Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Send Me To The Republican National Convention

Donald J Tramp and I have been getting a lot of attention. We got turned away from the Today Show for being "too political," and were even escorted out by muscle guards. Not to mention we also got turned down by a theatre in North Dakota where the white, Christian, male, gun totting producer not only was offended by the concept of Donald J. Tramp, but ended his rejection with, "I will pray for you!"

So Donald J. Tramp and I want to go to Cleveland, Ohio. We want to go to the Republican National Convention. However, it's expensive and we need your help. Every little bit counts.

Hopefully, Mr. Tramp will be able to meet Mr. Trump and they will have a meaningful conversation. Either way, I have some filmmakers interested in doing a documentary on my journey. We shall see how this pans out. Please help a little girl and her puppet.


Monday, May 2, 2016

The Best of the Best

In the past several days, I have received some hate notes on social media whether it be instagram, twitter, or facebook. Here are some of the greatest:

"Liberal trash." Neil Stocker. Pensacola, FL.

"Stupid liberal bitch." Kathy Smith Falcon, GA.

"So The Bible teaches you to make fun of people you don't like?! You an an Anti-American and Anti-Christian LOSER!" GodMomof3 Mobile, AL

"This is coming from a woman who shoves her hand up her puppet's butt for money. Move over for the Trump Train." Women4TrumpinIowa (And then she blocked me like a courageous citizen starting a flame war).

"Taking a look at your wall, you are nothing but stupid trash with a puppet. Because of you we will be forced to bend over for China. #RapedbyChina." MrTrump Beatty, Nevada

"Is this supposed to be comedy? Seriously, this is not funny and disrespectful to our next president." DonDonDon Texas

"Stupid cunt. You stop being a stupid cunt because you are about to be Trumped." Catmandu (Probably soon to be in club fed)

The notes keep coming. Stay tuned. Until then watch my video

Friday, April 29, 2016

“The Today Show” 86’d a Real Dummy

A brief moment in media censorship history: Last week, Donald J. Tramp, my political puppet partner, and I were kicked out of the plaza at “The Today Show..” Apparently a stuffed fictional candidate is now “a political statement.”
As a long time New Yorker, I don’t normally do “touristy.” However, in the wake of Donald J. Trump’s landslide victory in the New York primary, a friend of mine suggested that Mr. Tramp and I go to “The Today Show” to get our “fifteen minutes of fame.” Since my Donald J. Tramp dummy bears a striking resemblance to the GOP front-runner dummy, I figured why not.
I arrived at Rockefeller Plaza with my Tramp campaign signs and Mr. Tramp wisely concealed in a box. A viciously huge security guard demanded to know what the signs were. Eyeing me suspiciously, he informed me that to gain access to the plaza audience I would have to dismantle my signs.
As I took my place in line, I smiled knowing my secret in the box. But then the secret was spoiled. Another security guard, an even beefier fellow, also eyed my signs suspiciously as I was dismantling them. “Donald Trump? Come on,” he grumbled.
Then he approached me and eyed me like a snake about to envelop a mouse in it’s jaws. “Aren’t you the girl from YouTube with that Donald Trump puppet?”
“Donald J. Tramp, sir,” I corrected him. While I was certainly surprised, I was also quite pleased that he had seen my “Introducing Donald J. Tramp” video (https://youtu.be/fVg4ufbYnrU).
“We can’t have you here,” he said as he then promptly ordered me to leave.
The two NBC pages working the show, both nice girls who were probably fresh out of college, thought that Mr. Tramp was a creative idea and loved the concept. However, they told us that in light of all the recent political controversies, “The Today Show” had nixed any and all political statements by the audience on the Plaza. “Even puppets?” I asked.
“Even puppets,” one of the pages told me with a half smile.
Yes, even puppets. Puppet free speech was being censored. As an author, comedian and scholar of The First Amendment, I find this not only worrisome, but also a sad commentary on the times. While George Orwell predicted media censorship, did he know it was going to become so severe that it would restrain ventriloquism free speech?
Donald J. Tramp and I left without further incident, but vowed to tell the world our story: A tale of how a girl and her puppet were silenced by the media for attempting to exercise their constitutional rights of humorous and satirical speech.
Now that I’ve uploaded another Donald J. Tramp video ), I’m just hoping that the security guards outside “Fox & Friends” aren’t YouTube fans.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wedding Bell Blues

Skipper's shower has just passed and I am happy she is getting married. However, weddings bring out this odd sort of malaise and feeling and melancholy. What I am trying to say is, weddings have a morbid overtone sometimes. What I mean is, everyone starts to talk about the people who died. Maybe it's an Irish thing. Maybe it's a Catholic thing. Irish Catholic.....obsessed with death.

