Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WTF? When did I get old?

Mornin', kids.

I was going to blog about something else today. I've actually forgotten what--I had it half written in my head, too, but then I got into work and checked email.

I glanced at my FB notifications mailbox and saw there was a message from an old high school friend followed by three other replies from the St. C.'s crowd. My first thought was, "Oh, great. Who's dead now?"

THAT'S what I was going to blog about--sex after 40. It can wait.

This is the unfunny side of getting older--seeing friends die or get very ill and go through things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

My high school class has been pretty lucky: most of us are still around and doing well. We lost a couple of folks to stupid things (drunk driving accidents) post-high school, but for the most part, we've been a boring lot, doing things like going to college, getting jobs, getting married, having kids, a few went to war... normal shit. I'm good with that. Drama is good on the screen or stage; in life, it's wearying.

Last year--one year and almost two weeks ago--we lost one of ours to a freak accident. It was weird to go to the wake and the funeral and see all these grown-ups wearing suits and with responsible jobs and families who I remembered doing things like jumping out of first floor windows, getting whaled on by seniors (that guy is a Statie right now; there is an evil part of me that hopes he's pulled over one of those clowns on the highway for being stupid), dating, squabbling, laughing, passing notes, making fun of teachers... and now, so not kids anymore.

I'm the odd one out in the crows--I'm not married, no kids yet, most of my friends are 10 years younger... aside from dealing with Mum and The Job, I pretty much do as I please.

Well, no one is dead, but someone is very ill, and it hit me kinda hard. Today's pic is what I consider my "official" prom photo. The guy on the right is one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ferd. The guy on the right is Chris, my prom date. I had the BIGGEST crush on him (he's got killer blue eyes; at the time, I was sucker for blue eyes. Still am, come to think of it); he and I used to hack on each other constantly.

It was always a contest to see who could one-up the other, and nine times out of ten, we were on opposite sides of the argument. It also doesn't help that I was a punk amongst metalheads. Folks who know my listening habits now will be shocked to hear that there was a time that I didn't like The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Van Halen... (I still don't like Sammy Hagar.) I just didn't get it, and I liked my alienation music; I LOVED David Bowie. Chris was the one who possibly gave me the most shit about him; call it the ultimate high school triumph, when, in 1990, after he took my extra ticket last minute for the Foxboro show (and saved my bacon; Steve & Rick were going, so was able to get a ride because I did not *gasp* have a car at that time), he said, "He wasn't bad." After YEARS of hearing, "Bowie SUCKS!" it was nothing short of an Oscar win, if you get my meaning.

Then there was the prom. Thanks to a couple of friends playing go-between (again, I think it was Steve and Rick), Chris showed up at the store where I worked and said, "So, I hear you're interested in going to a prom?" Be still my damn heart. I find it (vaguely) amusing that I have a hard time remembering what I was going to blog about earlier, but I can still clearly remember him standing in the racks of Decelles, his hands in the pockets of his Bruins jacket, head cocked, asking. Call it one of my few John Hughes's moments.

The prom was fun--we shared a limo with Ferd and his date, one of my besties, Amy. I think Kim and Mo were with us with their dates... Mo's date did our hair... total afternoon of beauty... Poor Ferd had a curfew (STRICT parents), but we still found the time to go to the Awful-Awful and get take-out. And on the way to the prom, Chris popped a tape into the deck in the back of the limo and introduced me to George Carlin's Seven Words.

I broke up. LOST IT, laughing, and you'd think he won the damn lottery--evidently, I blushed as well. A total moment of high school one-up triumph. Point to him. ;-)

Good times.

We stayed in touched for a little while after high school, but after '90, I pretty much drifted away from everyone. I had a different life, different goals, different outlook. It was easier to not stay in touch. When FB started to take off and the lot of us from St. C's started to get back in touch, I was psyched to see Chris on there. There was even a little flutter in the heart (because I am so stooopidly sentimental). Nothing I pursued, but good to know the ticker still clicks a little.

Well, the news today is that Chris is pretty damn ill. *sigh* Now, the cynical realist in me accepts that this is a part of life--people get sick. There's no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens. Some people get better, some people don't. There's no magic formula--it depends on the person, the treatment, the doctors, the family, the everything.

There are a lot of people pulling for him, me especially. I'd appreciate it if y'all reading could send him some positive energy. The realist in me says, why? The human being in me says, "Because. He's my friend, I love him, and I want him to get better and get old with the rest of us."

Because, to me, we're still kids in high school with our whole lives in front of us.

And if he reads this: Chris--Love ya, brother. Hang in there--we're all pulling for you. I want my notebook back. ;-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is it ever "too soon"?

Hey, kids. Happy Talk Like William Shatner Day from the Migraine Zone. (Because da Shat is where it's at! Love that crazy bastard.)

So... Japan. I haven't really said anything about the horrific aftermath over there because honestly, I can't wrap my mind around it. The fabulist in me is looking at the events in the West Pac and seriously wondering if the Elder Gods are rising. The realist in me is wondering if all that bullshit about 2012 might not be so out there and remembering that the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia was a safe zone on the future maps a slightly out-there friend showed me a few years ago.
Bottom line is that my prayers are with them over there--Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Peru... all the places hit over the past few months so horribly. (Quebec got hit with an earthquake last week. Fuck 'em. Damn Quebecois!) (Yes, that was a joke.)

*sigh* It bothers me that I have to put that little rider on that statement. The other "aftershock" of the earthquake last week came when Aflac Insurance fired Gilbert Gottfried for making *gasp* OFFENSIVE JOKES via Twitter regarding Japan.
Just color my fat ass shocked. NOT.
Let's take a look at the two sides: Aflac, insurance company, which derives 75% of its business from Japan. Has an "iconic duck" for its ad mascot. (Yahoo News's phrase, not mine.) Hired Gilbert Gottfried to voice the damn duck to quack out, "AFLAC!" in commercials.
Now, I would never have noticed these commercials, despite the fact they contain a duck (in case I've never mentioned it, I love ducks. Ducks make me happy, alive or roasted) were it not for the fact that Vicki gets the biggest kick out of them. Until she sent me the link to the story about Gilbert Gottfried being fired, I had no clue he voiced the duck. (Stupid me, honestly, his voice is so distinctive, but I just didn't care, y'know? It's not like it's an episode of Futurama where I love to play "Spot the Voice Actor" because the cast is so damn good.)
And the other side... Gilbert Gottfried. Annoying-voiced comedian. Famous with Disney crowd for voicing Iago the Parrot in Aladdin. Done quite a bit of other cartoon work.
Not exactly known for being the most tasteful of comedians, he was greeted with the ultimate censoring comment, "TOO SOON!" at the Friar's Club roast of Hugh Hefner in 2001. He told an airplane joke less than three weeks after 9/11. The bit was used in the Paul Provenza/Penn Jillette film, The Aristocrats, a documentary on the infamously tasteless joke that comedians tell to each other.
Can't recommend that film enough, BTW--how to see how many different versions of the same joke can be told. It's not a comfortable film--it's not a stand-up film. I actually found it a bit disturbing (and it turned me off Sarah Silverman forever), but well worth the watch. (Yeah, I own it; willing to loan local.)
At the Foxwoods gig a few weeks back, Pat Oates told a great story about opening for the late Greg Giraldo. It was a funny frickin' story and nothing inappropriate about it (honestly, Giraldo was an utter DICK to him, but Oates gave him props and respect). Some idiot behind me yelled out, "TOO SOON! TOO SOON!"
Fuck you.
The point of comedy is to act as a release valve--a cathartic for both the comic and the audience. It's storytelling without all the airy-fairy artsy-fartsy bullshit around it--a chance to have a damn good laugh and, depending on the comedian, a little self-revelation. For some people, it's always going to be "too soon." Or in bad taste.
Example: I got to see Boston legend Lenny Clarke on Friday night out at Giggles. There was an MC and two openers. Everyone was good--best of the lot was Artie Januario (I hope I spelled his name correctly). He had the two of us howling. Lenny Clarke was awesome--I've heard him on radio plenty of times, but this was the first time I've seen him live. I was laughing and howling for most of his set. MOST of his set. I was with him when he took down the douchebag who was decked in party store regalia letting the world know it was her birthday and expected him to give her a shout-out in the middle of his set. I was there with all the Catholic school jokes (although one of his routines came a little close to one of my bits I've been working on; just gives me a challenge). He lost me when he started on his political stuff because we're at opposite ends of the electorate.
Did I heckle? No. I stopped laughing. I didn't find what he was saying funny; I found it uninformed and (IN MY OPINION) ignorant. I paid attention; everyone deserves their say, and this man is a legendary comic who's been at it forever. It was his room, his stage, and I chose to be in the room (and I was warned about his political views beforehand). He's also not a stupid man, not by a longshot. I just bloody well disagreed with his politics. Didn't take away from the fact that I found most of his material hysterical, and didn't diminish my respect for his command of the room and stage presence. Five minutes out of the 40 weren't to my taste; I can live with that.
Same thing goes for Talkin' Shit, the Jim Jefferies & Eddie Ifft podcast. Some of the shit they talk... Yeah. Not to my taste. Tough shit for me--I choose to listen to it. It's an unscripted chat--it's "live" fuckery. Not everything is going to be a perfect hit. The overall experience, however, is great, and it takes balls to put it out there (and regular listeners know that Jim regularly shows his balls to everyone in the room just for the reaction). I do know, however, that if I spend the money to catch Jim live, I'm going to get an amazing freakin' show--tight, professional and FUCKIN' HYSTERICAL.

