Friday, May 31, 2013


I was at Skipper and Wendell's graduation when I met their friend Johnny. Hanging out in Providence's Hope Club, Johnny mentioned it was his birthday. That Friday had been Wendell's birthday making them both born under the sign of Gemini. This makes sense. Wendell's specialty will be working with adolescent kids who suffer from eating disorders, addiction, and a host of other things. In addition, while it was a surprise because he was a former football player, Wendell worked with transgender teens and enjoyed the experience. He also lectures on the dangers of child abuse. Wendell's lectures are so entertaining they often don't want him to stop. While this was a surprise at the time it shouldn't have been. Wendell is a people person. He is funny, outgoing, and extroverted. Wendell has never been afraid to be himself. Most Gemini's are not.

Johnny was having a slight quarter life crisis because he was the big 2-6. He mentioned has his beautiful wife Leah sat there that he counted gray hairs on his head. I laughed. I remembered feeling the exact same way when I crossed the that mark in my life. Then I remembered how much fun that age had been. I was literally on national television every week. I was hosting a web show on the internet. My music was on the radio on the internet. And I had my very first publishing contract. Not to mention I was recognized on the street for the very first time. At the big 2-6 I learned the lesson of not limiting myself.

That is when I told Johnny how much fun I had at that age, and how he should look forward to aging. Johnny is a brilliant idea person who is currently using his medical knowledge in an independent business venture to help others. Like many Gemini's, he is creative, smart, and funny. I told him that at twenty six he would come into his own, and would shake off the molting skin from his earlier twenties. At twenty six I told him I saw the work from my earlier twenties begin to pay off. That he should look forward to each approaching year because it meant the coming and dawning of more new adventures.

Yesterday I wished I could have been around to take my own advice. I was totally not where my feet where when it came to my head. After receiving the shiteous news about my book signing event and the technicality that prevented me from achieving my goal, I just wanted to run into someone as an excuse to deck them. I ended up in Norwalk, CT where I delivered a telegram. Going back to the train station, I crossed the street and was almost run over several times by the worst drivers ever. There is something about New England drivers that makes me nervous. In Rhode Island it is worse, not only do they break traffic laws, but when they see a pedestrian they drive faster. It was the same in Norwalk. When you cross into NE, expect some terrible driving. Move over Asian driver stereotype, meet the New England drivers.

As I was unintentionally playing chicken with the cars, I remembered my boss from the web channel. I often said the universe spoke through this man. Once when I was green in my activism I had a blow up with an ex con over the fact that the accused have too many rights. After my meltdown my boss called me and said that sometimes my problem was I didnt let things go. Life was too short and sometimes you had to laugh it off.

I always thank God for my guy friends, gay or straight. Men tend to see the bigger picture. Women always concentrate on the minute details and we drive ourselves crazy. Maybe that is why it has taken women so long to advance. It's not that we aren't smart, we are very bright and more so than men. Hell, any dude with half a brain and is confident in his stride will agree. It's that we sweat the small stuff. However it is easy to arrive in that head space where I am the worst writer ever. No one wants to read my book. I suck. I am unfunny.

Just then I saw a Dunkin Donuts. I figured it was time for a frozen drink. It was hot outside and I figured it was Colatta time. So I ordered a Colatta. Then I called a friend to cry. Let me tell you I felt loads better. I got on the wrong side of the track and missed my train. But it gave me time to cool off and get my head together. I got back to Manhattan and met some friends. On my way I saw an old friend from college and told him all about my book. Yes, my book. The land of the written word. I am F. Scott Fitzgerald meets David Sedaris in my mind. My former classmate was impressed. Suddenly I began to feel better. I wasn't a complete waste as a person let alone a writer.

Then I saw Arianna Huffington's video of her commencement speech to Smith College. I have never been about these things, I didnt even walk at my own. I had finished in December and was working. But in her speech she spoke about the importance of sleep and how at the Huffington Post she had nap rooms. So I went to sleep and slept like ten hours. And how I am recharged. Ms. Huffington also spoke about redefining the metric of success. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself. It is hard not to as a woman. Sometimes I have to realize there is more to April Brucker than the reality star, comedian, ventriloquist, writer, and singer. Still it is hard, really hard.

This morning because it is hot I decided to go to the pool. On my way I saw an old friend. When I was twenty four I worked as a flier person for a strip club with his bestie. We talked. Twenty-four was one of the lowest points of my life. I was out of money, going no where, and the career was stalled. I spoke to him for a few minutes and he was really impressed when he found out about my book. I felt good. It always feels good to laugh with an old friend. In that covo, I realized how far I had come since that time. This week so many people have told me how proud they are of me. Whether it is my boss telling me no matter how famous I get I still must deliver telegrams. Or my sound engineer Archie who can use dope and many moons effectively in a sentence. Oh and in there are some of my fans pushing my book.

As I continued my journey to the pool I began to realize at twenty six I experienced what is known as Amazon Feminism, doing and living in the absence of a man. At twenty six I was on my own for the first time in forever and paying my own way. I didnt need a guy. I think that is when the chip on my shoulder that took steroids that turned into a cinderblock began. Some of it is being a career woman, choosing to make this my entire life and not have the husband or the family like many of my former female classmates are. Some of it is the stubbornness of going a path that is dark, uncertain, and unsure and for the first time seeing results.

I also discovered how much fun the pool at my gym was at twenty six. While I have plenty of friends in the free weight area, the people in the pool are happy. It's because they can swim, talk, laugh, and lay of the sun deck.

Then I remembered my boss from the internet channel talking to me, at twenty six. I was green in my activism and got into another one of my spats. As usual, he was stuck telling me it wasn't that serious. Then I realized that it wasn't that serious. This wasn't a road block but a temporary traffic jam. My publisher is currently on it. At that moment it hit me, there were two lessons that twenty six taught me. One, sometimes you need to go back to basics. Two, sometimes you need to cool off.

And that is when I dove into the pool.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ego Reduction

I was having quite a day yesterday. On the street, I saw not one but two old friends. I bragged about my achievement of an Ivy League book signing event. Oh and also how Mensa said my book was a must read. On top of that, Barnes and Noble is now selling my book as a paperback. I have two other stores interested and a big site who is reviewing my book. Did I mention some magazines said they want to do a story? I was like YIPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

My sound engineer called me to tell me I would be hearing my audiobook next week. It's always nice to hear from Archie. My weeks are not the same without him. He told me as soon as my book was on the shelves to get a picture. Oh and I am part of a Gay Pride event that is just awesome! And it is plugging my book, my book, my book.

That is when I got home and checked my email. A Barnes and Noble that I wanted to have an event at passed on my proposal. It was nothing big. Apparently my book was "nonreturnable." WTF?!?! I know this is a technicality that is the fault of my publisher and not my own. If this is the case. Maybe the system is quirky because my paperback is new to the system. Either way it kind of depressed me. I almost wished they would have called me to tell me my book sucked and I had no talent as a writer or a comedian. While this was nothing personal, it sucks in a way because it was technical. The lady was actually quite nice about it. If it was personal I could call her a bitch as much as I wanted and feel good about it but I can't. Instead I just have to bang my head against the wall and get on with my life.

