I'm back. I think people are expecting some CRAZYTIME stories, and maybe later I'll remember some. But this was mostly a fact-finding mission, and now I am considering all the data.
I did a set at the Comcast Open Mic last night, making it the tenth night in a row I did standup. I am all loosey-goosey. Hey audience, not even noticing my punchline! You think I give a fart?
(I say fart, because I don't even feel hostile enough to cuss.)
We have a cat staying with us for the month.
Oh, let me rhapsodize about my friend Nydia for a minute. Best friend from high school, lets me call her every minute to get subway directions, lets me sleep in her bed, gets me drunk and tries to get me some action too. Also, a knockout. What did I ever do to deserve such a great friend?
You'll be happy to know I didn't regress in pullup progress. I can still pull myself up and hold that for awhile. I know what you're thinking- thank god.
We're coming to the end of the Boston expedition, and it was a rousing success. Improv Boston was very welcoming and we did four shows there in the course of two days. Many, many cool and friendly people to hang out with. On friday we did the Comedy Studio, which is in the upstairs of a chinese restaurant near Harvard Square. Renata Turtko hosted, and she was so so funny.
Besides that, lots of walking around, some burritos, some pizza, some ice cream.
I took advantage of a Borders yesterday and read all of "Persepolis" while drinking iced coffee and eating a marshmallow square. Look, my healthy lifestyle is taking a HIT. "Persepolis" was really good, and I usually can't handle comic books.
We take off for New York tomorrow morning. I bet it will be great.
Tomorrow morning me and Cameron Esposito leave for our whirlwind tour of Boston and New York. It should be incredible, and also it means maybe I won't post next week. Fair warning.
Here's the Boston schedule:
Friday 6/20 Opening for Sketchhaus at 7:30, ImprovBoston Theater (Central Square) Standup showcase at 8, Comedy Studio (Harvard Square) 11:30, ImprovBoston Theater (Central Square)
Saturday 6/21 Boston News Net at 9:30, ImprovBoston Theater (Central Square)
Sunday 6/22 Sgt. Culpepper at 7, ImprovBoston Theater (Central Square)
Then monday morning we head to New York.
Monday 6/23 6:30 We do the open mic at Kenny's Castaways, 157 Bleecker St. 8:00 Cameron does the Dykes on Mics Pride show RubyFruit - 531 Hudson St. (between W. 10th and Charles) 9:00 we both do Ochi's Motel at ComixNY. 353 West 14th Street
Tuesday 6/24 6:00 Cakeshop open mic 152 Ludlow St. 8:00 Substantial Standup at TenEleven 171 Avenue C 11:00 the open mic at The PIT 154 W. 29th St.
Wednesday 6/25 8:00 Kingdom of Heaven at the Creek and the Cave 10-93 Jackson Ave. Long Island City
So obviously we are NUTSO and this trip will be to. I will try to bring my video camera and capture some natural, unplanned endearing moments.
Some girls are already married, some girls live in other countries, some girls are in prison, some girls feel creeped out entering into an institutaion which until the seventies allowed her husband to rape her...
It happens all the time: A guy spends months, even years, in a long-term relationship with a girl he really digs. But after dropping the I-don't-see-myselfever- getting-married bomb, he suddenly turns around and ties the knot with a new chick. The factors that tip a dude from steady relationship to "till death do us part" seem like the ultimate unsolved mystery ... especially when you're in a solid LTR and aren't sure if your guy is even considering marriage.
Anecdotally, I can confirm that this does happen. Also, after the death of a close family member marriages happen, and after a guy does his first tour in Iraq marriages happen. The end of a LTR also tends to be traumatic: trauma causes marriage proposals. Here's the thought process: "I feel insanely bad.....there should be someone who gets to make medical decisions for me."
Or maybe the new girl is a better person than you and that's why all good things are coming her way, including your flinchy ex! Let's see all the amazing traits which earn her love:
Tie-the-Knot-Trait 1: She's Exciting and Always Evolving
You know how every season finale of your favorite TV show ends with a million unanswered questions and you can't freaking wait for the next one? Well, a girl can give her guy that same thrilling mix of exhilaration and anticipation by surprising him.