So, Aflac hired Gilbert Gottfried to voice their duck. Now, I can't imagine that a huge insurance company does not have a really intense human resources department with an equally impressive legal department. I can't imagine that the marketing department did not know Gottfried's resume and reputation when the talent agency/casting director presented them with choices. Even if the suits above only knew him as "that guy who voiced the parrot in the kids movie, right?" the flacks would have made damn sure to do their homework in case on of the suits actually knew his shit and asked the wrong question. You take a risk, you do your homework first. You also can't tell me that Gottfried's shenanigans on Howard Stern haven't gotten back to them.
You hire a comedian, you take your chances. You accept that you're getting not just their talent for your product, but also everything connected to them, and if you have a problem with their material, you either a) don't hire them; or b) suck it up, buttercup, and roll with it.
Now, I'm not going to debate the merits of Gilbert Gottfried's "humor." Personally, I can't stand the guy; his voice goes right through my ears, and I don't find him funny. That's me; there are a few comedians out there who do NOTHING for me (Joan Rivers is right at the top of the list; I'd like to park a tank on that woman, but she's had so much plastic surgery, she'd jam the treads; either that, or the silicon would explode). The reality is that, unless Aflac put a rider in Gottfried's contract, they had no right to fire him. What he said on Twitter, on his personal account, is protected under the First Amendment. By attempting to censor him by firing him and depriving him of income, they have put themselves in a precarious position. (There's already a petition out there on FB to get him reinstated.) They've also set themselves up for a lawsuit.
Right now, the Twitverse and Blogosphere are the Wild West of First Amendment protection. What's being said on personal accounts is technically considered protected speech; however, not all employers see it that way. There was a ruling a few weeks back (sorry, don't have time to research it) that ruled in favor of the blogger. I'm hoping the precedent is going to be used to get the suspended high school teacher reinstated for the comments she made on her blog regarding her students.
Now, I didn't bother to check out the jokes last week. I just did. *headdesk* Jokes? For fuckssake people, they were VAUDEVILLE STANDARDS. I'm completely fucking serious--they weren't jokes, they were CHESTNUTS. Insensitive? Yeah, absolutely, but right up there with, "Take my wife. Please!" retard, and parapalegic jokes.
Jesus wept, can we all GROW THE FUCK UP AND GROW A SAC?!?!?! This was the kind of schoolyard BS that the tough kids would ignore because they knew the little smartass was just talkin' shit and trying to show off--the kind of shit that you IGNORE and it goes away because the idiot isn't getting any attention.
Instead, this PC hypersensitivity has given a mediocre talent a hell of a lot of attention--that will lead to more employment because there's ALWAYS an asshole ready, willing and able to pay someone to generate some publicity for themselves. You know who's going to lose because of this? The First Amendment and free speech in general. Think about Gilbert Gottfried as the poster child for the First Amendment; to me, that's right up there with the KKK and neo-Nazis having the right to march. I also don't like the fact that it's going to make it harder for other controversial comics to get hired as spokespeople.
And what will that mean? The harder we make it for people to speak freely--the more censorship power we give to the corporations--the less freedom we have, and hey, what the hell, we're already bordering on being a fascist state as it is.
Well done, Aflac. Instead of having a fucking brain and using a plausible excuse--misquote sales figures, tell him you can't justify his salary, terminate the contract--it's done all the time. Instead you've given him grounds for a lawsuit and a shit-ton of publicity. And all the people whining about how awful he is will be the first to watch the damn interviews and the stupid documentary or telly dramatization of his "horrible struggle."
Yeah, I know. TOO SOON!
Grumpily yours,
Her Most Imperial Pissiness

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh, the Summer Time is Comin'...

"...and the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather..."

One of my favorite Irish traditional songs, a lovely, sweet ballad.
Happy Spring! And congrats to Madeline, Vicki's younger kidlet, on successfully reaching 13. Kudos to her older sister for not preventing it, either. ;-) (The two girls I speak of are two of the nicest, best mannered kids on the planet--just damn good kids, despite being teenagers. Three cheers for Nazi Parenting!)
Well, it's spring here in New England, and yes, despite having temps near 60F last week, it is dripping wet rain and snowing in places around the area. This is why I live here--don't like the weather? Give it a day, and you'll get a completely different season.
I can't be too annoyed with the weather (despite it giving me a miserable pressure migraine); there are buds on the trees and crocuses peeking up in the ground. Next up will be the forsythia, and then the magnolias, and once the magnolias bloom, the winter is officially vamoosed out of Dodge.

Well, as my fellow New Englanders know, spring is a fleeting thing here in the Northeast. We rarely get a "real" spring here--usually we get Winter/Summer/Spring/Winter/ Summer/Spring/SUMMER. Just like that. The weather goes from requiring a leather jacket to shorts and sandals. A tad annoying, but there is is.

And that means it's bathing suit weather!
Shoot me.
I am not much of a swimmer. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE the beach. There is nothing lovelier than the beach at night, taking a stroll in the surf, maybe skinny dipping... However, I'm not really a bathing suit person, for very obvious reasons.
Yep, we're back to the fat chick discussion. Because I was asked the other night if I'm the type of fat girl who wears a bikini. I almost had to pry my own eyes out at the thought of me in a bikini. Seriously. This body is NOT meant for a bikini--I don't care how much weight I lose, I am over 40, gravity has set in (I mean, THESE tits in a bikini top? I'd friggin' garrotte myself!), cellulite has established a firm beachhead on my thighs... A bikini? Nah.
I found a very tasteful one piece and promptly went out and bought a pair of swim shorts because I am not going to fry anyone's eyes with the sight of my saggy baggy thighs in all their bright screaming white glory under a summer sun. I mean, I have a little dignity.
I haven't found a good t-shirt to complete the ensemble, however. Because I have yet to dispose of my elephant wings.
See, this is the reality of getting older--accepting that there are things you REALLY shouldn't do, even though you can. I mean, yeah, they sell bikinis for women my size.
Why, I don't really understand.
I also don't understand tube tops on fat women.
Rolls should only be seen in a bakery case, NOT flopping over your waistband.
And this goes for fat guys, too. Honey, I don't want to see the bags of groceries in front of your six pack, and if your tits can be measured in a cup size bigger than a B, don't be wearing a skin-tight shirt.
DIGNITY, PEOPLE! Leave the skin-tight, zero to the imagination to the hot, cut kids.
Because their time will come. *insert evil laugh here*
Today's image is a classic Maxine one-panel as drawn by the talented John Wagner. I love Maxine; there are days I think I AM Maxine.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beginning of a Beeeaayooooteeful Friendship

Howdy, cherished blurkers.

Earlier in the week I put up an enigmatic blog shog about not jinxing it.

Well... errrrmmmm... yeah. Much to my shock and delight, I'm in a relationship.

With a really, really nice man.
Someone I genuinely LIKE. Great company, good fun, totally attracted to, and um, yeah. I actually hid the POF profile and deleted the other two that were out there.