A summer writing seminar I wanted to take is really costly and there is no way I can swing it. While it is at Columbia, I don't want to be locked into something I might not like with a teacher I don't know. Not to mention I looked at the teacher's bio and I was almost as qualified as they were. I spoke to my mom about it who said if I was spending that much time and money to put it towards a degree. I don't feel like getting another degree at this point in my life. Maybe later on. I don't know. We both agreed that I shouldn't close the door on the option. Still, I have no desire to do it. My mom agreed the only reason I should do it is if it's something I want. I don't know, either way it got into a squabble where I had to remind her I was an adult and it was my life. She reminded me I wouldnt always be in my twenties and I found myself yelling and screaming like a thirteen year old. Maybe it was masking my disappointment because I could have taught that class. You published a few short stories. I wrote a book and had a signing at an Ivy. HAH! Either way, I left the convo feeling like shit.

I don't even think it was because I was mad at my mom. We usually get along great. She is actually one of my best friends in the world and supports me taking classes to learn and network. I just think this family weekend had been really intense. While the signing went well, and Skipper and Wendell's graduation was beautiful, I felt like I was being crushed and smothered at certain points. It was nothing personal. It's just the weekend was really intense as I said. I mean, Friday I got up at 3 am, got a train, got to Providence and then was thrown into a dress to see my sister get an award. Then it was off to have lunch after the award. Then off to meet my brother and his wife at the hotel. Then headed for a big dinner. After that we did the Brown Campus Dance in the freezing rain with umbrellas. Usually campus dance is fun. But in the cold and in the rain, nothing is fun. My mom insisted on going cause we had spent boat loads of money, but it was just too cold to be enjoyed and we were all just too tired, which was worse cause it was just miserable out. Saturday was raining and miserable. There was no going outside because of the cold and the rain that just kept pouring. We ended up going to lunch. Then while the signing was awesome and I got to meet Wendell's lab chums, I was in a cake costume and it was BURRRR outside and certain parts of the store were drafty. Well I was drained and developed a temperature. The medical school dinner was fine but I was just exhausted. Sunday was graduation and it wouldn't have been so bad except my mom insisted on getting a private, professional family photo done at 8 AM. I understand, Skipper and Wendell only go this way once but this was just insane because it was really cold out. I was bundled like the feet of a Chinese baby girl. I am telling you, it was cold. The church was warmer, slightly beautiful. But my feet fell asleep from taking so many pictures an my legs were so jellified that I almost fell over the balcony.

Then across the street at the Hope Club I went to use the bathroom cause I had to pee. As I was coming in this old woman was coming out. Like one of those old women from the old Pilgrim yarns she snarled, "Move out of my way girl so I can get through!!!!" Wowsa, isn't that a rap song. I wanted to remind her that I had a pulse but what could I do?

Anyway, I just think I need my space from my family right now. I spent not one but two weekends in a row with them. Most everyone was well behaved. But when I don't get a moment to myself it is nothing personal. My character defects sprout extra limbs which makes the quirks of everyone around me harder to deal with. Oh, and I shared a hotel room with my parents. It wasn't too bad, except when it comes to the bathroom my dad is slightly more girly than my mom and I. He takes forever and a day.

So with all that going on, I get an email from a magazine that I had reached out to for an interview. They said while my book was "charming" they were one for the year and to reach out next year. Fuck me. Fuck me with a big, huge, black, George Carlin-esque dildo. Fuck me up the ass while you are in the neighborhood. I know I have a mouth like a sailor but he can suck my cum dripping dick.

Not the most erudite.

Note the most eloquent

Not like an NYU educated woman

Not like a woman who's book is a part of Brown University's Bookstore Collection

Not like a woman who's book was called a Must Read by Mensa

Not like a woman who's book is now available as a paperback through Barnes and Noble

Not like a woman who pondered taking a summer writing course at Columbia

Not like a woman who's audiobook will be complete next week

Probably like a woman featured on Britney Spears's website

Probably like a woman with a chip on her shoulder when it comes to living in a man's world

Just like a woman who needed a trip back to Earth.

Sigh, the ride on the spaceship sucks ass.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Recently my book became available on Barnes and Noble as a paperback. For months it has been available as a Kindle. Through some drama it finally happened, paperback. Anyway, we were thrilled when it happened. So just to see if it works I try to order a copy of my book online through I know, buying my own book, ha ha.

Anyway, the book comes in the mail. On the package is written the word, SAD. Maybe it is some postal expression I don't understand.

Or maybe they think that it is sad that I am ordering my own book.

When I saw that I was like, wait a minute, that is so mean.

But then I was like, wait a minute.That is soooo true. This is sad and depressing that I am ordering my own book. Whether it was a postal expression or not it was some ego reducing. Still it was pretty funny. I get a package with my book in the mail and in big letters is written SAD.

I googled it and found no postal expression. Maybe they were just trying to tell me something. Either way, as I said this is pretty funny. Hey, truth hurts, right?

But note, now it is available through Barnes and Noble as a paperback! Yippee!!!!!!!

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We Are Family (Sister Sledge)

The weekend of my brother's wedding I was waiting for my plane to take me to Vermont. It was a special weekend too. My only brother was getting married to his college sweetheart. Both at the time were starting on their journey into promising careers in medicine. This was a low point in my life. My bank account was in the negative. As for the career, ha! Not to mention my mother and I had a huge fight that week and were speaking to each other in snaps and jabs, familial tongue if you will sometimes. I had to turn down three jobs to go to this wedding and the weather was going to be cold. Not to mention there was drama with how people were going to get to this remote destination in the midst of no where. Gosh this weekend was going to be filed under "This Fucking Sucks."

Then I picked up a book in the airport. It was called Showing Up For Life. Written by Bill Gates, Sr., it had a wonderful, touching forward by his mogul son in the front. Mr. Gates had a chapter about putting family first. Reading that as I waited for the plane changed my attitude about the weekend. As I explained to my potential employers my brother was getting married to my surprise everyone not only understood but moved the jobs. The wedding, despite the fact that the weather in The Northeast Kingdom Region of Vermont could use some work, was a beautiful event. My sister in law looked spectacular. As for my brother, he was the eager groom when he saw her in white. My baby cousin was the flower girl. Each of the bridesmaids became friendly. Kristen, the maid of honor, worked to make the wedding a wonderful experience for her college bestie. The reception was a blast as we danced until our shoes wore out, literally.

