Monday, November 29, 2004

My (sort of) Famous Neighbor

Hi-Ho.



I am training at a new desk all week and therefore unable to blog more than a smattering. There's nothing more horrific for me than being in an unfamiliar situation -- I'm a bit autistic that way -- so the work week should be chock full o' stress. Yipee.



Brief Weekend Update: Went out for an Italian dinner Friday night with my friend, Amy, and her L.A. friend, the awesomely named Rhoades Rader. Afterward we moseyed over to Rose's Turn, where I sang and tried out some new schtick. Amy's assessment: Singing? Great. Comedy? Not so much. This is the opposite of what my friend, Dan, told me weeks ago. He thought my singing sucked but I had great jokes. Maybe I'm just mediocre, period.



Played with my iPod for most of Saturday. I've disovered the joy of making playlists. My longest list, entitled "Dance Remixes" now holds enough songs to play non-stop for a day and a half. Perfect for the next time I'm on a crosstown bus.



Worked my tail off at Barrage Saturday night, where we were dead early and late but wall-to-wall during Happy Hour (11-Midnight). I did quite well, which is fortunate because I just discovered I need to buy yet another attachment in order to connect my iPod to my home stereo system. I think I'm just going to have people send my tips directly to Apple, Inc.



Slept late on Sunday after another night of bizarre dreams. One involved an al-Qaeda attack in which the terrorists were shooting laser beams from the sky down into the U.S. Every object hit with a laser burst into flames. (For some reason, however, you were safe as long as you hid under a tree.) Last time I ever drink tequila before bedtime.



Sunday night I cooked a white trash feast -- sloppy joes, baked mac & cheese, yellow rice, and frozen peas -- and was joined by my friend, George, and my across-the-hall neighbors, Michael and John, who are in the process of moving to Bronxville.



I am sad they're moving but excited about who's moving in to their place: Broadway performer Hunter Foster, Tony-nominated for "Little Shop of Horrors" and currently starring in "The Producers." By sheer coincidence, Hunter and I attended the University of Michigan together and even appeared in the same production of "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" back in 1990. I remember him well. He has no idea who I am.



We all pigged out and watched a full night of network TV, including "Desperate Housewives," which, I have to admit, is highly entertaining. (Incidentally, I'm delinquent in keeping you updated on "He's a Lady," which is now over. I was wrong in my prediction: Alberta lost. The fat guy won. Sue me.)



And with that, we come to an end of this scintillating entry; I'm due back at my desk.



Sloppy Joe Kisses. ♥


COME SEE ME AT DON'T TELL MAMA FRIDAY NIGHT! Details on

My Website

Friday, November 26, 2004

Poor Shelley

Sad news from the Entertainment World. The New York Post reports Shelly Long tried to off herself. Here's the link:


'Cheers' Star in Shocking Overdose'(NYP)




I hope all my readers and fellow comics had a happier Thanksgiving than Shelly. I certainly did, what with three nephews and three nieces to play with and tons of delicious eats. Special thanks to Phy for another great holiday, and I'm sorry you didn't like the blog about the boys doing body-shots off me at Barrage. I warned you not to read it.



I'll be back in Jersey in two weeks for my family's annual "Chrismukkah" celebration, in which we eat green and red latkes and exchange "Secret Chanukkah Harry" gifts. It was revealed last night that my Secret Harry assigment was lost in the mail; I just thought I had lucked out this year and didn't have to shop for anyone. Now there's much gnashing of teeth over whether my sister, Anna (aka The Harry Fairy) can remember who my designated recipient is. Oh, the drama.



After dinner, I took a long, slow train back to the City and immediately slipped into a tryptophan coma. Had bizarre vivid dreams, including one in which my mother was accompanying me and another contestant on the piano for some low-rent "American Idol" competition. (In reality, the only instrument my mother can play is the French Scorn.)



In another dream, I was back in junior high and a group of fellow students torched my locker. Although there were many witnesses, nobody would come forward and say whodunnit. Good times.



Back at work today in Obituaries. Performing tonight at Don't Tell Mama... Monday at Carolines.... Seriously jonesing for my Ft Lauderdale vacation over New Year's.



