Friday, August 18, 2017

Teenager in Love (Dion and the Belmonts)

My grandmother was a published poet at age 68. Her author bio read, "I have a large and colorful family. It's filled with chaos, excitement, drama, and rewards. I just write it down."

Nothing is more true in a large family. There are all sorts of characters. The way I explain my family to people in you are either at the top or down on the bottom. There is no middle ground. I take that back. Thanksgiving is the only place where someone who just got into Yale and someone who just got out of jail can eat together at the table of brotherhood. 

When I was in middle school, my cousin flipped out. He was the oldest of my grandma's kid sister's kids. My family is large as I explained, so I would have to have a flow chart to even add clarity and that would probably still confuse you some. Max was going through a problem phase. He was 16, in love, and willing to go the distance for his bae. Max had some revolting nickname for her which escapes my mind, but it was something like Sugar Lips. 

Max's parents wanted him to come home after a long day at the fair. The family had only one car, but Max had just learned to drive and wanted to stay and have fun with Sugar Lips. His parents explained it was near his curfew, but Max wanted to do what Max wanted to do. So as they were going home, Max insisted he and Sugar Lips could not be apart. His parents told him to call her tomorrow. On a long and lonesome dirt road, Max jumped out of the car as it was moving. He flew out, hit his head, and his mother was screaming. Her son was knocked unconscious. 

Max was put on a life flight. They were not sure if he would make it. After 2 days in a coma, Max woke up. It appeared he had no brain damage. His memory was still good, but he lost some of his sense of taste. Either way, his parents were glad to have him alive. 

Max went about his life. He was a hockey star, but seemed more aggressive. Max also excelled in math and science, but was more aggressive in class when he chose to show up. Before the head injury, Max's grades were lackluster at best. But after hitting his head they improved. However, as I explained he made a bad habit of yelling at his teachers. That's when he chose to deck one in the middle of class. As you could imagine, Max got expelled. 

Max and Sugar Lips were stronger than ever. Her parents were not fond of Max as he had just been kicked out of school for punching a teacher. But for as strong as teenage love is, it is about as strong as something that is built on quicksand because as we know the plot line could quickly get a rewrite. Another young stag entered the fray. Yes, one who was currently going to school but grudgingly so. One who went to the same church as Sugar Lips. One who Sugar Lips's dad actually introduced her to. One who called her by her real name, whatever that was, and not Sugar Lips. As quickly as he rode in, Max was written into the pages of history in this young woman's life. 

Well they say breaking up is hard to do. 

Max was blowing up the phone of Sugar Lips. She was not picking up. He showed up at her door. Her father told him never to come around again. Max was not giving up. So being the well adjusted youngster he was with a head filled with amazing decisions, he followed her and her new boyfriend. Her new boyfriend felt this was creepy and broke up with her. Max had his Sugar Lips back.......or so he thought. 

Apparently she was done. And so were her parents. So they got a restraining order against my cousin. But some call it legal action, Max called it playing hard to get. 

In rural Pennsylvania, people own guns. You have to. The cops are far away and if you have a farm you need to protect your animals from predators. This was the case with my cousin's family. Most folks use the guns for those purposes, but not Max. He went to his parent's tool shed, took a rife, and headed over to the house of Sugar Lips. His proposal, they rekindle their love or else it was murder/suicide time.

When he came over, needless to say she freaked out. The gun sent her screaming. Max  held her hostage for several hours as she was not allowed to call the cops. When her parents got home he held them hostage too. The police were finally called in some way. And when they came my cousin surrendered without incident. At that moment, he realized the relationship was over and Sugar Lips was gone forever.

Or so he thought. 

Max went to jail and the toss up was if he was going to be charged as a juvenile or an adult. Of course his head injury was taken into account. Max also got several letters from Sugar Lips in jail wanting to possibly be friends someday. She didnt want to cut him out as she still cared about him. However, her parents were quick to stop this. 

Needless to say my cousin made the news. My friends thought he was hot. Yes, at the end of it guys like my cousin get a babe and decent dudes dont. Max ended up being sentenced as a juvenile which relieved our entire family. Before he went away Max said to my grandmother, "You know, it's not going to be all that bad. I don't have to go to school. It's prison for kids."

Apparently it was going to be more than Max intended. In Pennsylvania, kids go to school 180 days. If you are an incarcerated juvenile, you have to go to school year around. Max was incredulous. Hey, it's prison for kids! 