So what is it girls- are you "Antiques Roadshow" or are you "Lost"? Sure, the "Antiques Roadshow" women are teaching men a lot about american history, but "Lost" girls are keeping men on the edge of their seats. If there's one question you want your partner to be asking it's "I know someone's going to die, but WHO?"
Tie-the-Knot-Trait 2: She Really, Really Loves Sex
"Men crave sex that's erotic, but they also want sex that makes them feel deeply bonded," says Gratch. In other words, it's not all about wowing a guy with pretzel-like positions; a big part of having amazing booty is paying close attention to his mind-set and moods during the deed so sex reaches a higher, almost spiritual level.
That's a good sign for me that the sex is great; when I'm paying close attention to his mind-set. Any time you are using your left brain to suss out another person's inner life in reaction to you is just such a thrill. I really really love sex. Meaning I really really love managing other people's erotic experiences. It's like throwing a brunch!
Tie-the-Knot-Trait 3: She Makes It Clear He's Not Her Entire Life
"She definitely makes time for me so we can do things as boyfriend and girlfriend, but my fiancée also keeps up her own life. She has a weekly dinner with college friends, an art class every Thursday night, plus the responsibilities of her job as a journalist. I like that she doesn't check with me first to see what I want to do and she doesn't offer to bail out of an event or night out with pals in favor of always being with me." —Charles, 35
It sounds to me like this woman is going overboard- an art class, a dinner and a job? How did she even have time to meet Charles, 35? When I'm 35 is my life going to be that overrun with employment, eating, and a half-hearted crafting habit?
"Before we were married, Jess would go out with her group of friends a lot, which I later became a part of. But she didn't put all of her focus on me. She made it clear that she was there to hang out with them. I really liked the fact that she wasn't the type of girl who ditches her girlfriends when she meets a guy. It made me confident that she'd always have her own life outside our relationship." —Sam, 33
"Before we were married..." Just so we know what Jess is up to nowadays.
Tie-the-Knot-Trait 4: ...Yet She Still Conveys How Very Important He Is to Her "When we first started becoming a serious couple, my fiancé accepted a new job that required a lot of travel and attention. Still, even from hotels across the country, she took the time to call and check in on how my day was going and e-mail me little messages. She even stocked my refrigerator with beer and sandwiches before she'd leave on another trip. Her concern and thoughtfulness helped push our relationship to a higher level." —David, 28
Nothing like reminding your man you don't believe he can put a sandwich together. Men love having their survival skilled mocked surreptitiously.
Tie-the-Knot-Trait 5: She Wants Him to Be the Best Man He Can Be "Before we got engaged, the woman who is now my fiancé told me that she thought I was drinking too much, working too hard, and not taking care of myself. Ouch. But when I actually took in what she said, I knew that she was right and she was looking out for me. No other girlfriend had ever been so honest." —Ryan, 29
So here's a plan of attack for getting married SOON: 1) Find a man who doesn't have his shit together and has recently been through a trauma 2) Tell him he's doing everything wrong 3) Assume he can't feed himself 4) Hang out with your friends a bunch, because after you have a ring on your finger you will pity and avoid them 5) Take control of his erotic life 6) Keep him confused, like a startled deer
I hate relationships. Anything you are supposed to read manuals for I do not want. I want a romance- something that just happens to me, that I don't need to manage, that is judged to be successful on other grounds than getting paraded in front of their family and friends like a prize hog. I want to run through their veins like a long black river. Or even a short green creek.
I wasn't naked. I was wearing a bikini, shoes, and a helmet. So there are not naked pictures of me on the internet.
Glad we established that. Because for every naked person, there was a clothed person taking photos. I think that's pretty uncool. Group nudity is supposed to be an antidote to visual culture. Standing next to a naked person takes you out of the centerfold-editor viewpoint, but looking at a picture of a naked person, no matter how real and un-airbrushed, gives you the distance to judge them.
It turns out that naked bodies in real life don't ask for judgment. They ask for protection and compassion. Whether it's a body that could sell a calendar or not, the instinctual reaction is to be gentle with it. I didn't particularly want to touch the bodies that were supposed to be hot, and I didn't particularly want to avoid the bodies that were supposed to be not hot. When you can't separate the naked body from the person, you don't have any set responses to it.
