Friday, September 28, 2012

Winner and Losers and Those of Us Who Don't Play

ALRIGHT I used a random number generator to pick a winner for the Shabby Apple contest, and Gunner is it! Only I don't know who Gunner is, and they didn't leave an email address. So...I'm going to give them a day to get back to me, read this or otherwise telepathically realize there is a crisis in the fabric of the universe and the crisis is I have this fabric for you. Or like, a gift card for fabric. That's weird, huh? Anyway, holla' back.

 (update: Hey, it's Lindsay! Congratulations Lindsay! Now you have to make out with me next time I'm in town, that's how this works.)

 One of my favorite parts of being alive right now is that despite being 750 miles away from most of my friends, I can still have Jere call me a cab when I'm stuck somewhere the next morning without a cell, or call the Prince and let him know I'm leaving to get home late at night and he should call the police if I don't call him in 30 to check in, or my friend can go on an ok cupid date and send me the guys address asking me to check in with her tomorrow morning just to be sure. I guess what I'm saying is I love the false sense of security the internet gives us.

 I have so many things to finish this weekend - a book, a dramatic scene, a new Good Men Project article, and a blog post for the Awkward Sex Show Monday. So....I'm going to go do that then. Bye. *disappears into a rabbit hole of coffee, pizza, and excessive sex related tweets that happen every time I get bored and want to be distracted by people flirting with me online.*

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Movie Review: Sleepwalk With Me

Yesterday, I had a weird incident with a cupcake. I had been craving a cupcake for the last 4 days, which is a Thing for me because generally I’m on the pies and custard side of any argument. Cake is just sweet bread, lame. But I woke up this Saturday morning, wanting a cupcake more than anything. Specifically a cupcake and a burrito, but the burrito doesn't matter here, I was hungover. Since I don’t have a car, and the cupcake was a bike ride away, I managed to keep myself for getting one. Until today, when after wandering around putting in job applications at ever storefront on the strip, I walked past something called the Hot Pink Cake Stand, went inside, and bought one. I didn’t want to eat it right away, so I very carefully stuffed the square cupcake box in my messenger bag, sort of found it a stable place in between books and folders. I was SO careful with it the rest of the day. I tried to not jostle it as I walked, I held my bag a certain way on my bike. Anytime I put the bag down, I tried to set it down gently, and right side up. I got a little tipsy at the bar, and then went to see Sleepwalk with Me at Thalian Hall. I held the bag carefully in my seat.

When I finally got home, and took the brown cardboard box out, I was so proud to see that it was undented and untouched. I opened the box up, but I opened up the wrong end, the flimsy tabbed structure of it immediately came unfurled, and the cupcake fell frosting first onto my kitchen floor.

In Sleepwalk with Me, Mike Birbiglia is trying to decide if he is the kind of person who throws the cupcake out because society teaches him the floor is dirty, or if he is the kind of guy who eats the cupcake anyway. The cupcake is in this case, comedy. The movie is ostensibly about a guy, trying to start a career in stand up comedy, and the disintegration of his relationship as this happens. It is a standard “be true to yourself and your dreams will follow” kind of movie. But it is also a telling look into the motivations and sacrifices of any one who wants to be an artist. Through voiceover narration and poignant affecting moments, Mike describes the confusion and shame that accompanies the desire to be famous, the disappointment of parents, the boredom of friends who have seen the same jokes not work over and over. He runs from state to state booking any show that will take him, while the “perfect girl” waits for him back home, with a dream of marriage and kids and a settled life.

In a pivotal moment early on in the movie, Mike is sitting with the headliner after a show in an empty bar after bombing terrible, and he cracks a joke “ I’ve decided not to get married until I know nothing else good is going to happen to me.” The headliner, a seedy looking experienced road comic, replies “That’s funny, you should say that on stage.” Mike protests, that is not the kind of comedy that will go over well with the girlfriend. But the next time he’s on stage, staring into that crowd of unmovable stone faces, he pulls it out in a moment of desperation, and all of a sudden, he’s funny.

 It’s a moment of sacrifice - in that second, he has made the decision that anything, relationships, self respect, any boundary in his life, can be sacrificed to his art.

 It's actually a sad movie, because Sleepwalk With Me is about the difference between people who like doing art, and people who are artists. To really be successful at any art form - music, writing, painting, or comedy, a decision must be made that this is what you do, at all costs. Everyone will start out as a failure, everyone will face the crowd that won’t laugh, they will pity you and get angry at you and you will hurt those who think they should be more important. If you can push through these years of shame and mockery and fear without deciding you are the worst person on the planet, on the other side is a chance to be good. Even though in his title Birbiglia is asking you to run away with him, to funnel your anxiety and fear into a delusional dream state, the movie is actually about saying fuck it, nothing else matters but this, because I am an artist and I can't picture having any life at all if I don't make this happen. I remember very clearly the moment I realized I didn't care about giving up my 401k to go back to school, because my only retirement plan is to make it as a writer. Like, there is no other choice.

After which, of course, you can still fail miserably. But that’s another movie.

Here in town, the powers that be arranged for a local comedian to do a set before each showing. Which is good exposure for them, however it was weird - to watch a local guy struggle with a crowd of mostly older artsy college town denizens (so much different than the normal bar night crowd), and then watch a movie about how terrible starting out in comedy is. It's either a brilliant juxtaposition on someone's part, or an artistic accident. But it somehow makes the movie seem even more sad. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Second Month Self Assessment

There are only three reasons to push me up against a wall, but the way I've been feeling this week, I deserve all three. Times of hormonal foxtrotting are always worse when you're feeling stressed. And I am stressed about not having a job yet. Which is good, I should be, I need to be. But I mean, I said some weird shit this week. I was definitely being girly. That's such an odd word, any word that could mean both bitchy, cutesy, and terrified is a thing I have trouble dealing with.