Hang in there, Shelly.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The iPod Sleeps Tonight

A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: This past Monday, November 22 marked the one-year anniversary of Keith and Mandy Johnson, of Raleigh, NC. I know you'll join me in wishing them congratulations, and many, many more to come.




(There, Keith — does that suffice?)



Now on to the REALLY important news: My iPod is working! I've already loaded some 200 songs in, and now I walk around with the little white headphones perpetually stuck in my ears, like one of those guys who delivers weed to your apartment (or so I've heard).



Bud seriously, the sound quality is AMAZING. The first song I listened to was a remix of the 80s Toto classic, “Africa.” (What — you were expecting Judas Priest?) You may recall that “Africa” begins with the sounds of animals in the jungle — chattering monkeys, trumpeting elephants, hissing snakes, screaming pygmies, and so forth. So lifelike and intense are these sounds when played through the miracle of iPod that I nearly wet myself.



I shared my enthusiasm with my co-worker, Eric, this morning, and he reacted rather sarcastically. In fact, he pointed out that his year-old daughter, Simone, has her own iPod. Like, could I BE more behind the curve?



He has a point, but you have to understand what a huge technological step this is for me. I didn't own a CD player until the year 2000. I've only had a cell phone for the past 18 months. Owning an iPod feels like having my own rocket ship, at least until it breaks or I leave it at the gym.



I am working through the Thanksgiving holiday, as always, but I will be heading to Jersey tomorrow night for a traditional Jewish Turkey-Day with the family: Tons of food, loads of laughter, and most of all, many failed expectations, mostly on the part of my parents. Oh, lighten up — I'm only joking (sort of).



In happier news, Robert Chambers, the hunky-yet-deadly “Preppy Killer,” who strangled an innocent woman during what he described as “rough sex” in 1986 and was released from prison after 15 years, is in trouble with the law again. He was arrested last night for driving with a suspended license — and possibly with a crack pipe. My feeling is, crack-smoking is better than murder. Baby steps. Here's the full story:

Preppy Killer Bust




Well, it just took me about 20 minutes to recall how to create that link, so I'm done for today. If I don't blog tomorrow, Happy Turkey to all.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Blog Withdrawal

Finding myself stretched rather thin at the moment, and it is negatively affecting my ability to blog, let alone use HTML to make the words look pretty. Apologies to all my regular readers -- all five of you.


A bit of good news: a club owner came to see me at Carolines last week and has offered me a paid spot next summer. Details to come, as it's not a done deal yet.


I'll also be publishing another article in The New York Times City Section some time in the next month. Hint: It involves a cat who lives in the Bronx.
(I'm not trying to be all "hep" with my speech; I mean an actual feline.)


Finally, an appeal to all the faceless comics who blog on this site: It is becoming increasingly difficult to tell you apart. Please, for your own sake if not for ours, submit a headshot so people have some idea what you look like.


I'll even make the following offer: If you don't have any pics online and don't have access to a scanner, mail me your headshot and I'll scan it for you and then email the photo back to you. Anyone who wants to take me up on this can email me through this site.


That's it! Off the gym!


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Gayer than Thou


A mighty strong lineup at Carolines last night, proving once again that "New Talent" doesn't necessarily equal "No Talent." One of the guys performing, Ray Guitierrez, works the door at Carolines and has only been going up since July. Not only was he really, really funny, but he brought like 70 people, making for an almost packed house.


Dave Siegel was a particular standout. Another was Brian Balthazar, a guy I knew through the gay grapevine. (He used to work with my ex-boyfriend's boyfriend, if you can follow that.)


Anyway, Brian was funny -- but both his material and his style were (somewhat) similar to my own. So when I got up, two people later, I felt like I had to acknowledge it. "Well, I thought I was going to be the only gay comic here tonight," I said. "But then Brian Balthazar got up, and he's REALLY gay! He's like much gayer than I am!"


Great crowd reaction to this, and it freed me up to do my material without worrying about their thinking, "Uh, didn't we just hear this?"


All in all, one of my better sets. (I'll have to watch the tape to confirm this.) My thanks to everyone who came out to see me.