He's normal. (Well, my definition of normal which means not perfect, but in ways I can SO deal with. Because, Gods know, there ain't nuthin' perfect about me except that I'm perfectly me.) I've already I.D.'d three things that drive me crazy, but they're all things I can tolerate. YES! No drugs, no gambling, social drinker, even tempered. Good manners, good sense. Right amount of public affection, right amount of attention, right amount of contact. Doesn't need to be joined at the hip, but still wants to spend time together. Asks questions. Makes sure I'm OK with things. Is respectful. Funny. Sweet without being sickening. (I am old and CRANKY, folks--I don't trust someone who is too nice to me.) Intelligent. We don't agree on everything (couple of things we are completely on the opposite side of the fence on; I am GOOD with that). I already trust him, and can't wait to introduce him to my friends. Already have introduced him to Mum.

Gods, I'm happy. Scared as all fuck, kids, and trying to keep my head straight. Not making plans, not counting on anything, but...

I'm not going into much detail because, honestly, I don't want to. This is a public document and the relationship is a private thing--he didn't sign on to be blog fodder, y'know? Goes back to those "ethics" thingies I'm always on about.

So there it is... we shall see. I'm trying to take it as it comes and not overthink or worry myself into a panic (which is what I'm so very good at). But keep your fingers crossed, kids, and whisper a word in the ear of your favorite Higher Power that this goes well. I think I'm overdue a little happiness, and this man... he is, too.

With hope in my heart,
Your Empress

Today's pic came from a Google search. Damn, but I like it. Seems appropriate.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blog Shog: Fangirl SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

I GOT MY TICKETS FOR JIM JEFFERIES IN BOSTON! (Thanks to the Fabulous Alicia for telling me that the Wilbur had announced the show FINALLY.) OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

(First time in my life I've bothered to do a presale. Celebricrush, how you rock my comedy world and drain my entertainment wallet. Although I may guilt Mum into making this an early b-day present. Sometimes, it pays to be an only child. Besides, she OWES me for Foxwoods. /end whine)

OK, I'll stop now. I'm just in a Tigger bouncy mood today. For a very, very good reason. I went to yoga class! (Well, that's a PART of it, but...)


Shit, gotta remember to download the podcast tonight.

Lalalalalalala gonnaseeJiminBostoninnaFRONTrow an'NEVERYOUMINDWHYELSE!


Um... yeah. OK.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick Can Kiss My Royal Irish Arse

The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,

- Edward, Earl of Oxford writing as Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

The following blog post originally appeared over on my LiveJournal blog back in 2008; the St. Patrick's Day parade in Southie happened on Palm Sunday. It did NOT impact liquor sales. I am not a fan of the day--like Denis Leary, it's the one day of the year I refuse to drink. I got a hoot out of his appearance on the Daily Show and hearing him say what I've been saying for years--it's the drinking day for amateurs. So tomorrow, I will NOT be drinking, at all. (Not that it's a sacrifice for me--it's anomalous for me to drink, most days.) I also WON'T be wearing ANY green--also some anomalous for me, as I wear a little bit of green every day and always wear a claddagh (I will have that on; I'm not THAT ridiculous). I may forego the black armband--I call tomorrow the Irish-American Day of Shame and Mourning.

If you ARE drinking tomorrow, please, play it safe--don't drive, don't do something stupid, wear a condom. I hate the Godsdamned things, too, but better safe than sorry.

Happy %$^&*()_ St. Patrick's Day.

Can I just say that it completely PISSES me off every time someone wishes me a "happy St. Patrick's Day!" Assuming that, because I'm Irish, I celebrate this travesty. Well, (as you've probably surmised from my surly heading), I don't.

St. Patrick's Day, as it's celebrated here in the U.S. is revolting. End of story. It's supposed to be a saint's feast day--a solemn occasion, or at least a decorous one. There's nothing in the fragments of his history that is extant that indicates that the jackass who infected Ireland with Xtianity was a sodden drunken jerkoff, so why is it that those who choose to "honor" him have to be?

I don't get it.

As someone from a typical Irish-American family--typical in that, like so many other Irish & Irish-American families, we have been afflicted with members lost to The Thirst--I hate the fact that the weakness (because, sorry, kids, alcoholism isn't a disease--it's a weakness and a choice. You CHOOSE to take that drink, you CHOOSE to deal with your problems by drowning them in alcohol rather than therapy and/or medication--bipolar disorder IS a medical condition; anxiety disorder is a medical condition; alcoholism is denial) is considered a mandatory part of the celebration of Irish pride--you have to get drunk and act stupid.

Where is the pride in getting falling down drunk? It just revolts me. One of the organizers of the South Boston parade, an elderly boyo with the auspicious nickname of "Whacko," expressed the hope that, because the parade was happening on Palm Sunday, people would behave more decorously--that it would be more of a "family day like it used to be."

Yeah, right. Quite possibly the single biggest sales day for the Southie pubs, and he thinks people care that it's Palm Sunday? Please. Very few remember that Lenten observation is more than just not eating meat on Fridays--it's supposed to include abstension from sex and alcohol (hence, the bacchanalia of Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday). I've also been told that sweets were also a part of Lenten no-nos at one time (there's a reason for the chocolate orgy of Easter and the birthrate spike in November/December). There's no special dispensation from Emperor Popatine for the Boston Irish and the once-a-year-Irishmen for St. Patrick's Day.

Sorry, kids.

And what is this "everybody's a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day" bullshit? WHY? Everybody isn't "a little Italian" on Columbus Day, or "a little black" on Martin Luther King Day. I'm Irish every day, 365/24/7, whether I like it or not. Some parts of the heritage I'm proud of, some of it I'm ashamed of, but, either way, it's mine. Don't co-opt my culture & ethnicity and celebrate the worst of it, and I'll do you the same courtesy.

Let's get back to the parade. I boycott the South Boston parade because, for me, it's a symbol of the worst of the Boston Irish--a celebration of our bigotry and ignorance--exemplified by the exclusion of gay & lesbian groups from marching. I guess it's not OK to be gay, out and Irish, or at least to admit it. It just pisses me off. Back in my UMass days, I had a few gay friends (you can't be in theatre and NOT)--all of them from working/middle class Catholic families, either Irish or Italian, all of them either disinherited or definitely unwelcome at home. These were good men--decent human beings who would give you the shirt off their back (as we say in the neighborhood) and share their last meal with you. In short, no matter what their religious affiliation, they were true Christians in that they followed the One Commandment of Jesus Christ--"do unto others as you would have done unto you." Too bad the "good Catholics" who organize the !@#$%^&*()_ parade have forgotten how to be good Christians. Makes me ANGRY.

And let's get to the final reason why St. Patrick can kiss my royal Irish ass--why, why, OH WHY would a witch so far out of the broom closet I've forgotten where the Godsdamned door is, celebrate the bastard who ruined her forebears' culture by shackling it with the horrors, the bigotry, the chauvanism, of Xti-insan-ity? Why would I celebrate the destruction of the shamanic traditions, the bardic traditions, a society where women were respected and played an equal part? Why would I celebrate the castration and co-opting of the Old Gods and their rich and full stories into sanitized, chaste saints? Roman Catholicism is the WORST thing that ever happened to Ireland, worse than any strife the British brought.

Gimme that Old Time Religion--bring back the Old Gods and keep your stupid saints.

Today's photo comes from the Northern Sun catalog, http://www.northernsun.com/. I NEED one.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whiny Limey Syndrome

OK, BEFORE I get lambasted for using an ethnic slur, I am a member of the tribe. Despite being raised Boston Irish, my ethnic makeup has at least as much English (maybe more) as Irish. As a friend who was giving me a ration of shit for "turning traitor" and dating English guys said when I told him as much said, "What do you do? Hate yourself on alternating days?" I was amused.

Anyway, I listen to 'FNX regularly. Which means I hear a fair bit of music by English bands. I've been listening to FNX since 1981 before they even were WFNX--when they were WLYN, Y-102. I was listening to Duran Duran six months before MTV discovered them; it pretty much goes that way for a lot of the alternative bands that become the next big thing. (Arcade Fire? Been listening to 'em for a couple of years. I know, I know, nothing compared to how long some of you have been listening to them, but better than the Lady Gagging and Marshall Doesn't Matter fans who were pissed about the Grammys this year.) I was being tortured with Kings of Leon long before the pop stations decided the rest of the world had to have that whiny voice inflicted on their ears.