I've started saying little prayers to myself, like "the beach will be there in the Spring, so this comes first." And, "no, sitting here for 6 hours writing is what you WANTED to do, remember?" And at open mic on Thursday, I got drunk even though I had really meant not to, certain conversations transpired. I failed miserably at not getting drunk. But no more. We are entering the austerity portion of this mid life crisis. The excitement is faded and the work has begun. It's like Wilmington and I just decided to go steady.

I've been writing as many ideas down as I can. I have a lot of things I need them for now, so I carry around a little notebook and a nice-ish pen, and I wrote down joke ideas and essay ideas, ideas about meter and ideas about submissions, places to apply. I don't think I'm very good yet at rewrites, so I try to go back over things three times. I crave certain places or foods or sensations, and I drink more coffee and tell myself no. I feel like my roommates must think I'm  complete bum, but the assumed shame of sitting around all day on the computer causes me to keep typing any time they are downstairs or around me, because it makes me sound productive.

The strangest part sometimes about being a girl is feeling your sense of self-identity slosh around inside you based on the rotations of a planet and a satellite rock.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway

This will be the very first giveaway this blog has ever hosted.
Because I never think of you, my readers. I turn down doing reviews for things like e-cigarettes and cookbooks and wine openers, and I know guys, that's just selfish.
It's like I somehow believe not selling out to promotions gives me more artistic integrity, which is crap, because my last post was puppies arranged in a message that included the words menstrual and shit.
The ironic part of this giveaway is that most of the clothes on this site that I covet I can't buy because they don't come in my size. Also because I have no money.
But look at me not being selfish! I want YOU to be able to buy them. I am thinking OF YOU.
(I am thinking of me. I look better when my friends are dressed better, and by better I mean, the way I would dress if I were you. Arbiter of Taste)

Anyway, here's the deal. Shabby Apple, purveyor of womens clothing that looks thrifted but is brand new and therefore won't have pit stains, is letting me give away a 75 dollar gift card.

Okay, here's what you do. You can have a maximum of 4 entries in this contest, and it's only open to people with US shipping addresses, so that one lady in France and that guy from Oxford, sorry.
The first entry, and the one you HAVE to do, is to go to the Shabby Apple website, and then leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite thing on there is.
I will be judging you, so choose well.

For additional entries you can
- like Shabby Apple on Facebook
- send a tweet out about this giveaway with the hashtag #gimmeadressBridget
- link to this post on your own blog.

I will be checking, but also I will be eating cupcakes and going to the beach, so probably you should put that in your comment, that you're doing any of those things (tweeting, blogging, liking), to make sure you get credit.

I'll pick a winner and announce it next Friday.

Okay, now that we're done with the boring rules part, let me show you the clothes I would buy. Hey listen, it can't be all weird sex stuff and melodramatic fiction all the time, guys.

True story: if I was in Cleveland right now, I would be on the Prince's boat like at least three days a week. This is actually the thing I most miss about Cleveland right now. Sorry, not my family or my friends or even a favorite place, nope. I miss the lake, and specifically I miss a thing an opportunity I never had when I was actually there, being able to go to Edgewater and go sailing whenever. See, you think sailor dresses are all cutesy and sweet, but there's real pain there. 

Yes, I know this is a tshirt dress. But it is a tshirt dress in Rome, in my favorite color, and I would rock the shit out of this with some red lipstick. I don't know, I just really WANT this. I think I just want to BE this. Maybe I just want to be in Rome. I can tell you what though, I would NEVER wear those shoes when walking over cobblestones. 

This is the dress that Jo would wear when helping Nancy and Bess solve mysteries. 

I don't know why they have this girl in this pose exactly. Like, I get that it's supposed to be like she's the statue in a fountain, but she sort of looks like a funny bird. I love that color though. This dress would look amazing if you had Bridgette Bardot hair. There used to be this convenience store on Lorain that every time I went in there, the old Lebanese guy that worked there would ID me for cigarettes and then say "Ohhhh, Bridgette Bardot!" People make that reference way more times than you think they would, given that I look absolutely nothing like Bridgette Bardot. 

I couldn't get a better photo of this one, because it is "coming soon" in the Highclere collection. Honestly, I would really just buy this entire collection if I could and never wear anything else again, it's exactly my perfect clothing. But this dress in particular, isn't it pretty much just the best thing that's ever existed? IT HAS A HOOD.  I don't know if it has pockets, cause there's no description available yet, but if it had a hood and pockets and with those sleeves and the waist tie? That's pretty much every single thing I could like in a dress ever. I want this in 17 different colors, and I'll just wear it every day, and it will be like my weird post modern monk/cult member costume. It will become my motif. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


So today over at Port City Comedy, I wrote a list of tips for going to your first comedy open mic night.

 And puppy text was invented. Turns out you can say anything in puppies and it's not offensive.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Where I Read Mitt Romney's 5 Point Plan So You Don't Have To Go To His Shitty Website

I recently made plans to liveblog all the presidential debates in October with a comedian here in town, so today I figured I'd bone up on the Republicans' platform, instead of...writing my poetry analysis paper. So here we go. 

When I first go onto the Mitt Romney website, there is a large, weird picture of Mittens standing in a plane corridor leaning over and smiling at some people, and the slogan reads "We've got your boarding pass. Enter for your chance to fly on the campaign plane." And then there's the option to get "On Board with Mitt" for suggested donations of 15, 25, 100, and 250.