I'll be back at Carolines Dec. 6th for a 9:30PM show with my fellow comedy class graduates. Should be a hoot.


REALITY SHOW UPDATE:


The claws have come out on "He's a Lady"; It was revealed this week that Donnell (aka "Raven") has been secretly tape recording the other guys in the confessional room. It's unclear how he thought this was going to help him in the game. Cree (aka "Carmen") had one of his random rage attacks in the episode's final moments and was immediately voted off by the shocked judges. Now only Donnell, Albert/Alberta and the extremely fat guy remain. Look for Alberta to win, by a boob.


On "The Biggest Loser," the contestants continue to shed pounds, most of which seem to be reappearing on Caroline Rhea. A cupcake-eating temptation challenge resulted in Dave, the bald guy with the tattoos, winning a romantic Malibu dinner with his improbably gorgeous wife. A race to the top of Los Angeles' tallest building pushed Lisa, the woman who looks like a giant owl, to a nervous breakdown, and she was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. In the end, Matt, the gay guy, was unanimously voted off for no apparent reason.


And I can't tell you what happened on "The Apprentice" because my DVR mysteriously stopped recording after six minutes. It probably has something to do with my new iPod.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

North vs South

OK, I know I said I was done talking about the election.



And I know I said I wasn't blogging again until after my Carolines gig on Wednesday.



But I came across thw following online rant today, and I thought it was extremely well written (whatever you may think of the sentiments therein).



Plus, just learned how to link other sites to my blog and am so excited to try it out I can barely contain myself. So here goes. Just click on the following:




Fuck The South





Enjoy. ♥

Sunday, November 14, 2004

iPod Hell


(or, How I Wasted Another Entire Weekend At My Computer)






(LAST BLOG UNTIL MY CAROLINES SHOW ON WEDNESDAY!)



I was thrilled when my iPod arrived this past Tuesday. I had bought it off www.buy.com and saved myself a whopping six dollars, plus no tax or shipping charge. All week it sat on my kitchen counter, taunting me:



Ooh, yeah, baby, you wanna stuff me full of thousands of songs and take me to the gym with you, don't you? You want to show me off to all your friends and hook me up to your home stereo? You want to play me, baby? Is that it? WELL, GOOD LUCK, SISTER! 'CUZ FIRST YOU GOTTA FIGURE OUT HOW TO HOOK ME UP AND PROGRAM ME, AND I THINK WE BOTH KNOW HOW GOOD YOU ARE AT THAT SHIT!



Summoning up all my inner strength, I decided if I accomplished one thing this weekend, it was going to be to shut that bitch up and show her who's boss.



The instructions were, as always, deceptively simple: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, point, click and poof: Music Nirvana! Like a McDonalds cashier, I moved at a snail-like pace — checking and re-checking my actions against the tiny diagrams. It all made sense. My new iTunes software began humming and whirring.



Do you want iTunes to import all songs from your “My Music” folder?



Damn straight. Hooray! Success!



Then:



Plug your iPod into your computer now.



...



...



Um, it is plugged in.



...



...



Crickets.



Two hours later as I was about to throw the iPod and myself out the window, Rhodes Rader arrived. Rhodes is a friend of my friend Amy's with an iPod of his own and a name you couldn't make up if you tried. He was soon down on his hands and knees beside my hard drive, trying to figure out the problem.



It turned out it was all about USB. My Dell PC had USB 1.1 ports. iPod needed a USB 2.0 port. As always, I had tried to fit a square peg into a round hole.



A few more hours and Rhodes and I together determined that I was in need of additional hardware, specifically a USB 2.0 card, available for a mere $40 (or 20% of the cost of the iPod, itself).



Crap.



It was now dark outside and too late to go USB 2.0 card shopping (as fun as that sounded), so I gave up and went to work at Barrage. Same shift, different day: Remove shirt, serve drinks, pocket tips, go home.



Woke up around 11 this morning filled with dread. The iPod remained on the kitchen counter. I could swear it was smiling at me.



Gobbled down an omelette while watching Fox News Channel's Liz Trotta complain that The New York Times is not cheering for the troops enough in its coverage of Fallujah. Yeah, that's the problem.