My Mema Ralph got drunk off of high balls and my uncles and cousins crowd surfed her during the reception. Of course she was then returned to her decorated wheel chair adorned with streamers for the big day. As for the tossing of the garter and bouquet, both my baby cousins caught them. They are brother and sister so they shared a rather awkward dance. We all laughed. It was adorable. I ended up dancing with both my sister in law's brothers. My baby cousin PJ, typically shy, ripped off his shirt, dove in the middle of the dance floor with his wife beater, and played air guitar. My dad danced with my sister in law's mom, and my mom danced with my sister in law's dad. Robby, my cousin and my brother's best man, gave a touching toast ending with a trumpet solo, a way this musical prodigy and Carnegie Mellon BFA was thoughtful but also unique. The reception, with music picked by my sister in law's oldest brother, ended with "We Are Family." And that we were. Family!

This was my family. I had fun and afterwards, as we gathered at the house my parents rented for the occasion, we talked about how my aunts and uncles met. That weekend I actually learned a lot about my family as a whole. My one Aunt Lola explained she liked my shy Uncle Apollo the first time they met because he had a "nice butt." Hey, she was honest. As for my other Aunt Marie, she met my Uncle Rob when they were in high school and the rest was history. Then there was my Uncle Steve, who kept losing my Aunt Dionne's number until one day he found it and the rest is history. Of course we cannot forget Aunt Violet, who dated my Uncle Steele in high school and was off an on until they got married when she was entering dental school. The list goes on. Of course there was my Aunt January, who was going to marry my Uncle Columbus, and my Mema Ralph invited Barnie, my Uncle Mark's brother who served in the Vietnam War and liked hookers and drugs and had a history of urinating in public. Needless to say there was a fight. But then it was smoothed over and the show went on.

My Mema Ralph and I also had a deep convo about love, and how I didnt just have to ask God for a man but the right one. Well my experience in asking God for a guy has always produced men missing teeth in various spots so perhaps I better take her advice. She mentioned that while my dad loved my mom, she wanted him too and wasnt letting him get away. Maybe my grandmother supposedly has dementia but at that moment she was lucid as ever. I think she just screws with people from time to time because she just can. Now that is awesome. Oh and her room had mirrors on the ceiling. My Mema Ralph said, "Just like in my books." She means her trash novels that she reads with salacious sex scenes.

That weekend my dad, my Aunt Marie, my Uncle Rob, and I climbed Jay Peak. Despite the rainstorm and mud slides we got to the top and there was a rainbow. Since that time, I have delved into extreme sports. Oh and my mom and I patched things up that weekend too. All and all, not only was I glad I showed up but more than anything I was glad to have my family. Maybe they were nut balls. Maybe they pressed every button known to man. Maybe they tested every last nerve I had. Maybe some even fit the criteria on the DSM IV for mental illnesses. But they were my nuts and only they could press my buttons Goddamn it.

This past weekend I did my book signing at Brown University. Back in March, I had been added to the collection. My baby sister Skipper told me to bring six books when I saw her in February, because she was interested in getting my book into the collection at her college. I had gone up to film a project she was doing. Anyway, it ended up being a nice weekend between the project and watching the Superbowl with her friends. Skipper told me she would try to work some magic. I figured it could go either way. I was in the midst of recording an audiobook, my schedule was picking up, and I was as sick as a dog. My ears were so stuffed up I could barely hear because of the fluid build up. A few weeks later, Skipper texted me telling me that she had managed to make me a part of the collection. I was thrilled.

Basically, my sister had given me very little information on how it happened and had been filling out the paperwork herself even before submitting my book.

When I asked to do a signing on the weekend Skipper got her MD and Wendell finally got his MD/PhD, they asked if they could join me. For the record, my book is next to theirs in the Brown Bookstore. It wasnt even a question of yes or no. It was "Why not?" The three of us hardly ever get to do anything together anymore. Wendell is married and lives in Massachussettes. Skipper is busy in Rhode Island. I am in New York City. The event was not just successful but fun. I got to see many of Skipper's college friends come up for reunion weekend and campus dance, as well as saw that she was well liked in her medical school class as well. Wendell's lab friends stopped by the table. I had only heard names and stories but had never seen the faces. My dad and Uncle Rob, who originally planned to drink at the Irish Pub during the signing, also stopped by. This was a family affair, and a family event. I wore a cake costume to the event. Brown University Bookstore is now following me on twitter. I was put on their feed as well as their website. It was a good day.

After the signing the medical school had a dinner where Skipper and Wendell did a skit. Here is the clip. They actually aren't too bad.

The next day they graduated, brother and sister MD. They both got hooded and then Wendell got a double hood.

Bottom line, I could not be more proud of Skipper and Wendell right now. Skipper will be moving to Nashville to be a resident in emergency medicine at Vanderbilt. Wendell will be working with adolescents and will be a resident at University of Connecticut in Hartford. Both have bright futures ahead.

I am glad to say I shared the weekend with my Aunt Marie and Uncle Rob, Skipper's Godparents. More than anything, my mom was brimming with pride that she has three children who not only have books that are part of the collection at an Ivy League University, but who also did a signing. And they did that signing together.

One thing my parents always imparted on us growing up was in this world, when they are gone, we only have our siblings. That is why the three of us have always worked well together. Whether my sister Skipper assisted me in my ventriloquist shows as a kid, or my brother Wendell beat up anyone who bothered us. Sure Skipper might be over clinical and a tad anal at times, but she is my clinical anal retentive baby sister. Say a bad word about her and die. My brother Wendell might be a clueless goofball who puts his foot in his mouth, but he is my clueless goofball who puts his foot in his mouth. Sure my dad might be brutally honest, but he is still my dad. Say a bad word about him and die. And don't you dare even talk about my mama, oh don't you even say it.....Don't tempt me. I will do the time with pleasure.

Any of my cellmates at any prison will understand a felony charge over that. Cause we are family!!!! Yeah that is right
Three little pigs, all part of the same book collection. Note, my sister is the smartest. Skipper makes her house out of bricks. 

Me at my book signing at the Brown Bookstore. The real life Skipper is behind me in the peach suit, and the real life Wendell is in the suit coat at the table. They were signing a book on Cellular Respiration or whatever it is called.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

