Sunday, March 30, 2008

Angry White Woman

Some people are born bad . I woke up "bad" today. Though I awoke from my sleep in plenty of time , I started loosing ground right off the bat. While I was in the shower, the weekend manager texted me to say that he wouldn't be in because he was working a convention. I was already late, that wasn't going to light a fire under my feet. Plus , he had to have known he was going to be working a convention for the last 2 weeks. He could have sent me an email earlier in the week or called me at the booth. He didn't. He texted me so he wouldn't have to talk with me. Well. . . . talk wasn't going to matter today. . . I was already behind the gun.
I figured somebody else would be there before me. . . . . .No. I didn't really believe anybody else would show on time. I got to the booth just as the church bells were chiming 9 o'clock. There actually was another co-worker there waiting. She didn't have a key , but she was on time. I felt bad that she had to wait for me. I really didn't expect anyone else to be there.
We got in and started getting stuff going . Another co-worker showed up 5 minutes later and we finally opened at 9:15. Usually , I have a little more concern about these types of things. Not today. There were already 30 people clamoring to get into the booth. The first couple of questions were about some event that was happening on the Common. None of us knew what thay were talking about. It was that kind of day . Lots of questions that we didn't have the answers to. Lot of slow people. People who ask a question and don't listen to the answer and then you have to answer the same question again. I try to change the pitch of my voice , raise or lower it a couple of octaves, in case it's the sound of my voice that they can't comprehend.
I wasn't mean or rude, I just wasn't enjoying the parade so much today. Someone dropped , what appeared to be, a carton of chocolate milk all over the floor in front of the ladies Room. The culprit didn't bother to own up to it. Oh, and the cleaning lady was nowhere to be found. No one else behind the counter got up to clean it. So, I had to clean it. I was swearing under my breath. Some lady in line said, trying to be helpful, "Sometimes the job's hard" and I shot back "This is not my job ! ". It wasn't my job. Someone else is paid to make sure chocolate milk on the floor , or shit in the urinal or puke on the counter gets cleaned up. However, if that "someone" cannot be found then "someone else" has to clean it up . Today , I was that "someone else" and I was none too happy about it.
This job is not brain surgery. No one is going to die if I tell them to take a left when they really should have gone right. All I have to do is be pleasant and give directions. How hard can that be ? Well .. . . .today it was pretty hard for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Days of Reckoning

Hooo-Boy, It sucks to get old. . . . .On Monday, I met with the Nutritionist that my primary care physician wanted me to see. A basically nice, petite little woman. She was legit because I saw her degree on the wall. Though I 'm sure she's good at what she does, I doubt she's ever really had a weight problem.She probably just gets off on dealing with fatties and feeling superior to us lesser folk. She laid it out for me. I showed her my food diary, she read about a weeks worth and said I was eating too much starch. She had plastic food laid out in plates on her desk- "salmon", "chicken", "vegetables" and "pasta" in appropriate portion sizes.We didn't start off too good, she made me get on the scale and I had gained three pounds since my checkup, less than a month ago. She gave me a 2 page hand out about what I can and cannot eat. I have to institute some kind of an exercise program-at least 45 minutes , 4 times a week. She asked me what I thought about all this and said I thought I should kill myself. She doesn't have a sense of humor.
When I quit smoking, I didn't want to . I don't want to change things, but I know I have to. I might as well choose while I still CAN choose. I'm trying to make that my mantra-"I will choose while it is still my choice to make". I've upped my vegetable intake. It's killing me ! I really don't enjoy eating all these vegetables.
Long story short, I have to chnage the way I live my life. I am not in crisis. If I make the appropriate changes now, I can save myself , and those who care about me, a fair amount of heartache further down the line. The spectre of diabetes and heart disease looms in the genetic distance. All I gotta do is put down the eclair . . . and waddle away . . . .