Bundled up and headed off to Comp USA (or, as my Spanish friend's mother calls it, “Compusa”) on 57th St. Found the USB 2.0 card and brought it up to the cashier. Forty dollars in last night's tips — gone. Trudged home.



For the benefit of those who have never installed such a card, the process involves opening up your hard drive and actually fiddling around with the guts of your computer. As I did so, I kept thinking, “Wow, I am so not qualified to be doing this.” And yet, the card seemed to snap right into place, and I closed everything up nice and neat.



OK. Connect USB cord to 2.0 port. Attach cord to adaptor thingy. Attach adaptor thingy to iPod firewire. Boot up computer. Re-Install iPod software. Here we go...



...



...



Plug your iPod into your computer now.



...



Now, a normal person would have simply kicked the shit out of the hard drive at this point, but not me. I knew that's what that evil iPod wanted me to do, and I refused to be beat.



So instead, I devoted the rest of the day to figuring out the reason for my failure. I read the instruction manual from cover to cover. I surfed every Apple, Dell and techie support site I could find on the 'net. I even disconnected and reconnected everything — the old “turn it off and turn it back on” trick. And as the sun set, I came up with the solution. Surprise, surprise, it involved my spending more money.



I now have to buy something called an iPod Dock Connector to USB 2.0 + Firewire Cable. The cheapest one I found online was like $9.99, plus $5.99 shipping cost. For those keeping score, we're up to $56, in addition to what I paid for the iPod. The cord should be here by Friday.



In the meantime, my iPod now lolls lazily on the mouse pad, mocking me with its immaculate whiteness.



I'm thinking of leaving it out on the fire escape overnight.♥

Friday, November 12, 2004

Hey, Lady!


Wednesday night I sent out the standard, "Come see me perform at Carolines," email to my comedy list. Thursday morning, I check my email, and I have like 10 replies from people who are coming — some of them people I haven't seen or heard from in months, if ever. This is in addition to the 10 people who I already knew had made reservations.



I'm obviously thrilled but wonder why it's always like this. Either nobody comes, or everybody comes. Kind of like some parties I've been to. (Buh-dum-bum-chih.)



Watched the latest TIVOed episode of "He's a Lady" last night with my friend, George. This is the TBS reality show in which 10 "straight" guys compete in drag for $250,000 and the chance to emasculate themselves on national TV (or at least on TBS). I put "straight" in quotes because I've had serious doubts about Michael, aka "Scarlett," a blond pixie from Alabama who seems to enjoy walking around in heels a little too much — and is quite good at it.



So in the first few seconds of the episode, they cut to a shot of Michael in full drag. "That guy's the biggest homo," I told George.



"He gets voted off tonight," George replied.



"WHAT?!"



"Oh, Im sorry," said George innocently. "Have you not seen this one yet?"



Why the hell would we both watch a reality show episode from two nights ago if we'd both seen it?! Oh, and by the way... Deborah Winger dies of cancer at the end. Oh, and P.S.... Rosebud was a sled.



George then pointed out to me that perhaps suspense was not the No. 1 reason to watch "He's a Lady," if, indeed, there was any reason whatsoever. Point taken.



The show, incidentally, is sort of fascinating, in that the guys really have undergone serious personality changes since they began dressing as women. They're very emotional — several have broken down and cried more than once — and are starting to really enjoy girlie activities like accessorizing and wedding planning. And the show is, thankfully, nearly free of the kind of misogyny and homophobia you'd expect from such an enterprise.



That is, except for John Salley.



Salley, the former NBA star and sometime actor serves as a judge, along with too-dumb-to-be-alive Debbie Matenopolous and cryogenically frozen Morgan Fairchild.



The two women are insipid but tolerable in their comments: "Oh, Raven, you are one hot number! Look at those legs," etc.



But for the first three episodes, Salleys remarks amounted to little more than, "Damn, you sure is a silly bunch of faggots!" His constant head-shaking and references to drag as "the dark side" were clearly meant to calm the sexual panic of any straight guy who might be tuning in.