Before I go any further, I want to just list off all the negative associations this homepage gives me.
1. Is Mitt a stewardess?
2. Am I sexist for calling him a stewardess and not a steward?
3. He looks like he is in control of the plane, but he is not wearing a pilot's uniform, and that makes me really nervous and honestly, even though I know it's cheap, really does bring the word "terrorist" to mind. 
4. I also keep thinking of that scene in Left Behind where all the righteous people disappear from the plane at  The Reckoning, which I know is supposed to be called The Rapture but I like The Reckoning better. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the insinuation of "all the righteous are getting out of here, so which side do you want to be on" is pretty deliberate. I bet Kirk Cameron is really popular with Mitten's base. 
5. I hate that he makes this a lottery. Here you go, you unwashed huddled masses, I know how you love to spend your government money on lotto tickets, so if you donate to me, maybe you'll get to ride on a plane for the first time, whoo-eeeee! I bet you've never been on a private jet before, huh? It's pretty sweet. I'm not saying Barack's "Have Dinner with the Obamas" lottery is any better conceptually, but at least it has less creepy photo ops. 

So Mittens has a 5 Point Plan. He calls it his Plan for a Stronger Middle Class.  
Sidenote: one of the most basic joke set ups in comedy is The List. Just saying.

But actually, each of the 5 points has 4 sub-points, so really it's a 20 point plan. But I guess he thought calling it a 20 Point Plan would sound too elitist. 
Let's go through it, shall we? Mittens, make me understand you, yield to me your capitalist wisdom....

Point One: Energy Independence
• Increase access to domestic energy resources
• Streamline permitting for exploration and
• Eliminate regulations destroying the coal industry
• Approve the Keystone XL pipeline

This is pretty self explanatory, right? We're going to drill wherever we want. Fracking is awesome, so PA and OH should just shut their stupid corn-fat mouths. Regulations are the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. The coal industry isn't in trouble because they are running out of coal, they are being destroyed by rules that say they can't blow up everything they see whenever they see it. And even though the pipeline has already been approved, this "hold up" to conduct environmental and safety studies is an unnecessary commie plot. 

Point Two: The Skills to Succeed
• Give every family access to a great school and
quality teachers
• Provide access to affordable and effective higher
education options
• Focus job training programs on building valuable
skills that align with opportunities
• Attract and retain the best and the brightest from
around the world
Alright, I did some reading on this one, because those sub-points up there are about as vague as a politician can be. What are you going to do to make people smarter, Mr. Romney? Well, I thought we'd just make sure everyone has a good school to go to. Oh, okay, cool. He has a 35 page paper on the subject. It was hard to read, because Mittens's plan for education reform has a forward written by Jeb Bush. It was...difficult to get past that. I may have stopped, gone outside to have a cigarette, and reconsidered my entire life direction before diving into this. But three cups of coffee later, and a few quick looks at the wiki page for the Planet Kobol, and here's what I've emerged with. 

Romney believes in charter schools with all his clockwork heart. A charter school is basically a private school that contracts with the government, so it's the equivalent of private defense contractors or private infrastructure contractors. Since it is private, teachers are not required to hold the same certifications, and they can hire non-union teachers. The Republican pitch is that opening up free market competition for schools will give families a choice for better schools, and have the effect of upping current public school quality, because we know that's how the free market works every time, right? Romney also wants to defund public schools that do not meet state testing minimums. And he wants to privatize federal school loans. 

I am of course pro-union, anti-testing, and I hate Sallie Mae with the fiery passion of ten million suns, so I guess you can figure out how I feel about these positions. If you think taking more money away from from already underfunded school systems is going to make things better...well, we'll talk about this some more a little further on.

Point Three: Trade That Works for America
• Curtail the unfair trade practices of countries
like China
• Open new markets for American goods and services
• Build stronger economic ties in Latin America
• Create a Reagan Economic Zone to strengthen free
enterprise around the world  

Let's be clear. When Mittens says "like China", what he means is "FUCK YOU CHINA, SUCK IT".

I think it's a little over the top - because China looks to be pretty fucked on its own. 

Recently, when Clinton gave a speech at the Democratic convention that apparently impregnated every lib girl under 35 in the country, I whined about all these kids tweeting about how much they missed the Clinton administration, when they were in middle school at the time and probably barely aware we even had a president. So I am not going to start pretending I'm some expert on Reagan economics. Reagan was president basically my entire childhood, leaving office when I was in 5th grade. Most of my political awareness bloomed in those pubescent years of George Bush Sr. (which good lord, should explain a lot about me). But here is what I remember about the Reagan years - if you went anywhere in Latin American you got shot or kidnapped, I learned what the words contra and guerrilla meant, a lot of nuns died, and I learned about the giant mountains of old computers sitting around Asia. Also I learned what class action lawsuit meant, because my middle school was very environmentally conscious. 

So okay, I'm sure your plan to build a coalition of anti-China allies by giving out trade agreements to surrounding countries like India will totally work and China will totally respond to pressure and disarm North Korea. That will totally happen. Because China is scared of us, right? Oh yeah, China is just TERRIFIED of us. 

Point Four: Cut the Deficit
• Immediately reduce non-security discretionary
spending by five percent
• Cap federal spending below twenty percent of
the economy
• Give states responsibility for programs that they can
implement more effectively
• Consolidate agencies and align compensation
of federal workers with their private-sector

So cut funding from everything that is not a corporate sub-contractor (ie Defense), and reduce everyone's pay/benefits. Something tells me that's gonna be preceded by some serious anti-union legislation. Also by "responsibility", we mean "find your own funds for libraries, county health support, ect".  Goodbye National Endowment for the Arts, goodbye any family planning funding.  Goodbye daycare services that will be needed once lots of people can't get birth control anymore. 