I have weird hearing: I can't cope with certain timbres. There are quite a few bands I can't listen to because their harmonies hurt my ears (Yes and Rush are a couple of good examples). I also don't have a lot of tolerance for whiny, nasally voices. Now, the U.S. produces quite a few whiny voices (Kings of Leon immediately comes to mind), but the Brits seem to really be able to corner the market not just in the number of them, but also in the number of SUCCESSFUL whiners. And it really gripes my arse that the US fanboys just fall all stooooopid in lurve with them and elevate them beyond their deserve.

Top two offenders: Radiohead and Oasis. (I refuse to recognize Coldplay as an alternative band. They're just boring-ass whitebread bullshit pop. Great orchestration, but Chris Martin's voice is as flat as his talentless twat wife's tits.)*

I don't get it. Seriously. Radiohead has three songs that I actually enjoy, and the fanboy musicgasms that the alternawankers have over them just pisses me off and alienates me further. Yeah, yeah, good on them for their brilliant anti-establishment marketing ploys--I will definitely give them their props for that. But Thom Yorke's voice makes me want to a) pierce my eardrums with stilettos; and b) rip out his vocal cords and strangle him with them. And the lyrics... I just want to hand him a razor blade and let him get it over with. ("OK Computer" is on the radio right now... I want to rip my ears off and make Thom Yorke eat them and drink the blood pouring out of my head for this torture. Excuse me... ahhhhhhhh... silence but for the clacking of the keyboard.)

Radiohead has a new album out. The alternawankers are having fanboy orgasms so hard, I'm expecting my radio to have a nasty white crust on it.

And then there's Oasis. When the Gallagher Brothers first inflicted themselves upon the music scene and declared themselves better than the Beatles, one of FNX's loooooongtime DJs used to play a soundbite from some Brit film of a yob yelling, "WANKERS!" And I approve. There's only been one of their songs that I could stand and that's "Champagne Supernova." Beyond that, Liam Gallagher's voice... worse than Thom Yorke's and not as melodic. And their personalities left a lot to be desired. When the announcement was made that the band was breaking up, I was PSYCHED! And I wanted to just smack the DJs having a whinefest over how sad it was. Nothing sad about it--a blessing. Two utterly disfunctional dickheads who need to grow the fuck up and get some therapy. And again, the alternawankers were just being too stupid for words about it. You'd think someone had died instead of a band that had been self-destructing for their entire career and broken up a gajillion times had temporarily called it quits. (At "press time," after declaring that Oasis would never exist again, ever, Noel Gallagher is putting Oasis back together with an alleged all-star line-up. He doesn't need a therapist--he needs a proctologist for one of the most public cases of rectal cranial inversions ever suffered in UK music history.)

Sooooooo... Liam Gallagher has a new band called Beady Eye. And FNX interviewed him and another band member a few weeks back. I was deep in a project and didn't bother to click off the radio. Rather than the interview deepening my antipathy, I was actually convinced to give the new band a chance. The song isn't bad--with age, his voice is getting a little less whiny. Still a bit too much of a Beatles wank, but then, the Beatles were fuck-all amazing, and a little hero worship isn't a bad thing. As long as he avoids his brother's idiocy, I'll give them a provisional thumbs-up not automatically change the radio station (which is my normal reaction to Oasis). The fangasms aren't as hard as for Radiohead, but still... my gagging reflex has kicked in.

I'm even getting sick of Muse; I like them, but really... enough. Matthew Bellamy's voice grates on me at times--he's this weird amalgamation of Freddie Mercury and Thom Yorke, and it doesn't always work.

I just have an issue with hero worship. Seriously. The they-walk-on-water-and-RULE-and-can-do-NO-WRONG! attitude that the alternawankers have towards so many bands... Fuckin' fanboy music nerds. CAN'T STAND 'EM! Especially because so many of the bands they champion just aren't that amazing, at least to me. REM is a good example. Good band, good songs, NOT exciting. Just... NOT exciting. Good, though. Michael Stipe is another front man who pisses me off. There were times in the 90's I just wanted to smack him and choke him with a PETA poster. Trent Reznor... *sigh* I dig NIN, but get a little sick of the Trentgasms. I love Nirvana's music and still feel like Kurt was murdered by the junkie whore, but he's not a god. Amazing and sad, and his music hit a place in my soul, but his personality made it hard for them to turn him into a saint. Besides, Kurt was a punk. Punks don't make good saints. Johnny Rotten has proven that. Love that cranky old fucker and hope he goes on forever. Ditto Iggy Pop--Iggy is bloody amazing. That is a man who should have been dead years ago, but he's still goin' hard. And looks friggin' amazing! Five feet one inches of pure wiry muscle and over 60... *shakes head* Love 'im. Ditto David Bowie--there's a painting in an attic somewhere aging for him.

I'm not good at hero worship. Yeah, I go into paeans of fangasms over Jim Jefferies, but at the end of the day, the reality is that he's a human being--a decent bloke who's been through a fair bit of shit, and rather than wallow in self-pity and self-destruction, he's turned his rage and pain into some damn funny shit. He's not perfect--some of the shit said on the podcast has bothered me, annoyed me, upset me, offended me, but hey, that's the way it goes. If you're going to go along for the ride, you take the misses with the hits, and the bottom line is that while it may be unscripted, it's still a SHOW--a show called "Talkin' Shit," done by two comedians trying to push their careers to the next level. As a live performer, I love Jim--seen him twice, planning on seeing him at least two more times over the next six months, maybe even a third time if I make it up to Montreal (although that will depend on many other factors which I am not going to discuss because I don't want to jinx it). As a person, I don't know the man. I only know his work and what he has publically revealed about his past that fuels it.

A lot of the folks reading this did not know me before I started writing this blog; those that did will tell you that that has ALWAYS been my philosophy about my own writing/performing--I can't change what has happened in my life, but I will damned if I'll let the bastards win; therefore, it becomes fodder for art. (And yeah, I've put enough hard work on my craft to know what I'm doing now has passed beyond "expressive therapy" and moved towards viable career. And I have enough self doubt to keep me humble and know that I have to KEEP working on it; the day you think you don't have any way to improve, that's the day you quit because you've lost your edge and your perspective. And fuel my "Oh, my Gods, I SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK AND WILL NEVER, EVER BE SUCCESSFUL!" anxiety attacks.)

So, dear fanboys, put it back in your pants and get a life.

Time to put my radio back on--song's over. :-D

*Wow. That was REALLY venomous and vituperative. Can you tell I really don't like Gwynneth Paltrey? If not for her parents, she would have ended up a waitress in a karaoke bar--NOT that pretty, NOT that talented. And honestly, if you have to tape a strapless dress because you're as flat as a prepubescent boy, wear something else. Please.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

*sigh* of Relief

Well, kids, Staff Development Day is done--#3 has been put to bed, happy and purring. The attendees seemed to enjoy themselves, the Committee had a good time--with Gene and me doing an impromptu improv set disguised as a raffle. Never let two Somerville kids loose with an audience. :-)

And my workshop went well. VERY positive response, with stories from the adventures of this blog and features being shown off. It was awesome to be in front of people and "teaching" (although they call it "facilitating" when it's a workshop). I think I managed to teach with humor and clarity, despite my minor panic attack this morning (because you know I was running late. I am SO NOT a morning person, at least not the kind that start at 7:00 a.m. I'm good at 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m. if I haven't been to sleep yet. Just don't ask me to function before 11:00 a.m.).

I also got to eat lunch with some friends and the president of the Uni. I like the man--I think he's trying to make it work; I also think his values are in the right place. I wouldn't want his job, that's for damn sure. He has been incredibly supportive of the work the SRAC Committee does--mandated the formation of the committee--and that alone is a 180 from the way the place was run under his predecessor. He's also trying to work in Airy Fairy Central. *rolls eyes* I love my Uni's basic philosophy, but some of the crunchberries need to wake up to the fact that it's a business and has to be run that way.

The afternoon was spent at the registration desk. Somehow, I always end up behind the reg desk in the afternoon. I love it--get to chill and chat with the other committee members and the folks drifting in and out.

