Friday, November 30, 2012

Funny, funny Friday

I do comedy. (shwing!)

I have always loved enteraining, cutting up, and doing anything for a laugh. I tried improv way, way back in the 2005 vintage and fell in love. That didn't last long...ahem... I can tell you the story another time (winkwink), but round abouts August of last year I found out about auditions for The Blacklist.
A new(ish) improv group here in the Quad Cities, they were an uncensored improv troupe. Something that we haven't seen in the last 20+ years that we've been inundated with family-friendly improv. "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" (spoken every bit like Jerry Seinfeld just then)

The limelight moon shone brightly that night and I went to the auditions and had an amazing time. Was reminded of everything I loved about improv and entertaining that I had been sorely missing for many years. And a week or so after that, I got the call from George, the grand old man of The Blacklist, saying that I had made it in.

Woohoohoohoo! Happier than a jackass eatin' stickers, I was. And I don't even know what that means, but it was me.

And it's been me, and about 15 other amazingly talented guys for the past year, and I have loved every millisecond that I've spent with all of them, doing this amazing, wild, unscripted, off the wall thing that I love. That we all love. Heck, we even pulled up an entire new crop of improvers and are training them right now to get out there and do their own collective thang! Yeah, buddy!

We have several different show formats, with more in the works. We have a definite following of faithful fans and best of all? We have definitely made a name for ourselves. We are a force to be dealt with. We are tightly knit group. We support each other. We tell each other the hard things when necessary. We pick on each other. We lift each other up. We build each other up. And we have damn good times together. (Nerf wars, anyone?)

On a related tangent, most of these funny, funny guys also do stand up. Believe it or not, stand up is something I, as a kid, always thought I wanted to do. I picked a great time to start thinking about it because in February/March the Quad Cities had two different stand up competitions going on, the C4 and the Comedy for a Cause. I spent a lot of time at these competitions watching my friends and strangers get up there and make with the funny. I think I even learned a thing or two. In April I decided to give it a whirl. And I didn't suck too awful bad. So I kept at it. And can you guess what else I also love?

Yup. Stand up. I taught myself to play the ukulele and now I sing and play songs with my stand up. Oh, wait... you probably know that because that's kinda how this whole blog started. I have been away from my spoken word comedy for a little bit because I'm having so much fun with the songs - I have 4 more written, 2 of which I'm actually in the process of working up - but I'm going to get back to the speaking of the funny again. I do like the stuff that I say sometimes. Okay, most times. Okay, so it's funny to me, alright? Geez.

Getting myself involved with not only The Blacklist but with the local (and distant local - Iowa City, Des Moines) comedy scene has brought so many hilarious, talented and unusual people into my life. I've decided that, for awhile now, or until I run out of things to say, anyway, I'm going to dedicate Fridays to the funny men - and women! - in my life. That might even include my boys, because they are hilarious and way too much like their mom sometimes. Every Friday, I will interview one of The Blacklist members and/or one of my comedian comrades and post it here. If I ever figure out how to do a video or audio blog you might be in for a treat, but for now just plan for some meat and potatoes entertaining reading. If I can manage it I'll track one of these illustrious men down today. If not? You're in for a treat next Friday. And who knows. Maybe I'll throw in some chitchat about improv in general. Sure, why not?

In the meantime... stay tuned. And keep reading. There is, at least occasionally, some pretty good stuff up in these here blogs o' mine.

Love ya, friends.


NEXT TIME: Somerhalder Sunday (now to be known and Stalktastic Sunday)! Which stalkee will I dish on first? And what do you think my chances are? At the end of my top ten I'll take a poll of who you think I've got the best chance of successfully stalking and I'll set my sights to capture!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When preshrunk isn't OR Cockblocked by boogers. And a lisp.

Is it Tuesday already? Sheesh! I guess so. And since I'm working on this whole 'consistency' thing, here is another installment of Taco Tuesday - Taco Time Revealed!

We are now up to this lovely little snippet:

"... a lisping, basement-dwelling booger man..."

"As my Grandpappy Ole Reliable used to say... I don't recollect I've ever mentioned Old Reliable before."

"Aye, ye have, laddie."

(Anyone know what that's from? Sorry, just watched it and couldn't get it out of my head. So there. Now it's out. Moving on...)

As I have mentioned before, I have in my past been quite the frequenter of the interwebs dating sites. Most of the men in Taco Time - maybe all but two, and the Storks - were men I met online. (Ha! I like that. "The Storks" sounds like a 50's band name. Might have toured with The Turtles or The Birds. Later on possibly The Stray Cats? ADD this morning anyone? Hey, look at that! Shiny!) There were a couple not completely ridiculous prospects in that lot, but for the most part there was a reason they were "wookin pa nub" (anyone? come one, that's an awesome one!) online.

