I am getting my laptop cleaned out and diagnosticated, so that it will stop getting so hot and cooking my eggs.
I made an appointment for my annual exam, which I haven't had in two years. Here's hoping my eggs aren't charred.
I'm reading this essay anthology written by 'working class' women, and some of it is so infuriating. Newsflash: not being able to call up your parents for rent money is not an injustice. That's actually the default reality of everyone in the world. The people who can call up their parents are statistically negligible. I'm sorry you only made friends with people who can't relate to you, but also, you will make friends with people who can relate to you if you go get a job rather than collecting unemployment after being laid off from Good Vibrations.
There are some stories in the book that honestly describe hardships- having doctors blow off your chronic cough with dimetapp, sleeping in the same bed as all your siblings, living in housing projects. But your parents hating their jobs? Sometimes not having food in the house? Having margarine instead of butter? That's just being American.
Also- everyone in the book has escaped being working class. They're all writers and artists and tour with radical hip hop groups. Women who work in factories, and restaurants, and grocery stores still write essays, you know. I'm sure lots of them would love to be published.
Also- who are these assholes calling women out on shaving their legs? I have never met someone who identified as a feminist who gave a shit about my legs. But evidently there are enough instances of leg judgment to make people write defensive essays about their 'right' to shave their legs. Well, I'm glad you can defend your right, but for most female bodied people it's compulsory. You need to get a friend who's required to wear pantyhose to work- she definitely won't judge your hairless legs.
Whew. So much anger in me.
Items on the agenda: buying an air mattress sending a letter laundry trolling Craigslist taking video camera to be fixed
Last night a comic said to me in the green room, "Carrie, did you see all the racks in the crowd?" I said, "You, sir, are obviously not a Timeout subscriber."
No, only the first part happened. But it was so ridiculous to have that happen the day after the article came out, that it made me think I'm missing the joke.
My taste in comedy runs toward people in power being caught with their pants down. George Bush with his pants down. Or maybe George Bush goes to the bathroom and his whole staff can hear him ripping farts.
When a dude comic comes on stage and says he'll fuck me, maybe next time I'll just come back out and say, "Give it up for so and so! For his last performance of the evening, he's going to fuck me!" And just wait for him to come back onstage. If he has it in him to take off his underpants on stage, than we can do it, but I get to tell jokes while the sex happens.
It is pretty funny that a bunch of white dudes, who have the whole world in front of them, decide to become comedians, and instead of doing that they just tell jokes to eachother about the girls they are frightened of.
I haven't been consistently recording the ridiculous things that happen to me out in the standup world, mostly because I don't want to embarrass anybody. That is stupid, why protect people acting idiotic?
Two weeks ago I got into it with some comics at Whiskey River, and one of them said this, "I don't even see that the lack of women in standup is a problem. It's not like they have to drink out of separate water fountains."
My major was comparative studies, and I think that's a killer thesis topic. "The Conditions of African-American Life in Jim Crow South versus Gender Disparities in contemporary Chicago Northside Comedy: An Examination of the relative merits of complaints from an Oppressor's Perspective." Or a game show. It could be called "Up to the White Guy!" and contestants have to guess what a panel of white guys thinks is the worst thing white guys do. Tom Bergeron should host, he's great.
The last straw for me in that conversation was a complete stranger (drunk white male) broke in with, "It's a comedy show, everyone should expect to be offended." I said, "Except if you're a straight white male, because people don't tell jokes about you then." But before I got to the second part the comic said, "Oh, cause we're the devil."
Uh, no. Minions, you're the devil's minions. I like how even when you get insulted you assume privilege.
Let's see, what other incidents have I been stewing over? Oh, there was the guy in New York whose joke was, "I couldn't be a detective because I find rape so hilarious." If by detective you mean 'ok person who has the capacity for human connection' then no, you probably can't be a detective. I do commend your willingness to transform language, although it was abrupt.
And there was the guy in Ohio whose joke was "A girl asked me if I would respect her in the morning after we had sex. I said, bitch! I don't respect you now." I wish he hadn't ended the story there. I think the complete joke is, "A girl asked me if I would respect her in the morning after we had sex. I said, bitch! I don't respect you now. Then she said she was glad my feelings about her had come to light before we had sex, and she went home. I put on a dvd and checked a messageboard about Grand Theft Auto 4. Two weeks later I saw her at a bar with another guy and they looked really happy to be around one another."