Another thing that scares me about this list is that it doesn't include any ways for the Feds to make money, only save money. Like, for instance, closing tax loopholes. I wonder how much money they would make if they made religious institutions pay taxes, for instance. (Hahaha, like that would ever happen. Sigh.)

Champion Small Business
• Reduce taxes on job creation through individual and
corporate tax reform
• Stop the increases in regulation that are tangling job
creators in red tape
• Protect workers and businesses from strong-arm
labor union tactics
• Replace Obamacare with real health care reform
that controls cost and improves care

Let's be clear, this should read Champion Business. Because there is no distinction here between small and gross large corporate evil squid that secretly rule the world. We are all businesses in the Lord's eyes.

So once again, let's cut a bunch of taxes, because THAT'S GOOD FOR THE DEFICIT. And there's so many people out there sitting around thinking "gee, I really want to start my own business, and I've got the loan and the property and the free time and the health insurance and a giant pool of qualified educated employees to choose from, but you know what's really holding me back? The taxes." I think our dying cities are doing a pretty good job of reducing the taxes they need to operate just to desperately beg businesses to come back, I don't think we need your help there Mitt. 

Also, god forbid we hold those businesses to any responsible standards of health and safety. That's just blasphemous.

And there, finally, is our anti-union legislation. 
I've said this before, but it bears repeating. I know a lot of you are on the fence about unions, and you believe a lot of them are corrupt and pretty much just operating as political super pacs. And I am not denying the reality of that happening sometimes. But that is not every union. And if you ask the people you know, chances are you know people in unions, and it's a big deal for them. This is a serious issue for anyone in the middle class, and I mean the real middle class, not the imaginary one Mittens was talking about the other day that makes 200k a year. (I talk about that.) 

Legislation is about two things - reality and principle. First, does Reality match the scenario that the legislation is claiming? Second, is the principle behind the legislation ethically correct? The principle of a people's right to organize and have a mediated way to defend themselves, their paychecks, their benefits, and their families, against their employers decisions is an important ethical right. Regardless of how you feel about whatever specific union you have experience in, the principle of unions is something to fight for. Saying all unions are bad because some are corrupt is akin to saying that all government is bad because some politicians are corrupt. That's just not how it works. You gotta have principles. And for all their talk of freedom, I think the freedom to organize is a pretty major one. 

So to summarize the important points here: Mittens would  let companies do exactly what they like, send your kids to franchise schools, make you more in debt to banks, take away your birth control, and make sure employees have no means with which to keep their employers in check while keeping them chained to those companies by debt and lack of option. He would also very much like to try and bully China. So okay....this should go well. Bring on the debates.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix:

I got onboard with your service later than most my peers. About two weeks ago, actually. I moved into a house with roommates, and wanted to be able to watch tv in my own bedroom instead of the shared living room, because most roommates are probably not okay with sitting in your underwear, dipping pizza into ranch sauce.

Your online selection is limited, of course. This is a complaint already voiced by my generation vocally. My immediate problem is what you do have available: all 4 seasons of Felicity.

I never watched Felicity when it was on. I was just out of high school and living in several places where TV was not an option. The dawn of internet television was not yet upon us. I remember the cultural furor when Keri Russell cut her hair, because I had a friend who looked just like her (oh man, did I hate her for that. Also because she introduced me to Indigo Girls). Every time we went out in public, some stranger would tell her that she should cut her hair like that. So of course, she hated the show, and I suppose I avoided it out of solidarity, or at least that’s what I would tell her if she ever read this.

The first week I had Netflix, I tried watching all sorts of things. Supernatural. Weeds. Several inadvisable soft core movies. I had just moved out of state, away from my friends and family, so I had a lot of free time hiding in my room, missing people. And then, like a maroon and sienna tinted dream, you suggest Felicity. On the cover, Keri looked like a photoshopped snake angel. I had a strong desire to look at Ben and Noel and decide which one was cuter (Ben, obviously). I watched the first episode. Felicity was young and stupid. Ben had hair like an IM Pei  skyscraper. I was hooked.

Now every time I log on, you ask me first “Felicity: What Did You Think?” and I cringe with guilt and shame. Okay, let me tell you what I think, Netflix.

First of all, there’s no way a group of college students are physically able to all have breakfast and dinner together in the cafeteria, every day. All Felicity’s sweaters in the first season give me Structure flashbacks. It is totally highly inappropriate for Noel to date a freshman, he is abusing his position as RA. When Julie got raped, I thought the show actually treated the issue of date rape really well, but then she got this morning after pill, and there were four pills she had to take, and I got distracted by the fact that every time I’ve ever taken it, it was only two pills. Moments of time travel like that in this show are, I think, going in and rebuilding my memories of the 90s, like little carpenter ants.  I find Megan to be the most relatable character, but the J J Abrams conceit of that stupid mystery box is as ridiculous as all that eye stuff in Lost. I refuse to believe Dean and Deluca's is the sort of place where everyone just hangs out. And why are they always stacking pastries?

