Friday, February 23, 2007

Not So Fast

I usually fast twice a year. It involves eating healthy for two weeks, then boiling a bunch of juices like a crazed witch doctor, and drinking them for a day.

A new place called Yapples opened up around the corner and they have a 1 day fast package. I’m lazy and a sucker for an easy fix, so I thought I’d try it. It’s “breakfast”, “lunch”, “dinner” and a wheatgrass shot.

I did the wheatgrass shot and left. Minutes later, I became queasy. I have a theory that if you’re sick, but don’t think about it, it will just get bored and go away. I know it doesn’t make sense, but I decided to out-think the vomit. I turned on the TV and absorbed myself in a saved episode of Ugly Betty.

I don’t know if I got a hold of some bad wheatgrass, or if there were so many bad toxins in my stomach that the healthy wheatgrass didn’t stand a chance, but I ended up yappling all afternoon. Maybe the wheatgrass antioxidants were ready for battle, then they looked around at all the free radicals in my stomach that they were up against and decided to retreat.

So, like Old Faithful, I spend the rest of the afternoon between napping and spewing, until my neighbor, Boom Chica, caught something on fire downstairs. It smelt like an electrical fire. It was awful. Even thought it was 30 degrees outside, I opened up every window. There’s nothing worse than having stomach woes and being trapped in a smelly place.

I couldn't take it, so I went to figure out what was going on. Boom Chica was all “oh, yeah, sorry, I, uh, was, uh, cooking something in the oven and it made that smell. “ I was like, “What were you cooking, a lamp?”

So now, after losing a whole day, I’m almost back to my old self. But please learn from my mistake.

Lesson #1 – If you go to a place named Yapples, there’s a chance you’ll yapple.

Lesson #2 – I don’t care if it’s called a Buttery Nipple, Purple Hooter or Wheatgrass, if it’s served to you over a counter in a shot glass, there’s a good chance it will make you hurl.

Lesson #3 – if your local juice bar has health foods in the front and tanning beds in the back, be weary.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Old Dog. New Tricks?

Have I blogged about my reality show experience yet? Well now I have. There, I said it. I was part of a reality show. It was a fashion make-over show where they tried to clean up my sorry excuse for a wardrobe. I'd love to say that it had limited humiliation, but it hasn't aired yet, so who knows.

It can't be worse than the time I was at the show, Ayanla. One minute, I was an innocent audience memeber and the next, I'm on stage with some PA's running around with a mic. A voice comes over the intercom and says "Put the mic on the girl in the middle...the girl in the blue..." Then she got frustrated and just said it. "THE WHITE GIRL! Put the mic on the WHITE GIRL!" I turned even whiter, when on national TV, during the ‘What You Can Do To Make Yourself Feel Special’ speech, Ayanla told me that I needed to get laid. I think she said it just like that too, “Girl, you gotta get laid.”

I was offended. She didn’t know me. I could have just had a morning romp with a stranger in the Starbuck’s bathroom for all she knew. Maybe I just had my way with a PA in a broom closet.

Or maybe, just maybe, I was dressing poorly. Maybe I was dressing like someone who doesn't get laid. Or maybe it was the haircut. My husband once found an old photo of me and looked at it and said, "You weren't dating anyone when this photo was taken." And I was all, "I don't know, I can't remember." And he said, "Men don't date that haircut."

Then after the show aired, I got the phone call. The “I’m pretty sure this wasn’t you, but I’ve got to ask” phone call. Apparently, my high school voice teacher saw the show. People that know me well, stop the story right here in disbelief. Not that I was told by a complete stranger on national TV to ho myself around, not that I was whited out in a room full of ethnic people, but that my tone-deaf ass actually took voice lessons.

It’s true. A sweet, albeit sadistic, woman sat through hours of my trying to hit a note in the song, “Some say love…it is a river…that drowns…the tender reed…” But I digress, back to last weeks reality show...

I had to sign a release to do this show. I signed a legal document acknowledging that I might be embarrassed or humiliated. Clearly I've made a fool out of myself plenty of times, but it's never been premeditated or legally binding!

So post reality show, I got all dolled up in my new duds, a new white shirt, cool tight belt, new necklace, some sweet stilettos and I admit, I was feeling pretty sassy.

