boxing

Ray

Ray and I, dressed up for the costume contest at church. I went as Joseph, Ray as David. Ray won.

There’s too much to write about my younger brother Ray. At one point I had actually started to write a memoir about Ray, but there was so much material, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.

Although I grew up on stage as “the actor” and kind of graduated into focusing more on comedy, Ray is actually the funny one. My family has a lot of funny people in it, but I have to admit, Ray is the funniest. And this used to frustrate me, because he’s sneaky about who he shows his funny to. You don’t meet him and walk away saying, “That guy’s hilarious.” His humor is on some kind of time-release set-up.

When Ray first meets someone he’s somewhat quiet and reserved. I’m the same way. I can’t explain what it is for Ray, but for me, I have to feel someone out and get comfortable around them before I show them what a dork I am.

I used to get so frustrated when Sunday School teachers and teachers at school would tell me what a nice, well-behaved boy Ray was. I wanted to scream, “No he’s not! That’s not the real Ray! At home he’s goofy and silly and has a really weird dance he does all the time and plays jokes and has funny voices!” I wanted to tell them that, but I never did. I always just smiled and nodded.

One of my favorite “Ray” stories took place at church. He must have been around five or six. We grew up in a pretty small town, and everyone pretty much knew that my dad (and his brothers) were all involved in boxing and did really well. There was this guy at church, he was an Elder and he kind of reminded me of Seinfeld‘s Newman. His name was Mike. He was always teasing Ray, I don’t know why. Ray was six, and this guy was in his thirties. Ok…thinking back now, maybe he wasn’t in his thirties. But he was definitely An Adult. He would walk up to Ray and say things like “Ohhhhhh look at the bog tough boxer guy, why don’t you hit me, you’re sooooo strong, look at you, oooooooh, big boxing champ, try to knock me out.”

Ray didn’t know what to do or say or how to react. He would just kind of look at the guy and try to walk away, and Mike would follow Ray down the hall taunting him. Ray knew he wasn’t supposed to hit or sass The Adults, so he would just take it. I only saw this happen once or twice, but apparently it happened more than that. Week after week this guy would torture Ray, yelling at him, “Ohhhhhh, tough guy, walking away, doesn’t want to try to hit me, oooooooh big boxing champ.”

After a bit, it somehow came to Dad’s attention that this was going on and he asked Ray about it. When Ray told him what had been happening, Dad got angry. “Ray,” he told him, “The next time he tells you to hit him, you hit him. That’ll shut him up.”

Cut to: Church, the following week.

Ray was going from Sunday School to the main sanctuary and Mike caught up with him. “Hey, look, there goes the big tough boxer guy.” Ray stopped and Mike waddled up to him, and they just stood in the hall looking at each other.

“Big tough guy,” Mike continued, “Try to hit me, you think you’re so tough, why don’t you show me who–”

Mike was cut off by Ray punching him in the balls as hard as he could.

Mike got all red in his face and grabbed Ray by the arm and dragged him down the hall to find Dad. When Mike finally did, his face was even redder and he began to yell. “Your son just hit me! He punched me!”

Dad has this amazing thing where, when he’s angry, he gets really super calm. He just looked at Mike all kung fu zen-like, and said, “Well, did you tell him to hit you?”

“Yes, but–” Mike started to shout, and Dad cut him off with more calm, quiet talking.

“Well if you told him to hit you, and he hit you, then what’s the problem? If you told me to hit you, I’d punch you right in the face.”

I think it was at that point Mike just froze and realized he was about to get punched in the face. In church.

“Now take your hands off my son.”

Mike did, and he shuffled down the hall in a fit of sweaty rage.

And here’s a fun fact that just hit me: The first four letters of Mike’s last name are F-A-I-L. For real, I’m not making that up.

And that, dear friends, is the story of how Ray punched an elder at church “where it counts” and didn’t get in trouble for it.