Max had some hard lessons while he was inside. In Pennsylvania, if you are an incarcerated juvenile, your parents have to pay to have you housed in the system. Max's parents decided to emancipate him. So in addition to sucking at the whole parenting thing, they were cheap. Instead of looking at the choices that got them to this point, his mother told the judge her son was "a bad seed and the product of a criminal gene."

His father insisted that it was "just teen love gone wrong and boys will be boys."

Max never had a chance in hell of being normal. My grandmother knew this. She also knew his craptacular family had turned their backs on him. So for his birthday and holidays, she sent him cards and presents. Because his family wanted to save money, this meant commissary was out of the question. Knowing Max had no one, she put money on his books. This wasn't about a head injury or a criminal gene or even teen love gone wrong. Max was lonely, heartbroken, and had no half normal adult to talk to. 

He completed his sentence and got out. Max met a girl and got married. No, kidnapping and firearms were not a part of the proposal. 

Now Max is married with a kid. He's a good dad working 2 jobs to support his daughter. Part time as a used car salesman and part time as a lab test subject. Max's dad brags that it's the best job his son's ever had, "So what my boy can't pee on his own and glows in the dark. He's rich!" 

While he is quite the character, Max never forgot my grandmother's generosity. At her funeral he drove all the way from Ohio where he now lives to speak about how when he was incarcerated, my grandmother was the only one who remembered him when his own family wanted nothing to do with him. 

Now I write the story. I have to. Or in the words of my grandmother's author bio, "I have a large and colorful family. It's filled with chaos, excitement, drama, and rewards. I just write it down."














Thursday, August 17, 2017

Taking the Plunge

My climb to headliner status has been a rocky one. This past weekend I headlined my first two nighter for real. I headlined and featured at the same time for the past several years never really knowing the difference. It was an appearance and a chance to make money while making people laugh. Sometimes being a woman was what bumped me ahead. Then it was being a prop act. Wasn't bad that I was on TV a few times.

At the same time being a woman has held me back. I have had bookers tell me I was "funny for a woman." Well Sir, these days not only are my people funny but we go to school, become professionals and even run for president. Really. You should see us. (Asshole). Then there have been men who were resentful that I was billed higher. They would tell me how accomplished they were while bad mouthing me when they felt I wasnt around, bemoaning their fate of having a woman who was higher up than them. At one point it got to me so bad I almost quit comedy. Add in the stupidity from male bookers and club owners who felt it was okay to sexually harass the talent in a skirt.

Then there was the fact I was a prop act. A club owner in Vegas would not give me a guest spot to be seen because of my prop act status. He said headliners didn't like me. He didnt even ask the headliner his opinion. It was just a chance to be a dick and close the door.

Then I was on TV, but it wasnt the right shows. I was a reality star. It wasn't Letterman or Colbert or whatever the newest trend was.

They say try to be so funny you can't  be denied. The nature of the beast is that even if you are funny, you will still be denied. Shit sucks but welcome to show biz.

This past year I have really been working my ass off to get to the next level though. I have been good about not letting the bullshit invade my life too badly. My focus has been on my jokes. I have been hitting open mics like Batman hits the Joker. Several events happened, my eviction and a breakup with a mentally ill partner, to make it so comedy was the very thing that kept me from killing myself.

I have become very conscious of delivery and writing in a way I never have. I did a one woman show, which is not the same as a headliner set but it's an hour of you onstage with no break. It's an hour where you leave swimming in your own sweat. It's an hour where you smash the stereotype that performers are selfish because you are giving your all and then some. It's an hour where you feel like eating lots of sugar afterwards cause you need the simple carbs. It's an hour where the next day you feel like you ran a marathon but don't remember running a road race.

This past weekend I was in Trump country. It was trippy and it wasn;t the easiest room because of the layout. It was sort of baptism by fire for my first headlining set. My first night it was a Green Acres learning curve where it was a love/hate relationship between the audience and I. The second night I was more relaxed and had fun. Both nights the room was tough.

Yet both nights the crowds were appreciative. Afterwards there were photos taken and drinks being bought. I sold some merch on the road, but like a green headliner didn't know to ask for a table to sell it. My first night I was reminded I wasnt in NYC as I have a bit where Kim Jong Un calls and a pipe line worker yelled, "Nuke that little fucker!" Yes, there was audience participation.

The next night, Donald J. Tramp has a joke where he goes to call Hillary Clinton the c word and I stop him. Someone yelled, "Call that bitch cunt what she is. A bitch cunt!" Yes, oh comedy.