This particular fella was one I met on... Yahoo personals, I think? Before it went defunct and merged with Match. Sad that I even know about that. And it's dates me. And not in the cool datey way. Plus that would be weird. Anyway... We used to chat on messenger, I remember, and had lots of good chats. Aren't they always? It might just be me, but at this point I'm thinking I could probably have "lots of good chats" with a rock. Maybe I should look into that. But yes... lots of chats, his personality seemed perfectly amenable to a least the idea of a date. Perhaps lunch? Nothing daunting. And he lived not far at all from where I did. So it was settled. After probably not nearly enough time we decided that a lunch date was in order. La Rancherita, a little homestyle mexican restaurant, a home town fave, if you will, and close to both our houses, is where we decided upon.

Now mind you, I did not know what this man looked like. Apparently I was trying out this whole "get to know the person before you judge by their looks" philosophy? Poppycock, in retrospect. As I walk into the restaurant, my eyes are immediately drawn to who I hope is not - but very obviously is - my lunch date.

La Rancherita is miniscule. He saw me. There was no turning tail to run. I mean, I could have, but that would have been mean. Funny as hell, but mean. So I muster my best pretend smile and take my seat across from him in the booth. I don't remember how he had described himself, but I'm pretty sure "fat guy in a little shirt" was nowhere in the description. He was wearing a long sleeve thermal top underneath a far too tight t-shirt. He had glasses, and behind them his eyes made him look like a sugar glider. At least that's how my mind sees it now. Haha... The best is yet to come, though.

As we sat there chatting, waiting for our food, I found myself mesmerized by this man. Not for any good reason, mind you. Well, maybe a good reason. As he spoke, I couldn't help but notice that his tongue almost completely filled the all the empty space in his mouth. It seemed to almost spill out from his teeth as he spoke, and because of it he had an odd sort of lisp. Fat tongue. Not on my list of manly "must haves".

And then there was the bat.

Unable to take my eyes off of him, I began to notice a slight flutter north of the lip region. A bat in the cave. A loose bogey flapping insanely out of control inside his left nostril. That dry flutterer must have had stick-tights for fingers because it waved frantically the whole time he spoke without dislodging itself. I COULD NOT look away. Not now. Not ever. And the best part? By the end of the lunch the right nostril let a bat fly of his own, and I had now embarked upon Booger Watch 2009. It was dueling banjos of the mucosal variety.

Thankfully, food arrived and was eaten in a timely fashion and I had "somewhere that I needed to go". He walked me out, we hugged (yeah, I even hug booger men, apparently. I'm convinced it's a disease) and went our separate ways. Minutes later, probably just after my sigh of relief that the debacle was over, he instant messaged me to tell me how great a time he had and how much he wanted to kiss me. Ok, so add delusional to this man's list of completely resistable traits.

We never spoke again. There is a God.

El fin.

As always, friends - all 3 of you, and Dad (hi, Dad!) - thanks for reading. Stay tuned for next Taco Tuesday. I'll be imparting valuable information on what really gets chicks hot. (Hint: grab a lighter.)

Love you all...


NEXT TACO TIME: Why internet dating is so hot OR Foreplaying with fire

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Somerhalder Sunday - The reality of fangirl crushes

So as my regular, average, everyday Jane love life (or whatever the kids are calling them these days) comes crashing down around me once again, swooning and fawning over a super hot famous guy who JUST so happens to be an amazing human and philanthropist/environmentalist doesn't seem like such a silly idea after all. I mean let's think about this. If I'm gonna keep swooning and fawning all over real life everyday Joe's that I never get, why not just set my sights on the truly unrealistic? I'm used to not seeing any positive results, so this could actually be fun!

(Seriously, this is a good thing! Trying to put a positive spin on the sad state of affairs that are my romantic aspirations.)

And since I am a gal with an extensively large imagination and not shortage of cockamamie schemes up my sleeves (even when I'm wearing tank tops!) I've decided that narrowing my chances of once-in-a-lifetime hookups down to a mere one beau is just plain silly. Especially when there are at least five that I would readily, happily and stealthily stalk (say that five times fast) for a chance to win them over.

Today's blog is a short one, but with the promise of more to come as I reveal my top 10  (and quite possibly my only) celebrity stalkees. In no particular order:

(Sooo, yeah. A couple of these fellas may or may not be married. But it's only because they never thought they had the chance to meet the REAL woman of their dreams. That's where I come in, swooping in on the wings of love(infatuation) to save the romantic day.)