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Comedy, Comedy, Comedy

Yes, that's right. I performed comedy 3 nights , in a row ! Only one of them was planned. On Thursday , I went down to Rafferty's in Marshfield hosted by the lovely and talented Chrissy Kelleher. It's a small room , sometimes referred to as "The Comedy Coffin" , it's that small and enclosed. We had 7 civilian audience members and that mostly filled it. They are regulars. Beautiful, loving , regulars. Thank God they are there because you can get a little bit of a gauge about how you are doing. The other comics were in the back watching the Celtics pummel someone. I sat in the audience finishing off my cheese burger. I drove a couple of comics, Mike & Joe. We got there a half hour early becuase I thought the show started at 8. My bad. I was looking forward to Thursday because I had 4 new jokes/bits I wanted to try . Two were dirty , or "dirty" for me and 2 were useable in other venues. I went second. I took my notebook onstage with me , in case I forgot something, which happens a lot to me. The 2 dirty bits went okay. They don't seem to be complete, but they are pretty far along. The other two , "clean" bits went pretty good. Again, one of them isn't all the way there, but is useable as is. It was a worthwhile trip to the South Shore. The other two guys I gave a ride to , seemed glad they went as well.
On Friday , I was doing the door at the Comedy Studio. The show was being hosted by the delightful Renata Tutko. I love this little girl. Both for her comedy and her personality. She's just a great person. Any how, I jokingly said to her, "If somebody doesn't show up , I'm ready to go on ! I got time ready to go . I'm just saying, if you need me , I'll be available.". She said she'd keep it in mind. So, I'm doing the door , getting ready to see Renata host. There's some new faces and some regular people on the show. All in all, an evening where anything could happen. Shortly before the show started, Rick came over and said " I'll cover the door while you take the bullet" ("taking the bullet" means you go first). He felt he needed to surprise me so I couldn't have time to get nervous. Touche Monsieur Jenkins ! Yay ! I was getting stage time and I was actually ready to go on. I quickly listed a set and put it in my pocket. Trying out new material the previous evening made me more focused on the task at hand. I was pretty excited and I think that carried over to the audience. I even threw in 2 of the clean bits from the night before.Unfortunatley , the dvd recorder wasn't working. I would have loved to have seen a tape of it . It just went really well. It was a great evening for me.
I was doing the door at the Studio on Saturday as well. Since I got to take the bullet the night before, there was no way I was going to get stage time again so soon. I didn't even consider it a possibility. It was going to be a busy night , all the seats that could be pre-sold, were . Which means that we'll sell out the unsold seats fast and then it'll be standing room only by the time the show starts. That is exactly what happened. I was really just concentrating on the task at hand. Trying to be nice to the people who want the unoccupied but paid-for seats and other door type customer hassles. Shortly before the show was to begin , Doug Chagnon came over and said "Rick told me to do the door while you take the bullet". Wow ! 2 nights in a row ! Interestingly, I was less prepared because I totally hadn't considered that I would go up . I really scribbled a set list, less comprehensive than the previous evening. I also didn't feel that I was dressed as well as the previous evening. So, I started and it was going pretty good. I forgot a couple of tings but I jumped to something else until I could get back to where I wanted to be. I think I lost them a little bit but I had them by the end. The primary difference this time was when I lost my place I didn't say out loud "I forgot what I was going to say!" I just kept going. Near the end, I could see something going on on the booth. I hadn't gotten the light but Tom Morello was definitely doing something with the light. I kind of panicked because I thought I had gone over my time and that Rick would think I was thoughtless. Turns out , someone had unscrewed the blue light and Tom was screwing it back in, that is what I was seeing. I asked Tom if I had gone over and he said I did my time , I went over by 30 seconds , which was acceptable , given the circumstances.
SO, it was an exciting couple of days for me. My sets felt strong and I think I was able to provide a fun time for the audiences. It was really good and I was really happy with everything. I'm finally at the point where I can put something good together with short notice. It was nice to learn that about myself. Yay !

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hopes & Dreams

So, I have a voice-over audition tomorrow. I would like to get it. It's good for the resume. I haven't memorized the script yet and I may not be able to do it because I'm not paid up with the union that governs that type of a job. Sometimes, it's between paying the phone bill or paying my dues. Phone bill has to be paid. They shut me off a couple of years ago and I don't feel like I've fully recovered , business-wise. Also,I have a huge grudge left over for my phone company. I have paired my services down as low as I can go. I should just cancel the whole thing. . . . I digress. . .
My current manager is thinking about going back to school to get an advanced degree. She's married with a kid and she's thinkng about her family's future. A better degree will help her get a better job. At the very least , it will give her the confindance to ask for a raise simply because she knows the work she's put into it.We were brain storming ideas. I think she should finish up her undergrad and that will put her closer to going for a Masters. I don't know where she would find the time between the job and her family, but she's determined to go for it. Me ? I wanted to get some laundry done tonight and make some phone calls.In that respect , I am very successful ! I did 2 loads of laundry , made my bed and made the phone calls. I had dinner , too. Now I'm blogging.
What I'm tryin to get at is. . . . I don't think I have a "Big Picture" view. With all this free time not taken up with a relationship or real estate, I should be finishing up my screenplays and the two plays I started. I should be learning Spanish and French. Maybe a little action on my little used Orbitrak.I should have an organized bureau . I could put punchlines to my "interesting " premises for my comedy. Aahhh welllll. . . tomorrow is another day

Friday, March 14, 2008

What The Heck ?