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A Blog for Blog’s Sake

Wow, it’s been a while since my last blog and I really have no valid excuse. It’s not like there haven’t been things going on that I could ramble about:

  • We thought we found bigfoot but that turned out to be a rubber suit in a freezer. They actually sent it to a lab to get tested. Did the zipper not give it away? The scientists said they figured out it wasn’t real because the hairs on the suit didn’t burn like actual hairs burn. So wait…this is how we test these things? “I think I found a rare species of dinosaur. But to be sure, let’s send it to the lab so they can burn the evidence.
  • The Olympics came and went. I had actually started a blog about the way the boxing is judged but it got me so upset, I had to stop. Basically, when it comes to the Olympics, boxing isn’t boxing. It’s judged more like fencing with gloves on. Except body blows don’t count. And neither do most head shots. Unless the judges don’t see it correctly. Basically hit your opponent, score a couple of points, and then spend the rest of your time running from him in the ring.
  • Speaking of TV coverage that goes on for days and days, the Democratic convention is here and you know what that means: time for Ed to pop in some DVDs.
  • Saw the trailer for the new inspirational film with Kirk Cameron, Fireproof. As a Christian and someone who’s a bit of a movie guy, I’m sort of a little offended. Is that OK? I just don’t think cheesy Hallmark Channel movie rejects should get a pass solely because it’s got the tag “Christian” on it. Maybe I’m a little off, but shouldn’t we also try to make art that’s actually quality stuff?

On the non-sarcastic side of things, my buddy Ed (yep…Ed and Ed hanging out again) was in town for a few days and we made some pretty ridiculous videos and that was a good time. (And yes, I realize this may seem to contradict my “Christians should make art” rant in the previous paragraph, but I’m not making art. I’m just trying to make my friends laugh.) If you’re a buddy of mine check them out on my Facebook, as I won’t be uploading them to YouTube.

Other than that, life has been pretty good and I have no legitimate complaints. Spending my time hanging out with my hot wife making crazy monkey love. And you’re welcome for that image.

Year in Review (2007)


‘Tis the season for my annual look back at the previous year, a way for me to keep you informed on what I‘ve been doing and a way for me to spend a Saturday afternoon. A lot happened in ‘07 so let’s get right to it (in some cases I have written a blog about the events mentioned below and will direct you to the link rather than force you to re-live it all over again here. I‘m thoughtful like that).

2007 – YEAR IN REVIEW

A Timeline by Ed Placencia

JANUARY
As the year began I was living in Auburn, Indiana. I was back in the area where I grew up and working with Dad as a painter/wallpaper/general decorator guy. I had set three goals for 2007: Return to NYC to perform again at the National Comedy Theatre, visit London, and kiss a girl. One of my goals I never came close to reaching (Sorry, UK), one of them I came close to (I visited the gang at the improv theater), and one of them I more than met (hello, Sarah).
January 1 I ring in the new year by spending time with the Merrells, my brother’s wife’s family. Everyone is split into teams and games commence. Bowling, ping pong, card games, and Guitar Hero. Of course, my team (I’m paired with Ben and Myka) emerges triumphant. At midnight, though, the victory turns out to be short-lived, as I have no one to kiss. So I drink Pellegrino instead.
January 6 I attend an IPFW men’s basketball game with my Dad, Uncle Rick, and cousin Ricky. The cheerleaders are especially captivating.
January 26
I find out the Sundance Film Festival will be posting all of the entries in the short film division online for the world to see.
I watch them and am repulsed. Positive I can do better, I begin writing.

FEBRUARY
February 2 I begin filming my short film The Failures of Ed.
February 4 I stumble across a TV show on the SciFi Channel, Ghost Hunters. In 60 minutes I am hooked.
February 26 In response to a blog I posted online, my buddy John sends me a package of goodies to post on my bare refrigerator. It’s more than awesome. A few days letter, my friend Jen’s package of refrigerator art arrives. MARCH
March 1 I travel with Dad to the BelTerra Casino on the southern edge of Indiana. We have been hired to bring and set up our boxing ring for a fight that will be televised on Showtime. It’s a Don King production and my dreams of seeing a rigged fight in person are achieved.
March 17 Proving that racism, classism, and sexism are still alive and well, we travel to the Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester, Michigan (just outside Detroit). Their display of discrimination and segregation would make the old South proud.


March 28
I officially accept a job offer from Fred, the GM at WJTL, a radio station in Lancaster PA I worked at from 1999-2001. I am hired to do video and audio production. Not only is it a chance to work with people I miss and love, but is also conveniently close to New York City.

APRIL
April 15
Todd, Dad, Ray, and I go to Ft Wayne to watch the double-feature Grindhouse. Todd and I laugh our heads off at the insane fun unspooling on the screen, Dad doesn’t know what to think, and Ray vows never to see another movie with us again.