Each week...ish... I will take one of my dream men and talk about why I chose him, what makes him special to me, what would make me a great match for him, and why he's insane for not spending his life waiting for me - his clearest and, really his only, best choice for true love.

Don't worry, as self-serving as this seems I assure at least SOME level of amusement. If not, I will be providing information at the end of this series for where you can submit donations toward the improvement of my clearly demented mental state.

Love you all, and my God have mercy on your souls for reading this far.


NEXT SUNDAY!!! Which of the 10 dapper dandies will I dish on first? And what could I possibly think they would see in me??? Tune back in to find out!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I am Don Quixote OR The saddest blog I've ever written

I'm tired of crying.

I've cried more in the last four days than I have in a long time. I hate crying. The best part, though, was when I cried for no reason this morning when Chris Farley tried to ask me - repeatedly, I might add - what I did ("whaddja do?whaddja do?whaddja do?") It's a cute story, actually. But how ridiculous is that?

See, the essential problem is that I am an idiot. Kinda dumb, I am. My Heart thinks he's super smart, though. He really thinks he knows the score. Then there's this little part of my Mind that also believes that my heart knows what's going on. And they both jump the gun, every time, when it comes to men, relationships, and the dreaded "L" word.

I am an uncontrollably impulsive, passionate, trusting, hopeful, unrealistically optimistic (despite my rampant cynicism & sarcasm) person. I read too much into things - words, actions - take too many/the wrong kinds of risks, give too freely of myself to others, and am cursed with an overly honest tongue. I see possible paths where there are clearly marked detour signs. I hold out hope, even when facing a sign that reads "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here". I believe, even when there isn't a single sign that should lead me to imagine.

What is it that leads me to behave this way? A dream. A fantasy, really. About...a man. A partner. A best friend. My other half. My "better" half. Companionship.


All that up there, those are the things that I crave, that I long for, that I would fight for, that I would do anything to protect once it truly became mine.

But the more time passes, the less likely it seems that this elusive gift will come my way. And time and time again I find myself tilting at windmills and battling imaginary villains in defense of the deepest desire of my heart, a thing which I have yet to hold in my arms.

I feel like I've been close a few times. So close that I could almost hear the clang of metal against metal as my villains took partial form. So near that I was sure I felt the hand of my love on my shoulder as I fiercely defended us. I would even swear that his breath brushed past my cheek as he spoke my name aloud, his voice almost more than just an imagining of my mind.

And then, before I could fully embrace the reality of his arrival, the swing of my sword lost its iron edge and the windmills reappeared. And there again I stood, alone, in the empty battlefield of my dreams.

It's getting harder to fight the good fight. Practice might make perfect - and practice I have aplenty - but age & time have a way of dulling even the most sharp convictions. The battle seems less important. The fight less noble. The glorious end, no longer in sight, fades into oblivion amidst the gunsmoke. Night is falling. It seems that surrender to the inevitable is the only reality that remains.

And I am tired.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not all clergyman are pedophiles OR Everything I learned about relationships I learned from gypsies swinging foam swords

So it's Tuesday again friends, and you know what that means. At least on the Tuesdays when I actually get around to blogging. YES! It's Taco Time! Time to reveal the story behind yet another hilarious and shockingly true verse in my autobiographical song.

Here's a quick recap of where we've been so far: Gingivities, Ice Cream Man, Fat Mouth-Breather... (for the full lyrics, head over here)

We are now up to the only actual relationship that is depicted in all of Taco Time:

"... and a larping Lutheran priest..."

(Fyi, I know they are not called "priests" in the Lutheran faith. I took a little creative license with that one.)

Oh, where to begin...  I guess with the larping bit. Or actually, with how we met.

Yahoo personals. Nothing glorious or extra special, really. I had a personal, he had a personal, and I want to say that he actually messaged me first? Maybe I messaged him, but his response email was EPIC. And awesome. His profile was incredible, he seemed like the perfect guy, and his picture was of him at the site of a church/home building from a missions trip where he was looking all manly and handy. I couldn't go wrong! We started messaging each other, which turned into computer to computer phone calls, which quickly turned into an every night internet rendezvous where we would talk, and laugh, and flirt and joke and just generally enjoy each others' virtual company.