I get electronic deposit for one of my jobs. It's great , I wake up on an alternate Friday morning and there is fresh money in my account to pay my bills. I earned it, I know it's coming. It's just nice that it is there when I wake up and I don't have to go to retrieve the check or wait for the mail to arrive and then go to the bank. It's convenient. However, every once in a while , I don't keep a daily balance and I total every thing up when the checks go in. Well .. .. today I did that and basically I'm at a zero balance. I'm not overdrawn, it's just that everything that went out was equal to the amount that came in this week. I just don't understand how I did that . Nor do I have a master plan to get a leg up over the next week. I'm scratching my head and wondering "What the heck" ?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stand-Up -Yay !

Last night I did stand-up in my friend Janet Cormier's show at the All Asia in Central Square. We had a really good size audience . There was an improv group and a new stand-up , so, there were a lot of people there. Also , Bob Gautreau was there , I love seeing him. I've known Bob for a long time and I will always love him for making me spaghetti all those years ago. . . . But I digress. .. ..
Janet asked me to do that show a couple of weeks ago. I was really looking forward to it. I was hoping that I was going to have something new from the subway stuff I am secretly working on. And by "secretly" I mean nothing is really funny yet and so I will keep it to myself until there is something funny or , at the very least , performance worthy. I also figured there would be several opportunities prior to the gig for me to at least practice a kick -ass set. I scheduled some down time last week to work on it. However, little did I guess that I would be practically blind with itchy eyes for most of last week. The only relief was when I closed my eyes. If this keeps up much longer, I will surely go mad. By Saturday, I had finished my course of treatment and was starting to feel preety good. However, by sunset of last night , my left eye was already twitching and itchy. Both eyes were really red by the time I went to bed and I woke up with really puffy eyelids. Again, I digress . ...
SO, I get to the show and I can tell this is going to be a good audience. I am relieved of the pressure to do really new and shiny stuff. I am going to do what I consider my "primo" stuff and throw innovation out the window . Most of these people hadn't seen my stuff. Really, there were only 5 people who had seen me before, including the bar tender. This is an opportunity. Though I hadn't actually rehearsed my set , before I left the house, I brought a fist full of set lists and jokes. Little scraps of paper that I stuff in my pockets. Like Edgar Cacy , who used to learn things by sleeping with a book under his pillow, I stuff the little slips of paper into my back pockets. By osmosis, I am going to remember my best stuff. It worked ! I had a great set ! Janet said I could do 10 minutes and I think I did 11. Not bad. Though my eye was very itchy, I made it through my set and stayed for the rest of the show. It was a really good reason to leave the house, doing that show. I feel really good about my set . In honor of International Womens' Month, which the show was supposed to be dedicated to, I started off with an impression. .. of me. . . .driving. .. ."What the fuck Lady ! The light is green ! Go !!!!!" Thank you . I thought that lent a certain amount of energy and I thought about it on the way to the show, because the traffic was stupid slow. Then I just launched into my usual stuff. I rearranged some stuff and brought out a couple of old jokes. I didn't stammer or stumble . It flowed the way I would hope it would always flow. I had energy and enthusiasm. I was having fun and I think it looked like I was having fun and , really that's what it should always be about.
In conclusion, I feel good. The end.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mike Pincus!