I am exhausted and starting to drift, sitting here in my favorite corner seat at the bar in Sbux, so I am going to close this down and head on out. Must fetch some milk for St. Teresa and then get home for some dinner, movies, and sleeeeeeeep. Back to the grind tomorrow, but for tonight... very content.

Cheers, kids. Be cool out there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Minor Stage Fright

Or the closest I get to it. Tomorrow, dearest blurkers, is Staff Development Day at my wonderful place of employment. While I actually take a lot of pride in my work (as much as I'm not liking The Job ATM), Staff Development Day is the one thing I am really, truly proud OF. Of course, it's after midnight and I'm still in the office, despite having an incredibly early start tomorrow and having to pick up a shiteload of stuff for the event before actually going to the event site.
Shoot me.
I've been a member of the LU community for more than half of my life (I wish I was joking). I started here as a temp back in '88 at the tender age of 21, and have worked here in various and varying capacity--from admin assistant to theatre company founder/director/actor/etc. to adjunct to teaching assistant to library parapro--over the course of 22+ years.

That's a loooooooong fuckin' time. Almost as long as some of my baristas have been on the planet; longer than some of our library student assistants have been alive. I've done a lot here, but the one thing that I've participate in and given my time and commitment to is the Staff Representative Advisory Committee. I've been the Library's elected rep since SRAC's inception three years ago; it's been a rocky and rough road, but, Gods, it's been worth it.

One of the most visible things we do is Staff Development Day. It was the event that put us on the map--our first visible, "HEY! WE'RE HERE!" moment--in '09. It's a day for professional development and morale boosting, a chance for the staff of the Uni to come together and talk, network, and connect--a day out of the routine of the office. I'm billed as the event coordinator; I don't know that I really deserve the title at this point--I feel like I haven't done nearly as much as I should have, but part of that is because I did so much the first year. It's a lot like producing a show, putting on this event--booking space, adverts, finding sponsors, setting up workshops, getting donations, buying props, etc. The past two years, I've been very lucky to have a hell of a lot of help from another member of the committee--sadly, Michele is going to miss tomorrow because of a family emergency, but I feel like most of the credit for tomorrow should go to her. I'll be the public face, the shill, but she's done the lion's share this time around.

Good thing, too--haven't been on my game with all the garbage going on here and dealing with Mum. *sigh* I hate not being at the top of my game. I'm already two weeks behind schedule with the roll-out of my website; ditto on finishing the rewrite. I guess I have an excuse (argh, argh, argh, ARGH!!!!! HATE MAKING EXCUSES, EVEN WHEN THEY'RE FUCKING LEGITIMATE!), but at the same time... the clock's ticking.

So, I'm getting my to-do list going:
1. Get through SDD - present my workshop on starting a blog (how appropriate!).
2. Get some sleep tomorrow night. Perhaps have a tequila. (Probably not, though.)
3. Get back to the rewrite. (Already started back at it this weekend, but... the NEW book started writing itself today during a meeting, a whole four pages of handwritten scrawl... it's going to be in the vein of Bloodsucking Fiends [Christopher Moore]--not with vampires, but that tone. Religious farce, instead--instead of John the Baptist dunking and calling Christ, think Reggie Mae the Psychic seeks out a very unwilling Messiah of Common Sense. We'll see if it happens, but right now... Yeah. I have to figure out where I'm setting it, but Jordy [the Messiah] and Reggie Mae [her name may change; it's too Southern for me, but... argh. I HATE BEING A WRITER!!!! THIS is the reason I avoid the button, "You're just jealous because the voices talk to ME" because THAT sums up fiction writing in ONE sentence. Rebecca is being a right royal pain in the arse because SHE wants HER story finished [and considering the bits I've written of Books 2, 3 and 4, I can't blame her, ESPECIALLY if Heinlein was right about pantheistic multi-person solipsism], and William... oh, William, my darling Duke... ever the gentleman, but I am reminded that "duke" literally means "war leader." And noble as he is, his bloodline goes back to before the Court of Love and chivalry, and his patience will only last so long. I wonder if fiction writers are actually just high functioning sufferers of... fuck, forgetting the DSM proper term... multiple personalities... Sybil Syndrome... DISASSOCIATIVE DISORDER! That's it! Right, digression over with, back to the to-do list...
4. Call Ferd; get the website back on track. Pray his insane schedule will allow.
5. Pull together the handwritten material I've been wittering at for my standup act, and start rehearsing. (The first passes have gone over well--if I can make a one-liner work in a conversation, it will work on stage. It's a very sneaky way to test material, but it works. Plus, it makes me keep it brief, something I am so very, very, ABOMINABLY bad at.)
6. Get some reading done. My to-read pile is taller than I am right now, and it's annoying me.
7. Get the %$^&*() house in order.

Overall goal: Rewrite finished by the end of March; website live. Open mike starting week of the 21st (need to get past the Irish-American Day of Mourning; can't stand the Once-a-Year Irishmen, they're worse than Twice-a-Year Catholics). Start turfing out the storage space and figure out WTF to ebay, donate, yard sale or just pitch. Gotta raise cash for the road tripping coming up: Halifax for a week or two (hopefully missing Marathon Day here; is there anything more boring than running? Besides the tourists... Gods, I hate tourists...), Pittsburgh for the first weekend of May--yep, seeing Jim again, this time with Tory who is dying to see him, or was when I was giving him the play-by-play when the dates were being added and the emails were flooding my bloody inbox), and there's the Weekend of Awesome at the begining of June. Plus, I'd like the house in order by the end of June. I want out before the leaves fall.

Fuck knows what I'll do with Ma. Beginning to think I need a Mum-sitter. She has said she wants to come to Halifax. After Foxwoods... *shudder* I really don't want to think about my mother loose in my haven.

OK, I've nattered long enough, kids. Wish me luck tomorrow--I haven't taught in a long time, and this is a maiden voyage. Looking forward to it, though. Going out on limb, talking about this little experiment of mine. Can't believe I've only been at this a few months--maybe six months? Seven? And it started because Steven Tyler pissed me off. It's turned into something very different, and I am seriously, SERIOUSLY considering turning it into a memoir: Letters From the Disgruntled Fringe: A Year of Cigarettes, Xanax and Jim Jefferies. Of course, if Celebricrush is unwilling to allow his name to be used (and if I haven't sold the fiction by then, I really couldn't blame him--you don't risk your own name on an unknown commodity, and I ask no one to put their ass or rep on the line for me if the trust is unearned. Hate the idea of not making it on my own talent, riding someone else's coattails. Rankles me. Pricks my ego), the last bit will be something like "Standup" or "Comedy" or something like that. Maybe "Celebricrushing--that's my own word, at least.

So tomorrow, I get to talk about starting a blog and pimping it out and getting people to read and relate. Thanks to all of you who've been hanging in, blurking, following, and commenting. You've helped me hold on to what little bit of my sanity I have left and to find some peace in the maelstrom that has been life of late.

It's been a blessing.
Much love,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quiet Respite

I wish I could predict my headspace a little better.

Feeling very weird the past couple of days. Not depressed, not upset, not even particularly anything... just WIRED and in a state of anticipation.

I wish I knew what I was anticipating. There's nothing amazing scheduled for the next couple of weeks--Staff Development Day is Wednesday, but that's not particularly a thing of awesomeness--I mean, it's cool and will be a great day (and I'm teaching a workshop on blogging. Yes, should be interesting, Gods help us), but it's nothing out of the ordinary.

Vacation isn't for another month and a half. Halifax. Oh, beautiful, beautiful Halifax... I am missing you and all of my friends up there. Just missing Home, end of story.

Spring is coming--got our first real taste today. I can't believe I was walking around with just a t-shirt and (long) shorts. I mean, it was AWESOME. I could deal with the clouds and the sprinkles just to not need a coat or a hoodie for a couple of hours. One of the reasons I love living here: the weather may utterly SUCK at times, but every now and then, we get a glimpse of better days coming.

Didn't hurt that the t-shirt I was wearing today is one of my Hot Topic Invader Zim shirts; it's a 3X and used to be skin tight on me. It's loose around the tits now, and I've got a good boob booster on. :-D Bloody frickin' awesome!

(And "Here Comes the Sun" just came on the Zune--got it on shuffle--and even though it's after dark, it's just the best song to be hearing right now.)