Monday, May 27, 2013

What The American Solider Means to Me

Every year on Memorial Day I write a blog about my love for the American GI. When one thinks of the American GI they think of a thousand things. First and foremost, they think of liberators. There have been people cheering when the American GI’s have come into their villages to free them from some tyrannical dictator who has shot people in the streets for opposing views. People also think of GI Joe, an American hero and action figure for young boys. My brother had one, and during the times he was forced to play Barbies with my sister and I, usually as a punishment for breaking something with his slingshot or water gun, GI Joe was always the plastic gentlemen bringing flowers.
Unfortunately Barbie wasn’t a fan of his Rambo like killing tactics.
Yes killer is also a what goes along for some when it comes to the American soldier. Whether it is the unfortunate Mai Lai Massacre or the incidents of troops torturing prisoners in Iraq, the term has gotten a negative connotation. In addition, GI is actually obsolete. It means general issue. Yes, and many men and women in uniform do not feel they are general issue. These days, according to Colin Powell, sailors want to be knows as sailors and Marines want to be known as Marines. Fair enough I suppose.
Memorial Day is a wonderful holiday that unfortunately only comes once a year. It is the time we remember those who died in foreign wars. The rest of the year we seem to forget about those young men and women who lost their lives in combat. As a comedian I often find myself in debates over what free speech means. Meanwhile, there were men who lost their lives on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord rather than bow to a king so I could have the right let alone make the debate. These days we argue politics on facebook all becoming computer chair pundits. Yet as we pontificate we forget the minute men being slaughtered in the hot, New England sun in wool uniforms. That is bravery, spewing opinions on facebook is not. Because of their sacrifice we can civilly overthrow our rulers every four years. We can say something is wrong with the government without being jailed. However, we never give the first patriots a thought whenever we freely espouse our opinions on a social networking site.
Every election we think of what it means to be an American. We argue what it means to be a citizen of this great country. Often times we get selfish with our social causes. Politics becomes divided and people because of it. In our self-centered fear, we neglect the memory of the Civil War, a time when American soil was red with blood from a conflict that pitted brother against brother. We must remember that while we can have our differences as Americans, we must come together as one when it is all over. If the loss of the lives of these young men taught us nothing but that, so be it.
The American GI brings this hope and oneness every where they set foot from the beginning of the United States and her prominence. In the World War I, America and her soldiers helped end the power of monarchy and divine right in the Western World. We showed them that there could an easier, softer way where people had equality, rights, and a voice working in cooperation with the government. World War II saw America and her soldiers defeat Adolf Hitler and the evil Nazi cause as they liberated those deemed untouchable from concentration camps. In Japan, there is the memorable photo in Iwo Jima, young men who could be no more than eighteen or nineteen, raising the stars and stripes. These are America’s sons. Young men doing monumental tasks and representing something much bigger than they could ever dream of being. This is who the American GI should be as he journeys overseas.
Of course there is Korea, the war we skip over in school. While these veterans are forgotten most of the time, we should remember them today and the message of freedom that they carried. We should remember their lives lost. They too are heroes under the red, white, and blue.
When we talk about foreign wars we cannot help but bring up Vietnam. To say the very least it is the black mark on America’s record. Perhaps a failing and a mistake. Because many felt this way, the Vietnam Veterans were disregarded like common trash. As a result they fell prey to homelessness and drug addiction. I feel this same way about the current US Conflict. However, I also want to point out that while I don’t agree with the cause I support the troops. Over the years I have received many fan letters from American soldiers overseas and have been blessed to have many in my audiences. They want to laugh, party, and have fun. More than anything though, they risk their lives to raise the flag. This is why it is okay to not support the cause but you must always support the troops. America, despite it’s problems, is still the greatest country in the world. Again, it is the blood shed from young men probably no more than eighteen so we can have this right to say something is wrong. These men and women are risking their lives. Treat them with dignity and respect.
Colin Powell wrote a beautiful article several years ago in Time Magazine about the American GI. He wrote about how we no longer use the term, yet how it still applies. He tells a touching story about how a Japanese American businessman was in an internment camp as a young boy, another black mark on the American record, and he was crying. A GI who was guarding these American citizens took pity on the young lad and gave him a Hershey Bar. The young boy, who had been ripped from his home forcibly due to the post Pearl Harbor xenophobia, appreciate the gesture of kindness. Years later he told General Powell the story. Upon hearing this, Colin Powell purchased a Hershey Bar for the man who broke into tears upon receiving the gift. Maybe the GI isn’t always carrying out the best orders, but if he is truly a representative of the flag he treats all he meets with dignity and respect. He also believes in protecting the innocent, even if the innocent party is a child who happens to be enemy color.
The definition of what it is to be an American GI let alone an American soldier is always progressive and changing. In the Civil War, freed slaves fought alongside Union troops during several major battles. However, color barriers were not truly broken until the second World War. Blacks and whites fought together to win a war, and showed America that we could live as one in peace. Now women are joining the ranks not just as enlisted people but graduating as officers from military academies. Not only are they bringing themselves bravely like their male counterparts to the front lines, but also adding their perspective and unique brand of leadership to command positions making the US stronger overseas. Now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been lifted, LGBTQ people can proudly serve their country being a proud American but also not hiding who they are, which is what it truly means to have freedom. Their understanding of this concept as well as equality will add another positive dimension to leadership in the armed forces as well. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal.” American soldiers died for these words, and now we expand the definition so not only many have rights overseas but also in our own backyards.
When I think of American GI I think of those I know. There were both my grandfathers who served in World War II in Japan. While I have never met my dad’s father, who died before I was born, I have heard my mother’s father talk extensively about the war. My Pop Pop says that while the Japanese were “enemies” they were hardworking people who never showed animosity after the atomic bomb. Rather they were willing to work with the US to clean up the country. Pop Pop spoke about the kindness he experienced from the Japanese people themselves and spoke about how their value of hard work and family stayed with him, even upon coming back to the US.
I also think of my late Uncle Gregory Columbus Diffendale. Yes, he loved dirty jokes and swore like a sailor. However, my dearly departed uncle also drove through Germany “killing them fucking Nazi’s.” A real life version of the Ingolorious Bastards, he and his buddies would load their bodies in the back of a truck and just keep driving. My uncle was there when the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others deemed unfit were liberated. While he always had a sense of humor that could be deemed offensive, when my uncle was boss of the dairy he gave jobs to deserving people regardless of their race, ethnic background, or faith. It was because he saw how destructive hate could be, and knew there was more to a person than exteriors.
I also think of Bernie, my Uncle John’s brother. A Vietnam Vet who came back from the war with PTSD, he got hooked on drugs. Over the years he provided my family members and I with a colorful story or two from his brushes with the law to dating hookers and everything in between. While the tales are colorful, this is a testament to the fact that Americans should treat their veterans better, especially the government. If there had been programs in place to help him maybe he would have taken a better path.
I cannot forget my friend Dave Rosner aka Full Metal Foreskin, a Jewish Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps. When not on active duty, Dave performs standup comedy. He has served in the Gulf War as well as the current Middle Eastern Conflict. In addition, he has put on shows for US Troops as well as Veterans. Whether he is appearing at your local comedy club or on Fox News to give military insight, Dave brings his endless energy and positive attitude to any situation. Hey, not everyone can be a Lieutenant Colonel let alone a Jew in the Marine Corps.
On that list of heroes I cannot forget Russell Kurtz, my classmate who was killed in action in Iraq. Russ played football, was popular, and most of all was liked by everyone who crossed paths with him. I don’t think he had an enemy in the world. After high school he expressed interest in being in the army, and was immediately deployed to Iraq. According to his mother, despite the fact he was in the middle of the desert, he never complained about the heat. He only wished they served better food. Unfortunately, he was killed while his jeep was driving over a land mine. Russ was twenty years old. Same with those who lost their lives in other wars who’s names I do not know. However, Russ’s name and face give them all a human identity and voice. They were someone’s brother, son, cousin, father, etc.
Last but certainly not least I think of Antonio Sandoval, Jr. He was my POW/MIA. Purchased as a gift for me by my brother for my seventeenth birthday after 9/11, it was a token that showed my love for America. Antonio Sandoval was from Southern Texas and captured in Vietnam. I wore his name on my wrist because they never found him in hopes that someday they might. My mom told me he was probably dead like so many young men from that generation. This was typically the case of a POW that was never found. Years later, his remains were uncovered in what was once a Cambodian prison camp where he met his end at nineteen years old. I know his end was gruesome. Eventually what was left of him was returned to his family who gave him a proper burial. Sure he might gone, but what he did as well as what other young men like him matters to me. And it should matter to any and every living, breathing American.
The list of names goes on, not just for me but for all of us. We all know someone who has served and also, someone who has lost their lives. Most importantly, we know the extent they went not just to honor and serve but what they represented. Today we honor the GI, the soldier, the sailor, the fighter pilot, the Marine and whatever else he or she wants to be called. Whatever gender pronoun they might want to go by. Either way, they represent by great nation changing for the better.
Today I salute you!