(Note, May Wilson killed as usual and Mom was a hit)

One of the best moments though was when I went to the front desk before my second show. The front desk lady said, "Oh, you were the comedian, I heard all about you."

I did a shrug, that could mean anything. I was like wow, and then she said, "Oh, only good things. There was one older gentlemen who was nervous when you stepped onstage. He figured you would just talk about sex all night long. But he was amazed at the creativity and originality of your act and he intends to return tonight."

At first I had a laugh. Yes, women. Some of us have substance to my acts. But you should really see my people. But then I thought of all the women headliners who put up with the same shit I did. The same women headliners who also took time and effort to write an act with depth. And then I thought of all the headliners, male and female, who wrote an act with depth and went the extra mile. I thought of all the people who had helped me this past year and continue to help me.

I also thought of the meltdown my mom had about my life. But she also got me an aqua colored notebook. It's a place to write my new bits down. It's a place to bleed my feelings on the page. It's a place to create more bits that bring people together. It's a place where I can continue to do the work. It's a place where I remember how the rest of the comics wanted to impress me this weekend, and where I can continue to be someone to be looked up to. It's a place where I can write a lot of hack shit and have the bad die in a dark basement out of the sight of anyone important. It's a place where I remember it's a marathon not a sprint.

It's a marathon.

That's why I sweat when I leave the stage.

My mom hates my book but she's happy I am eating more fruit. You should totally buy it. Buy My Book










Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trying Too Hard

In my latter teens when I moved to NYC I tried too hard. I wanted to be cool and edgy when really I seemed desperate. I wore fake eyelashes that never looked right. I wore a hair attachment that always fell off. It was fake just like my exterior. I was a bad ass.

No, I was a dumb ass. Especially when I got hooked on a guy that didn't want me back and wanted to be older and more mature. Older and more mature involved getting piss drunk at a Cosi by myself and being dragged out. Hey, I was winning so much I was getting sick of winning. 

I completely tried my ass off when I was younger. I got out of a relationship with a violent, possessive SOB who made me choose between him and the puppets. I told my story behind the mic. I carried my battle scars with pride. I was an edgy feminist. Really and truly I was shrill, angry, and annoying. Feminism isn't about being shrill angry and annoying. It's about the assertion that women are people. Ha ha. 

Then I tried my ass off when I became a reality star and headline. I wanted to be uber cool. I wasnt embracing show business was a business. It was like I wanted to be a nightlife celebrity and Michael Alig was no where to be found. So when I answered fan mail and received eviction papers the same day I was surprised and alarmed. Show business is a business. Being on TV was nice but it's a marathon not a sprint. 

Of course you stop being cool when life shows up. Life showed up in the form of court dates with my landlord. It showed up with my water being turned off and him trying to burn my apartment down during a court date. In between I was abused by his lawyers with endless legal papers. 

Life stopped being cool when I found someone worse than my SOB former fiance who's psychotic breaks became more and more dangerous the more he refused to be medicated. It became even less cool when his friends and family members threatened me after things ended. And the bad boy became a sad tale when recently I found out not only is my ex homeless and shooting dope again, but he's apparently blaming me for the mess he calls his life. 

In between there have been growing pains behind the mic that have made me laugh and cry, and humiliations I thought I was above. 

Yeah, I stopped being cool

But a wise man once said, "Cool is the enemy of comedy."

So I have stopped being cool. My sets have gotten better and I have grown leaps and bounds as a comic. My bumps and bruises are part of my fabric, part of the very thread that weaves me together. But they don't define me the way they used to. 

I make an asshole out of myself on the regular. I played softball the other day and I play like a girl cause I am a girl. But I had fun and raised money for breast cancer, and I made new friends because I didnt try to be cool. 

I did a webcast yesterday. I did it, and tried too hard the first time and accidentally flashed the camera. I had to take it down. I didn't like it anyway. I was trying too hard. Second time I was much better because I was just myself. I didnt care. I cant rap or hit a softball but I am freaking adorable.

I was also able to raise money for breast cancer. I figured I would play for my Nuni Patti Wallisch who raised 6 kids, got her college degree at 66, and became a published poet at 68. She also survived Stage IV breast cancer. Now I think she is more awesome than anyone. 

Also, it was a nice reminder that while I am passionate about relationship violence given my past, there are other women's issues. 

I also tried my hour for a friend who told me to slow down. I thought I was gonna cry. Then I did it again. I slowed down. It felt better. It didnt feel fake. Hopefully it will be good this weekend as I have been working my ass off. Hopefully I won't be too cool. 