MAY
May 3
My short story “5 Minutes of Fame” debuts online.
May 18 Still on my short film kick, I film the first in a series of three short films I have written called The Guys. Shooting on the first installment, The Coffee Shop, goes well and features a cast of characters I have met at Brewdaily’s, my Indiana coffee shop of choice. Matt, David, and Sarah make their video debut and more than exceed expectations.
May 24 Sarah and I officially begin “hanging out.” The rest is history.

JUNE
June 2 Sarah and I share our first kiss, a so-romantic-it’s-almost-too-good-to-be-true smooch in a rain storm in the middle of the night. Jealous?
June 15 I introduce Sarah to my friends — and the world — via a short film simply called Meet Sarah.
June 16
I move to Lancaster PA to begin my new job at WJTL. Ann and Chuck are cool enough to open their house and let me stay with them as I search for an apartment and settle in.
June 22 My short film
The Failures of Ed is complete and debuts online, complete with original music by Fred McNaughton. JULY
July 2

The Coffee Shop debuts online, featuring original music from musician Steve Bridgeman.July 21 Sarah comes to PA to visit and we take a trip to Nissley Vineyard where I propose to her. Luckily, she accepts. My friends Ethan and Aubrey are there to capture the moment through photographs. AUGUST
August 13 I find out a co-worker, Kate, is moving out of her downtown apartment and I am soon living in downtown Lancaster enjoying the city life once again.

SEPTEMBER
September 2 I head up to John & Lisa’s lake house along with our other co-workers Stacey, Mindy, and Ann. Nice to be on a tube again!
September 18 During another trip to Pennsylvania, Sarah and I take the train up to New York City. We visit the National Comedy Theater and say hello to Kramer, JT, and Lepine. We meet Sarah’s friends Courtney, Will, Ryan, and Ferrin and get to take a tour of the Saturday Night Live Studios.

OCTOBER
October 5 I experience my first “First Friday,” a monthly celebration in downtown Lancaster of arts, music, and food, with Ethan and Aubrey.
October 19 I return home to Indiana to pick up Sarah and officially move her to Pennsylvania. In a grand gesture of kindness, her mom Suzy and step-dad Ken follow behind with Sarah’s furniture.
October 25 Sarah and I fly down to Daytona Beach to get married!
October 26 My good pal Brewster officiates our wedding on the beach.
Video of the event is captured and posted to share with our friends and family. The next day we leave for West Palm Beach, where we will spend the rest of our honeymoon.

NOVEMBER
November 7 Cleverly disguised as a night of Karaoke Revolution and Guitar Hero, the gang at the station throws Sarah and I a surprise wedding shower.
November 17 Sarah and I return to Indiana for our Indiana reception. We reconnect with old friends and have an in-general great time.
November 18 Sarah and I visit with her sister Stacy and her husband Nathan. We are introduced to the world of Settlers of Catan.
November 20 Back in Pennsylvania, Sarah and I buy a sequel to the board game Settlers of Catan, Starfarers of Catan, and geek out for a few days.
November 21 The film August Rush is released in theaters. I did extra work on the film back in spring of ‘05. It wasn’t worth the wait.
November 25 Sarah and I visit New York City again with our friends Lisa and Linda. We spend most of the day in The Village and enjoy a relaxing post-Thanksgiving detour.

DECEMBER
December 1 Sarah and I travel to Reading PA to see The Katinas in concert with Michael W Smith and American Idol’s Mandisa. We get to go backstage and hang out with the guys and are treated to a private one-song concert.
December 6 My friend Mindy invites me to be the guest speaker at a theater class at LBC taught by her friend Kristen. For almost two hours I lead the class in a crash course in improv. Fun is had by all.
December 8 Our official Pennsylvania wedding shower is a blast. Good times with Ethan and Aubrey, Chris & Kathy, some of the Gross family, the Burkholders, the Blowereses, Stacey, Ashlea, and the Zucks!
December 13 I introduce Sarah to the game Perfection. And then show the world.
And that’s about it. So far. I didn’t even come close to touching on everything that went down and our calendar is full of fun things coming up. It’s been a great year and I’ve been blessed way beyond what I deserve. As you can see, one of the best ways to keep track of what we’re up to is by stopping by my blog or even my YouTube page (and, if you haven’t already, sign up for Facebook and be the first to find out about when the two aforementioned sites are updated).