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Leap of Faith: An Artist's Journey

There are times when the path of an artist is dark. On a path one takes when their gift is playing an instrument, writing a riveting story, performing a moving monologue, singing a flowery aria, telling a joke, painting a beautiful picture, sculpting a lifelike figure, whatever… is unsure.

Parents often say, “You are so bright. Why don’t you just use this as a hobby?”

Friends will tell you, “I wish I were as brave.” And then silently feel sorry for you as they go home to their bed, and yes they own a bed, and positive balance in their bank account.

Lovers will say, “Listen, the dream isn’t real. It only happens for one percent of people.” And if you are a man the lover will admonish, “I want  a partner who will make a steady living because I want to have children.” If you are a woman your lover will jab, “Look, lets get real. You aren’t exactly Angelina. Your little hobby is fine but what about my needs?”

This bending over backwards for a world that doesn’t always welcome art isn’t easy. There are times when you are passed over because of the way you look. Because you are a woman. Because you are a man. Because you are black, white, brown, a Smurf. Sometimes you look at your bank account and scream and the skies get darker. Then you wonder, “What the fuck am I doing with myself!”

It goes through your mind. You should have listened to your parents. You should have really put more time into math class. The journey didn’t involve learning how to pour beer, do power point, or hand out fliers on the sidewalk. This is when it starts to get dark and it is easy to throw in the towel. Especially when some people seem to make it with no effort whatsoever.

There is an old saying: “Easy come, easy go.”

What I am trying to say is hang in there. Gene Hackman struggled for years as an unknown in theatre before he won Academy Awards and he is perhaps the most brilliant actor of our time. Not only is he talented, but you can’t take your eyes off of him. JK Rowling was living in squalor when she wrote Harry Potter and was piling up the rejection letters. Now it is perhaps one of the most read books in the world. Madonna was considering quitting show business right before “Everybody” became a number one single. I don’t think she would have made a very good Michigan housewife. Mind you she was so broke she was eating food from trashcans. Bette Midler had doors closed in her face because of her weight and size. However she was going to give up as well before someone suggested she do shows in the gay baths. The rest is history. Louis CK struggled for years as a comedian and actor in obscurity. The son of a single mother never gave up on the thought of reaching into the television and making the world better for the woman that raised him. Not only is he successful, but he is a standup icon. Those who had the breaks come easy during the times of those listed above, we don’t remember them.

One of my darkest times was around the time I was twenty four/twenty five. The market had popped and a TV show I had filmed was shelved. I did a daring television appearance that was daring, and closed some doors. Years later people tell me Springer was an idiot. Then it was cool to be on TV but other than that, not much else happened. I was broke and at the time a roommate of mine was having a nervous breakdown over a guy. A good friend of mine, who had been drug free for years, relapsed and we had a falling out. He lost his battle and I never told him that I loved him, not what he was doing to himself. When it rains it pours and the shit was coming down quick.

I also had a series of fainting spells. They were scary because I didn’t know why I was getting them. I remember being afraid I had a brain tumor. My mom feared I was suffering from epilepsy that was an onset of an injury I had when I was younger. When I sat down and spoke to another friend about the spells it was revealed that I was harboring a lot of anger. Anger that it wasn’t my turn and that my dreams weren’t coming true. Angry at life. Angry at people. Angry at everyone. This friend suggested that I had to learn to accept people and things for who they were. But also, if I wanted to create my own work, why not do it? And while I was in that vein, why not have a better attitude? After that conversation when I began taking action, the fainting spells stopped.

Soon I started performing and produce my own one woman shows. I created an open mic to my liking where free speech was the rule and cliquishness not allowed. I got up wherever I could and pursued stage time like a junkie does a needle. I was still running with the herd though. That is when I met my friend Joe Cannava. At the time I got a job writing for a rag. My column was basically about the morons I dated. Joe, who worked as a celebrity personal shopper and was an artist told me the he had always wanted to be a writer. So I showed him my column. He called it drivel and told me I should have been writing about my job as a singing telegram person. Joe told me to write a book about it. My mom had wanted me to do it for years and I told her she was crazy. Joe wasn’t letting up though and I would lie to him and tell him I was chugging along on my book. One day I just decided to do it.

That summer, I wrote my book. I lived on the fourth floor with no AC in a cramped studio sharing it with someone else. She was having a breakdown over a man, yes the same man again, and I was writing. When I wasn’t typing away I was writing on scraps of paper during train trips to telegrams or gigs. I had been a writer all my life but had never written a book. Almost five hundred pages later and a shitload of typos, I had my first draft.

When I wasn’t doing that I found myself producing puppet webisodes where my guests included Michael Musto, Harmonica Sunbeam, Melba Moore, Diana Falzone, Jake Sasseville, Sabrina Jalees and loads of others. I found myself happy and most importantly, enjoying what I was doing.

Months later I got to do a television show with my puppet babies and lets just say the rest is history. I was asked to do the press tour which was fun. Some said I was crazy as a bag lady. Some said I was passionate. Either way, it seemed all the work had paid off and I was going to another level. The club I slaved for fired me. I panicked because no other club was picking me up. That is when I got a job with a web network and began producing content there. Oh and I recorded music and got a hit on the internet. So doors opened, just not the ones I expected.

As I rode the wave I found myself in some magazines overseas and getting lots of letters from young people. I found myself telling them to hang in there. That there dreams were worth it whatever they might be. I found myself telling them their thoughts were important. That is when I found the motive for my art changing and that showed not only in the redrafts of my book but in the final version. My motive was now to help inspire young people, to show them the journey as an artist was worthwhile and doable.

