Category Archives: Humor
Every event has its own outfit. Every outfit contributes to the show. I didn’t learn this from a fashion magazine, I learned this from a grown man wearing an arrow through his head!
Steve Martin wants to get you to dance the King Tut? He throws on a Pharaoh’s crown. Needs to prove to you he’s a normal (crazy) guy? Steve Martin pushes on bunny ears! He doesn’t do it to feel complete; he does it to engage his audience. In person, he’s quiet, introverted, and even distant, as I read about him years ago. Kindred I feel, and thus, do my best to emulate.
Given the choice of sitting on a couch listening to talented storytellers, or, standing under spotlight to tell a tale, I’m likely to be in my baggy sweats, legs curled under me, rapt in attention. But, there are moments when the crowd becomes the crowd pleaser. My most recent event found me wrestling with that discomfort: while I enjoy writing and I love my stories, I’m worn out from stage life and the spotlight. However, if I’m trying to profit off my art, I gotta do the arty thing and get on stage with it! Yikes.
For me, it’s not a nerves thing. It’s more of a fun-ed out thing; the more time I spend reading completed art, the less time I’m spending on incomplete work and I’d rather invest my time at the computer screen. So, when I find myself wrestling with the duality of solitary writer/crowd performer, I settle my nerves with a simple question: WWSMD?
Steve Martin would coat, shellac, paint, tighten, sculpt, mould, highlight, tweeze, press, scald, twist, puncture, squeeze, and freeze spray for SpookEasy! Here’s what two solid hours ended up with at my vanity:
Since I read from Night Walkers, a Horrified Press anthology featuring ‘creatures of the night’, I dressed as a glamorous gangster, and introduced myself as ‘Queen of the St Pete Underworld’ before launching into my short fiction, “Tokyo Rose,” a story of a woman’s slow, terrifying downspiral during an evening at a martini bar. I am actually not sure when the book will be released, but I imagine if you visit their Amazon page, you’ll be able to find it eventually. See?? Proof that I’m not into the marketing end of things!
You do performances to keep people abreast of your art, but you be a writer – you exist as a solitary individual ensconced in the deep folds of imagination, preoccupied with hours upon hours of unrelenting play, to create what brings you joy, and, maybe, develop that creation into a format worth sharing, should you choose to do so. Being is so much easier than doing, but doing can be a delight!
Here’s a few pics with me as The Glam Gangster, courtesy of Community Cafe’s Facebook Page:
Also went ahead and got some head shots taken before the eyeliner seeped into the crow’s feet! :D I’m using this one as my new Avatar. Ya like??
Turn on any information communication device, and you will know, for a fact, undeniably, you are dying from Ebola TODAY.
Helluva job these media folks are doing scaring the bejeezus out of the simple minded. I did help myself to a chuckle, as the first U.S. case was in jolly Dallas, Texas! I spoke to a former work colleague the same week the Ebola case was unfolding, someone who still resides in Texas, and I told her, “You can have it! If any state is better qualified to re-enact Contagion, Texas is it!” followed closely with a, “Glad I left when I did!” Then I asked my former co-worker, “Do you remember anthrax…?” To which she offered a begrudged, “Ohhh…”
Allow me to elucidate.
After the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, every single industry set out to fortify its defenses; physically, numerically, and gigabyte-ly. IBM was flooded with anxious IT administrators and company executives seeking whatever adaptation necessary to keep their servers online. During that time, I worked for the team which specialized in disaster recovery – we created customized fail-over servers, we employed network migration to re-build fried servers, we developed off site data storage solutions, along with many many other skillful tactics to preserve data integrity – and the September 11 attacks had us on overtime, literally. There were no such moments as a call-free pager duty. Everyone on my team was working minute by minute to deliver.
Then the envelope thing happened.
IBM’s focus shifted from fortifying its clients to protecting its own. As these emergency situations go, objectives were laid out by the Big Bluers, trickled down to the middle range, and then (mis)interpreted by the floor managers. Our team manager, bless her heart, was already a skiddish woman for a WWF Raw fan. The added responsibility of training us snarky bastards on identifying and reporting anthrax gave her hives.
I recall us sitting in the conference room, at that ubiquitous parabola surrounded by squeaky chairs, wondering why they put the assorted breakfast danishes way on the opposite side of the table and not in front of me, as would be convenient. The manager had us listen to a recording, and from that recording, determine if we were experiencing a possible threat to the office. A round of comical roasts and burns of each other in an emergency situation derailed the manager’s attempt to bring us back to line. We could not take this serious even if she paid us to!
From same recording, we needed to identify key noises in the background that would help us, if in danger, to identify the person on the other line making the threat. I may have heard a passing train, but the growls from my stomach overshadowed her attempt to engage me. I dunno, after more than two bomb threat evacuations in my life, I’m just not a good scare tactic reactor.