As far as goal for 2008…that’s a good question. I’ve been given so much in 2007 it almost feels greedy to ask for anything for 2008. Actually, you know what? My goal for 2008 is to take care of what I was given in 2007. To be the best employee, friend, and husband I can be. That’ll be more than cool.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you to find out how you’re doing.

Keep in touch!

Ed

Up with Whitey. And Men.

This blog may seem a little disjointed and for good reason. I am still in a state of shock and can’t believe what I went through and witnessed last night. One of the only things worse than seeing a major injustice is the feeling of utter helplessness in knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

My dad, as some of you know, is a former boxer and Golden Gloves champion. He started boxing as a young teen and had his last fight in 1976. He has been a boxing coach ever since and all said has about 50 years experience in the arena. He has a real love for the sport, knows what it taught him in life, and when you see him working with kids you can tell how much he loves sharing that passion. Dad is a father figure to a lot of guys who grew up in less-than-stable households and because Dad let them know they can do anything they want if they put their mind to it, they grew up to achieve successes they may never have attained otherwise: Upstanding fathers and husbands. Lawyers with integrity. Exemplary political figures. Even a NASA engineer.

So last night when Dad and a fighter of his experienced an incredible amount of racism and prejudice while trying to be involved in a sport that has done so much to improve not only his life, but the lives of others, it really rocked his world. It was hard to watch.

Dad has been training a young female boxer named Jessica for a couple of years. Even before I moved back into the area I felt like I knew her whole history because many times when we would talk on the phone Dad would tell me about her and, not only was she a great athlete, but she was a great kid with a big heart. When I moved back into town last year and went down to the club for a few months to train I got to meet Jess and Dad was right. She’s a great fighter, a really hard worker, and…well…just a good person. She’s the kind of kid (I say kid, but she’s a freshman in college) with such a sweet disposition you automatically want to take her under your wing and protect her like she was your little sister.

She works harder and is more dedicated than anyone, male or female, I’ve seen in a long time. Dad is hoping to get her accepted into the training for the female Olympic boxing team this summer. The hard thing about it, though, is the lack of female boxers in the area. They have a really hard time finding matches for her. It’s really hard for Jess because she loves the sport so much yet is often met with frustration when she travels out of town to a fight only to find out her opponent didn’t show up or had to back out for some other reason. It’s not unlike that feeling of disappointment the Griswolds felt when their family drove across country to go to the Wally World theme park only to find out it was closed.

Dad got a call from a boxing guy in Michigan a few weeks ago who said he had someone who would box Jessica at an amateur show just outside Detroit. Dad and Jess were both very excited about it and when Dad asked if he could borrow my video camera to tape the fight for Jess I volunteered to go along and film. I had never seen Jess fight in an actual bout before and was excited to go along.

On the three-hour drive up there you could sense how excited Jess was. It’d been almost a year since she had a fight and she was chomping at the bit. When you haven’t done something you love for so long, and then get an opportunity to do it again, the adrenaline rush leading up to the actual event is exhilarating and that’s definitely where Jess was at.

The fight was being held at the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB in ROCHESTER, MICHIGAN. Let’s all remember that name. The GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB. Now you know where to send your letters.

We got there and were greeted by a friendly guy at the door, probably a high school or college student, and inside were two friendly girls about the same age who pointed us in the right direction. We got Jess weighed in and had about an hour and a half to spare. We asked what time we needed to be back as we wanted to go and grab a bite to eat and left to get some sustenance.

Upon returning to the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB we saw the parking lot was filled. They had signs up in the lobby advertising “Fight Night!” that included “amateur boxing, fine dining, and fine cigars.” Tickets to this event, by the way, were $80 apiece. This is an amateur fight. None of the boxers or boxing clubs represented were getting paid. They were all there just to participate in a sport they loved. In fact, the only people who were probably getting any money were the people who brought the boxing ring. So the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB really got themselves a deal, to say the least.

Upon our return we met Rene, the guy who was promoting and putting together the fight. He seemed like a really nice guy despite looking a little frazzled. He showed us the waiting area, which was a small room off the main lobby. And when I say a small room, that’s exactly what it is. Dad and Jess went down the hall so Jess could see the doctor for her pre-fight physical and I stayed behind with our stuff. I sort of drifted toward the wall in the lobby to be out of the way and Rene told me that GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB wanted everyone inside the room; no one could be in the lobby. I didn’t think anything of it, as I understood it to be a holding room for fighters and their coaches.