Felicity definitely wears too many ribbed henley t-shirts, but hey, that seems fairly accurate. The problem is not her clothes, but the new facial expressions Keri added to her repertoire* once she cut her hair, now that her character is a wise old sophomore. Felicity starts doing this weird all knowing smug smile, which she then uses on all her friends whenever they say something sincere about her various crisis situations, a combination of the sort of smile the nuns used to give me when I asked about God, and the look that one ex-boyfriend gave me when he was explaining he had to go hang out with that 19 yr old ceramics student because he had to “be himself”. Is there anything more insulting than someone justifying their rude inconsiderate attitude by claiming they have to be true to themselves? The worst part about the Felicity universe is that every single character does this constantly, and then apologizes the next day because they are “so stressed out” with all that school and work they do that still allows them to meet in the cafeteria for lunch. Every day.

The bar they all hang out at looks like a TGI Fridays. Julie's music sounds like a meth addled Sheryl Crow.

Also all of Felicity's boyfriends are manipulative pricks, all of them. The art student who takes advantage of her. Creepy RA who hits on the scared freshman. Dickish Ben who freaks out anytime she's interested in anyone else. Gross bullying Craig who is a total asshole to everyone who isn't actively assisting him in his own life interests. I haven't made it past season 2 yet, but I can only imagine by season 4 she's selling photos of her feet on craigslist and sleeping with Javier, the gay barista. Which is the best outcome I can imagine for her.

But there's no one to talk to about this, because No One Cares, because this was a dumb fucking show 12 years ago, and is still a dumb fucking show.

But look, there is no way Jennifer Gardner ever dates Noel, not even in a fake world.

I should probably watch Alias again.

In conclusion, Netflix, I guess what I’m trying to say is if you are going to be the new HBO or Showtime, the channel we pay for to stay hip and current with whatever crap everybody else is talking about online, then I think you have a duty to be a responsible curator. Your job is not to regularly shame us with reminders of what we stayed up till 3am watching last night because we were waiting for a text from a boy, Your job is to offer a more nutritional alternative. Instead of flashing Felicity at me and reminding me that Ben is probably going to have a sex scene with that married woman in the next episode, suggest another Herzog movie, or a documentary that isn’t about war. Train me to have better taste. Guide me. This is why we used to pay for HBO, after all, to be cooler. Felicity is not making me cooler. Reliving the 90s is not making me cooler. It's making me want to wear oversized sweaters.

*the repertoire being 1) a wide eyed gasp with slightly parted lips actually, that's it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Banana Bread and Passion Pit

I had my first experience of another guy getting up at mic and making fun of me for all my whorish jokes. It was okay. The interesting part was later when I was telling two other comics about it, and I realized that Chris had used the expression "gaping maw", and because that was a phrase Peter used to use all the time, I was sentimentally inclined to like Chris more because of it. Which is when I finally decided that actually I wasn't offended at all, because up till that point I was feeling pretty unsure about it. I'm glad I was unsure about it though, I was worried this place was eroding my feminist sensibilities with it's weird passive aggressive misogyny masquerading as chivalry, which I enjoy too much for my own good.

I stayed up pretty late making dinner and watching Felicity. I have to stop watching that show. It's got to the point where more often than not, I stop in the middle of an episode because I can't take one more simpering wise look from Keri Russell, and jump forward to the next one. I don't even know why I move forward, I guess I'm hoping something super crazy will happen, like in the first season when a girl got date raped and then everyone just sort of forgot about it. Also, all the little J.J.Abrams touches are driving me nuts, like Megan's Box, and the weirdly sarcastic dream sequences. That show needs to be a show about a bunch of writers who have to work on a college kid soap opera, and keep trying to rebel from within the system, but are actually all just out of college themselves, and then you get another layer of their own personal drama through the in-jokes they write in the show, but you never actually meet them. I need to stop rewriting the deeper meanings of really bad tv. Nobody cares about my Dissociative Theory of Gossip Girl.

Last night I went to the third floor of some storefront downtown, and watched a French New Wave heist film. So last night was good. The streets are starting to take on those familiar comforting details.

This morning I woke up at noon only because the Prince called to tell me about boat wiring and ask me about t-shirts. I made some requisite "give me a job please" follow up calls, and then tried to make banana bread, because I had let an entire bunch of bananas turn brown, as I am wont to do. So I've been puttering around the kitchen, drinking so much coffee, and just sort of throwing things into a bowl that look like they might go into banana bread. I didn't have eggs, or baking soda, and I didn't want to use my last stick of butter.'s what ended up in them?

6 bananas
2 cups raw sugar
a lot of ginger
vanilla extract
No Cinnamon, because even though we have three full kitchen cabinets devoted to our landlords spice collection, there is no cinnamon.
cup applesauce
vanilla yogurt
vegetable oil
ancho chile
crushed mint
cappuccino mix
sweet red wine
fish oil (for depth)

Then they went into the oven for about 90 minutes, and the insides are still a little fruit jelly like, but it's holding together like bread is supposed to, and it tastes really need a job. And to write couplets for class tomorrow.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Comprehensive List of Every Sext I've Sent This Year - by Request


Sext: if I'm already covered in sweat, what the fuck am I going to do next?

sext: lets eat nothing but toothpaste for the next year and see what happens

sext: give me back my lighter, it's the fifth one I've bought this week.

Sext: Do not touch the penguin. You can not interfere with the penguin's path, even though it leads to certain death.

Sext: so much coffee. So much smoke. Let's read Watership Down aloud to each other. Or the BFG.

sext: please draw a giant scar on me. In blue permanent marker. Make it point towards Proteus.

Sext: martinis, pencils, ideas

Sext: My mom told me if you fuck comics, you go to the hell where it's nothing but Seinfeld repeats, only it's actually Friends.