One thing that I've been mulling over is how hard we work to be acceptable of love, when it's our vulnerabilities that tie people to us. Just putting that out there for now.
Big week: Chicago Underground at the Beat Kitchen tomorrow, Comedians You Should Know at Fizz wednesday, Fizz again with Dan Telfer and Cindy Cornelsen on thursday. Then Boston and New York.
I did go to the rally to mark the Congress Hotel Strike entering its 5th year. It was really fun. The occasion sucks, but Unite Here Local 1 knows how to throw a party in spite of that. Everyone had noisemakers, and there was a brass band from the musicians union, and lots of competing chants as we marched around the hotel. The most successful chants were "Shame on You!" and "Union Yes! Congress No!" The least successful was the spanish version of "The people united will never be defeated!" I think the fact that I still don't know what the spanish words actually are is a testament to how badly that chant failed. "Si se puede!" was a big hit too.
There was an awesome female rabbi who taught us what a "shonda" (shame) was. Lots of shaming of the Congress Hotel, if you haven't caught on. I'm generally anti-shame, so let me defend the Congress for a second: Congress Hotel owner, let's explore your shame and see what options we can parse out for you to live a more integral life. Market wages? What a constructive start!
I think I've said this before, but still: my vulva is probably the most socially conscious part of my body. My stomach always wants to skip rallies because it's hungry, my brain wants to skip them because of it's social anxiety, my back wants to skip because it wants to be laid down on a couch. But my vulva is all- "I could find an activist type to hump! We're going!"
And boy were there some humpable people at that rally.
Maybe we could do a weekly open mic in front of the Congress. We can make a sign that says "Congress Hotel wages are the biggest joke in town!" That could be a really good time. Especially now that it's summer, and millenium park is right there.
In other news, I did not stop and get Chipotle on my way home last night, and I didn't stop and get Starbucks on my way in this morning. Both were a big struggle for me. So that's 10 bucks I still have. Good for me.
I found out I didn't get an invite to the D.C. Comedy Fest. A little, disappointed "ohhh" might have come out of my mouth. Then a second later I felt relief.
I think I'm a good comedian at the moment. I think a year from now I will be way better. Especially with standup, which is an art you can do when you're 95, I don't think there are many good reasons to rush things. You miss a big break, there will probably be another one in another 6 months.
Another side of this is I feel very stressed out by success. The more you get, the bigger you can blow it. But that's an illusion. You blow it, in another 6 months you'll get another shot. Until someone has you on youtube screaming racist slurs, you're still in the game.
Writing a blog post about this isn't going to help matters, but I think my left brain has been running me into the ground. When I'm admired and successful and financially secure and beloved, I'm still going to be an anxious person. Being happy in the present is the only way to duck that bar. Now that I look at that sentence, I'm pretty admired and successful and financially secure and beloved right now. I have at least a little of each. I have no excuse.
Well, now that we've established that I need to live in the present, let's talk about plans-
-the chin up bar and I are getting along. I haven't yet done a chinup, but I can hang on with my arms bent for awhile. I bet by next wednesday I'll have done a chinup. How awesome of a person would I be if I could do 10 chinups?! At every party I would find an excuse to do chinups.
-I am going to buy a touring bike. Soon. I am going to bike from Chicago to Cleveland. I am not fully aware how difficult this task is, so I can't give a timeline on this one. But the first step is the bike, the second step is doing some day trips with the Chicago Bicycling Club.
-I am brainstorming youtube video ideas. I can't waste such a good, cheap tripod.
I have found there is nothing more soothing than having a meandering discussion of your life with a friend over coffee. This blog is my next best thing.
Me and my roomies had an impromptu discussion about the pangs of love and how access to the internet can make them worse. There needs to be a collection of essays about emotional breakdowns caused by myspace. What if Tom had just left off the 'in a relationship/single/swinger' tab? What if our social networking just ignored romantic status? There are probably suicides that could have been prevented.
I haven't been internet stalking very much recently. There's an inverse relationship between the social status of a person and how much info about them you can get from their myspace page. I tend to like very popular people, people who won't even put real pictures of themselves up. You can get lots and lots of info about me off of my myspace. You can practically track my interest rates.