Since then the journey has changed in a good way. Has been much different than I expected, in a good way. I ended up publishing my book. Through the journey I ended up having my book featured on the Official Website of Britney Spears. In addition, it has been rated a Must Read by Mensa. My book is also in several bookstores and libraries. Recently, it became available as a paperback in Barnes and Noble. Through my travels and through the grace of something greater than myself such as the universe, I got a connection to a top notch recording studio and recorded an audiobook. That is coming out this summer.

As life stands I still work my day job, but I love my day job. It not only allows me to dress up in costumes and act crazy getting paid for it, but it makes me a better performer. The standup spots are getting better. Those that the career came easy to are now fading into thin air disappearing, and I am beginning to get the recognition I have worked years for. The difference is mine will last whereas theirs never did because it came easily. Yes, I still continue to bitch and moan about being a woman in comedy, but while I battle on I win the war. It is by making my mission about reaching others and not about pleasing myself.

Do I have waves where I panic these days? Oh yes. The panic always sets in when your phone rings. Julianne Moore even has that panic as an established actress. She spoke about it in an interview. However, these days I work through the panic in a different way. I take classes and have connected with some wonderful teachers. Through that network, I meet other people. In addition, I get onstage with my notebook. While it might not always be in front of people who can give me a job, it gets me unstuck. Chris Rock still does it. I also start on a new project, create my own work. But I also call on a network of not just friends but family members who are also artists: from my painter cousin Peter, my painter uncle Kent, my dancer cousin’s Lindy and Mara, or my musician cousin Bobby.

As of this weekend, I will be doing a book signing at Brown University Bookstore with my brother and sister, Bill Brucker, MD/PhD ’13 and Brenna Brucker, MD ’13 through PACE. PACE (Providence Alliance of Clinical Educators) is a nonprofit started by my brother to bring science education to under privlidged high school students. In their materials, they bring humor to science education through a series of educational comic books for children. While my brother and sister are not taking the artistic path, my brother was a cartoonist for years at Brown and my sister is published poet as well as visual artist. The event is a must for those who want to pursue a career as a writer, artist, or wants to use creativity through education. Either way, the three of us are using our gifts to make the world a better place in our own way.

I don’t know what will happen this weekend, or even after this weekend. Two magazines expressed interest in doing a story on my book. Another website wants to review it. My audiobook will be out soon as well. Who knows what is next. Either way, on this creative journey I must have faith. I wasn’t taken this far in order to be dropped
 Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

PS. Book signing at Brown Bookstore Saturday May 25 from 4-6. Be there or be square

Adventures of Spooky Juice: Hell's Kitchen Super

My Super Spooky Juice is at it again. I haven't had an adventure with this upstanding gentlemen since my vacay to Myrtle Beach with my family. Nonetheless, Spooky still wants his sugar. The latest development is that he is deathly afraid of black lingerie and that is why I am trying to invest in it.

Well it is spring and Spooky Juice is more ornery than ever. This is how today's exchange went:

Spooky Juice: You look so good.

Me: Why thank you, Spooky Juice.

Spooky: You look so good that this is mental torture for me.

I laugh

Me: Well Spooky, I am sure I don't look that good. Stop thinking so hard.

Spooky: I have been playing around with this spy cam lately. Want to see?

Me: I am not sure I want to know.

Spooky: Relax it's not pornography.

Me: With you I never know.

Spooky: Look at this guy dancing without music.

Spooky turns on the camera. Spooky is dancing like Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire.

Spooky: See me dance

Me: You are such a bad dancer.

We both laugh

Spooky: What color underwear are you wearing?

Me: Black.

Spooky: If it was black I could see it. Tell me the truth or I won't show you any more of my dancing videos.

Me: Now Spooky, don't make promises we both know you can't keep.

Spooky and I laugh

Spooky: I read your blog. You like being single. You said you wanted a vibrator. Let me be your vibrator, baby.

Me:Thank you for the generous offer but I have to pass.

Spooky and I laugh. End scene.

Truth be told last night some fat drunk dude approached me on the street offering me anal. Spooky was slightly smoother. I will give the man that much credit.

AprilI Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

PS. Book signing at Brown Bookstore Saturday May 25 from 4-6. Be there or be square

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Random Purge on Paper

This morning I woke up. I went for a jog and forgot my Yankees cap which is rare for me. It is my staple clothing item. I am not real girly. I wear makeup only when I have to these days. I have been busy prepping for my book talk and such. I am turning more and more into a female writer. Yes it is happening. Female writers cease to care how they look sometimes. Make that always. Either we are buttoned up like Carrie Bradshaw or look like they are about to gas themselves like Sylvia Plath. Right now I look more like SP.

I am at the time of year where it is always the weird time of year for me. My attitude gets weird. People get weird. Everything just gets weird. I have had some weird run ins with people from my past. I don't know how I feel about them and don't care. It's just blah.

On the other hand it is starting to get warmer and I want to take more classes at my gym. I kickbox and might pick up pilates again. I also might do this other dance class. Oh and I want to go to the climbing wall. Whenever I take an extreme exercise class my nutrition is usually pretty good. I eat well and rest. When I am just not as physically active I tend to eat junk and treat my body like a dumpster. Another place around the corner offers an adult gymnastics class. I might want to take that. I am not sure.

My audiobook will be finished next week. I am excited, nervous, and the works. This was my big winter project. That is pretty cool. YIPEE! My book is finally available as a paperback at Barnes and Noble. Praised be to God/Jesus/Allah/Frank the Pink Bunny and every other deity. My signing is at Brown this weekend with my guests Dr. Brenna Brucker and Dr. William J Brucker III. Okay, as of Sunday it will be official but they will be there Saturday with their books. The whole thing sort of came together in a cosmic kind of way that not only brought me up there but brought us together to be signing.

As for performing, that has been coming and going. I do spots in only places I want to. These days I am sort of past mics. I have been onstage long enough to know my way around, how to do a joke, and not to mention on TV more than most of the room let alone most of the scene. I did them for a bit as a way to stay sharp but they just sharpened my annoyance. I pop into some here and there that I like, but I shouldnt have to pay for stage time. Paid that due thank you. Of course this never stops male headliners from talking down to me when I do shows let alone bullying junior producers into bumping me but we won't talk about their tactics. When I go into it I get a chip on my shoulder and it grows into a cinderblock. Being angry isn't good for me and it makes me forget I like to make people laugh. That is why I initially started doing comedy.

I have been blogging an awful lot about gender and women's issues lately. Maybe it is because in the past eighteen months they have touched me so completely. Maybe in my entire time on the scene I have seen the best and worst in men depending on the coin depending on the way. Maybe it is because I have been boxed in by both men and women-unable to breathe-so I can fit some dying standard. I hate labels. I feel they confine people and it is a way to crack down and make them behave.