Inside the approximately 12′ x 17′ room were maybe 10 or 12 chairs and 50-60 people. There were boxers and coaches, yes, and there were also people who had come to watch their families fight, mostly wives and children. It was a unique atmosphere to say the least only because there were a lot of people in a very small room, a lot of boxers, but it was pretty quiet. Everyone was being very respectful of their surroundings, this wasn’t a sweaty gym somewhere, and I was impressed to say the least.

One of the two double doors leading into the room was standing open and a few minutes after being in there a woman came to the room, glared at everyone inside and said (direct quote here), “You need to keep this door closed. We don’t want our members to see you.” Then she shut the door as if we were a bunch of kids who had been sent to our rooms and had been caught sneaking out. No, scratch that…she shut the door more like we were a bunch of people who weren’t white and had trespassed onto the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB property.

You would think that when you live in a community so close to Detroit and want to have a boxing show, you’re going to expect a few brown people to walk through your door. Of the people in the room, it was probably 10% white, 30% hispanic, and 60% black.

No one said anything. There was no call to riot, no questioning or backtalk. We all just accepted that those were the rules, weird as they may seem, and everyone went back to what they were doing, which was either talking quietly or putting on hand wraps. A few people came up to me, introduced themselves, and I got to meet some really nice folks. That’s one thing about the boxing community. As violent as some people think it is as a sport, the people involved in it are some of the friendliest, most humble, and most polite people you’ll ever meet.

Soon some people came in from out in the lobby, more than likely returning from seeing the doctor. The doors of the room are the kind that stay propped open automatically and have to be pulled shut and after a few minutes the door to the room was found open again. Not because someone defiantly opened the door, but because people were going in and out of it on their way to and from their physicals.

From outside I heard the Dragon Lady yelling at someone. “You have to get in the room!” There was a pause as whoever she was yelling at responded, but they were using a hushed tone and I couldn’t hear what was said. Again the lady yelled, “Just get in the room!”

Soon after a young black man came into the room. He walked over to his friends and said “Did you hear her yell at me? I told her I was just coming back from the bathroom and she yelled at me to get back in the room.” This guy didn’t have any attitude at all in his voice, he was just talking to his friends like he was telling them what he had for breakfast.

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. You always hear about discrimination at country clubs but I never really gave it much thought. I actually figured it was just people blowing things out of proportion and here I was, seeing it for myself.

A few minutes later the Dragon Lady returned to the room and yelled at no one, “I need you to keep this door closed! We don’t want our members to see you people!” I remember finding it ironic that everyone talked to her in polite and hushed tones as if they were in a library, and she talked by yelling. And she worked for the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB. Shouldn’t she be the polite one and the rest of us riff-raff be the ones who are loud and obnoxious?

Rene then entered the room and shut the door. He announced that no one was allowed to go in and watch the fights except for the fighters themselves and the coaches. No wives. No children. They were all to stay in the room. I could see the frustration on Rene’s face as he said this; I’ve never gone to a boxing show where this has been the case. He explained this wasn’t the rules of the boxing association but something the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB had just told him. He also expressed this was the last time he would be working with the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB in ROCHESTER, MICHIGAN.

You can imagine the disappointment in the room upon hearing this news. Not only could their wives and children not stand in the back of the event room and watch them fight, they had to stay in this cramped little space during the entire course of events. But no one said anything. No backtalk. No sass. No “are you kidding me’s.” I think everyone was slowly starting to accept that it was what it was.

Dad and Jess finally returned from the doctor and as Dad started to wrap Jess’s hands and I filled him in on what had been going on. A few minutes before the fights were to begin Rene stepped in the room and called Dad’s name. This is it! I thought to myself, Here we go! Then Rene said he wanted to talk to Dad and Jess. I waited back in the room.

A few minutes later Dad came in and said, “There’s no fight.” Everyone in the room froze and looked at Dad. I hadn’t seen Dad ever look so defeated before in my life.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“They aren’t going to let Jess fight because they said it would offend their members.”

I said it without even thinking. “Would it offend their members if I went out there and punched them in the neck?”

Dad grabbed his boxing duffel bag and coat. “They’re not letting the girls fight because they said “They’re girls.””