Here's something: does social networking increase or decrease the net loneliness of people involved?
I feel like all the members of Gym Class Heroes get tail constantly. The lesson from this is that life is fundamentally unfair.
Although I do like the line, "You're probably busy doing something sexy." I'm going to say that to 5 people this week. You have to set attainable goals and work steadily to meet them.
Here are some activities that utilize a hot june weekend: - making smoothies and hummus - buying sun dresses from a thrift store - doing announcements at Ribfest - going to the farmer's market - buying another dress, cd's, and a tripod from a yard sale - eating brunch while it rains - talking on the phone out on the stoop
There you go, that's what I did. I have a pretty stupid looking sunburn line halfway down my upper arm. I got it while wearing a t-shirt biking on saturday morning, then bought a bunch of tank top dresses to show it off.
We have a pull up bar in the house now, and so my arms and pecs are pretty sore now. Not from doing pullups, because I can't, but from jumping up to the bar and hanging on for as long as I can. Which I confidently predict will turn into me being able to do pullups. My arms will be so jacked. To match my calves.
Sometimes I'm struck by how short life is, and then sometimes I'm struck by WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MYSELF FOR THE NEXT 60 YEARS. Or even this weekend.
I'm probably bored because I'm always in my head wondering what other people are thinking of me. Or maybe I'm thinking that because I'm bored. It's a vicious cycle of self-absorption.
I found out my bike is clicking because I'm riding it on the highest gear. That's good to know. I'm worried about how downshifting will affect my calf definition. My calves are so STACKED. POWER. POWER!
Here is a discussion of "The Sound of a Generation" with Carrie Brownstein. She picks "Lithium" as a representative song of Generation X.
I've made no secret of my disdain for irony. But maybe angst needs a comeback.
"Guyville" is being re-released, and Phair is playing the whole album at the Vic theater the week that I'm in New York. Yesterday there was another NPR interview with Phair about how she made that album, and she said when she listens to it now she hears how miserable she was in her twenties. That's why that album is so good! Misery! Misery and lusting after choad-balls! I especially like "Help me Mary." In every stage of my life there has been a clique of jerks for me to resent while trying to hammer myself into. That song is so right on.
I was at a party once and a dude asked me what I listened to, and I said I was listening to lots of Sleater-Kinney and he said, "Oh yeah, I heard all those girls fucked Kurt Cobain."
First of all, how fucking dumb. I am trying to not use the word retarded, but what other word describes the leap of reasoning that this assertion rests on? Where's the connection? Both those bands are from Washington? I guess that means I've fucked the Pretenders and the Breeders. Good for me.
Second, fuck off. Yes, they are female, no, that doesn't mean I care who they had sex with. Unless they recorded the sex sounds and mixed them into their songs, who they fucked has no bearing on what I'm judging them on.
This happened this morning in front of the Thompson Center , where the bike messengers hang out. Dude screams at other dudes: "All you do is be disrespectful to the women walking by, and you know it's cause you can't really fuck a bitch!"
the glass is half full?
At least he's aware street harassment is an issue.
I biked up the lakefront trail last night to Elizabeth's house. It was nice. Then we had a nice meeting. Niceness.
Progress is being made on the Cleveland and Columbus shows. When things are definite, you will hear about it immediately.
I'm definitely ready to buy into the cult of Michelle Obama.
I guess I don't have much to say today. Love you lots though!
I do this thing where I write at length about my suffering, then people express their sympathy, then I tell them the sympathy isn't warranted.
Well fuck it! Monday was awful! I'm glad it's over! Thank you for your sympathy, it was warranted!
The chicken is gone. I ate it all. Some of it hot, some of it cold. Holy jesus, cold fried chicken is the best breakfast ever. The only better breakfast is there was this place in NC where you could get bicuits, eggs, grits, AND FRIED CHICKEN AND GRAVY. For breakfast.
Let's talk about grits. I told myself when I lived in NC I wouldn't let grits leave my life, but I've let them slip away. Cheese grits with teeny tiny jalapenos in them? Are you kidding me? THANK MY LORD SAVIOR CHEESUS CHRIST.