Frankly, it's 4 in the morning, I've been flipping out since 12:30 about this timeout article and the comment thread on the Bastion. Flipping out like writing posts about rape victims I have known and crying. But luckily, feministing.com featured this video from Jay Smooth, about racist shit, but happily also instructive for sexist shit.
Are the dudes in the chicago scene sexist? Doesn't matter. Do they tell sexist jokes? Yes. And it does matter. It makes me feel like shit, for one. And frankly, I don't know why that's not a good enough reason to stop telling your sexist jokes- I'm a really nice person and it's bullshit to make a nice person feel like shit everytime she goes to an open mic.
sexist themes (and no, you are not george carlin or lenny bruce or bill hicks so get the fuck over yourself) -girls get raped! -girls get drugged and raped! -kids get raped! -my girlfriend's voice is annoying! -drunk girls are obnoxious and they will be raped! -you are a cunt, woman in my joke! -you are a slut, woman in my joke! -if my girlfriend got pregnant i would punch her in the stomach! -diseased vagina! your vagina has a disease!
If I heard one of these jokes once a month, maybe it wouldn't make me feel shitty. But no, when I go up I will more than likely hear one of these jokes. YEAH WE KNOW WE GET RAPED. We are FULLY AWARE. WE PLAN WHERE TO PARK OUR CARS BASED ON THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE GET RAPED. WE ARE MUCH MORE AWARE OF THE ODDS THAT WE'LL BE RAPED THAN YOU ARE. You reminding us of it is NOT A PSA; it just ruins the evening.
I think your jokes are sexist. They make me feel shitty and I think they make other women in the room feel shitty.
My job is finally ending! I'm excited for all the extra hours to cultivate craziness. Perhaps I will become a lean mean green machine. I do have to make up for all the jet fuel I burned flying to Boston and New York.
I've gotten many positive reactions to the idea of a comedy bike tour, and as it is something I've been contemplating for awhile, it is now time for it to become a plan rather than an idea. Next summer I will be a part of a comedy bike tour. What is involved in the execution of this plan?
1. Learn bike maintenance 2. Join the Adventure Cycling Association, get maps 3. Outfit bike 4. Find comrades 5. Train by taking weekend overnight trips 6. Find venues and places to sleep 7. Promote 8. Do it
Now, the preparation is going to be a little pricey, and since I am also trying to get a podcast together, and I need to drop some cash on fixing up the laptop- point is, I got some expenses to cover. So I probably can't escape work for very long. But we'll see....
This is good, because I have been a little antsy. Tauruses are supposed to love working from home, but this particular taurus has been really enjoying moving around. I think I'm finally getting the hang of temporary circumstances.
It helps that people in other cities are really attractive, just because there's a limited window for hanging out with them. I love that. Limits- that's the key to enjoying others.
Remember how I said this summer was going to be all about frugality? It hasn't turned out that way, because I haven't had the time to plan meals ahead of time. Next week hopefully I can return to some old meal habits- lentil soup, tofu scrambles, seitan and mashed potatoes, fake italian soup. That's something that is nice about having time at home.
Jesus Christ, it was nice being in Columbus. When Justin was driving me to the bus last night, I wanted to miss it. Having people around who will laugh at what you say really easily, and who make you laugh really easily- oh god, is there anything better? Cash and pudding, you say? You're wrong. Those are close seconds.
The improv group that Justin is in right now is called 'Atticus Finch's Revenge,' and I was very impressed with them. On saturday we did an Armando, and I am not a long form improv aficionado, so I hadn't seen that game before. Pretty much, I did 5-7 minutes of my standup, then they did 10-15 minutes of improvised scenes off of my standup, then I did another 5, then they did another 10. They were extremely funny. I have a joke about a dude asking me what I thought my sexiest body part is, and AFR did a scene about three dudes in a bathroom together talking about their sexiest body parts. So good.
One lesson to come out of this trip is that it turns out I need access to a bike at all times. I was going to rent one at the Ohio City Bike Coop, but then bought a bike from them instead. I've been looking for a road bike to tour on for a couple months now, and they had a good one for a reasonable price. Cameron did me a solid and drove it back to Chicago for me. Then when I went to Columbus my friend Kenton did me a solid and asked his room mate to loan me her bike for two days.
So this is my career plan: I want to have a zero carbon emissions comedy tour where a bunch of comedians tour the country on bikes. I know it's cheesy, but I want to be able to tell my kids about my rambling days, and I'm too scared to hitchhike. I have to learn bike maintenance before this happens, so I'm gonna get serious about going to open shops. There are lots of things that need to happen before I could live for months on a bike, but maybe next summer I could?