Well, I have news for Salley and TBS: Your show is a drag beauty pageant. No straight guys are tuning in. Your audience consists of queens and trannies and the women who love them. In other words, they're the same people watching the endless loop of "Sex in the City" reruns you've got going (and that lead into "He's a Lady"). If you want us to keep watching, stop crapping all over us.



Miraculously, the producers must have already gotten the same warning. Salley took a totally different approach in Episode Four, with comments more along the lines of, Now you know how tough it is to be a woman. This is no more amusing than his previous approach, but at least it makes some kind of thematic sense.



In any case, my money's on Albert, aka "Alberta." Not only is he the best woman on the show, hes also far and away the best man.



If this ridiculous show has anything to teach us, thats it.



Happy Weekend. ♥

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Roseanne Bore

Went to see Roseanne Barr at Town Hall last night, part of the ongoing New York Comedy Festival. Opening for here were WKTU's Goumba Johnny and Judy Gold. Goumba was surprisingly entertaining. I was previously unfamiliar with him, other than his hack radio DJ schtick. But his material was fun, and he's a very watchable entertainer. (His bit about Starbucks vs Dunkin Donuts was more original than you would have expected.) As for Judy Gold, she was on fire. Did all her regular material — lesbian co-parenting, the orthodox Jewish lice removal service, her crazy, ailing mother — but with more energy than I've ever seen her have. There was not a moment when the crowd didn't roar. She actually had to talk over the laughter just to finish on time. Then out came Roseanne, accompanied by a keyboard player to one side and a giant projection screen behind her. Looking (surgically) younger and slimmer than she did decades ago, she launched into a rant about Bush's re-election, the dumbing down of America, and the general decline of the world at large, while still photos were projected onto the screen and her keyboardist banged out an endless thematic medley. "Everything is doomed and hideous and stupid!" was her oft-repeated mantra. The material was wordy, heavy and often rambling. She seemed to have a tough time getting certain words out. Now, to fully appreciate how this came across to me, you must know that two nights ago, I attended a speech at Cooper Union delivered by Larry Kramer. He's largely unknown outside the gay world, but he's a towering figure within, having written the 1979 novel "Faggots" as well as the play "The Normal Heart," the first major work about AIDS. Kramer also founded — and was later expelled from — Gay Mens Health Crisis and ACT UP. He's a genius and a major pain in the ass, and one of the angriest people you'll ever hear speak. (It's easy to be angry when you've had AIDS for 20 years, but Kramer was angry even before AIDS existed.) His speech Monday night was an open address to the gay community entitled, "The Tragedy of Today's Gays." The gist of the two-hour (!) address was as follows: We've lost. The Extreme Right has won. They deserved to win. We deserved to lose. They have spent every waking hour working tirelessly on the local, state and national level to have their political agenda enacted. We've spent every waking hour taking drugs, having anonymous sex, and lying on the beach on Fire Island. We are marching willingly into the gas chamber, just as the Jews did during the Holocaust (Kramers view — not mine!). Needless to say, the speech was a bit of a downer. It was followed, as all Kramer-attended events are, with an all out screaming match between those furious a Kramer for casting such a gloomy critical look at our community and those praising him for being a fearless truth-teller. Now back to Roseanne: I knew I was in for it when she began by projecting a giant map on the screen, showing Canada and the northern United States as "The United States of Canada," and the rest of the country as "Jesusland." The map looked familiar: Kramer opened with the exact same one. (And trust me, he's no comedian.) And while Roseanne's set did include some hilarious bits — particularly when she made fun of her own persona (e.g., "I finally got rid of all my mental disorders. And found out they were the only thing that made me interesting.") — its overall effect on the crowd was exhaustion. For me, having just sat through a non-comedic presentation of essentially the same material, it was unbearable. I'm all for politics as art, and for comedy as education. And I happen to admire both Kramer and Roseanne for their giant contributions to our society and culture. I'm also aware that some people (including our own resident dark clouds here on Soapbox) believe we'd all be served by engaging in an all-out post-election orgy of misery. But for God's sake, I WENT TO SEE ROSEANNE BECAUSE I WANTED TO LAUGH A LITTLE!!! I WANTED TO ESCAPE ALL THIS SHIT FOR A COUPLE HOURS AND BE ENTERTAINED! I don't want my life to only be about pain and conflict and Iraq and Bush and AIDS and the crisis in Sudan. Yes, I want to be a good, moral human being and contribute something good to the planet, but I also just want to be silly sometimes!! Life is difficult, yes, but life is also short. I don't see the point in trying to make the world better if we can't also enjoy the world as it is from time to time. It's only been a week since the election. Can we all just lighten up a bit? ♥

Monday, November 8, 2004

I Am a Prostitute

(Mom, don't read my blog today.)