Balance on your fork your cheese grits, your bacon, and piece of egg that is both white and runny yolk, then put it in your mouth. Do it.
I gained weight in NC, could you guess? Although I don't blame the fried chicken and bacon entirely. I had lost all interest in sexual contact and had subliminated that energy into food. Most of my memories of NC revolve around food consumption. Let's connect this to romantic advice: if you are thinking of breaking up with someone, the proper time to have done it was a couple of months ago. Don't stick it out. You will both end up remarkably mushy.
I was listening to Nirvana yesterday. I like 'Heart Shaped Box' the best, because of "Hey! Wait! I got a new complaint!" I like that a lot. Also, "I wish I could eat your cancer" is pretty rad. Delicious cancer, with a special dipping sauce.
Hey, the week of the 15th I have a ton of shows. Not before then. The 16th will be Chuc, the 17th will be Comedians You Should Know, and the 18th will be a special show at Fizz with Cindy Cornelsen and Dan Telfer! Then I take off for Boston and New York.
My monthly flow kicked my ass so hard yesterday. Cameron called, asked me a simple question about my weekend, and I burst into tears. Then I bought a 16 piece chicken special from Popeye's and ate three pieces. Then I fell asleep at 8:30 with a towel between my legs. What kind of animal have I become? I have sanitary products, but they weren't within my wing span.
For those of you paying attention, yes, I've been a vegetarian since last summer.
I wonder when you have to stop calling yourself a vegetarian? Because I had chicken again for breakfast.
I'm bored with who I've become. Vegetarian, feminist, standup- what the fuck ever. Who cares? I need something more interesting to tell people about myself. Some new adventures.
I sent an email to an "Intentional Community" farm thing about visiting. If anyone out there has visited a farm thing like this and has a good, friendly one to suggest, please do. I need to do this kind of thing before my schedule as an intensely successful comedian/ matriarch of a perfectly content nuclear family kicks in.
That was me and Kate's proposed tagline for me last year. Well, I had a doozie of a female day yesterday. I woke up and raced to a matinee of the Sex and the City movie. I CRIED MULTIPLE TIMES. There was a dude behind me making all these sounds to broadcast how silly he thought the movie was. Lots of huffing and sighing. Meanwhile, I'm clutching my chest weeping. Then I went home and continued to cry for two hours.
Why yes, the blood moon is upon me.
If you were not a fan of the show, don't bother seeing the movie. If you were a fan, chart your cycle before you go. And if you can't tell your girlfriend you don't want to go to the 11:50 showing of a chick flick, you're the one being silly.
Look, I'm a crier. I have been since I was little. When I was in second grade I started crying at summer camp because there was another girl who was torturing a butterfly. So I yelled at her and then started crying and crying and crying. The counselor said, "I don't know where you're storing all this water."
Probably in my thighs.
The movie has a happy ending, but kind of an upsetting happy ending. After contemplating it, I think it has a hyper realistic ending in terms of relationship patterns. So even though it's happy, it makes you aware of the holes in our happiness.
Much like "Eternal Sunshine," I would not recommend you see this movie if you have recently gone through a breakup. Or have in the past 5 years.
I'm a chronic single (really? who would've guessed that of a crier?). I hate it. Being in a relationship is way more fun. But frankly, I'm extremely uncomfortable around most people. I'm just constantly doing an impression of someone who is comfortable around people. That means it's really hard for me to connect with people, and when I do connect with someone and it doesn't work out it's really hard for me to get over it.
I had a friend in a couple say to me last week, "I just think you must know yourself really well." Um, yeah, I know things about myself I wish I didn't. Like the above paragraph. Generally, only hard times cause you to know yourself better. No one ever says, "That party gave me a lot of insight about myself." No, things like boot camp and arctic survival will bring the specifics of your abilities and shortcomings into sharp focus.
And that's how I think of my unattached state. It's like arctic survival.
Yes, it's so vital to know yourself. But the joy of life comes from being understood on a deep level by people you understand on a deep level. And the time in between those relationships feels like drought conditions.
On the flip side, I recently asked a friend in a couple how she was doing and she said, "I'm tired, (partner's name) is sick." That arrangement is pretty un-appealing. My mood is fragile enough that I don't need somone else's health contributing to it.