Two weeks later (I think it really was that soon) we met up. He drove from Rockford to my place and we hung out for the day. When he first got out of the car I was kind of like, "ehh...", but the more time I spent with him the more of the virtual him became evident in the physical him and our night ended with a lovely - if stereotypical - walk along the river followed by a quite lovely and impassioned make out session by against the trunk of the car.



Up there in partial verse I mentioned "larping". Through my Larping Lutheran Priest (LLP from here on out) I discovered NERO - the New England Role-playing Organization. For a theatrical clown like me this was something completely and unexpectedly amazing. Some of you fine folks might not know quite what that is. Either that, or you don't really know what all it entails. Here is a little something for your perusal...

Super nerdy, especially watching this video, but man I fell in love! And not long after our evening chats, weekend visits and a few outings to NERO Chicago, I fell in love with him, too. I fell in love with a handsome man who just so happened to wield a foam sword, dress up like a gypsy and speak in a Romanian accent once a month. Just like a military reservist! Only...notsomuch.


The other cool think about the so-far (up to that point in time) unrivaled in his awesomeness guy - for me - was that he was also a Christian with aspirations of entering the ministry. It's a pretty cool thing, in my book, and especially if a person feels they've been particularly called to serve in that fashion. (This past May he graduated with his degree in Divinity. Something like that? I don't know, he's a Pastor now, is what all that means.)

So things were kinda lovely and perfect for quite sometime. I felt amazing, he said some amazing things (that later could only be assumed to be untrue), but by New Year's Eve, things had taken a turn. A slow turn. A turn that took 8 months to finally complete. It was interesting, really. If I still had access to my old Myspace I'd direct you all to my blog there, because you can very clearly see the demise of the whole relationship. Good times.

After the dwindling of phone calls, less frequent visits and reasons that he simply couldn't make it down, it all came to an end on the 21st of an August. I only remember the date because I was talking on the phone to him whilst walking into my first day of school for the illustrious (seriously!) career as a Surgical Technologist. Yep. Old as shit (he was... I don't know, upper mid 30's then?) STILL living with his parents, and he broke up with me over the phone like a champ.


I was gonna say that it's sad that this story isn't funnier, but then I just wrote that last line up there and remembered how frakkin' hilarious it really is. Don't forget about the sword-fighting in the woods as a disenchanted do-gooder gypsy, either, 'cause that shit is golden. (although like I said, I actually do thoroughly enjoy that stuff!)

That was years ago now, and I have clearly moved on. I'd like to say to bigger and better things, but those two words "bigger" and "better" don't really have the most positive of meanings when referencing the things I've moved on to. I mean, hello! "Taco Time", anyone?

Ah well, everything that has gone before has ushered me forth onto the amazing journey I've been on thus far. Won't look a gift horse in the mouth. Unless, of course, he's sitting across the table from me at some nightmare breakfast/lunch/dinner catastrophe and my exit is being blocked and there is something in his ginormous teeth that looks like the remnants of the paint chips he ate as a kid. Like a train wreck, I would be incapable of doing anything but looking straight into that mug.

You're beautiful, people. Really. All... several of you. And Dad. Love ya! Thanks for reading...


NEXT TACO TUESDAY! What happens when preshrunk isn't OR Cockblocked by boogers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Accents are, like, so exotic OR Why first impressions are better in person

Taco Tuesday - Taco Time revealed! Episode...3? ish?

We've worked our way up to the bridge, my friends. It's less of a verse and more of a snippet, but here is appearance of (undoubtedly STILL eligible) bachelor #3 in my song:

     "There was a fat, mouth-breathing Brooklyn dick..."

So, yeah. Dating sites. I've mentioned those before, right? And how I've been a member of more than a few different ones? Let's just say (although I'm sure I already have) that you don't always hit dating gold when you go mining in them there parts.

Enter the Mouth Breather.

I remember running across his profile and liking how outgoing his personality seemed. He mentioned he was from New York and that he had an accent and I was even more interested. Sucker for accents, over here. A few emails and online chat sessions later we exchanged phone numbers. Hearing the real live voice of the person you are scoping out is an important step, after all.

I wouldn't say he sounded dreamy, but his voice was manly and brisk, and his New Yorker twang (yes, I said twang, dammit) - paired with the personality that I gleaned from his profile - outfitted him as a distinct dating prospect. In my head. With my imagination. Which is wild and vivd.

And shockingly inaccurate.

Fat Mouth Breather (FMB, from here on out) and I enjoyed many late night chats on the phone - really enjoyed, actually (from what I remember?), which looking back seems improbable at best - and decided it was time to "test the connection". We settled on Village Inn, perhaps for the pie, probably not for the ambiance, but either way, in a fit of inspired wisdom I decided to invite my sister along. Call it... intuition.

