letter to the docors of Seattle Grace Hospital

(Grey's Anatomy season finale Spoiler Alert.)

Dear Drs. Izzie Stevens and George O'Malley,

You are both dead. I think. I'm not sure. You are both definitely wearing formal attire and bathed in soft-focus glamor lighting. It is confusing and annoying that I don't know if you're dead or not. But the truth is, you have both been dead for years. I don't know why I've stayed with you this long. Lord knows it's been years since either of you has said anything interesting. But dead or not, it's over between us.

After months of chemo and brain surgery, Izzie, you started to regain your short term memory. Everything was looking up, and then you coded. I don't if you are dead or not because the last time they hit you with the defibrillator, your body jumped into the air, and Meridith Grey started voice-of-god narrating over the credits. Will you make yet another miraculous recovery?

George, I call you McDoughy because you are an average looking guy a doughy face and body and you are on a show where the male doctors are called things that start with Mc and end in y. The writers of Grey's Anatomy threw you under the bus. Literally. And just as you were doing something half-way interesting and way out of character — joining the army. Now, you are going into surgery and nobody thinks you are going to live. I do think you'll live because unlike the actress who plays Izzie Stevens, you have not won any Emmys and you do not have a demanding film career.

Regardless of how this turns out, I have to say goodbye to both of you. I am done with you and all the rest of the doctors. I can't endure the trauma any longer. I must sever all ties with Seattle Grace and all of its health care professionals. I will no longer get sucked into medical dramas unless they are happening to people I know personally.

So goodbye Merideth, Christina, Alex, Bailey, McDreamy, McSteamy, and Chief. Everytime you tell me everything's going to be OK, a bus full of teens dies on their way to prom. Or an icicle stabs straight through one of your chests and pins you to the ground. Or a death row murderer wants to donate his organs to a dying child, thus presenting a moral dilemma. I can't handle the weekly trauma. I can't go on living like this.

So dead or not, I'm leaving you all behind. Don't try to persuade me with new graphics, new characters, cliffhanger reveals... Nothing will work. I'm moving on. Glee looks like it's going to be good, and I need to free up the time.

Thank you, doctors, for all of the drama. But if I have to endure brain surgery every week, I can't help but wonder what is wrong with our medical system. Say hi to Addison for me, and if you have to pick between George and Izzie... I guess pick McDoughy, but I won't be around in September to find out.

Love and goodbye,
Ben Lerman

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sweet serendipity

Sometimes you stumble into the right place at the right time and something unexpected and good happens. Really. No, really. Tonight, I walked into Sweet at the Slipper Room, Seth Herzog's long-running, well-respected, well-attended comedy show on the Lower East Side. It always attracts top talent, and I just went in to watch a great comedy show. I said hello to Seth, and he asked me to fill in for a last-minute cancellation. I accepted immediately, and got to share a bill with Seth, Baron Vaughn, and Todd Barry. Oh, and Seth's mom (who appears in every show, this time as sidekick). It was unexpected and good. See? I told you. These things happen sometimes. I have a crush on Seth's mom because someone in the audience mentioned narwhal whales and she explained that they have unicorn-like horns that they rub together as foreplay before making whale babies. And she raised Seth, who seems like a real mensch to me. Well done, Mama Herzog.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ben's Secret Diary is moving here.


If you used to read my blog at, it's switching over to here. That seems foolish to tell you since you are here right now reading this. But then, how should I know where you are?

You might be on the other side of this series of tubes, chained to a radiator in a forgotton warehouse in eastern Europe, your last stop on the way to being sold into sex slavery. If that is the case, please bookmark this page, as you might want to return to it later, but then proceed to contacting the website of the FBI or Interpol or whatever authority is most suited to your needs. At some point you may want to reexamine your need for ukulele comedian blather over self-preservation. Maybe you're using my undeniably hilarious website as a coping mechanism for dealing with the hopeless predicament you're in. It can't be fun to be chained to an unworking radiator in a dilapidated warehouse, not knowing what new horror will come for you. And that is so powerful to me. To know that I have brought joy to one prisoner en route to sex slavery... It's like a dream come true. That's why I first picked up a ukulele.

I might have successfully incorporated this blogspot blog into the homepage of my iWeb fan site, by now, so maybe you are reading this at Or maybe you are reading this blog for the first time. In which case, none of this is of any consequence and has only succeeded in boring you to death. I'm sorry if you are dead. Otherwise, be well, and remember not to complain too much about the sex slavery or they will just kill you and get a new one.

All of my love to you always and forever,