Maybe 4 times in the last two months someone has said to me, "How old are you? 23?" I'm 26, but I think they have a point. I am living like college just ended. I don't think that's going to end anytime soon. As long as I don't become an alcoholic I'm comfortable with that. I super seriously need to not get pregnant, but so far that's been really easy.
It was really good. Bunches of friends showed up, which is it makes for a good show. I met another reader of this blog. I love that.
I reveal much more personal stuff about me on this blog and on stage than I do in conversation with my loved ones.
I left my comedy notebook at the Beachland. I left them a message about it, and hopefully no one was like, "Look! A cover-less spiral bound notebook filled with disturbing thoughts, perfect for a dog's chew toy!"
I bought a bike at the Ohio City Bike Coop for longer day trips. Cameron Esposito, who drove 12 HOURS total for the show on thursday, drove it back to Chicago for me.
I hung out with my sister a bunch yesterday, and finally saw an episode from the last season of Project Runway, and now know why everyone FREAKED OUT over Christian. That guy could narrate a golf tournament and it would be hilarious.
So, in about an hour I'll be on my way to C-bus, for the show at Kafe Kerouac with Atticus Finch's Revenge (the improv group my friend Justin Nawman is in, who I used to do improv with at OSU), and I still don't know what time the show is at, because I am lazy. I think 8:30 would be a good time to show up. We were talking about pushing it back to 9:30. Actually, let me call.
Ok, show is at 8:30. Kafe Kerouac. It will be amazing.
Ok, so I have known lots of nice couples. I believe romantic couplehood is fine and valid and healthy way to operate in the world.
I have to say that because I'm about to bitch about couples.
There's a comment thread at Jezebel.com about some article in O Magazine in which a woman bitches about her husband, and says she thinks about divorce everyday. So that led to 200 comments roughly along these lines, "I love my guy and he's my best friend and we never fight (alternate version: we fight everyday because that's healthy) and I never would publicly humiliate him like this. We've been together for 3 (or 11, or 20 years) and my parents were together for 80 years and they are exactly like us."
Goddamnit being in a couple makes you smug.
From the ages of 19 to 24 I was in a relationship, and was a smug, horrible, toxic waste of a person because of it. I loved him and he was my best friend and we fought just the right amount and I both felt sorry for single people and that I had earned being in a couple because I was so emotionally mature.
Yes, at 19, I thought I was emotionally mature.
Well, people will generally find a way to think that they deserve the good things they have. It's called Equity Theory, and that's a nice accessible blog post about it.
The comments on Jezebel about everyone's perfect relationships remind me a lot of the comments on personal finance blogs, where everyone is debt free and rich and happy because they are more reasonable and responsible and smarter than everyone else. Not because their parents paid for their education and bought their first house. Nope, that was lucky, but mostly it was the reasonableness and responsibility and smarts that did it. Oh, and they get their reasonableness and responsibility and smarts from their rich parents. And some money. (Like, a couple hundred thousand?)
Why are you in a happy relationship? Because you by chance met a person you like a lot. Why are you rich? Because you by chance got access to a bunch of money. You didn't deserve it, and if you lost it all you wouldn't deserve that either. There is no deserving reality, reality just happens.
But back to descriptions of couplehood making people awful. When I was in that couple, there was another couple that really wanted to hang out with us. They had been a couple longer than we had, and before I was attached I had a big crush on the guy and really resented that the girlfriend existed. So I wouldn't characterize us as friends. But once I entered into the shackles of monogamy, this girl really wanted us as couple friends, which meant we'd go to a bar and the boys would talk about basketball and the girl would talk to me about marriage. It was very depressing. As a horrible person, I had abandoned a lot of my friendships, and hanging out with this couple was horrifying- my only social use was now as an affirmation of heteronormativity. Whereas before people wanted to be friends with me because I was an insane person, now people wanted to be friends with me because I reflected their choices back to them.
Being in a couple forces you to divide everything into 'healthy' and 'self-destructive.' Single people have a much better grasp of how random circumstance will dictate choices. I was telling a shackled friend about a hookup of mine, the meaninglessness of which can't be exaggerated. She said, "Well good, I think you really needed to connect with someone on that level."
Connect? Need? That is a very coupley view of the encounter. My view is there was an opportunity for consensual rubbing, and since those opportunities are few and far between, I don't pass them up unless I had to be somewhere 10 minutes ago. And even then, I'll probably call in sick.