My sister is the one who always tells me to "get out there", "give this guy/that guy a chance", and "you never know". So it was only fitting that I bring her along. Man, oh man, was I EVER glad I did.

Memory doesn't serve me well, here, but I must not have seen a picture of FMB, because when he wobbled through the door and weebled his way to the booth we picked out I was... not close enough to the door to run away. He was blocking my path. Hell, he was blocking EVERY path. And the look on my sister's face was priceless. She would have run with me. But for some sick, twisted reason we stuck it out.

Of course I was sitting next to FMB. On the outside, fortunately, but right beside. I could have been sitting sideways across his lap for as loud as his gape-mouthed breathing sounded to my ears. He didn't have much of a choice, really. I mean how else was he going to suck wind through those thick, blubbery cheeks and down into his (clearly adipose constricted) heavily laden chest? It wasn't just heavy breathing, though. It was heavy breathing followed by that slappy, nasal pop at the end of the exhale, with the little "nnnguh" sound. Every. Time.

I tried to make the best of the situation. I went to my happy place every time he breathed. So, you know, every 3 seconds or so. I listened attentively to his stories - he was some sort of sports team promoter or something like that (wow, that just came to me!) - responding with the appropriate listening signals when necessary. He just kept talking and talking. He was quite impressed with himself. So much so that the one time I tried to interject a bit of commentary he held up his tubby, grubby mitt IN MY FACE and shooshed me. SHOOSHED me, I tell you. My sister about lost it, and I just promptly zipped it for the rest of the meeting, which thankfully wasn't that much longer. And FMB drug his obese, self-righteous carcass out of Village Inn and thankfully out of my life.

You know what's weird? Telephones. Recording devices. Anything the takes the human voice and transmits it somewhere else. It is a fickle, fickle thing. I never heard that "nnnguh" noise on the phone. I also never heard a 300+ pound dickhead on the other end of the line, either.

But I escaped the incident no worse for the wear. Relatively unscathed. Protected, once again, by some miraculous yet cruel twist of fate that built up my hopes for a love connection only to dash them to ridiculous pieces along the banks of the Land of the Leftover Men.

I'm not bitter. Hell, I've gotten more mileage from these dating stories than I have from my little car since I moved out into the middle of nowhere. Word to the wise from tale #3? Let not thy mind be swayed by thine ears, they decieve thee as surely as crocodile tears.

Awww... waddn't that purty?


NEXT TIME: ????? It's been awhile since I've blogged about my Hollywood hunk, but will he make an appearance this weekend? Inquiring minds want to know! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mythological Monday - Can't Never Did Anything

It's time for Mythological Monday again, folks, and it's time to take a look at Can't.
Growing up I heard a familiar rant about the word can't anytime I used it (and I used it A LOT). In fact, to this day I still hear that same rant about can't. Pretty sure I just heard it yesterday. It goes a little something like this:

          Can't never built a bridge.


          Can't never did anything.

OR (in a more recent incarnation)

          Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.

I never subscribed to my dad's theory on can't. Probably because I was a stubborn kid/bullheaded adult and the more you tell me to do something the less likely I am to do it. (A fault? I think not! Ha!) But after meeting a student of philosphy this past year I realized something... can't sure as hell can! He just spells things differently. But he's all snooty and philosophically intellectual so he can get away with it.

Immanuel Kant was a man who could. Born in the early part of the 18th century, he is known to be the central figure of modern philosphy. (In a bit of a paraphrase) He believed in "human autonomy", which basically means that our own understanding of things and the world is what structures our experiences, which MEANS that...

Crap. My dad is right!

Can't never DID build a bridge (unless Kant did, which... I can google that later), Can't probably never did anything, and whether I think I can or I can't, I'm right.(Geez, who knew I could tackle complex philosophical understanding before 8 a.m. on a Monday. Maybe there's something to this early morning...thing...)

Well, people, every once in awhile myths are debunked. Didn't particularly think it would happen to me here, randomly blogging about things that amuse me. But hey... it's Monday. The start of a new week. The potential for a new adventure, a new...misadventure. Plain and simple? A new day.

Myth #2 - Can't never did anything? Debunked. Better luck (to me) next time.

And thanks, Dad. I suppose you WERE right all this time...

Damn you, Kant.


NEXT TIME: Taco Tuesday tomorrow people! And it's a two-fer. Maybe... the second is longish. But at the very least you'll get the lowdown on the Fat Mouth-Breathing Brooklyn Dick...