Dad said, “They won’t even let us stay and watch the fights. We have to leave.”

“Wow,” I said, “I’ve never been kicked out of a country club before.”

You could feel the disbelief and shock as it settled on everyone in the room. Jess came in the room and I could see she was trying hard not to cry. One of the other coaches said, “If they’re not letting your girl fight, then none of my guys are fighting.”

Another coach agreed. “They’ve treated everyone here really disrespectfully, and that’s not right. If they’re not going to let everyone fight, then none of my guys are fighting either.” Boxers around the room began nodding their heads in silent agreement.

These things weren’t said in a dramatic, loud, call-to-arms tone of voice. Despite what everyone had gone through and how everyone had been treated, everyone was still talking quietly and appropriately. I couldn’t get over how impressed I was.

And what really impressed me was Rene’s response. I expected, “Now, now, now, let’s not get out of hand here, there’s still going to be a show.” Instead, Rene simply stated, “I know. If you want to leave, you can leave. Maybe we should all leave. I’ll never work with these people again.”

Dad, Jess, and I left but not before I caught a glimpse of a few guys taking off their wraps and shoes. I also remember seeing the young guy and girls who greeted us at the Country Club when we first arrived. They were still smiling, but their smiles were no longer genuine, as if they just realized exactly where they were working.

I wanted to stay behind to see what happened, to see how many people actually left, all three of us did, but we had a three-hour drive ahead of us and Dad wanted to get on the road.

In the truck I asked Dad what happened when he was called out of the room. Rene told Dad They’re not going to let any girls fight. They said it would offend their members. Dad told me, “I couldn’t believe he actually said that.It’s so wrong.”

While they were in the lobby talking to Rene one of the boxers came from the bathroom in his boxing trunks and shoes with no shirt on…like what boxers wear. A man (the Dragon Lady’s counterpart, I assume) yelled at the kid to “Get in the room! This is a family environment! There are children here!” (I pointed out to Dad that the only children I saw in the place were the kids of the boxers they had cooped up in the waiting room.)

Dad said he’d never seen Jess so angry before. Jess asked the man if he was the one that said she couldn’t fight. The man said he was. Jess asked why and Dad said this guy got a look on his face like no woman had ever dared to ask him that question before. And that’s probably true.

He told Jess, “Because you people won’t keep that door closed, you’re coming in and out, and it’s chaos in here!”

“That’s not my fault. Don’t punish the girls for that.”

The man walked up to Jess, pointed his finger in her face, and said, “It IS your fault.”

“Why won’t you let us box?” Jess pleaded again and his answer was cut and dry.

“Because you’re girls.”

He turned and stormed away and Jess called out after him, “Haven’t you ever heard of women’s boxing?”

I don’t know what happened after we left the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB. In my mind I see all of the boxers refusing to stand for it and walking out. Their employees, offended by the bias they have observed, quit their jobs. The precious “members”, who paid 80 bucks a ticket, demand their money back and the GREAT OAKS COUNTRY CLUB takes a big loss.

In reality, that’s probably not what happened. I’m sure some of the boxers stayed behind. I’m sure there were some fights. Maybe not as many as they had planned on, but the people got their show and smoked their cigars. And I’m also pretty sure none of the members had any idea any of this occurred.

It’s all about the Members, isn’t it? Protect the members.

Dad was in a state of shock during the drive home. It broke my heart. And when I saw Jess in tears I could feel my heart bleed. All she could say over and over again was “I’ve never been told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.” I told her it wasn’t fair and they weren’t right. It wasn’t. And they weren’t.

I’m not naive. I’ve been around the block a time or two. I know there is injustice in the world, much of it unprovoked and uncalled for. And I guess I’ve just learned to put up with it. But the first time someone is exposed to it, the first time they realize some stereotypes are true…to actually witness the moment when someone’s innocence is shattered…that hurts like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

Jess’s voice trembled as she said it. “I hope that guy doesn’t have any daughters. If he does, I feel really bad for them.”

Dad and I did, too.

Too Much To Tell

I’ve had a busy past few days. The kind of busy where you do so much, there’s too much to really tell. So, as Inigo Montoya said, “There is too much. Let me sum up.”

The Belterra Casino in Southern Indiana rented the boxing ring from the boxing club Dad runs for a fight that aired on Showtime’s “Friday Night Fights”, so I rode down with Dad and another guy to help set up and take down the ring.