But see, people who have been in a couple for a long time can't even remember a time when the opportunity for sex was a special event in and of itself. Sex for them is a negotiation fraught with guilt and rejection and anxiety. Are we having sex as much as normal couples? Do you no longer want to have sex with me? How come I'm tired all the time? How come you try to have sex even though you know I'm angry at you? Are we CONNECTING ENOUGH?
I hate to break it to you couples (no I don't) but there are definite perks to the single state. No fights about sex, laundry, or other people's families. And you can move around a lot. And even though single people drink more, we're magically skinnier. It's because we don't pour our yearning for individual achievement into pastry making.
But we can't pretend that we figured everything out, because everyone knows people who have figured it all out are snatched up and put in a shared apartment with a decorating scheme, where they have to throw dinner parties forever and ever.
Also- single people do not want to hear about your fights. And especially do not want to be witness to them. No matter how healthy you think they are.
I can't think of what to write about, so we'll talk about my privates some more
I've been using the keeper instead of tampons and pads for the past 4 periods. I'm liking it. I like that I don't need to remember to keep tampons in the house. I like feeling superior. I like sticking my fingers in myself at work.
That's the part I like best. I thought that would be really embarassing and awkward, having to dump out the keeper in the toilet and wash it in the sink and putting it back in me and washing my hands. It's awesome. Cause it's like, "Oh, you think I'm some law firm robot? I'm a bleeding ape! Deal with my menses!"
But all my blood just gets flushed down the toilet, the same way it would if it had been absorbed into a cotton plug. And my hands get washed the same way if they had had to pull on a damp string.
Aesthetically, I'm drawn to the sloppy and gross. I like wearing dirty clothes. I like people who smell. I like the theory that a dirty house will immunize your kids. I don't like 'Real Simple.' I don't like crisp tablecloths or lemons or the dignified. If you have a purebred dog, I'd like it to be an old one with stains from its teary eyes and a nasty attitude. Oh, who am I kidding, I'll like your stupid precious purebred dog, because it's a dog, and no matter how much you brush it's hair it wants to eat dead squirrels.
I especially can't get into men who groom. Showering after sex bothers me; what, is there a board meeting you have to get to? You'd rather smell like Irish Spring than my crotch?
I just like men who smell like men. Also, I like smelling like a man myself. Meaning smelling like a dirty woman.
I spent the fourth of July avoiding people. On thursday I had to tell some drunk male stranger to get the fuck out of my face, and it took me a long time to rebound from that. So I owe a lot of people phone calls and emails, and you will hear from me eventually, I swear. Sooner than later, because many of these phone calls are time sensitive.
I had coffee with Allison Leber on sunday, and thank god for that. When it seems that other people are only a source of conflict, an hour with someone who gets where you're coming from is so necessary.
Here's a lesson I keep having to relearn: how other people treat you isn't an accurate judgment of your worth. I know this when I'm not involved. Obviously there are many people in this world being denied a comfortable place to sleep, good food to eat, enough clean water, the knowledge they won't get shot or beat up or raped, and obviously they didn't do anything to deserve their situation. But whenever someone is mean to me I tend to look for what I did to deserve it. That's just not how meanness is distributed. People who need to be mean for whatever reason are mean to whoever is unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the right time. Certainly when I am in the mood to be mean that's how I choose my victims.
I've found two phrases are really powerful for me: "I don't need (insert whatever you don't have here)" and "This doesn't have to do with me."
I've been in a fair amount of relationships where someone is a nice person generally, but reserves their meanness for me. I mean relationships in the general sense, friendships, work associates, etc., I don't mean just romantic partners. That's always a mindfuck. Because then I really think, geez, I must be bringing this on myself somehow. But no. It still is about what's going on with the mean person, not with me. Sure, I can believe that something about me makes the mean person turn it up, maybe my brown hair, or me looking like their sister, or me smiling a lot, or me dating their friend. But those same things will make other people respond to me by being really nice- point is, it's not my business why people react to me the way they do. You have to make the inside of your head a welcoming place for me to want get in there.
Also, after I told that guy to get the fuck out of my face, I biked home super fast and did a pullup. My first pullup, guys.
On Thursday July tenth clevelanders can come see me do standup! It'll be me, Cameron Esposito (together we're called Feminist Bookstore Humor Section) and the band Beardo Bandini. It'll be at the Beachland Ballroom, doors open at 8:30 and it's 5 dollars (you can buy tickets ahead of time at the beachland website.)
edit: Columbus people, please keep in touch with me to see if a c-bus show will happen.