On the way to the airport Monday we were talking about the Table for the Dead. Yes, how to remember those who couldn't be there because they died. One woman had a table with candles at her daughter's wedding and pictures of the dead people. It's like, hey, look at this morbid shrine feet away from the cookie table and two feet away from the dancing and booze? Why don't we just depress everyone on this big day? It will come after we get the final total of the wedding which is $$$$$.

As if that wasn't enough, this woman wanted my mom to photograph this thing. Why not have the wedding in a cemetery if you like morbid things?! Seriously.

My mom suggested putting my Nunni and Pop Pop's wedding picture on the cookie table. That way they could be remembered in a more happy fashion. My grandparents were fun people. They dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, and on my public access show in high school offered to steal me the answers to the SAT's for Christmas. My mom had a near heart attack. They made you laugh. In a recording of The Night Before Christmas they lost their place and just kept going trimming out a large part of the story. They were akin to a comedy team, a George and Gracie. No, they would not be going on the Table for the Dead.

As for my dad's mom, her death last summer caused some drama within his family, and it is a family that loves to battle. Some of my aunts and uncles are estranged but we are working on it. Death does that, but weddings bring people together. It's nice that some of my relatives who had strong feelings about my Mema Ralph's care towards the end are making attempts to send Skipper presents and such as well as congratulations for her impending nuptials. Still, it rips everyone's heart out.

Lest we forget the fireworks that always occur around a wedding. My cousin's mother in law, a country club snob, accused her of being pregnant and that was the only reason her son was marrying my cousin.....not true. Another family friend had her maid of honor make her cry the day of the wedding. Then there was the wedding I went to in West Virginia where two girls were literally fighting for the death over the bouquet toss (One did punch the other......it was weird). Weddings do bring out the worst in everyone. Or as my dad says, "They are just looking for an excuse to be crazy."

Still, it's amazing how now that my sister's getting married, everyone is asking me when I will get married. I have no plans nor do I care. But now they are trying to sell marriage to me like it's a used car. Like I am less of a woman for being single let alone not having a husband. The truth is, I could have been married three times. The first man I would have supported his lazy ass and we could have lived in his mama's basement. The second guy would have given me the world, but he was a goof. The third would have stolen me the moon but got apprehended by the police, but granted he was a knight in shining armor in the suit of armor he stole......and we would have been the envy of the whole trailer park in our double wide.

I know it's okay to be by yourself. Being alone is better than being with a bad husband. But around weddings you see people justify their craptacular marriages. The excuses are terrible, worse than their marriages might I add. I just let it go. Whatever keeps you enjoying your beach front property in The Land of Delusion.

Either way, during the planning of this wedding I have yelled and cursed at all my family members. They have been called a myriad of names by yours truly as I have stressed on getting the big day on track. Skipper probably wants to elope. Yet as my mentor says, "As someone who has been married three times, it's like the circus comes to town and there's this build up. Then the day after, the field is empty."

Maybe that's the scary thing, the field being empty. Time passing. Knowing that we all won't be here forever. Knowing that someday we will all take our place at the table of the dead. Knowing weddings and funerals have so much in common. Knowing that this stressful celebration is one where there is heavy drinking because it is a swift reminder that time keeps going regardless of who or what we fathom it to be, and no one lasts forever........


Monday, April 25, 2016

Let's Go Crazy (Prince)