That is NOT my spider 

Ow. Unintentional somersault.

sext: "omg what was that? It just went under the couch!omg its huge! kill it! omg kill it! wtf I dont know, just KILL IT"

sext: that scurrying scratching creeping thing hiding under the couch is actually your d...

sext: a hand made of ants

Sext: instead of making out, lets just watch Supernatural and make fun of ghosts, who WISH they could make out.

sext: there will never be another yoko. we will kill them all.

Sext: I smear myself with cocoa butter. Which will attract mosquitoes, so I can't go outside, I am trapped in this cold house...plotting

Sext: there is a drink called a Mongolian Motherfucker. It has SoCo in it, cause fuck Mongolians.

Sext: someone in my close vicinity used the term Harvey Wallbanger tonight

Sext: I put an ad on craigslist, you come over and blow these clouds away so I can see the perseids- I gratitude-nerd fuck you

Sext: One of my goals this weekend is to steal a baby coyote.

Sext: "I'm like a unicorn when it comes to blowjobs" 

Sext: I'll be Congress. You be taxes.

Sext: When he calls me a wiggler, it makes me feel like a fish. Which would make his tongue a hook? I hate this metaphor.

Sext: you are barefoot in an empty house and the floors are coated with pretzel dust and steel marbles.

sext: I remember everything about last night.

Sext: pretzel breath

Sext: here are two keys to my heart - one is made of glycerin and the other is edible ink.

Sext: Let's just listen to Battles for the rest of the day while it rains.

Sext: my mouth tastes like wasabi, soy, and prosecco.

Sext: a bat flew into my hair. I need you to kiss it off of me

Sext: Let's fall asleep in front of a fan, even though it's cold.

Sext: All I want to do is rant about tv and menswear, so just shut me the fuck up.

Sext: I don't believe in children. They are an urban legend.

Sext: Dragons!

Sext: You are covered in mud and you are not allowed in my bed until it rains again.

Sext: this is my last cigarette.

Sext: you think my nail polish is just glitter, but actually there's blood and poison and bone in there too.

Sext: 17 dollars and a blowjob if you can list the entire Party of 5 cast, supporting actors included, without looking at the internet.

Sext: I kiss you and a million little robots made of glass water drops swarm into your bloodstream. You start reciting Joyce.

Sext: There is a large fake crow next to my bed, and when I scream it comes alive and attacks you.


Sext: today I am aware of the isolated individuality of my own brain computer, and the creepy double meaning of networking.

Sext: car chase down an LA viaduct. Soundtrack C'mon Eileen. Yellow dress red shoes

Sext: there are bears. Everywhere.

Sext: I forgot it was April because you told me to.

Sext: I'm the know it all bitch on the commercial for allergy medication. You're in an erectile dysfunction tub. I almost drown.

Sext: I think there is a spider on your shoulder.

Sext: I have Nicholas Sparks tied up outside in the garage. Ryan, Channing, Zach and I are getting drunk on mojitos and watching Louie.

Sext: there are eleven shades of blue under the skin of your wrist.

Sext: I cover you in small tree frogs and leave you out in the rain, to keep them happy. I prop an umbrella over your face, cause you're hot

Sext: we wake up early early before work, and watch  on the dvr while eating mini croissants & string cheese in our pajama pants

Sext: the pilot episode of Futurama is on, so no one talks.

Sext: we exchange sexually charged small talk about hockey and comics, cause actually I know nothing about either.

Sext: I feel like being Holla'ed at.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tonight at the Movies, It Got Real Bad

Tonight I went to Thalian Hall to see a movie, the Queen of Versailles. The movie is a documentary about the downfall of David Seigel, a timeshare billionaire who tried to build the biggest house in all of America, only to have the foreclosure meltdown send his business into a tailspin. The movie is mostly about his wife and 7 children, and their ridiculous lifestyle and them trying to adjust to a "budget".

I got to the movie very early because I wasn't sure how crowded this place would get. The crowd was all hovering around fifty, I saw like 5 people maybe my own age. Three older women sat down behind me, and as we were all sitting around waiting, one of them started to tell her companions about this eye opening documentary she had just seen, called Obama 2016.

"So it's all about how his dad was a polygamist, did you know that? Yeah, so his father was with his mom, and then he got really really socialist, and his mom decided she wasn't okay with it anymore, so she divorced him after two years. And then he went back to Africa and had a lot of wives and a ton more children. And Obama didn't even see his father for the second time till he was like ten, so he was so happy and totally idolized him. And one of his half sisters even came to see him and try to tell him what their dad was like, but he just really wants to be just like him.

"So that does a lot for being able to understand why he does the things he does. Like, no matter party you're in, everyone should see it before they make a decision. Like, they brought a psychologist in and gave him Obama's profile, like his background, and asked him what it would do to a person? And he said it would totally make them want to take over the world and be someone really important. And like, it totally explains why he gave that bust of Churchill back to England, like first thing he did in office. Because his dad was from Africa and they were all colonized by Britain, and so because of his father, Obama is really anti-colonization. He really just wants to take us all down, like dismantle everything, he really wants to bring us into socialism."

She went on to talk about how black people were so happy that they had a black person in the presidency, which was of course nice for them, but given his policies, we really can't afford to be so cavalier about who runs our country.

At this point her companion jumped in and said that her friend had said the same thing, but her friend was really lightskinned, so there was obviously some racial mixing there, and really black people were just happy because they still wanted tons of handout.


At this point I was doing everything I could not to turn around and engage these women. I did shift my bag though so my "A Women's Place is in Her Union" was displayed a little more prominently.

"You know that the reason Obama is so anti-Israel is because that's actually where the Second Coming is going to happen."