Never underestimate the value of venting, I guess. I feel lighter since yesterday's post. I really debated about whether or not I was going to put it up. I usually don't write about anything that close to me; I mean, I write from the personal, but that definitely qualifies as intimate. As much as I have a case of the ass with a bit of Freud's theories, he was dead-on about parental relationships. The first five years of life are the most influential; fuck those up...

Fuck those up and you've created either a monster or an artist (or both). I always tell guys in a dating situation that I'm "funny about kids." I haven't had a family yet--I had a chance to start one when I was married, and when I realized that I would be doing to my babies what my parents had done to me and what I had sworn before God I would never do, I panicked and got the fuck out. There is a part of me that is kicking myself for that--the feeling that I lost my chance for good and forever. I mean, I'm 43. I have two, maybe three, more years of fertility. I know I did the right thing; no kid deserves to grow up in an atmosphere of fear and misery. It's not right. If I had had children, my life would be so different. There would have been no theatre, no writing, none of the crazy things I've done. My kids would actually be in college right now.

Wow. *shudder* And I'm flirting with guys barely out of college... Oh, CHRIST. I just freaked myself out. But it's OK.

I'm sitting in Sbux now, down at the corner of the bar with my trenta, just chilling. Laundry is next. FUN! And prepping the handouts for the blog workshop. My copy of the HuffPo book on blogging hasn't arrived yet, but I'm good about that, considering how Ariana Huffington has responded to the threat of a strike by freelancers. I found it ironic and amusing.

I think I'm going to post some one-liners. I've been coming up with a bunch of them of late, and I think you guys deserve a laugh after the past few posts. I have been so unfunny and so very serious of late. This is the other side of comedy, though--funny comes from rage.

Which is why I've been coming up with such great one-liners of late.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Whipping Up the Fat Wagon

"Well, THAT'S the pot calling the kettle FAT." - Jim Jefferies, from the Episode 3 of "Talkin' Shit with Jim & Eddie"

Yeah, I'm on the Fat Wagon again. Pissy day today--just feeling ANNOYED.

The internet dating thing... Argh, what a fucking drag. Does anyone know a little old yenta? I am so up for being introduced to a decent guy who has been fully screened by exacting little old lady. I'm beginning think they had the right idea back in the "Old Country" with arranged marriages.


So Bachelor #2 for this week is a scammer. I will say this for Plenty of Fish: they're the only site I HAVEN'T encountered a scammer on. (Bachelor #2 was from cougarlife.com. That profile is being shut down later. Fairly disgusted.) I had a feeling, but... well, when you check back and the profile is under review... yeah. I'll spare you the details.

Why am I on the Fat Wagon again? I mean, I had a great shopping week--bought a bunch of great clothes on sale. (Gods, I love a good clearance sale. Nothing like picking up half a wardrobe for $100, including jewelry. Avenue finally got the hint and started selling fabulous jeans. I am solidly down to a 24 in most styles, and my favorite pair of 24s I can actually pull down without unbuttoning. That is SUCH a high, although I'm going to have to learn how to alter jeans because I LOVE that pair of jeans. LOVE 'EM.) It IS the dating thing. I hate the place I'm in--my attitude is SO much younger than my body.

The other part... well, there's two other parts. One of them... Argh, COMMERCIALS!!!! I listen to WFNX at work. It makes concentrating on the job easier and keeps me from zoning out (most of the time). However, the problem with listening to commercial radio is the commercials. Anyone familiar with the radio business right now can tell you that commercial radio is supported by just that--commercials, ad revenue--and those dollars are getting scarcer and scarcer. Right now, 'FNX, despite its fairly hip, indie, crunchy attitude, is currently being supported by some of the most offensive fucking ads on the planet. Scam ads--the "my wife look TEN YEARS YOUNGER!" (More on that pile of shit later); ProActive; Weight Loss Shakes; Live Debt Free!; and let's not discuss the Home Desperate and McDeathalds. I'm so NOT loving it. Oh, yes, and of course, the @()*&^&*^$^*() St. Patrick's Day commercials. (Folks, an aside--DO NOT, IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE, REFER TO IT AS SAINT PADDY'S DAY IN FRONT OF ME UNLESS YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR TEETH HOME IN A BAG. "Paddy" is an ethnic slur--if you're not in the tribe, I will reply with an ethnic slur directed at your tribe. Ditto, don't use the term "paddywagon"--again, it's an ethnic slur, and just because it's directed against a group of white people doesn't make it acceptable. Unless you're in the tribe. Then you actually know what you're up against.) I will update and repost my old LiveJournal statement about St. Patrick's Day, or, as I like to call it, the Irish-American Day of Mourning.

Anyway, these commercials drive me up the fucking wall because they're AWFUL. They promote the worst shit on the planet for the worst reasons. I mean, I don't hear any women on that commercial about buying it for their husband's saggy jowls. "He looked 10 years younger! I actually thought about fucking him instead of the pool boy!" Can we PLEASE cut the shit on this double standard? I mean, really, guys--do you think that you're really all that a bag of dicks first thing in the morning? Seriously. The shit we put up with... the farting, the BO!, the insecurities, the sports, the fucking everything! You want to be cut some slack? Give it back, boys. Why is it acceptable for a guy to spend ten minutes on his personal hygeine and five minutes (if that) in selecting an outfit for the day, but a woman is expected to spend at least an hour? Fuck you. I don't have that kind of time in the morning. I'm out of the bathroom in 15 minutes, tops, getting ready for work, and out of the house in another 15--I don't have time to futz around. I am not destroying my skin piling on makeup every fucking day--do you KNOW what that crap does to the skin? How it clogs the pores and causes premature aging because of all of the chemicals? Gods, I'm serious here. Even if you use the expensive all-natural stuff, it's NOT good for you. I'm a minimal makeup girl even for special occasions (and still get compliments on the loveliness of my skin, even at 43; good genes, good hygeine, and Lush products).

One of the reasons I DON'T miss acting: I hate the fucking makeup. Pounds of pancake. ARGH.

OK, so there's the commercials griping my ass. And they are. Annoying the piss out of me (yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I signed up on last.fm, but I just can't be arsed; the uni has limited bandwidth and I really don't feel I have a right to use it when I have a perfectly usable radio on my desk).

And then... then there was Celebricrush's comment that he was fat when I complimented him at Foxwoods. Now, this should not have stuck in my head for two weeks. It really shouldn't have. But it did. It brought home to me how fucking twisted our culture is that a succesful, attractive young man who had a roomful of people laughing themselves sick and most of the women in the room hot for him (and he gets plenty of passes made on his FB) sees himself as fat. I don't know how Jim is doing with his drinking--he quit the hard drinking back in the summer after a serious health scare--but after watching Alcoholocaust the other night, I can't believe how much weight he's lost. The double chin is gone (that was very present in I Swear to God), the beer belly is gone, and he looks FABULOUS. (Yeah, could have used a shave, but whatever. See? There's the double standard working again--I can totally give him a pass for the facial fuzz, but had it been a woman up on stage in a skirt who'd forgotten to strop her legs, she would have been skewered by someone.) He looks healthy. But he's calling himself fat. (He's also done it on the podcast.)

And this is bugging me because I used to hear the same shit from the girls when I was teaching theatre: pretty girls, smart kids, lovely, talented young people, freaking when I'd have to take their measurements for costumes, trying not to look and not wanting to hear because, "Oh, my God, I'M SO FAT!!!"

Now, understand that at that point in my life, I was heading for my heaviest. I mean, seriously, I was well north of 350 lbs, pushing 400, morbidly obese, and here are these NORMAL sized girls seeing themselves as hopelessly fat. So, because I couldn't bear the way these girls were torturing themselves (and because we also had a young man in the cast with SERIOUSLY HORRIBLE hygeine problems), I came up with The Speech Decrying the Cult of the Stinky Artist and the Path to Self-Acceptance.