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life…..” I remember those words spoken back in the day listening to Prince on the 80s throwback. It was my sister and I having a makeshift dance party in our family weight room. It was my dad screaming to turn the music down. It was always our escape during forced family time, when my dad controlled what we watched on TV, and the times Skipper and I wanted no part of it.
This weekend Prince died, and Skipper was having her bridal shower. Both are a sign that time passes, and both a funeral and a wedding have odd ways of bringing the crazy out in everyone. Let’s go crazy, eh?
Weddings as I mentioned are stressful, and this event in general was stressful. Weeks before, at the edge of a near breakdown, my Aunt Marie sent me a rambling email about setting up. She advised me to bring a track suit and then change into my clothes there. I replied to her email, but apparently she didn’t get it because she called my mom. Apparently her daughter Kelly didn’t get it because I got another facebook message wanting to know if I would come and set up.
Aunt Marie is my sister’s Godmother. She is well intentioned but sometimes high strung. Then again, of course she would be super high strung. This was a big event, and the opening act to the main event…..the wedding.
Of course I will come and set up. It’s my sister’s wedding. I am The Maid of Honor, aka family member who gets to sit near the bride and act as her indentured servant at all wedding events. Yes, I have only put this wedding on a physical timeline, prodded my parents and sister to complete the guest list, and make people stick to their deadlines. This wedding only haunts me in my sleep. Yeah, I’m there.
The other stress of the weekend was Boomer, my sister’s fiancĂ©, had his parents coming to town to meet my parents. They had to go to some of the wedding appointments with my mom, and make some wedding decisions. However, their flight from Boston was delayed, and my mom was flipping out because they had appointments to go to. It all worked out, but it was one more stressor.
While the parents were doing wedding stuff, I cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed as well as scrubbed and did a load of dishes. I felt like this was going to kill me, and in no way am I ready to be a domestic engineer. My mother was pleasantly surprised, but my father felt it was still too dirty. I freaked out. I had only spent all day cleaning.
Diplomatically my mother informed me that there was always a new level to clean, and the house had to be perfect for the man party. It was in part so my father could show off his newly renovated man cave. So there was MORE cleaning to be done. And kindly she informed me that at a time like this, there was always MORE CLEANING. Nevermind my parents have spent the better part of the year using their weekends for home improvement projects regarding this wedding. And the fact they changed my childhood room around. Yeah, it looks cleaner than when a teen lived there but damn, I have never felt so violated.
Fortunately the Nelson’s turned out to be lovely people. Mr. Nelson is an engineer, and Mrs. Nelson works with people who have diabetes. Gentle spirits, they too were from large families. They too were stressed about this wedding. At least we were all connecting on that level.
The next day was the shower, and to say the lid was about to blow off the stress pot was an understatement. Skipper went to the salon to have her hair done, and I my mom and I decided to have the wedding timeline meeting with her. During the course of the meeting, I found out one of my sister’s bridesmaids, a young woman who is a trauma surgery fellow, cannot get off for the wedding. However, she is coming in days early just to help out and spend time with my sister. As I was planning, my head nearly exploded.
“I need to know about conforming bridesmaids!” I snapped as I began to chart the weekend. My mom snapped back at me. I had other wrinkles to sort out, such as the fact each girl would need 45 minutes on their hair and the hair dressers had to come at 8 AM to get started. Someone who wanted to act rogue was on their own. When I am in a planning phase I am akin to General Patton on the Peninsula. Don’t get in my way, bitches!
Yeah, I know it’s not my wedding but at this point it’s like I am this far in the foxhole, might as well lead the charge.
I got ready to go to the hall, and my cousin Kelly was supposed to retrieve me. Aunt Marie had been planning this event and now we were down to the wire. However, the clock ticked and she was late. My dad and I plotted on what to do, as Skipper was having her final dress fitting. He advised me to stay calm, weddings made everyone crazy.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“It’s because they are looking for an excuse to be crazy and finally have one.” He informed me. Seconds later, Kelly pulled up to rescue me from a possible impromptu cleaning project involving the man cave.
Kelly apologized, she had to pick up a prescription of horse pills because apparently she somehow in her travels contracted shingles. It’s always a question of what isn’t happening when these things go down. When we got to the hall, Aunt Marie was wearing the proverbial captain’s jacket and gave us orders. To say the place looked beautiful was an understatement. She and my Uncle Frank really outdid themselves. I mean really.
They handmade the decorations hanging from the ceiling, and they also handmade the party favor margarita glasses with bath salts and other treats in them that said, “From my shower to yours.” My mouth hung open in pleasant surprise. Perhaps this was going to be a party and not D-Day as initially dreaded.
Guests came in, and Kathi, a fellow bridesmaid and high school bestie of my sister’s, helped me intercept the present as soon as the women entered. That way they could put on their name tags and socialize. While Skipper and I knew some of the people present from growing up, others were relatives coming from afar. This is the blessing and curse of having a huge family because you always have to pose the awkward question of, “How are we related again?”