"Well I really believe in the 2012 theory, and I think people don't understand this, but this election, since it's so close to the end, is really a battle between good and evil."

And that's when the movie started.

And for however long it was, these women laughed at how ridiculous and awful this family of super rich conservatives was, who had practically funded the entire Bush campaign in Florida, and laughed at how clueless he was about banks and being owed anything, and THE ENTIRE THING WENT OVER THEIR HEADS.

At one point they showed a photo of Siegel with Palin, and one of them went "oh look!" with an excited smile.

At the end, as I got up to leave, I heard the first woman say "That movie wasn't at all what I expected. I can't believe Patty wanted to see that twice."

Actually Doing Comedy is Like Eating Dog Biscuits

Some of you may remember a little while ago, when I wrote this piece about observing comedy open mics. This is the natural follow up. This is something I think several of us thought might happen.

I have a weird relationship with stand up. Carey has been doing it for years, and from what I can see, the biological effect of the constant practice of standup is a hardening of some egotistical side of your brain, while at the same time liquefying your soft chewy center. It's a rough thing. I've seen her peak and tumble and climb and chew, and be really good and be really bad. She was always the funny one growing up, being the middle child and therefore needing an arsenal with which to combat the constant attention suck of my high school black sheep antics. Compared with her sparkling holiday dinner table wit, I often felt slow and stumbling, boring. But I admired it so much. I love anything brave.

When I moved down here, I thought I would try it out myself maybe, a little. I was used to writing for other people, and those people told me I was funny. Fucking internet people will tell you anything. I wouldn't know anyone in town, so even if I bombed it was a good way to meet people. Honestly, after so many years of watching people I knew in Cleveland start off, and suck horribly, then get good,  get better, my vanity was insisting. I think your vanity must be really insistent to do something like stand up. God knows how the plain little dorky fat girl from Cleveland got such an ego, but fuck it, there it is and therefore I might as well put it to good use by punishing it constantly, right? An ego's a muscle. When you've got a good one, it's fun to abuse it all the time.

There was one open mic downtown, at a place called Nutt St. My first week in town, my landlord took me there. It's in the basement of one of the few hipster bars in town, a dark brick space with actual rows of seats, tables set up behind, square low stage in the middle between two pillars, bright spotlights. On the wall behind the stage, every brick has a black permanent marker signature. To the side is a plastic banner advertising their sponsor, a specialty bra company. Open mic is Thursdays, Wednesday is Improv, Friday and Saturday they have ticketed shows. The open mic is packed, standing room only. There were 22 comics on the list that first night. I had no idea, and so drank at my usual pace at an open mic, which is to say heavily and only for an hour. This mic went three hours.

Two weeks later I was there 15 minutes before the list opened, and signed in to go up, penciling myself somewhere in the middle. That also meant I had about two hours after making those treacherous little marks on paper, till I actually got this over with. I was beyond terrified. I kept drinking, but it felt like the alcohol was having no effect on me. I had a little square sheet of notebook paper I had folded into a card and made notes on. This paper remained clutched in my sweaty little fingers for two hours. I kept staring at it and mumbling to myself. It was silly, I had memorized the entire bit days in advance.  A facebook joke, some okcupid jokes, something about my cats, something else about prostitution, and then finally a political sex joke about my vagina. It wasn't stellar, but I felt like it was solid. I had written it out like a script, transitions and all. When I finally got up there, unable to see any of the audience through the lights, hyper aware of the 5 college girls sitting front row, glaring at me and refusing to smile, I ran through my script like a first timer auditioning for a phone sex job. I kept dropping the mic on my lines. It went ...okay. It wasn't terrible. People said they liked it. Not the other comics, of course they said that, because they were being encouraging. But people on the street I didn't know, they said it. It was probably their fault I came back the next week.

The next week, I was more comfortable. I had all new stuff, but I felt pretty good about it, and had even decided to forgo writing it all out. I was just going in with some notes and stories, and would try to be more conversational. Worst. Once again I got up and could barely register the audience was there at all. I barreled through the routine, incredibly aware no one was laughing, but unable to deviate from the mental path I was running down. I bombed. I decided audiences did not like to hear me talk about sex, it was not working. I took notes from the other comics. I tried to stay upbeat. My heart was just ripped to shreds though.

So I wrote all new stuff, non sex stuff, weird stuff. The kind of stuff I would write to you all here. I ended up writing 4 minutes that is nothing but cat jokes, seriously. I took it to the first night of a smaller mic, which was attended by 80% other comics. Once again, even though it was a smaller more well lit room, I still could not interact with my audience at all. I just can't look past the stage. I talk into a void. I have no idea how the new stuff was received, I couldn't even hear the level of applause as I left the stage. But I did feel better about the new writing. I didn't know if it was funny at all, but it felt more like me, and it felt smarter, and I've got till Thursday to funny it up, restructure it, rewrite it.

And so, as one of the guys here put it, I've got the bug, which honestly feels like a tapeworm, like it's just sitting there in my intestines chillin'. Because I stay home and stare at the ceiling and talk to myself, trying to find a punchline. I say the same sentence to myself 12 times in the mirror before getting into the shower. I wake up to write something down.

This has been so good for me mentally.

It's the writing that hooks me, the practice of writing down every weird thought I have, I love that. I never was quite able to do that with fiction pieces, I can't get my brain to obsess over them the same way. I'm sure it's the lack of immediate payoff. If I write a joke, I only have to wait a week to get some incredibly powerful social response, yay or nay. A story you work on for ages, only to never really be sure if anyone is ever going to see it.
I'm even thinking about majoring in creative non-fiction rather than fiction, which is a like "whoa" kinda thought for me.