We left early Thursday morning, the fights were Friday night, and we took it down immediately afterward. We got done packing up the ring around 3:30am and left straight for home. I got back to my apartment around 9:30 Saturday morning.

My sleep schedule is still way off. Because the ring is basically a bunch of steel, I’m a little sore and achy from all of the lifting, pulling, dragging, and lugging.

I brought the notebook with me I always carry around in my back pocket and didn’t find any good comedy bits per se, but did take notes on a couple of interesting anecdotes I witnessed:

*While dining in the buffet, I heard a man behind me exclaim “We’re giving all our money to Iraq!!!” I turned to see who said it and sitting there was this hugely obese guy. Massive. And the first thought that popped into my head was No, you’re giving all your money to Hostess.

* While in the same restaurant, I saw a morbidly obese woman (the casino was obviously full of giant people…that’s what you get for opening a casino in redneck country) in a huge black and white leopard-print smock. She was eating cherry cheese cake. But not before drowning it in pepper. PEPPER. On her cheesecake. It made me shake my head.

* Because it was a Don King-sanctioned fight, there were a couple of overweight guys in bad white suits running around with Straight-from-the-Sopranos accents who loved letting people know they were from New Yawk. They loved trying to boss people around, and most people let them do it. After you set up the boxing ring, you tighten the ropes a bit and after a few hours you have to tighten them again. Knowing this, we don’t tighten the ropes up as far as they can go when we first put up the ring. Mobster Wannabe #1 pulled on the ropes and started to complain they were too loose. “I work for Don King!!” he started to yell. And then he and the other Mobster Wannabe started yelling “We work for The King!! We work for The King!!” Excuse me, but there are only two people who can call themselves The King: Jesus and Elvis. Don King is not The King any more than Stephen King is. You work for the most crooked rat in the boxing business (and in my opinion, someone who dodged a murder sentence). That’s not really anything to brag about. At least not if you want to impress me. In a nice bit of irony, though, I have turned their proud claim to fame into a different catchphrase of sorts. Now, when I see someone do something foolish, I shout, “I work for The King!!” Heads up, friends. You’re going to hear it.

* One of the annoying things about going to boxing shows is the fact that every guy becomes a wizard of all things boxing and feels they must supply commentary to everyone around him during the fight. Hillbillies aren’t good at it, as represented by this horribly mixed-up cliche one tried to get away with: “Boy, he’s really clipping the sails out of him.” Did he mean “he’s really taking the wind out of his sails?” Or “clipping his wings?” I think what he meant to say was, “Boy, I really don’t have any idea what I’m talking about.”

2006 – YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s that time again to bore my friends and loved ones with a capsulated look at 2006. Enjoy. I’ll wake you when it’s over.

2006 – YEAR IN REVIEW
A Timeline by Ed Placencia

JANUARY
As the year began I was living in New York City. I was a regular performer at the National Comedy Theatre (which I will heretofore refer to as NCT) and the ink on my divorce papers still hadn’t dried. My first year as The Single Guy. Let’s do this.
January 1 I ring in the new year by performing at a special New Year’s show at the NCT. We had a blast and it was a great time.
January 12 My digital camera breaks. No one has seen a picture of me since.
January 31 At the NCT banquet in a weird moment of ironic foreshadowing I was awarded “Most likely to be available for 208 shows/year.”

FEBRUARY
February 19 A reporter from The Daily News does a story on the National Comedy Theatre. A lot of pictures are taken and the cast is saddened when the article comes out and they use a picture with none of us in it.
February 28 In a stunt of unparalleled proportions, JT and I went to pick up some used carpet to put in the green room of the NCT. Because we don’t have a vehicle, we carry this huge roll of carpeting. From the corner of 3rd & 11th to the theater at 36th & 9th we maneuvered through the busy streets of Manhattan and didn’t bump into anything. And we only stopped to rest once. How manly are we?

MARCH
March 8 My good friends John and Lisa come up to visit from Pennsylvania. We checked out a Mountain Dew snowboarding ramp in the middle of Times Square and interview a ukulele expert at a music store for Lisa’s radio show, The Kids Cookie Break. So, it was a usual day for me.