Either way I have grown a lot these last two years. The bumps and bruises are worth it. I am ten times the comic I was when I was trying to be cool. I know there's still work to be done. My softball game could also improve. I know I'm gonna be alright. I just need to shower and brush my teeth. Sometimes that's all you need to be fabulous








Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey)

The last few weeks have been difficult. Seasonal depression hit like a ton of bricks. Typically I get depressed in the middle of the summer. Work slows and I have more time on my hands to think. There's an old saying. The most dangerous neighborhood is the one in your mind.

Last year I seemed to avoid the seasonal depression I got. I had battled it for several years and thought I finally had it beat. However, it was delayed until August. This was because my sister got married in July and then I went from her wedding to the RNC. I had things to do so the depression didn't have time to sink in. And then I was on Cloud 9 because May Wilson and I were on national tv the following week. I was an activist, an artist, a TV personality. I felt great about life. 

This year has been a lot of ups and downs. A lot of career let downs followed by a lot of ups. But each up and down has been followed by rehearsals, auditions, tapings, meetings, traveling, and other footwork. And even when there was a down there wasnt much resting as there was much more to be done. 

Plus a lot of personal problems hit me like a ton of bricks. A friend breakup that has been slowly happening for two years reached it's final conclusion. And one thing about a friend breakup is you lose a part of your heart that you never knew was there. A lover you know will screw ya, but a friend, you never see it until it's there.

As of last week, things started to get better. In part because I decided to stop paying attention to the facebook reminders of where I was a year ago. I also know I don't have the capability to do the things I am doing now a year ago. I am stronger than I was a year ago. And did I mention I rocked my friend's political fundraiser?

Hell ya. And that got  me back out there mixing activism with art. 

The depression is being lifted. Work is picking up. I had an international order for an autographed book this week to a gentlemen in Northern Ireland. I got out of myself and was there for a friend who had to go to the ER with severe poison ivy. I got out of myself and was there for another friend who's boyfriend is struggling with alcohol. I got out of myself and was there for another friend who is transitioning from female to male and needed a hug.

I also am looking forward to the aspects of my work that I like. I like making people laugh and smile, and I love each audience I perform for. All people do is want to laugh and I am allotted the opportunity to do that. I am also looking forward to doing a headlining set in my home state. 

Apparently this is a real thing. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a real thing. Yes, SAD is a real thing. So if you are experiencing this you are not alone. SAD. Sad. sad. Yes, it's SAD because it's real. It's Sad because you feel sad. And it is sad because here I am blogging about a first world stupid white bitch problem. Sigh mcsigh sigh

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Comedy Rapists And Other Things

NYC Comedy it seems has rapist of the week. And each week, each rapist represents a different demographic. Hey, we are all about diversity in NYC comedy. We have a rapist of color. We now even have a rapist that's a woman too. Hell, there's a rapist for everyone.

It's fitting because the scene can be a toxic orbit of jealousy, gossip, and intrigue sometimes. I have been both a gossiper and fodder for freak of the week. NYC comedy can be a lot like high school sometimes. Who's dating who. Who's fucking who for stage time. Who's sending bookers their naked pics? Who's fucking their manager? The list goes on and on to the point where these days I try to stay as far away from gossip and the rumor mill as possible.

Yes, the rumor mill. Where you get sucked in and then the rest is history. And when you are in the rumor mill it's a vicious cycle of being repeated. The entire time you are not working on your jokes nor are you furthering your career. It's just a bunch of hacks who will always do open mics, never to be an envious middler let alone headline.

When the UCB incident happened a year ago, I will admit I got sucked in to commenting on the alleged rapist's facebook page. My brief encounters with him made me think he was aggressive and less than trustworthy. It offended me that he had victimized women, who, like him, had come to NYC to follow their dreams. It offended me that they were afraid to come forward. It offended me people stepped up to defend him.

But then I went to Vegas. I went away from the toxicity of NYC and into other drama. When I was doing a spot there I joked that I would take a new set of bullshit. They laughed. They were more supportive overall, but there was still gossip. As in two days later I was booked on another show and they had all heard about my act. For better or for worse, drama traveled fast.

With too much time to kill and not enough focus, I saw on facebook the UCB rapist was back. He had booked a national commercial which made my skin crawl. Then again, Bill Cosby had made Jello commercials for years and had been a gyno of all things on his TV show. And the kicker was, he joked that UCB was cheaper than lawyer fees. And he made his profile pic a Duke Lacrosse Jersey.