What annoys me are women who think they need a man, and can't shut up about having one. No one likes you or your idiot boyfriend. Your boyfriend probably sucks in bed. Your boyfriend probably has no job. Your boyfriend, your boyfriend, your boyfriend. It's like these airheads can't do anything without the permission of their prison guard with a penis. So many times they have an opinion but change it for the boyfriend. Or then they need their boyfriends okay even to change their underwear it seems. You come in this world alone. You leave alone. That is, unless you are a follower of Jim Jones.

This morning I hung out with a crossing guard friend of mine. We talked and ended up hanging out in the community gardens. She has a key. I want a key. I think hanging out at the community gardens as well as my fitness classes will make me happy. Actually it will make me less of a bitch.

I have a zit on my chin. Maybe I will watch Co-Ed Call Girl again. Tori Spelling accidentally becomes a hooker. Not as good as the time she did that fall down the stairs followed by the lackluster scream bouncing off her fake ta tas. But it was still pretty good.


I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

PS. Book signing at Brown Bookstore Saturday May 25 from 4-6. Be there or be square

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Woman, Womyn, Gender Roles

Being a woman in today's world is a little bit of a trip. You have two people coming at you with two different school's of thought. One is that you need to have the education, the career, the money. Women's Lib happened for a reason and now take advantage of the fruits of the struggle. We celebrate smart women like Hillary Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, Sally Ride an the list of smart sisters goes on. Here comes the kicker. We take swipes at their looks. We say Hillary has a bowling ball hair cut. Then we assert that Ms. Sotomayor might be a lesbian because apparently she doesn't dress like she reads Cosmo, as if that matters. Oh and they seem to leave Sally Ride alone these days but I am sure there is something. Then there are people who don't make it easy for a career woman. I have been called a bitch and I have been called selfish because I don't have the husband or the family.

The other school of thought is the old fashioned notion that as a woman you need to find the perfect husband, have the dream house, and then pop out the 2.5 children. There is nothing wrong with being a wife and mother. It just seems like some young women are so desperate to meet the deadline that they go crazy, and they marry a guy just for his money. While we may throw stones at Anna Nicole Smith, all women have a little of that in them. It is the way we are raised. Shows like the Real Housewives don't help this. As women it makes us wonder if the career and education is worth it? Why do that when you can bake cookies and get a TV show.

Sadly it seems the middle ground is Sarah Palin. It is sad because I despise her politics. However, people were saying she was an bad mom because Bristol got pregnant as a teen. Maybe she was, or maybe she was a career woman. Either way, there is a price when you have a career. There is the whole you can have both. I have rarely seen it work out, really.

The whole thing with women is that our biggest enemy is ourselves. It isn't the men of the world. Most of the time they could care less. We are so incredibly catty when it comes to each other. Until recently, I didn't have many girlfriends. Not that I don't get along with other women, I just don't like the games. Once I did an all women's comedy showcase and when one comedienne was onstage, the other women simply trashed her. They were like, "Oh, she is doing that joke again. That sucks. Then again, she sucks." And when she got offstage they patted her on the back and told her how great she did. It was as if they smiled and then knifed you in the back as they offered you tea. Needless to say I wasn't social with them for the remainder of the show and don't speak to any of those women now.

Women always try to one up each other too. When we size up other women we say, "Oh, she might be smarter but I am skinnier." Or then there is the, "Oh well she might be pretty but she is a real tramp." Better yet, "I have a better job and more money than that skinny tramp, and I went to a fancier college."

The thing with women too, is that they can get stupid over a guy. Oscar Wilde captures this perfectly in The Importance of Being Ernest, when fortunately it all happened to be a big misunderstanding. I have never been one to fight over a guy, but some women do. I have had friendships end with women because according to their paranoia their boyfriends liked me better. One in particular was a friend from back in the day who I liked, that is, until her boyfriend said I seemed cool. Never met the dude so it's not like I stole him. Next thing I know she was trying to block me from the plans with my friends and saying terrible things about me that weren't even true. I dumped her and I dumped that crew cause they were kind of stupid. But I told her that if I met her boyfriend maybe I would steal him out of spite. She was such a hell bitch she was making it easy for me.

Then another time I found myself in combat over a dude was an ex of mine who was a lawyer. He had a female best friend who was down on her luck that moved in with him. They were just friends, right? Not so much. Next thing I know she was acting like the third wheel every time we hung out. She insisted on coming on all our dates. At first I didn't mind because I liked her, but it got real old real quick. Then she always had some crisis and was always getting him off the phone when he was talking to me. When I would come over the house she would try to start fights between the two of us, and then pretend she wasn't. Oh and her dog always had a health problem that my ex had to drive it to the hospital for. Note the dog always turned out to be fine. I remember talking to a friend of mine who was a guy and he said, "She wants him and wants you out of the picture. They are in love and dont know it." For as much as it hurt I ended the relationship. Apparently, later I learned, she pulled the same shade with the girl before me. Some women would have given an ultimatum. Others would have beaten her head in. I just chose to go. It was the easier, softer way and I kept my sanity.

In college I took several Women's Studies classes. Usually these can be good or bad. I took one about Feminism in Theatre. My second class my teacher found out I did comedy and gave me an article about women in comedy. About how we use the mic as a phallic symbol. At first I thought it was academic mish mash but after talking to some of my peeps we all agreed. That is why when I am onstage I grip the mic hard. I am taking the world by the balls. I ended up loving the class and the playwrights I read. For as much as I think women can be catty as hell, I am actually proud to call myself a female comedian and writer.

I grew up with a mother who was a Title IX Crusader. In college, she was captain of her swim team. They had a sit in because the women's team was denied letter jackets. My mom always told us the secret to success in a man's world was never making it a big deal that you were a woman. I think this is why my baby sister and I are both going into fields historically dominated by men. My sister is going to be a doctor. Over the years she has gotten grants and scholarships. She graduated at the top of her class in high school and will win an award Friday for her work with nursing home patients. When I mentioned she was going to Vanderbilt one of my friends said, "That is a posh residency." On top of that the kid is a champion marksman.

During my journey in comedy I have been introduced onstage as, "This next comedian is a woman." Yes, they can see that unless I am a really adept cross dresser.

Oh and when I mention ventriloquism they say, "There aren't many female ventriloquists." I didn't notice.

My gender wasn't an issue for me really in comedy until I started to see television time. Some of my most vocal critics were male comedians who asserted that I did sexual favors to get on television. Others asserted it was because I was a "cute girl." I was like, oh you thought I was cute after all. But it was heartbreaking that in this day and age when a woman gets a break or two people still assume that. Then of course some pulled shady things in clubs by bullying people to bump me as such. I made the mistake of letting it exist as a chip on my shoulder that grew into a cinderblock. Truth be told, they don't speak for all guys let alone all comedians. Other guy comedians have told me how proud they were that my hard work was paying off.