And it goes something like this:
There are some folks who feel that to be an artist, to attain that necessary purity of soul and spirit, one must forego all the shallow trappings of our modern era. Including the convention of daily bathing and the use of stench-decreasing products. I am here to tell you that your artistic purity will not only NOT be diminished by bathing, your status and respect amongst your fellow artists will increase if you apply soap to your body and deodorant to your armpits, ditto toothpaste to your teeth.
Now, I will have to measure all of you for costumes. These are THE RULES: you will NOT, under any circumstances, come up to be measured and say, "Oh, don't tell me, I'M TOO FAT!" because, ladies and gentlemen, I am telling you that you are NOT fat. You are beautiful, lovely, young people with talent and intelligence and great worth. And you are NOT fat. You wanna talk about fat? *I* am FAT.
At which point, I would point to my pronouncedly overweight self and look at them very, very directly. And those kids would be shocked, many of them, because I was owning it, right then, right there. I wasn't proud of it, but it was my reality. I don't know if it made any difference to any of them, but I can hope.

The thing is, though, it's not just girls who go through this awful issue. I used the exchange with Jim Jefferies as an example, but he's not the only man I've heard this from. My ex-fiance had horrible body image issues (and he IS fat, but he made things so much worse for himself). One of my baristas--a young man so hot, he makes not just my heart but my button ache--showed me his belly at one point, pinched barely an inch (and had to grab a handspan worth of flesh to do it) and declared that he was fat. I was trying not to visibly drool and keep my eyes in my head (and my hands to myself!), at the same time as my heart was wrenched because he was serious! I have two dear, cherished friends around my age--both of them life-long weight lifters, both of them attractive men--whose body image issues are painful for me. One of them is quite possibly the single most beautiful man I've ever met in my life, the one man I would drop anyone (almost) to be with if given the opportunity; the other is one of my best friends in the world. I love them both, have crushed on both of them, and it cut me to the soul when they've expressed the body image issues. These are guys that women have lusted over, drooled over... and they hate their bodies.

The second one... I had to really bite my tongue the last time I saw his parents (and I love his parents--they are good, kind, and loving people, and for the most part, AMAZING parents) because the shit they've given him about his body. This is a guy who can drop forty pounds in a month with exercise and diet. Seriously. I would kill for his metabolism. He develops a small pot and he's tearing himself up for being fat. And I'm like, ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!?!?!? I SHOULD BE SO FUCKING FAT!

I guess I'm just disgusted by it all. I hate to see people tearing themselves up over their bodies when it's a lot of bullshit. No, I'm not into really fat guys--I know that. I have my shallow side, believe me (and part of it is logistics--unless he's a good 10" in the cock department, we're going to have penetration issues unless it's all-fours). But I can cut someone some slack for purely physical reasons. I mean, I'm not perfect--what right do I have to ask anyone else to be? Seriously. I hate the way our culture (and I'm rolling the US, UK and Canada into this because, from dealing intimately with people from all three, I think all three countries at this point are FUCKING stooooooopid about this issue, and each country has its own problems with food and how popular culture affects body image). The important thing at bottom is this: are you HEALTHY? Are you eating properly? Getting enough sleep? Keeping your bad habits (drinking, smoking, drugs, snacks) under control? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you taking care of yourself? And I don't just mean physically--are you doing things to make yourself happy? Are you keeping your relationships healthy--dealing with people who support the best parts of you, rather than poisonous idiots who undermine your self worth?

Don't underestimate that last one. Speaking as the person enlisted by a few ex-best friends as their Fat Sidekick--and the person with a mother whose self-image is so badly damaged that she still sees and acts like a fat woman despite having lost over 200 lbs and being underweight at this point, and who put all of those negative images on me so that I ignored my weight issues until it was too late out of sheer rebellion--if you've got people in your life making it worse, if you can't get them to back off and drop it, get rid of them. It's not worth the long-term damage it does.

Trust me on this one, kids. I learned it the hard way, and I'm trying to undo the damage before it's too late to have the life I want rather than the one I've accepted.

Take care of yourselves, kids.
Crankily yours,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Written around 1:00 this morning.

A reminder of the rules: If you play fairly with me, I will play fairly with you. If you FUCK with me, however, I will hand you your head on a platter and kick your ass to the curb. As two beloved students said, “She’s a nice lady. Just DON’T piss her off.” (Thanks, Leesh & D. That quote forever endeared you to me because NO ONE ever, ever understood me so well.)

Today's pic comes from "Take My Siblings, Please," one of my favorite Animaniacs shorts. Yakko deals with the troll pretty damn effectively in the end. Nothing like a mallet to the head to tame a troll.

For March, the Empress is roaring in like a lion, and a troll has gone to the slaughter like a succulent bit of New Zealand lamb. Excuse me, dearest blurkers, whilst I laugh myself silly. Cackle, even (and we all know how dangerous it is when a witch starts cackling). Tonight, I have engaged in my absolute favorite intellectual sport of all, and one that I am so very, very, VERY good at: Troll Baiting.

And what, exactly, is troll baiting? Well, those of us who’ve been around the interwebs for a while and played on usenet and newgroups and forums and public figure Facebook pages are familiar with the inevitable, unavoidable internet parasite known as trollus publicus vulgaris, or the common internet troll, a hopeless, annoying asshole who feels they need to harsh someone else’s groove because they are a miserable, worthless person.

Now, occasionally, a normally decent, pleasant and good netizen will lapse into trollishness. It happens to the best of us—I’ve had my flame wars, especially during the Xanax Days of the month, when my hormones and rage took over my fingers, directly bypassing my brain and common sense. However, age, maturity and sheer laziness (because I honestly don’t give a righteous fuck these days unless someone starts shit that they really deserve the metaphorical Louisville Slugger to the head for) has brought me to the point where I usually stay out of it.

HOWEVER… sometimes the troll is so damned annoying and so deserving of a good kicking, I can’t help myself. Case in point: an incident over Jim Jefferies FB (he deleted the thread, sadly. A pity—there was actually a really good debate going on about netiquette, piracy and digital rights) back in Novemberish in which a troll reared his fugly head and declared to the world that henceforth, he would put every single thing Mr. J had committed to DVD out on the torrents because ART SHOULD BE FREE!

Now, I know there are several writers who check in here and scan my musings. I know there are a number of performing-type people who make their living from their own talent (or try to). There are a couple of people I have zero qualms about ripping off (the Mouldering Bones are at the top of the list) although I WON’T do it because ethics is ethics, dammit; HOWEVER, being a writer trying to get her shit published so she can quit the job she used to adore and now wants to bang the heads of most of her co-workers together, there is no way in hell you’re getting my shit for free (except this because, hey, this isn’t my novel—it may become a memoir, but you’re getting raw data, first draft, brain droppings). I’ve seen Jim Jefferies live twice—the guy works for his living and has a great deal of pride in his work. He deserves the money he makes from his shows and DVDs, and sorry, no, there is no argument that can justify piracy. I’ll agree that there needs to be a change in the delivery system for recordings, especially with the region coding that makes life a misery for those of us who get our entertainment from other places (unless you’ve been introduced to VLC, thank you, Chris & Stas), but for now… now, we need to suck it up and deal.

ANYWAY… the troll annoyed the piss out of me, and being me, I let him have it. And I was mean. I mean, seriously mean—I used logic and insinuation and mocked him openly for being an upper class twit, a trust fund baby who never had to work for a living (because it’s usually people who’ve never had to work for a living OR really retarded idealists who spew that bullshit; working class idiots like myself say, “FUCK YOU! PAY ME! I got bills, motherfucker, and I worked HARD to make this art!” which is why I don’t get Jackson Pollock. Sorry, it just ain’t art to me). Well, I hit a nerve so badly that not only did he freak publically, he sent me a PM, and from the language, I made him cry. (To be fair, he was not a trust fund baby but a drug-addled idealist musician who was making at least double what I make. I don't consider $80K a year to be chump change; so much for the Great Champion of Art For The People. Stooooopid troll.)

Do you know how hard it is to make an English man cry? Damn fucking near impossible without several pints, generally. (Sorry, that WAS mean, and only applies to the assholes who’ve broken my heart.) I laughed for a good hour. I was tickled. Cruel? Yeah, but this moron asked for it. And once in a while, we all need a kick in the arse. I try not to indulge in my more sadistic impulses--and I have a LOT of them--simply because I was raised right, and I can't walk on water unless someone points out the stepping stones. (That's another old chestnut that I love, corny as it is. Something about priest, minister and rabbi jokes always crack me up.)