Saturday night I set a personal record for cocktail tips at Barrage. We were crazed — wall-to-wall for most of the evening — and on top of that, people were absurdly generous toward me. The climax, so to speak, came toward the end of my shift, around 2AM. A table of four guys had been taking good care of me all night, and one of them asked if they could do each do a body shot off of me.



Now, I've never seen anyone do a body shot, outside of watching MTV's Spring Break. And I've certainly never offered up my body for one. But it was late; I was on a cash roll; and these were nice, decent-looking guys. I figured, what the hell?



I brought out four shots of Cuervo, 4 lime wedges and a salt shaker, and lay down shirtless on the banquette. Moments later, I had four salted areas covering various portions of my body. (Think R-Rated, not X). Lick, gulp, suck (the lime that is,) and it was over... and they handed me a $20 tip .



Walking back to the bar with my tray, it occurred to me that:

I am now quite literally a whore.




It also occurred to me that I am oddly not troubled by this. For one thing, I feel like I got more off them than they got off me. (That is, $20 versus getting licked.) For another thing, what I essentially did was entertain them. It did not feel particularly different from getting onstage and making people laugh, and I'm usually not even paid for doing that. (Which, I guess, makes me a slut, as well as a whore.)



Apropos of all this, I am currently reading "I, Fatty," by Jerry Stahl. It's a fictionalized autobiography of legendary silent screen performer Fatty Arbuckle. Fatty was the biggest movie star of his era — bigger even that Chaplin. He was an actor, singer, dancer and acrobat, while weighing in at upwards of 275 pounds. He even performed periodically in drag (to rave reviews).



He was also an alcoholic and heroin addict whose career ended with a sensational trial in which he was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in an attack that resulted in her death. It was the OJ trial of its day. (Fatty, it turns out, was not only completely innocent but also impotent, which would have made such a sexual assault highly improbably, to say the least.)



Anyway, it's an incredible story but what strikes me most of all is the fact that as late as the 1930s, acting was seen as the lowest of all professions, tantamount to prostitution. Hotels at the time often posted signs reading, "No Dogs. No Colored. No Actors." Film actors, in particular, were spat upon, because most movie roles amounted to falling off a roof or getting a pie thrown in your face; in other words, debasing yourself for the enjoyment of others in exchange for cash.



Now think about comics: Not only do we get onstage to milk laughs, but most of us do it by telling crowds of strangers the most intimate, embarrassing, painful facts of our lives. "I'm a loser!" we scream, "A fool! A good-for-nothing! A bastard! Now laugh at me, dammit!"



Makes me realize: getting licked for money may not be so desperate after all.



And at least I'm not an alcoholic or a heroin addict.



Yet. ♥

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Me and Danny P.

OK, no more election talk for me. I'm done. It's over. We all need to move on and hope for the best.


Except I will say this: Laura Bush's pink post-election Chanel suit was

FABULOUS!

What, did she suddenly discover fashion? She could teach that pig Lynne Cheney a few things.


On to more important things, and reasons to be happy:


• "The OC's" new season premiers tonight.

• Kristen Davis guest stars on "Will & Grace."

• Booted off contestants return on tonight's "Apprentice"

• My health insurance expires in 25 days.

• I have mastered bullet points in HTML!


♣ Irony Alert: One of those things is actually a reason not to be happy! ♣


This just in — My entire family will be descending on my apartment Sunday morning. My sister Laura's running the marathon (again), and they all want to come over for brunch first at 10. I begged Phy (my mother) for a reprieve, given that I work past 4AM the night before and my family ALWAYS arrives at least two hours early. But she gave me her word it would be no earlier than 10. You read it here.