Everyone was really nice and the event went smoothly. A lot of people came because they had known my grandmothers, and they had come to their children’s weddings. Others to my pleasant surprise actually have been following my exploits on social media. Many spoke about my dad as a little boy.
Of course the second there was an inkling of down time it was back to work aka opening the presents. Yes, WORK. Kathi and Kelly handed the presents and disposed of the wrapping paper and made a bow. Skipper shined like a diamond as she opened them. And I, sitting to her right, painstakingly catalogued everything. The entire time I took copious notes hoping my ipad would not melt down or crash.
Skipper made out like a bandit. She got so much cook ware that with her medical degree I somewhat worried that if she had trouble paying off her student loans she might resort to cooking meth. But then I remembered she was a good kid. However, she got enough liquor decanters to make many an alcoholic in my genetic line jealous.
However, all jokes aside, she lit up the place and was kind and gracious as ever. Sure, there have been times I have wanted to strangle her in the planning of this wedding, as she is not one to make a decision easily. At the same token, she has grown up into a nice young lady and I was so happy for her and proud of her at that very moment. All and all, she’s a good egg.
My gift accidentally had a moment. I got her the cake cutters and matching flutes as per tradition for the Maid of Honor. I also got her a cake topper back in January from the party store down the street. Actually, it turned out to be too big to be a topper, but I had no clue what she still needed let alone who was throwing the shower at that point. My mother and I were worried it was going to be us before Aunt Marie stepped up. Thank God. Either way, I purchased it because it looked like Skipper and Boomer.
In purchasing this, I had no idea that the bag I would put it in would play wedding music. Either way, when I pulled it out, music played. It was a WTF moment. The whole room ooed and awed at my present. Yes, we all agreed it would be used for the cookie table. (the cookie table gets a blog of it’s own).
In any event, the shower was a success. Cleaning up was like climbing the last stretch of Mt. Everest. Skipper, my mom, and I wanted to go. But Aunt Marie and Uncle Frank had really put their blood, sweat, and tears into this event. It would have been wrong for us to bolt. Plus we had mounds of presents to load.
When I got back to the house, I thought I would get to put my pajamas on and crash. No such plan. There were some men folk straggling. I did what I always do when my parent’s have house guests, visit like a civilized human. However, it was also nice to see men. The party was wonderful and everyone was generous, but after a room full of women for several hours you want to see other civilization. It’s similar to when a chick arrives at a sausage fest.
My dad’s friend Dr. Reb was there drinking with Mr. Nelson, and we discussed the election and laughed. Mrs. Nelson told a story about how Boomer had snuck out as a child, and like a gentle soul she read a book on the experience about raising young men. The Nelson’s were different than my parents. We would have been killed dead had we done that. Skipper and Boomer both turned out relatively well, so perhaps everyone’s parents did a good job in their own different ways.
The next day was spent crafting 55 thank you notes. Skipper, being thoughtful but not so practical, wanted to make each one special. I warned her that she would get tired. She did as I dictated each gift from my master list and my mom addressed and then handed it back to me to steal and stamp. Just when we thought we were done, we had failed to account for the gifts that were shipped to the house, aka shadow gifting. And then Skipper had a few envelopes with gift cards she forgot about in her purse.
There was added drama when there was a gift from one woman named Nanette. She had come with a group of my dad’s family members and no one knew who she was. So we had to call my Aunt Marie who was still in her glory over the shindig she threw to find out. It was a daughter in law of one of my dad’s many relations. Sigh…..
Just when I thought my day was over, my dad wanted me to teach him how to use social media. As I gave this sixty something year old a lesson as we sat in his man cave, I wondered which of the fates I had pissed off. Explaining twitter to my dad was interesting to say the least. He needs it for his job, and I wondered why no one else had bothered to explain it, but why ask?
All this was in between Skipper chronically facetiming Boomer as he spearheaded their house hunt, and her making sure he didn’t fall asleep in the car. Face to palm, these people had taken my last kernel of sanity. If I saw the color white, heard wedding music, or even the word wedding I was going to scream……..
Just then my dad proposed we watch Bridge of Spies. As usual, there he was controlling the TV clicker. The radio stations were all playing Prince. My sister and mom were on my last nerve. Maybe I could dance to Prince alone.
However, weddings are like funerals. You begin to realize you won’t have everyone forever. It’s just not the way it goes. Skipper was getting married. While I would be gaining a brother, we would never be able to hang out like this again really and truly. And if anything happened to any one of them, I would be devastated. The good part is, Prince’s music will live on but these moments won’t.
So I watched Bridge of Spies with my family in my dad’s newly fashioned man cave. My mom fell asleep half way through the movie. Skipper hogged the blankets. My dad and I actively talked history. We all agreed it was Tom Hanks at his best.
During the film my mentor texted wanting to talk. I told him he would have to wait a bit. The movie was just getting good and we were all detoxing from a long and stressful weekend. At the end of it all, they are crazy people, but they are my crazy people.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Born in Your Bed