This all set off a button in me and I went SJW. I commented on his posts, fought with the straight white males, and even the one woman defending him. She must have been a family member or he had to have been paying her. His family was on there which was disgusting, defending and enabling. Then as I was acid tongued and lightning fingered behind the keyboard I realized I was the very thing I hated, a comet in the toxic orbit I so despised.

So I logged off. It didn't help with the headliner set I had to prepare. It didn't help me get funnier. It didn't change what happened to those women. Bottom line, the UCB rapist might not have been charged and convicted but he will forever be guilty in the court of public opinion. That stings worse of all. Ask OJ.

Did I perform naked Saturday? Wouldn't you like to know? Tune in for the next blog if you want to find out......

And naked or not, Saturday's show was between consenting adults. (Hack rape joke. Rape jokes are funny)

Buy my book to see me naked


















Thursday, July 27, 2017

One Year Later

This time last year I was just back from protesting Donald Trump at the RNC in Cleveland. With my comrades at STAT (Stand Together Against Trump), we were clad in our sun colored yellow shirts and Donald J. Tramp was on my arm. We were all young people that were passionate, marching together towards a common cause. That cause was to silence the evil that was Donald Trump. We were changing the world. We were waking America up. As someone passionate about performing and social justice, I was in my glory.
One year later things are different.
Not better.
Not worse.
Different.
Hillary lost and the orange menace is in The White House. While the patronizing name is more akin to a comic book supervillain than real life danger, it still makes my stomach churn as I think of what was supposed to be a victory party that then got a dark pall cast over it.
I marched during The Women’s March and went to a rally here and there, but I have slacked with my protesting. Some of it has been the inclement NYC weather. Then there was the issue of working and travelling. Life took over. And then I just got lazy. Who wants to protest when you have Netflix?
I have recently started climbing out of a depression. Some of it is seasonal. I always get depressed midsummer as shows and other things slow and I am left with my own thoughts. It wasn’t as bad last year as I was protesting in Cleveland, but this year it hit me double.
The spring was brutal. While I took ten steps forward in many ways it felt like I was knocked six steps back. I debuted a one woman show about the election, but was turned down by three booking agents, one of whom sent a runner to my show that skipped out on the tab. I came close to snagging spots on 5 TV shows but then was passed over for someone else for a myriad of reasons. My writing was turned down on a gazillion occasions, and I got turned down for every festival I applied to. I thought I was a shoe in for one because I had history with the producer as I worked for them. Not so much.
At the same time my show has been a hit at every venue and I am constantly invited back. My second book has been released and it is selling like hotcakes. I am the spokesperson for a line of crop tops. On social media I have a few thousand followers. And I am about to do a major headlining set.
Spring was brutal too. I saw the deaths of two people who were good to me from cancer in the same week, and a break up of a friendship that was nearly a decade long. A friend breakup is worse than a romantic breakup in a lot of ways. It like parts of your heart are ripped out that you didn’t even know were there.
The blues hit hard several days ago and it felt like it was dark. I was questioning my life and my decisions. A trip to the DMV left me feeling like I had been hit by a truck and then my bank account was hacked. Just then I got a facebook message from a friend. She was running for office in Yonkers. It was an invite for Donald J. Tramp and I to appear at her fundraiser.
The weather was only adding to my blues, making me feel as if a bullet had pierced by brain. It was hot. It was cold. Why even leave the house? Well it was a gig. That’s why you leave the house.
As I got off the train I was greeted by my friend and her buddy. Gwen was running for office and was so jazzed up about it. As a young Democrat she was putting her message out there and I was oh so proud of her. The backstory to Gwen and I. She is a fellow puppeteer and we met a few years ago through the puppet world.  Gwen quit her engineering job during a Super Bowl commercial with a puppet. She was in the Coast Guard and was activated during 9/11. Gwen also recently graduated from Fordham. To say Gwen fucking rocks is an understatement.
Immediately, we ran to Gwen’s office getting signs and other materials needed for the event. While some of the personalities associated with politics had burnt me out, I missed the excitement and the feeling that I was doing something important. I missed actively engaging in agit prop performance. I missed being with other young people who wanted to change the world. I missed helping others.
We immediately set up at the venue and a patron at the bar was helpful. He admitted he was a Republican but a nice guy. And of course he used it as an excuse to hit on us. HAHAAHAHH!
The event began and people came in. Locals involved in Democratic politics greeted us and I began to talk, making new friends. Some were lawyers and other professionals long since affiliated with the party. Others were running for office or were currently in office offering Gwen their support and love. And some were Young Democrats, active with the party who wanted to shepherd their cause to new lengths and breathe new life into the disorganized party that fell apart as it was divided between the support of Clinton and Sanders. And then there was Gwen’s dad. Yes, he had to come. You always do when your kid is running for office.
It was finally time for me to go on.
I got up and started. I talked about the RNC and the whole room was glued to each word I said. Then I began my schtick. Okay, and then Donald J. Tramp came out.
Blamo!
It was suddenly like I was back in Cleveland. I was having a ton of fun. I remembered that I enjoyed being onstage and loved making people laugh. But more than anything, I also kind of like making fun of the president. As each joke got a laugh, my blues began to melt away like a popsicle that had spent too much time in the sun.
I was going to be alright.
I was going to be okay
Gwen was running for office Gosh darn it and she was going for the gold. I was there for the Democratic party, but more importantly, I was there for my friend. I was also there for a cause I believed in.
After my show, I spoke to the young Dems about the election. A wise man once said there are three levels of conversation. There is the lowest where you discuss others. Then there is the second where you discuss events. Then there is the third where you discuss ideas. I was discussing ideas and making new friends.
Did I mention the mayor of Yonkers liked my set?
Yeah, life is good. Now this September vote Gwen Dean.