Once upon the mid-nineties Jill Sobule had another song about kissing a girl, with the same extremely obvious title. Something about making out with women discourages subtlety. Both Sobule's and Perry's song have a lyric about the softness of female lips. Both don't require much of a vocal range to perform successfully. But Perry's diverges from Sobule's sharply when she OBJECTIFIES THE OTHER WOMAN AND ASSURES THE AUDIENCE THAT THIS ACTIVITY IS NO THREAT TO HER HETERO RELATIONSHIP. "No, I don't even know your name It doesn't matter You're my experimental game Just human nature"
"I hope my boyfriend don't mind it It felt so wrong It felt so right Don't mean I'm in love tonight"
Don't worry homos- you may not be able to make medical decisions for your life partner, but at least Katy Perry has fetishized you.
And this is coming from someone who is generally pro-makeout, across the board. I guess I just think it is fundamentally rude to not know the name of the person you're kissing. Experimental game? This is another person, not 'Operation.'
2. The Jonas Brothers
Who are these fucks? They wear promise rings to show they won't have sex till marriage. One of the things I hate about the abstinent crowd is how they make it your business what goes on in their pants. Like I'm supposed to admire you for being a martyr. So the only way you can convince someone to sleep with you is to give them half your stuff? Good for you, I hope you're amazing at wacking off. But you probably aren't and will end up doing that erotic-asphyxiation stuff just because you have no clue how to make yourself feel good without denying your brain oxygen. But actually, this is why I hate the Jonas Brothers:
Yes, they are singing "We're the kids of the future." Remember when this was a good song, not some christian inspirational bullshit? You're the kids of right the fuck now, assholes. You're the adults of the future. Which is why I'm saving money for a shack in montana, because you are for sure going to finish us all off.
I used to be laissez-faire about abstinence. I thought I'm not going to subject myself to that, but maybe it would work for other people. But now I am actively anti-abstinence. Most marriages are awful ideas. And not doing any research on what gives you orgasms until you're in the legal arrangement which we all know kills sex drives makes no sense.
Ok, while we're on the topic, I learned a sex fact this year and I wish I had known it a lot earlier and want to spread the gospel. I'm sorry if this makes some of you uncomfortable. What we call the clitoris, the little nub at the top of the vulva, is actually just the glans of the clitoris. The clit is a bunch of spongy tissue that extends back into the body about 2 inches, and forms a v underneath the vulva. (The vulva is all the stuff outside, what we end up incorrectly calling the vagina.)
So practically, this means that if you're concentrating all your energy on the glans of the clitoris, it's like ignoring every part of the penis except for the head.
But how do you get to the rest of the clitoris? Well, your penis might do a little something, although that means you're hard and still working to get her hard. (I'm using 'hard' just to make it anaologous, we all know girl parts get more pillowy and elastic.) But I say use your fingers. A lot of dudes wait to use their fingers until the girl is already super aroused, and then do all these quick fluttery stuff. But if you slow it down and don't expect her to climax on your hand, you can get the clitoris filled up with blood, then go back outside to the glans, because now she's ready for that intense sensation. Like how you might want a lot of sensation on your head when you're about to orgasm.
Now, I had to go to a workshop to learn what my clitoris actually was. So I don't think I'm the person to take sex advice from. But I was really surprised that I missed out on this fact for so many years, because I think I've read more sex manuals than the average person.
I guess I'm just saying that heteros needs to take fingering way more seriously.
Ok, and what I learned about the g-spot this year: what we call the g-spot is the material behind the urethra, so kind of above the bone underneath her stomach. Girl's bodies will fill that flesh up with a liquid to protect the urethra from getting battered during sex. That liquid isn't pee and it's not a vaginal secretion either. So when some women get that urethra-flesh stimulated enough that liquid will squirt out, although a lot of women can't do this. People call this 'female ejaculation' but that seems pretty unfair and incorrect to me, because the liquid isn't analogous to semen. But just because a woman isn't going to squirt this liquid doesn't mean touching that spot is useless, because it'll help fill up the clitoris and that's a great thing. But that's a sensitive spot, so don't go nuts on it. Until she's really aroused and asks you to.
I'm saying get all up in the vaginal canal. Get messy. Clip your nails, wash your hands, and keep in mind nobody likes surprises.
And if anyone wants to correct my description of the anatomy involved, feel free, because this is clearly the work of a non-doctor.