Each Sunday, I talk to my mom and dad. It's weird calling my parents now that I am getting older. There is always a mix of wanting to avoid talking to them, but yet knowing for as crazy as they are, they too are mere mortals. Translated, parents become important in a way they weren't before because you know you aren't going to have them forever.

My mom told me today that they were polishing my bed. This is a mix of spring cleaning and the never ending marathon of dusting etc for my little sister's wedding. Anyway, they told me that my bed was "shiny like a tuba." Yes, my bed frame is old brass. It does rust. It's actually was my parent's bed before it was mine, and my great grandmother's bed, too.

I got it because my sister was an accident, birth control gone wrong. I was privy to this information when I was a teen and my mom was telling us how birth control could mess up. Apparently I was birth control gone wrong too. My mom says she's grateful because if my brother was an only child she would work as a docent at a museum because he shortened her lifespan so much.

When my sister was born, they had to move me out of the nursery to a big girl bed because now the crib was hers. This was an emergency and that meant me sleeping in the heir loom. Thus my sister stayed in the nursery and got a single bed when the time came. Serves her right......lil accident.

So today, as my mom is telling me about this, the conversation took an interesting and disturbing turn:

Mom: I think I might have been born in your bed.

Me: No Mom, you were born in a hospital.

Mom: No, I was born in your bed. People werent born in hospitals then.

Me: Mom, you were born in a hospital. Remember, your mom and the lady across from her swapped names?

Mom: Yeah, that's right.......I was.......then your grandmother was born in your bed.

Me: What?!

Mom: Yeah, geat-grandmother had to use this doctor she didn't like because of the bank. They pulled your grandma out with forceps and broke her nose.

Me: Really?!

Mom: Really.

Me: That's a lot. Birth.....Childbirth.......in my bed. Blood, guts......EWWWWW!!!!!!!!! No.....just no!!!!!!!!

Dad: So that's what we have to look forward with you.

Me: I am never having children.

Dad: It's better than someone dying in your bed.

Me: Then I would never sleep there again.

Dad: Well people die in hospital beds all the time and they flip the mattress over.

Me: If anyone died in my bed I would burn the damn mattress.

Later I thought, there had been a birth in my bed. Then my parents had my bed before me. So there had been lots of ucky action there. Dear God.......what a disturbing thought. And I just came from church too. May God cast Satan out of my mind......

Friday, April 15, 2016

Comedy Guide Post: Not Panicking

Lately, in between marathon practice sessions I have been watching the greats for inspiration. During my years as a comedian, I kind of got lazy about watching other comedians that were "greats." Some of it was I became soured by the politics, and also because when you are fighting it out it seems some of the greatest just got that way on their own. They didn't tank and eat it at open mics like you do. No Sir, they were just born amazing.

One bad habit that I have been trying to break is my panic button. It developed during years of doing short sets in New York. If you didnt make the audience laugh right away you were cooked worse than a burnt piece of toast. So when an audience doesn't do what I want them to do right away, I panic.

I freaking panic.

I panic.


I know the panic button is why I talk so fast and why I race to the punchline, and I do mean race sometimes. Now that I am trying to do longer sets and want to be a hell of a headliner, I am trying to break that habit as I have been whining. The thing is, I panic when an audience doesnt do what I want. "They could smell your fear." A club owner/headliner who worked with me said when I ate it hard but somehow showed enough promise for him to agree to help me........or he wanted to up his kharma. Hell if I know.

This club owner suggested just not even acknowledging the silence by saying, "That didnt work" continuously when that happened. Instead just to keep going. Eventually they would give you what you wanted if you just TALKED TO THEM.

Instead I let them see me sweat when they dont give me what I want.

I even did it today with a singing telegram. They didnt give me what I wanted and I started to panic. That panic is terrible. It's not just me but comedians as a whole who feel it. We push. We try harder. We acknowledge it. What the freeeeekkkkkkkkkkkk works?!?!!?!?!?!?!

What sucks is now that I am conscious of the habit it makes me wanna kick myself more. I know it all goes back to talking to my audience, and then that way it doesnt look like I am trying to hard to be liked. One who is amazing at that is Bernie Mac. He just talks to his people. Sometimes he doesnt get the big payoff at the end of a joke, but he keeps going. Because he is persistent and doesn't let the audience see him sweat, when the does get to the end of the bit the payoff is AMAZING!!!!

He knows how to run the marathon. It's not gonna be dead at the end of a long set. He's gonna rock a short set. He doesn't let you see the panic button, because the man probably took his out. Gosh I wanna get to that point.

What sucks so badly is I want to do so well all the time. Now that I am trying to break all these bad habits the short sets have given me, sometimes I feel like retreating to my room never to do comedy again. But I know when I am breaking down I am just breaking through. It's growing pains.

But I am also breaking terrible habits, and some that are actually letting me see what I am capable of as a comedian. I am good on my feet and need to embrace that more. I take risks, sometimes too many but risks are what make us artists. Not to mention that I am uncovering an ability as a storyteller, one that I wasnt embracing as I was just going joke punchline, joke punchline. Maybe this new layer ain't so bad.

Either way......that's my guidepost for this week.