By 9 am I had spilled lipstick and tea on my new shirt and fallen down in the subway. Not an "Oh MY God!" fall where people rushed to my side, but more of a Gumby fall, where one leg slid one way and one the other way and people just tilted their heads and looked at me like, "Huh. I wonder how that happened."

Then I spent the whole day in my stained but sassy attire, getting certified for CPR, the defibrillator and first Aid. What I learned after a whole day of training is that you do not want me around in the event of an emergency! I was worried when the guy on the video "fell" down a flight of stairs with boxes and clipped an old lady, I got teary-eyed during the stoke symptom re-enactment, light headed when they talked about chest compresses, and I about fell out of my chair when they showed how to wrap a wounded arm without taking the giant shard of bloody glass out first.

After spending a day thinking about all the potential dangers of this world, the new 4 inch black leather stilettos that I had adored, all of a sudden, seemed risky. Like hang gliding home from work, or bungee jumping down from my 16th floor office window.

So I changed into my nappy old black loafers and headed home, stained and safe.

You can dress an old dog up in a new sweater, but she’ll still step in the same puddles.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

WARNING: Family and Comedy Don’t Mix

Last night I did a stand-up show because my mom was in town from Georgia and had never seen my act. It was at a club that I had never performed at before, and will never perform at again because I inadvertently took my sweet, sheltered, albeit completely nuts, mom to see the dark side of comedy.

I know for a fact my mom has had limited exposure to stand-up because she quizzes me about my act and suggests jokes she gets via e-mail to use for my show. I think she thought I would use props and tell knock-knock jokes. Anyway, she's seen one of my shows now and…she’s definitely been exposed to stand-up.

One comedian (a giant man in a track suit) got on stage and pulled out a huge butcher knife and proceeded to act out how he'd kill people if they said this or that. Any laughter he got was distressed, and the entire nervous front row left after he got off the stage.

It was a show with some comedians cussing like sailors and talking about the usual gross beginner-comic stuff. It made me want to yell, "Hey asshole, Watch your f**king mouth, can't you see my f**king mother is here? Jackass!"

Which would have made me fit right in, since the audience was talking the entire time - the WHOLE time, full-on conversations during everyone's act. The host kept asking everyone to keep it down and be respectful of the comedians.

When I got on stage, they began to yell. Not the ‘You Go Girl’ yell, but the ‘We're So Drunk We Don't Know Where We Are’ yell that turned into the ‘Wet T-shirt Contest’ yell. It felt less like a comedy show and more like an indoor Puerto Rican day parade.

The only other girl comedian went up first, long before anyone was drunk enough to fully appreciate a female on stage. So when I got on stage, two tables in the back immediately started chanting, "WOOOOOHHHHH, take it off! Take it off!"

I should point out what I was wearing – brown dress pants, a button down, a wool sweater over it and my hair in a ponytail. It was like Martha Stewart showing up at a boobie bar.

So I looked at them like they were idiots, which they were, and gave a "What? My sweater? You want me to take off my sweater?" To which they went completely nuts. I tried to calm them down with "Come on, guys, show some respect, my mom is here." This mistake produced chanting for mom, my 62 year-old mother, to "take it off."

The night was topped off by getting trapped in traffic in a cab having to answer rapid-fire questions from my mom like, "Do you think that guy really went to the bathroom to do cocaine?" and "Was that supposed to be funny when that guy talked about sticking a cell phone up his butt hole? - That's just gross. Why would anyone talk about that?"

Just hours before this debacle, my mom thought it was unsafe to go to an ATM on the bustling intersection of 46th and 6th Ave at 6:00 pm because it was “after dark.” I could only imagine what safety concerns she had after being trapped in a small dark room with a knife-wielding comedian and drunk thug kids yelling for her daughter to strip.

This is also the same woman who, years ago when I lived in LA, was worried sick about me going to auditions because she had seen an episode on dateline where “young innocent girls went to auditions and were tricked into doing porn.” Of course, if a girl feels comfortable voluntarily having sex in a room full of strangers with cameras, chances are she’s not that innocent.

During this LA era, I got tired of telling her the details of my daily life as it was taxing to answer the same old question, “Did they ask you to take your clothes off?”

So, now my life has come full-circle, and her fears have been confirmed. I never imagined that I’d ever have a conversation trying to convince my mom that comedy is actually safer than it looks.

I know I'll make the prayer list at her church again. If the bouts of constipation in ’99 made the list, this will definitely trump that!

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