APRIL
April 2 Worked on the set of a new FOX show, The Wedding Album. It was slated to come out this year, but haven’t heard anything on it since.
April 10-13 For four days straight I work from 6:30pm to 5am as an extra on the set of August Rush, starring Robin Williams, Keri Russell, and Jonathan Rhys Myers. We spent four nights in the middle of Central Park pretending it wasn’t freezing cold as we watched a performance by a symphony. Right now it is slated to release in February 2007. If it’s anything like my last work as an extra, be sure to have your freeze frame remotes ready so you can see me.
April 22 My sister Jaime comes up for a visit and we see and do everything in Manhattan in a span of 7 hours. We are, in a word, amazing. And tired.
April 27 Fellow NCT comedian Virginia and I witness someone trying to base jump off of the Empire State Building. A crowd gathers. The jumper is arrested. Everyone seems slightly depressed they didn’t get to see someone splat.
April 30 Worked on the set of Without A Trace playing an FBI employee. The episode airs the following month and I was nowhere to be seen. So far, no proof of the fact I’ve ever done any extra work exists.

MAY
May 4 Realizing a lifelong dream, I get to attend a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman. Even though the guests are Rosie Perez and Danika Patrick I still manage to somehow enjoy the experience.
May 13 My final show at the NCT for 2006. I have 81 performances with them under my belt, and all of them were a blast. The rest of the gang is still there putting on great shows so if you’re in Manhattan, be sure to stop by and see a show.
May 14 Left NYC for Pennsylvania, where I will hang out for a week before my departure for Indiana. My buddy Ethan volunteers to drive me to PA and while there I stay with him and his wife Aubrey, and also with Jon & Lisa. I get a chance to connect with all of my dear friends from the radio station I worked at in Lancaster, WJTL. Good people. Good, good people.
May 21 Dad arrives in Pennsylvania with his truck and we load up the small amount of junk I have and head for Indiana.

JUNE
June 2 Almost a year after doing extra work on The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, it is released in theaters. None of my scenes make the final cut. I am not disappointed as there’s always the DVD deleted scenes. And I got to roller blade behind Jennifer Aniston for half a day. And the check cleared.
June 4 Fifteen years after its first conception, my brother Ray and I begin production on the long-awaited sequel to Terocus. We film four episodes and post them all on YouTube. The internet community is collectively confused.

JULY
July 15 I film an entry for a contest NBC is having to make a promo for the TV show The Office with Ray, Piper, Dad, and cousin Rich. Even though we don’t win, we have fun filming it and putting it on YouTube to further confuse the internet people.
July 16 The Placencia family reunion. Or, The Largest Gathering Of Minorities In Indiana Since The Last Placencia Family Reunion.

AUGUST
August 3 I am legally a Hoosier again when I get my driver’s license. After finally making it through the DMV line, a week later my money clip is stolen and I have to go through all of it again.

SEPTEMBER
September 30 The county fair comes to town and all of Indiana’s finest are in attendance. Mullets and poofy hairsprayed bangs abound. I get together with my friend Amy to hang out at the local coffee shop as they walk by and poke fun. Without recognizing him, I inadvertently end up making fun of my uncle.

OCTOBER
October 14 I killed a bird with a ladder.
October 17 The Break-Up is released on DVD. Although the packaging boasts “17 extra minutes!” I still have not made the film. Nor did I make the deleted scenes. Even my deleted scenes were deleted. But still, at least I got to roller blade behind Jennifer Aniston for half a day.

NOVEMBER
November 1 Awarded “Boxer of the Month” for the month of October at the Dekalb County Boxing Club. I celebrate by not going down for the rest of the month.
November 9 Itching to get back into comedy, I perform stand-up in front of a crowd of about 350 people at Snickerz in Ft Wayne and it goes well and the crowd goes wild.

DECEMBER
I’m working with Dad and still doing production for WJTL. I’ve been writing a lot of short stories recently and I’ll be back at Snickerz doing stand-up on December 21.It’s been a fun fun year and am eager to see what 2007 has in store.

To keep updated on what I’m doing, I keep a pretty consistent blog online. It’s the easiest way to see what I’m up to and going through. You can also visit that link to get all of the details on the highlights I mentioned above.

Goals for 2007:
*Return to NYC to perform again at NCT.
*Visit London.
*Kiss a girl.

It’s my prediction that the first two goals will be the easiest to accomplish.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you to find out how you’re doing.

Keep in touch!

Ed