Forgot to mention I went back to comedy class Monday night. In addition to our regular instructor, Frank, we had Brian Kiley, comic and nine-time Emmy nominee for The Conan O'Brien Show, sit in to watch and critique our performances.


I got up and did my basic set, condensed to four minutes. It was generally well received; I even got Frank and Brian to smile a bit. They advised me to make some small, very specific changes to my material.


For example, I always say "My mother's sort of like the Jewish version of Martha Stewart... (beat)... but without the warmth." While this joke NEVER fails me, both Brian and Frank felt I should leave the "Jewish" out, since it sets the crowd up for some sort of Jew joke and then fails to deliver. My feeling is, that only adds to the misdirection, and hence, the comedy. Anyone want to weigh in on this one?


Anyway, it was a fun night. I must say there's a definite group therapy element to the class. We're all supportive and encouraging to one another. This stands in stark contrast to my experience hanging around comics backstage at a show, where everybody's just trying trying to out-cool and out-funny everybody else. Comics are, I think we'd all agree, a rather bitter, angry subset of the population. Except me, of course: I'm all sunshine and light.


Is anyone besides me fascinated by the Daniel Pelosi murder trial? For those of you not living in the New York area, here's the deal: In October, 2001, Ted Ammon, a handsome multimillionaire who may or may not have been secretly gay, was beaten to death while naked in the bedroom of his East Hampton mansion. Three months later, Ammon's evil, gold-digging wife, Generosa, whom he had been in the process of divorcing, married Daniel Pelosi, a guido electrician who had been renovating her Upper East Side townhouse. (Methinks he wasn't only working on her East Side, but also her West Side, her North Side, and especially her South Side, wink wink.)


Anyway, Pelosi was the No. 1 suspect from the very beginning, and now he's on trial for murder. His lawyer wants to argue that Ammon was secretly bisexual and was killed by a gay lover. (The old "Faggot Had it Coming" defense.) The "evidence" of this consisted of a lone pubic hair found on Ammon at the time of his death, but it turns out the hair was not, in fact, pubic and actually belonged to the victim.


Pelosi's entire family— including his aging father, befuddled sister, and floozified girlfriend — have all provided incredibly damaging testimony against him. He's toast.


Generosa, incidentally, ended up dying of cancer, but not before disinheriting Pelosi.


I cannot stop casting the TV movie in my head. Pelosi is a dead ringer for Mark Harmon, so that's a no-brainer. I'm thinking Cybill Sheppard as Generosa, Peter Gallagher as Ammon, and maybe Abe Vigoda as the older Mr. Pelosi.


Stay tuned. ♥

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Crushed

Kerry Concedes.
GOP Majority Grows in House and Senate.
Daschle Defeated.
God Dead.



There's nothing to feel good about today. Well, except perhaps the elecion of Barack Obama and Ken Salazar to the Senate, and frankly, what difference does it make when two out of three -- and soon three out of three -- branches of our government will be dominated by the far right wing of the Republican party?


I'm just so depressed at the direction our country has moved. Looking at that sea of red on the electoral map, I realize I am totally out of step with mainstream America -- that my values are only shared by a precious few living on a tiny, non-contiguous parcel of land that shrinks every four years.


I've never considered my beliefs to be radical:

I believe peace is better than war.

I believe our laws should be determined by the U.S. Constitution, not the Bible.

I believe legal abortion saves women's lives and prevents child abuse and neglect.

I believe the rich should be taxed at a higher rate than the poor.

I believe guns kill people.

I believe consenting adults should be allowed to determine the legal status of their own relationships.

I believe the environment should be protected.

I believe affordable health care is a civil right.


It is clear from the results of this election, on every level of government, that a majority of Americans do not share these beliefs. And yeah, I could just say, as Howard Stern did on his show this morning, they'll all get the government they deserve.


But the problem is, I'll get that government, too. I and my pathetic, dwindling band of blue losers still have to pay taxes, obey the laws, and suffer the consequences of a radical agenda I abhor.


Yes, that's democracy. And it's the best form of government out there.


And that's what's really depressing.


THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS BLOG ARE THOSE OF THE WRITER AND APPARENTLY NO ONE ELSE.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Cop a Feel

Today was the day I had vowed I would learn HTML and pepper my blog with all sorts of cool colors and fonts. However, as this is the first free moment I've had (and I leave work for the day in 15 minutes), I don't see it happening. I DID learn to form one symbol: e, as in "I e Huckabees." More to come.


Had an action-packed Halloween weekend. Friday night I performed at Pop Pops Comedy Show at its new location, Pacific Echo. Sadly, the crowd was quite sparse. But producers Jason Borbet and Rory Scholl are great guys, and I'm sure they'll be able to build up their fan base eventually. In the meantime, for a small crowd, there was lots of laughter.


The strong lineup included those two guys, plus Stacey Prussman, Tim Homayoon and Ben Morrison, who I was most impressed with (and not just because he's really hot). Ben's a comic with a strong and specific voice. You get a real sense of who he is from his material. My favorite among his many good bits began as follows: "My landlord is Jewish... (long pause)... and so's yours."


I threw caution to the wind as always and opened with brand new material about the Osama bin-Laden tape released earlier that evening. (Sample joke: I haven't seen the video yet, but I hear the DVD extras are AWESOME!) Polite laughter. Then I did about 10 minutes of the usual -- coming out to my parents, gay couple's therapy, gay nursing home, etc. I wanted to do Chinese roommates, but couldn't get up the nerve in front of an all-Asian waitstaff. Serves me right for having no balls: Morrison got up and killed with an extended bit about the Chinatown bus that takes you from NYC to Boston in 22 minutes. The waiters loved it, especially Morrison's bad Chinese accent.


As usual, Jason and Rory sent each of the performers home with a gift -- in this instance, a box of Entenman's Cookies. There's no way I was going to eat them -- I use Atkins toothpaste, for God's sake -- but it ws a nice gesture regardless.


Headed down to Rose's Turn with a song in my heart and new variations on the Osama tape in my head, only to discover, to my horror, that Michael Isaacs was on vacation. A substitute piano player was kind enough to bring me up, but I was out of my element without Michael. Crowd was indifferent, all except for two 40-something blonde stewardesses who kept oohing and ahing over me, poor things.


Crossed the street to Duplex and bumped into two Barrage regulars, Jeff and Dave, and Jeff's cute sister, Lori. I guess by this time I'd had a few too many gin and tonics. When I got up to sing, I knocked Lori's beer off the table. And while I remember hearing it shatter, it didn't occur to me at the time to, oh, I don't know, apologize? help clean up the mess? offer to buy her a new drink? No, I just strode on up to the mic and tore into "Cat's in the Cradle." I became one of those people I despise. Very nice crowd, but I was truly polluted. (I seem to recall spanking some girl's butt with a tambourine.)


Stumbled home and collapsed.


Saturday night's costume theme at Barrage was "Cops & Robbers," so of course I dressed up as a cop. Most of my outfit came from the Army Navy Store, but I wasn't able to get handcuffs. That is, until a bar customer spotted me, said "You need handcuffs," and left. He returned mintues later with a genuine pair of metal restraints. I don't want to know where they had been, but they certainly completed the outfit.


Made good money but was disappointed at the dearth of costumes this year: a couple drag queens and some farmboys, and that was it.


Woke up late Sunday and spent the afternoon getting ready for the real Halloween celebration Sunday night. I wore the exact same costume, but this time I was a lesbian policewoman, complete with bad makeup and a short bobbed wig. Hosted a group of otherwise attired friends at my place for cocktails before we all headed out to Elmo restaurant in Chelsea. By the end of the meal, I was down to just my policewoman's hat, navy pants and bra (which was stuffed with water balloons). Photos to come for those who want to see. (That counts you out, Mom.)


Best moment of Halloween: On my way out of the 42nd Street subway platform, I passed a group of real cops. "Hey!" I yelled to them in my basso-profundo-lesbo Staten Island cop voice. "I recognize some of yooz from the Police Academy."


Without missing a beat, one of them called back, "Yeah, I think I dated you."


I love New York.