The fear and humiliation and anxiety has woken my brain up. Also I'm drinking so much coffee.

As I was making my normal morning 5 cups today, I wrote an email to a guy I heard was moving to LA. It was standard good luck, let me know if you need anything crap. But also this guy is really funny and smart, and I think if he goes there and it wakes him up, he's gonna do really well. We're about the same age, and he's way more successful than me in a lot of ways, but in the city he was in, he had sorta peaked. For himself. He had reached a lull, and I do know the feeling of that lull. It can be overwhelming, it's not necessarily a mental depression, but a whole life depression. Everything is just sort of muted and tamped down, and the higher you try to go, the more fog you get lost in.

I don't know, maybe he doesn't feel any of this at all, but writing to him made me think about where I was at now, a month into this new city. School is great. I have actual writing and reading to do, all the time, it's annoying and also the best thing ever. I still need a job, I have to buckle down on that, this week. I think of LA as being a place where you go to get your doctorate in survival, and I feel like Wilmington is where I'm at to get my masters. The equivalent of your life college degree is the first place you live alone, which can be your birth city or the place you went to college. If that place is a biggest city, like LA or NYC, then you just move in between biggest cities. But most of us grow up in smaller mid sized cities, or smaller. So your first city is your BA. Then you move somewhere else, maybe a little larger, and you're a little bit older, and that's your masters. And then finally, if you're really making a career out of whatever hippie art shit it is that we all do, you go to a Biggest City. And after a few years there, it's up to you. You can live wherever. You can go back to your birth city, or pick random places for the rest of your life. You've faced the fear.

I wish more people thought of the world this way, as an infinite number of possible lives and an infinite number of fears to stare down.

Monday, September 3, 2012


..."the right of employers to manage their own business to suit themselves," is fast coming to mean in effect nothing less than a right to manage the country to suit themselves" - J.Bernard Hogg

First of all, over 24% of Americans work in retail jobs, and I think it's fucked up the rest of us can't give up shopping for a weekend so they can have a federal holiday off as well.

Second, let's talk about corporations.
An essential conflict in American politics (I was going to say right now, but actually always) is the argument that a corporation could do better at running our country than the government. In monarchies, Business could cozy up to the royalty, but it couldn't aspire to be royalty itself. Ever since we stripped that Divine Right from Power, Business has been trying to rewrite the Narrative as The Man Who Makes the Most Money is the Best. And every election cycle, the corporations try and sometimes succeed at buying their way into offices. The war to keep the word Public from becoming a pejorative is never ending.

Here is the difference between a Corporation and an Individual. A Corporation has no sense of guilt or shame. It is a sociopath, full of intelligence but devoid of natural feeling. It is a machine that exists not to better its own condition, or the condition of the species, or even to ponder the meaning of its creation. It is not even actually concerned with its survival, only the individuals that are part of it care about that. A Corporation has only one imperative, which is money.

"What's wrong with money, Bridget?" you ask.
Oh god, I don't know, like, everything.
But that's not my point, I don't care if you're pro-money, or whatever for this discussion. (Think about that term though, pro-money. Doesn't that make you feel bad, even a little?)
Anyway, the point is, if a corporation has the chance to make a profit by killing someone, it will do that. It will not even think twice, it will just blindly do what is best for itself.
Saying you hate the Corporation for being this way is the same as saying you hate the moon for casting shadows. It's a useless statement. These things are just facts.

We created and set in motion these creatures, letting them run rampant on the fields of the continent, only putting up fences as it becomes obvious fences are needed. They control most of our lives - we buy what they make, we dress how they tell us to, we eat what they make available to us. They give us our paychecks, and our medicines, and our news. Because they are so pervasive in our lives, it is tempting to humanize them and therefore allow trust to form. It's like when you name a hurricane, and anthropomorphize it. It helps curb the terror of dependency, of loss of control, when something has a name, like a pet.

But a corporation is not a pet. It is not a person. And we have a responsibility to keep putting up fences, to stop them from killing people, literally and figuratively.

So don't tell me you think unions are outdated. Sure, some are corrupt. Sure, some seem unnecessary. But the idea of a union, the sacred need to gather together to guard yourself and the community against the corporation, that is an idea that needs to be protected and loved. The Ludlow Massacre was less than one hundred years ago. There was actually a period of time in our history called the Colorado Labor Wars. These are things that are as recent and fresh as trendy prohibition cocktails, and yet think about the fact you know nothing about them. We don't remind ourselves about the Pullman Strike or the Thibodaux Massacre or the Memorial Day Massacre, they have been forgotten and glossed over. They have created a new marketing image for unions, of fat construction workers sitting around being lazy eating sandwiches and stealing your money. They GAVE you that image. They TOLD you teachers were overpaid. Think about that statement and your immediate agreement or disagreement with it. Do you actually know what teachers should be paid? Or even ARE paid?  They told you having to provide good wages and healthcare was bad for business.

Of course it's bad for business, because that's the fucking point. Because Business inherently doesn't, can't, care about us, so we have to care about ourselves. Unions are a check and a balance, they are a fence, to keep the Corporations from running heavy footed over our entire lives.

They talk in corners of our culture about upcoming labor wars, about the shadow of revolution. But the truth is this war is ongoing, it is ever present, you are participating in it yourself every time you vote or shop or go to work. It is American life, struggling to not be strangled by the tentacles of our own creations. And today we should all take a moment to get really drunk, not work, and remember we are free men and women.