When is it NOT appropriate to troll bait? Another example (again, Jim Jefferies's FB is involved. Sad, isn’t it?)—I blogged about it, the surreal experience of being taken to task by a woman VERY upset by a bit from I Swear to God about dwarves. Now, while I had ample openings to take free shots, it would have been ethically and humanly uncalled for. Just… just lousy and low on my part. This woman has dealt with prejudice all her life (and I know that one, albeit for different reasons); while she was totally off the mark at tearing down Jim, she didn’t deserve a drubbing by Number One Fan Bitch here. I tried to be as respectful as possible in my reply and be as professional as possible without enabling. I think I was successful.

So… as many of you know, I’ve been doing the internet dating thing for a while with limited success. To say I am unimpressed with the men I’m encountering is to vastly understate the situation. Well, I got a message over the weekend from someone with the handle Mikeneedslove. This alone should have been a flag. Where he was pinging from—same town one of my best friends lives in currently and wants out of desperately—should ALSO have been a warning flag. *sigh* Silly moi. Anyway, we exchanged a few emails via the website. He seemed nice. Note, I said SEEMED. Both of us (allegedly) looking for the same thing. Now, let’s be clear, folks—I am actually looking for a relationship. I don’t want to dive right into a commitment—I’d like there to be a couple of dates in there, a little fooling around before the fucking, some getting to know each other, perhaps a touch of romance… I mean, honestly, I’m not looking for Prince Charming. I’d be happy with a warrior for the working day. I’m just sick of the fucking frogs because honestly, it doesn’t matter how many times you kiss the slimy buggers—a frog is a fucking frog (and PLEASE don’t put in the tongue comment here—most of them don’t know how to use it properly, and a clit is NOT a fly, thanks).

The correspondence:

1. Hi i am mike how are u i read your profile u seem interseting email me by the way it says i dont want kids i do want kids
2. Yes i do want kids thanks for the eye compliment u are very beautifil so tell me about u what are u looking for? I am looking to meet the love of my life and have kids i am getting older and older now
3. like to play sports work out hang out with my nephew spend time with my family go to the beach write songs i am very creative i have wrote ten screen plays
4. I like all kinds of movies i just write songs use to play the drums in school u sound awesome and very sweet do u have a cell phone or is it to early

OK, now, I TRY, repeat TRY not judge a person by their written spelling/grammar skills. I TRY. I mean, I know a number of really intelligent, talented people who can't use a comma or spell certain words correctly to save their own lives. However... *sigh* So I gave him my number. Yeah, I know, stoooooooopid Empress.

I get a text message. I reply to it. He texts that he wants to leave me a voice mail so I can hear his voice. I’m cool with that; besides, I was just getting back to the house and had to wrangle groceries, laptop, satchel, coffee, etc. through the obstacle course that is Hell’s Vestibule. Totally cool. His voice sounds OK—bit husky, pleasant enough, touch of the Boston accent, and thankfully, doesn’t sound like the guy who missed the short bus because his mom didn’t put him out on the curb in time. (One of these days I will explain my issue with the Riders of the Short Bus—of course it has to do with my family. Why else would I have an issue with something?)

Well, I get a text from him this afternoon and replied before I left work. We text a bit. And then, I get this: [Note that texts are verbatim—I’m not editing his atrocious grammar, etc.]

8:00 p.m. (him) Yeah I like staying up at night wish I had someone to spend it with I hate being alone

Now, I’m trying to get out of the office. I’m thinking about the gym, the work I need to accomplish tonight, all the shit I have to deal with, so my response is innocent:
8:01 p.m. (me) Awwwwww. I’m ok with my own company, but it does get lonely. (And honestly, there’s only so much writing even I can do.)

The next texts from him:
10:00 p.m. Are u around?
10:20 p.m. U bought a drum set u won me lets talk do u think I got a sexy voice I can envision talking sexy with u
10:22 I want u to call me we could have a awesome talk

My phone rings around 10:55; I try to answer it, no one there. I text him asking if he tried to call. His response:
11:17 p.m. Do u want to talk do u think my voice is sexy
He calls. I can barely hear him the connection is so bad. I’m in the middle of dinner (a nice, healthy salad--spring mix, fresh mozz, tomatoes, bit of chicken--which he mocks—I mean, I’ve told him I’m working out regularly; why am I going to come home from the gym and pig on bad food?). Can’t understand the questions he’s asking. In retrospect, probably a good thing. The line goes dead.
11:22 p.m. (me) What happened?
11:22 p.m. (him) My phone died i am sorry
11:23 p.m. (him) Do u like to talk about sex

Question: If his phone died, how is he texting me? Yeah, I know, silly Empress, applying logic to a troll.

*headdesk* Yep, my nasty little suspicions were correct. *sigh*
11:24 (me) Errrrrmmmmmmmmmm… yes, but not until I know someone.
11:25 (him) Do I have a sexy voice I can pic me talking about sex with u
11:26: (me) Mike, no offense, but can you rein it in? We haven’t even met yet, I can’t picture anything.

Now, honestly, that’s a bold faced lie. If he had sufficiently enticed me, I could have pictured damned near anything, but I really hate someone faking me out—I hate being told a guy is looking for a relationship when he’s really just looking for a hook-up. This was not Rugby Boy—this was NOT an Adonis—this guy is an ordinary schlub who sounded decent enough to give a shot. Until now.

11:28: (him) Its cool i can picture u and i talking sex u have a sexy voic
11:30 (him) Are u horney though
11:41 (him) If i was to send u a pic of my thing down there would u mind

ARGH. *headdesk* Patience is now LOST. I have work to do, and no patience for some loser trying to get his wank on when I’ve said no.
11:47: (me) Yes, I already asked you to cool it down and you’re pushing. Lose my number.

End of story. I’m not investing time on someone who won’t respect my wishes. I’ve been date raped twice because I was nice; never again, kids.

11:48 (him) Ok whatever i will bye have a good night your number is gone
11:51 (him) Goodbye i don’t care i am a sexy guy with a sexy voice who can get anyone you look like u have a huge ass bush down there bye

WHAT THE FUCK IS AN ASS BUSH? I have never heard this insult before, and I am laughing out loud from it. Yep, gotta live ‘un! TROLL BAITING TIME! And the Empress takes out her barbed troll prod and pokes…
11:53 (me) Nope. You’re a pushy loser with zero respect. Ciao!

11:54 (him) Whatever i have a house and two suvs in my driveway but i am a loser
11:56 (him) U think i am a loser wow i have a lot you’re a fat ugly tramp with a big bushe bush down there

And now… now I am ROARING with laughter over my salad. I mean, seriously laughing out loud in the kitchen. My reply:
12:00 a.m. (me): This is going to make for such an awesome blog post. I haven’t had to deal with such an ignorant little troll in a dog’s age. I won’t give you phone sex and I’m a tramp? BRILLIANT! I’m sure you vote Republican, are a devout Christian, & drink heavily. You certainly can’t spell or punctuate. My readers are going to LOVE this, ditto my stand up. Thanks for the laughs!

I ain’t subtle. And he can’t say I didn’t warn him. But, oh, a troll is a troll is a troll is a troll. And yes, children, he replied. Stooooooopid troll:
12:01 (him) Well first of all i am not a catholic person i don’t care
12:03 (him) I am going to succeed i know u have a big ass bush
12:04 (him) [empty text]
12:05 (him) I am a genuine awesome guy not worthy off u
Yep, got THAT right!
12:11 (him) Why don’t u just go away
12:12 (him) Go away u have a huge ass bush
12:17 (him) U want to see my thing guaretee u would alo e me u have a huge bush

2:05 a.m. (him) Whatever lose my number u are ugly

Note, after my "troll" comment and warning about being the star of the blog today, I said nothing. And he KEPT TRYING. (Mind you, I was having a damn good laugh over on FB with some of you darling blurkers about this already.) Thankfully, the texts stopped after this. I am hoping the drunken idiot passed out. I am still grinning about this because I really ruined his night. He tried to manipulate me into something I didn’t want, I said no, he tried to berate me into it, and in the end, he was the one STILL trying to manipulate. I really love it when a troll thinks they’re smarter and just doesn’t get it.

It amuses me.

There was one barb I didn’t throw: I’m betting all of his (unsold) scripts are for bad porn.

Behave yourselves out there, kids.
Much love,