But some of my most vocal critics were women. One had been an old friend of mine who was like a mom type when I started comedy. Over the years I found she was only your friend when you were below her or when she felt she could take from you. Things happened for me that didn't for her, and the tables turned. I was always supposed to be a lesser being. She blasted me on a message board calling me name after name. There were several things I could have told her, like get back on Weight Watchers. But I thought, nah, my success was punishment enough.

What gets me is a man's misunderstanding of a woman writer. I invited a guy I was interested in to a book event I was having. He asked if there would be, "Angry women like Sylvia Plath there." First off, Sylvia Plath is a brilliant poet. Second, why should it matter? Just because I am a woman writer where in my clause does it say I have to hate men? Needless to say we did not last long. And then there are the other women who think because I am a woman who writes and makes people laugh I have to be ugly. Just because I tell jokes and write books doesn't mean I have to look like I got my outfit from the bag lady on the street. I go to the gym. I am young. I have a cute little body. Shoot me for wanting to show it off.

In my journey I have done some activism. Some of it was as a result of something I experienced as a young woman, and just other things. During this journey I met the womyn. Yes, as in the hardcore feminists. I joined a facebook group and at first the people were pretty cool. Some were kind of nuts and did art with menstrual blood but it was all good. Others were bi-sexual vegans who wrote poetry. But then there were the extreme nutcases. One in particular was an older lesbian who had been a part of the movement early on. She started a thread trying to ban transwomen not only from the group but from women's (or womyn's) rights events. One transwoman logged on and this idiot kept calling her he and kept pointing out that the transwoman was a man and not a woman and needed to go. This transwoman was living and identifying as a woman, not to mention had gotten snipped in Singapore. I asked what the big deal was and this horrible creature kept going after this transwoman and claimed transwomen gave her a hard time. Yeah because you are a tool. And then she went after the younger women on the board saying that they kept with men-the bi-sexuals-and that they were traitors to the gay cause let alone women. I tried to explain to this hell bitch that sexuality was not fluid and I identified as straight. Did this make me less of a woman now? This went on for two days. Finally, I broke my own rule. This woman was so vile that I ended up using the "c" word. Yes, I called her a cunt. Actually I called her Ghangus Cunt. I usually hate that word and detest the roughness but this woman so mean and hateful that asshole, bitch, and mutherfucker weren't going to cut it. I was ultimately banned from the group for my "language." But I am glad. I don't want to belong to any group where she is a member.

What got me is the trans issue took away from the bigger issues like Congress wanting to change the definition of rape for their selfish pro-life cause. Or worse yet, not protecting a woman's right to choose. In there we need to add how to help victims of stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. When womyn argue that point it detracts from the real issues and wastes time. I think that's what I was truly disgusted with.

The funny thing about gender is gender is what is in your brain, sex is what is between your legs. That is why I am glad transpeople are getting more rights. When God or whatever gives you one brain and nature gives you another body it was be an unhappy marriage. That is why I firmly believe insurance should cover gender reassignment surgery. My brother ended up working with transgender teens during medical school. As an ex football player, it must have been a trip when he got the assignment. However, he ended up liking it and being compassionate to this group of young people. My brother explained that it was hard because the brain had one idea but again, nature gave them the wrong body. He and my dad were discussing this and my dad asked whether reassignment was better. My brother explained it was world's better.

I befriended a transman years ago who was a regular on my broadcasts on YouNow. During his time as a lesbian she was suicidal and depressed. When he made the change he was much happier. The only thing was he would fall in love quickly and it never ended well. But he was also nineteen. I also have shared the stage with transwomen. One I knew in her male days, the other after. The one who transitioned M2F told me creepy guys were checking her out. I just patted her on the back and said, "Welcome to the wonderful world of being a woman."

The crazy thing about gender roles is I have some male traits. In a lot of my relationships with guys, sometimes I am more the dude. The last guy I really cared about was much more emotional than me, and he cooked and cleaned. He was more apt to discuss his feelings openly and honestly. I didn't even want to go there. Oh and I knew more about sports than he did. Actually I know quite a bit about sports. I love football. I follow MMA. And while we are in the neighborhood I enjoy kickboxing and mountain climbing. My favorite sporting event is the Heismans. Hell, and sometimes I even read Playboy for the articles. I don't get jealous of the centerfolds. If you got the body go rock it. I detest the bridal showers and the such. My house is a mess. I don't cook well. Oh and I swear like a sailor.

My sister is sort of the same. While she is very girly, she is a champion marksman as I mentioned. She drives a car that is more like a truck. The kid is fearless about riding in an ambulance and even rode a helicopter during a life flight assisting a patient. Like me, she loves extreme sports and football. Heisman Trophy Ceremony is one of her favorite events. While she doesn't swear like a sailor or climb mountains, her favorite flicks are action flicks. She is straight forward and like me, wired more like a guy. My sister loves science because she likes facts rather than feelings. According to some we are guys.

Then go to my window. I use cardboard and other loose paper to help insulate my air conditioner. I write angry, pissed off poetry. Did I mention I am a total klutz with a screwdriver? My sister is slightly better but not much. We are both disasters with the drill. When one of my male friends saw my air conditioner he had a minor heart attack and then corrected it.

I am woman hear me roar.

Okay, only sometimes.

Sigh, who knows?


I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace

PS. Book signing at Brown Bookstore Saturday May 25 from 4-6. Be there or be square

Monday, May 20, 2013

Water Fire

If you have ever been to Providence, RI, you have experienced the beauty of the water fire. They have them every summer. I have gone to several and loved them. I am going there this weekend to do a book talk. 

This is my poem about the Water Fire

Water Fire

Italian Music Plays
Simpler times
Fire crackles

Laughing and observing
At the passerbys
Gloating that everyone is looking

Capital City in a Small town
Entwined into one
Cobblestone streets meets gritty city feel

Cape Verde Immigrants
Meet Nathaniel Hawthorne
And Roger Williams
Meets a drag queen

Fire snaps
Reaches to breathe
Searching for it’s pulse
In the night air

Fire licks
Spits in irony
At the lovers
Kissing and licking on the gondolas

Fire laughs
Dances like a child
Free and uninhibited
No rules

Fire warms
Blanket against the late summer air
Ending of hot sidewalks
To Autumnal New England

Fire Guides
Against the dark night
The beacon to the lonely
That there is hope

Brown Ivy Leaguers
Sure in their intellectual stride
Discuss liberal politics
Over iced cream

RISD girls
Swarm with their tattoos
Designs their own
But amazed at the design of the night

Other college students
Look for love
Look for themselves
Look for ideas

In the reflection of the water
Reflection of themselves
As the accordion plays
And the man sings on the gondola

In the water
They see mud
They see darkness
They see unknown

In the water
They see themselves
Through the light
They see the path

To love
To life
To liberty
To adulthood

Townies share their tales
Drunken yarns
About the drunken townie girls
They all share

College kids
Lovers walk together

Fire and water
Friend and foe
Together for one night
The main event