Mike Pincus is a comic. I had mentioned him in a blog about a year ago. He was really just starting out. When I mentioned him, it may have only been his 2nd or 3rd time on stage. To his credit, he had a couple of friends in the audience. I didn't like his set. I thought he was kinda mean . I don't remember what I actually wrote. I didn't like that he was drinkng a beer onstage and I didn't see how it contributed to his material. In short, I dissed Mike in my blog of that evening's show. Not becuase I had anything against him personally, I just didn't like his set. I was recording what I thought about the shows.
Back then, I would make sure I had the names and the show order down and I would write my impressions of people's set. I'm generally pretty benign, I'm no Simon Cowell. Also, I don't see myself as an arbiter of comedy. I am a fan . I like it. I do it , not very well, but I do it. I would critique the shows for people who couldn't get to that show because they were performing somewhere else or just wanted to know what had happened that night. Just a little report for the community. I am not a mean spirited person. People who know me well, know that I would never be overtly mean to someone unless I was ready and willing to burn that bridge. If I'm ready to burn a bridge, that person is already dead to me. I'm just shovelling the last little bits of dirt onto the grave.
I took a writing class with Mike and found him to be a much nicer, funnier person , in person. Also, he makes his living as a writer. He gets paid for doing it. He doesn't work 5 jobs to pay the rent. Nor does a free blog really count as writing to him, whereas blogging is about all I consider to be real writing for me these days. AND I'm not very consistent with it, either ! Unless someone smears poop on a wall at my job , I have no inspiration.
Also, lately, I've been doing the door at the Comedy Studio. I feel like I am helping to maintain a clubhouse. I feel like I am participating in the community . Also, I get to see some great shows. The line-up can change from what is printed on the weekly schedule and that always lends an air of excitement to the evening for me. It' s cool to see people coming up the stairs to hang out. It's just an intereseting vantage point. I am applying my skill at making change to be in comedy. In short , I've been able to see some really kick -ass shows lately. I did the door both nights for DJ Hazard's recent appearances, I asked if I could do it . I did the door for the wonderful Mike Birbiglia . Those are just the recent big names. I've also had the chance to see some kick -ass shows by some hardworking professional and open-mike comics.
For example, last Saturday night, it was standing room only. I had to turn people away. Some people , I told them they could come in, but they would probably have to stand. They were willing to do it. It was a good local line-up . Lamont Price was on the bill , I really like him. Dan Sally was readying himself for his Letterman audition. Alex Folskie, who is a mime, had them screaming ! And also on the bill was Mike Pincus. He was also on fire. He had the kind of set that would keep me from falling asleep that night if it had been me. I don't think any of the material was the same stuff he had done before. He had the audience with him the whole way. It was a great set and I was happy for him.
You see, one night Mike googled himself and he found his way to what I had written about him in my blog. He found it a long time after I had written it and after I got to know him as a decent human being. That's how a lot of people find their way to my little creative outlet. He was annoyed and felt my review of his performance was unfair. I stand by my original impression but I also stand by the fact that I observe that he has worked very hard at the craft and has gotten really better. Both his stage presence and writing are way better than they were. You'd be glad if you caught his set. I was glad I caught his set. I look forward to seeing him perform again sometime soon.
Mike is not the only person to have googled himself during a quiet moment and found their way to my blog. I even had a woman contact me about a comic I had mentioned who was on a show with me. People have thanked me for things I wrote about them , wrote with no intention of them ever reading my stuff. So , I feel weird about this phenomenon. I'm not trying to screw with anyone or ingratiate myself with the "Cool kids". I like comedy. Good comedy makes me laugh (Uh, duh). I like being surprised by people. I like talking about a good show or a good joke. . . I thought Mike did a good job on Saturday night. So did Lamont, and Dan and Alex.
This blog is an extentsion of my desire to communicate about comedy . . . . and poop.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

New Poop and Itchy Eye Balls

I missed a renegade Mad Pooper. Apparently, on Tuesday , when I wasn't there, a Mad Pooper struck in the Ladies room, this time. Our cleaning lady was pissed. Apparently this pooper smeared the walls in a stall whereas the male version smears the longer wall , thus, creating a bigger "effect". The cleaning lady had to go over it 2 or 3 times. I guess lady poop has more staying power ! . .. . . Of course I am assuming it was an actual woman and not a man , sneaking in undercover, smearing the poop. Perhaps someone who consumed sticky rice and Tootsie Rolls to create the proper consistency.
I had another itchy eyeball attack on Sunday. This time it was much worse and I had trouble keeping my eye open to see while driving . It was so bad, I went to the Doctor on Monday and she gave me perscription for an ointment to insert under my eyelid 3 times a day. It is helping some and I am almost through the 5 day regimen. My eyes are still intermittently itchy but it's not as bad as it had been. The worse part is I can't wear eye make-up and the oinment kind of hangs out around my eyes and oozes ever so slowly out of my eyes. Creating the effect that I have been violently crying and only now stopped in your presence and I haven't had a chance to dab the moisture from my eyes. It kind of looks like I've dunked the top part of my face in Vaseline. The good news is that my eyes aren't nearly as red rimmed as they had been. I think I must have looked liked I was doing spliffs every 15 minutes. Big blunts of primo material. Nope, just really itchy eyes. The tough part is , I have taken time off from work. However, I can't keep my eyes open long enough to read. I can't really watch tv, I more listen to it. I find it's really helpful to close my eyes, it makes the medicine more effective .. . . . I hope.