The division I worked involved four camps: Research Triangle Park, NC; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX. I was in Austin at the time. We snarky ones had found out over the grapevine that someone at RTP called in sick, claiming anthrax exposure. IBM, I imagine to protect the staff, made it mandatory for the person to stay home more than two days.
We snarky ones liked the sound of that.
Slowly, like a large-faced daisy losing its petals, the most rebellious of our team employed the anthrax cough and subsequent call-ins to get out of work. Yes, I know, it’s terrible to monopolize on a serious infection, especially when so many people were harmed or died, but frankly, we didn’t give a damn. We just wanted a few days off, and if saying the A word was going to get middle management to sign off on sick leave, why the hell not? You would’ve done it too, don’t even try to be pious right now!!
I played the A card. But I only took one day off. ;)
I had a week of more achievements than failures, yay!
As one should do, I celebrated that W last Friday night by taking care of Numero Uno. Check out the dinner spread, yo:
BF indisposed for the weekend, so I get to wear my Fat Girl clothes, spread out across the couch and queue up Hulu. It’s an old school TV Party ya’ll!
Premise is, Ichabod Crane of the classic story is brought back to life in current time, and has to get busy controlling the Headless Horseman and the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I tuned in last year because it debuted during spooky Halloween season, but I started to really enjoy the story, especially how they mash up the battle for the republic with witchcraft and supernatural beings. If you haven’t seen this show at all, it’s binge-worthy! Go ahead and add it to your Favorites list.
People tune in for…
But I’m watching for…
“I’m a mental patient with a handgun.” ’nuff said.
This show is what I imagine Mitt Romney’s family is like when the cameras aren’t on them. Story takes place in the richy rich part of Long Island, but the way these Crazy White Girls act, you’d think they were on Staten Island! Hats off to the costume design team, too; everyone, down to the subordinate characters, are dressed supa dupa fly!
People tune in to see…
But my eyes are on…
I’ve never witnessed such gracious evil! She just stood at the door to let Emily know she broke out of the mental institution and will kill her. Talk about decorum!
Another ‘Life in the D.C. Bubble’ show, but this one is Shonda Rhimes’ work, and just as fan-building as Grey’s Anatomy. It is frustrating to watch from an experiential standpoint, but I guess the general public needs their delusions that there are people out there, working the Capitol, who are pure of heart. I do love a good comedy!
People are big fans of…
But I root for…
Mellie Grant is flawed yet fearless. That woman has ambition, motive and drive. She also has the President wrapped around her finger, and a White House that is at her complete service. The First Lady is a reminder to all side pieces: there is NO HOPE for you!
The Bat Boy’s back, but this time, it’s everyone’s Origin Story. I’m a sucker for origins, even though I famously can’t stand Batman. This is worth couch surfing, even binging, if you’re a fan of DC Comics and have yet to jump on this!
Fans of justice relate to…
But my ideology mirrors…
I thought Jada was perfect as Niobe in The Matrix movies, but I’m really enjoying her in this role; scheming, conniving, destroying, all while dressed to the nines and keeping her nail game tight!
This summer series is my quiet addiction. These women are essentially me splintered in four – their personalities, their clothing tastes, their drama, everything! This past season, my life was crazily mirroring the story line, proving that my bullshit is not even unique. So that’s a calming experience. :)
I figured Mean Ol’ Roxie had a baby.
I saw a small-bodied dog standing at the patio sliding door staring out at us during our evening constitutional. Later that week, the middle-aged woman I called Roxie’s Mom (even though we’ve been neighbors for three years), was sitting out on the patio with the baby.
“Oh, Roxie had a baby girl,” I assumed.
“This one’s a new one,” she corrected, then did a slow inhale before saying, “we had to put Roxie down.” The careful delivery of those words meant she wasn’t quite resolved in sharing such a sad announcement. I could sympathize; I was in her position last year when my old man Bear passed.
Oddly, I clutched my chest and gasped at the news. “She was sick?”
“Had stomach cancer these past two years.”
Ah, I think to myself, all this time I thought Roxie was being an ornery cunt towards me and my dogs.
“She was a good dog. I liked her very much.” That was true. I remember years ago, Roxie chasing Bear from her side of the lake all the way over to our side, up the stairs and to the doors. She was goofy and playful, but very large, too large to be an apartment dog in my Self-Righteous Dog Mom Opinion (SRDMO).
I reached over the fence to touch the young bitch’s face. “And who is this?”
“Delilah,” Delilah’s Mom said. I heard a smile in her voice.
Delilah is a gorgeous tawny American Pit Bull Terrier with a black mask and nose. Only 11 months old, yet she’s already fully grown, according to Delilah’s Mom’s vet. Sweet and slightly shy, I take a liking to her. She reciprocated by licking my hand.
But Roberto Tiberius was in L-O-V-E. My fluffy, messy American Cocker Spaniel pushed his nose up to hers, tail wagging a 1000 miles a second, wishing the white cross hash fence wasn’t separating their four-legged bodies. Then his tail stopped moving as they gregariously rubbed snouts and faces against each other. Ooh, intimate! Bobby T and I wish them a good evening then continued our walk around the lake, Bobby T adding a bit of a skip to his gait. Aww, puppy love!
Wednesday I had Bobby taken to the groomer for his seasonal shave down. Would you like a cologne? the groomer offered. Why not? Bobby, now sleek in his mini-Laborador cut, showing more George Clooney-esque salt-and-pepper around the haunches and face, got spritzed with the dog version of Davidoff Cool Water.
Saturday morning we ventured out on our constitutional. I’m used to me and Bob being the only ones out that time of the morning, so I typically let him off leash. Normally he’s sniffing and hunting about in a zigzag fashion, but this morning, he’s walking rather delicately, kicking out one set of feet forward, than the other, in a tight quarter march, in a straight line, until he came to a deliberate stop, then lowered to his seat and sat perfectly still. Thinking he’s signaling to me he’s spotted game, I’m looking around for feral cats or coons or some aquatic life but there’s no one, just us on the crushed seashell and sand trail.
Through the branches of the squat Cabbage Palm a few meters ahead, I noticed movement. Normally Bobby would go forward and pursue it, but today, oh no, he sits very still. Doing the dog equivalent of licking fingertips then brushing them over eyebrows, Bob presented his face to the sky, shook his ears, and yawned just as Delilah and her mom cleared the tree and joined us on the trail.
How’d he know??
Delilah stopped walking at the sight of her friend. I shrug to her mom, then stepped aside, after all, I don’t want to cock block a Cocker. :P
Bob lowers to his stomach, flattens against the ground, and stretches his lean, freshly cut body out towards her.
I smack my forehead.
He wags his tail so fast it’s a blur. Delilah is clearly smitten but shyly walks back to her mom. I let them lead off and Bobby sighs, I mean, literally, both nostrils went “hooompf”! On the walk home, I bust his non-existent balls.
“BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Really, Bob? Reeeealllyyyy?? Puttin’ it all out there LIKE A HO! Aaahahahahaaa!”
They do make a cute couple, though. I give the relationship my blessing! :D
The moderator of my new writing group was kind enough to edit my latest horror story’s opening gore scene two weeks ago. Finally, after a week of not-so-great moments, I pulled myself together to address her notes, as I’ve given myself a personal deadline of completing a first draft by Sunday, 5 October.
But how to go about it? On Saturday, Texas A&M played against Mississippi State (you can never get tired of typing Mississippi…Mississippi…Missississp..oops!),Ole Miss against Alabama, LSU played Auburn, and Michigan State played Nebraska. I usually hunker down when intense writing – telly vision and phone off, mood music, tea kettle on perpetual boil – but there’s a deadline AND football! What to do, what to dooooo…?
I decided to give distracted writing a chance. I left the ArtHouse, arrived at the poolhouse, set the telly to Game 1 and began to review edits. By the time Mississippi State posted 24 points over the Aggies, I finished her notes, and expanded in ever so gruesome detail the horrors of that particular scene, channeling my frustration with Kenny Hill and the entire Aggie offense, and yes, even you Seals-Jones!, into Scrivener.
While Game 2 was on, a gaggle of tween girls entered the house to use the computer terminals. No biggie; as long as they didn’t interrupt my football watching or my train of thought. They loudly looped a very popular song, much to my chagrin, then started to sing boisterously along with it! I tell ya, nothing will get your skin crawling, nay, UNDULATING, like 11 year old girls singing, “I’m gonna love youuu/until you hate meee…” at the top of their just-started-menstruating lungs. Which inspired another gore scene. Thanks creepy girls!
Between Game 2 and Game 3 I got into a heated text-fight with the BF. To comfort myself, I sought either a bowl of cheese or a burger, to which a visit to Local Family-Friendly Sports Bar was in order. I got the manager to kindly put Auburn-LSU on the top screen, Michigan State-Nebraska on the lower screen, ordered a medium rare Angus beef burger, and continued drafting hate-fueled sequences in my writing journal.
All at once, I was eating, watching plays, writing scenes, fact checking data, web searching points of reference, maintaining all at a constant flow:
As Auburn was metaphorically stomping LSU’s nuts, I took to physically macerating a character’s genitals. Nebraska and Michigan State were putting up such a frenzy, I used the excitable energy around me to describe a shoot out. Not trying to be an entire asshole, I text-apologized the BF between burger bites. By Nebraska-Michigan State’s half, I had finished my first draft!
Man, do I feel accomplished! And happier with the SEC. Big 10, well, you know I’ll always love you, heck, my protagonist’s family hails from East Lansing, Michigan! Kenny, get it together for next week, or at least, fail so miserably I’ll have no choice but to kill a character in my next story.
Ya never know what’ll work until you try it!