And while you are at it Buy My Book 

Monday, July 24, 2017

10 Things Not To Say To Someone Leaving An Abusive Relationship

One thing harder than being in an abusive relationship is leaving. I, and a lot of other people have been there. I say people as LGBTQ people are often victims of domestic abuse and refuse to report it because of the bigotry of law enforcement, as are a lot of males. Leaving is a hurdle because it forces you to break to codependent cycle, as codependency is the addiction that kills the most people whether it is enabling the drug use or other addictive behavior of a loved one, or staying in an unhealthy relationship where your safety is at risk.

In the process of leaving a situation of codependency and abuse, here was some of the unhelpful feedback I got from well meaning people. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and these folks paved a highway. So I hope this helps someone out there who's either in the process of leaving an abusive partner, or someone who's trying to be of support so they are more successful in doing so.

“How Did You Let This Happen?” Well sometimes we don’t know what we sign up for until we fall into things. I take Nicole didn’t know OJ was a domestic abuser and murderer on their first date. Just like I didn’t know my charming former fiancĂ© would attempt suicide in front of me the first time I tried to leave. Bottom line, you don’t know someone until you know them. And by the time, it might be too late. 

   “You’re Awfully Bitter and Angry.” I have been through a lot and my feelings are still fresh. But the words I prefer are honest and real. And now that we are being honest and real, if you are going to continue to give me this feedback I don’t need you or want you in my life.

 “ It Makes People Uncomfortable When You Talk About It.” Yes, this was a legit letter I got on facebook from a (straight) man of course. I will continue to talk about it and I hope it makes people uncomfortable. Because in discomfort we can have a dialogue for change in culture, and change in the legal system to help people like myself. And in this same dialogue, we can also let people (because a lot of LGBTQ people are DV folks as well) know that they are not alone.  

   “You Need To Get Over Him.” That is so cute. Thank you for your feedback. I want to move on, but kind of tough when he won’t leave my property. Kind of tough when he calls and hangs up and I have to log them. Kind of tough when he threatens the people I am trying to date. But yeah, this is all because I am so hung up on the love he gave me. (Asshole).

“What Did You Do To Him?” To answer your question I tied him to the bed, blew him for hours, and then he fucked me in the ass. Since then, the sex with me has been like napalm in the morning. But this was after I killed this dog and nailed it to the tree and then cast a love spell because I am such an awful witch.  No, I did nothing you stupid fucking waste of flesh. You are victim blaming and that is unacceptable. People like you are the curse of DV people everywhere and it has kept us from getting the help we need. Now kindly step into traffic……

  “There Are People Have It Worse Than You.” Currently I am being stalked and harassed by my former lover. Until now I didn’t understand what it was to be hunted like wild game but now I do. The legal system doesn’t protect me as I am constantly reminded of his rights. My ex chased me through the bus station and harasses and threatens my friends to find out my whereabouts. I need a PO Box and unlisted address because if he shows up I am terrified he will kill me, and his sister told me she would so my fears are based in reality. But thank you for reminding me of the starving children in Africa and people with cancer. Their lives suck, I get it, but I am entitled to my rage and pain. The cancer peeps and kids in Africa called. They hate you too.

 “I Wish A Guy Would Obsess Like This Over Me.” Now this is when I ask does it hurt to be as stupid as you are?

 “What You Need Is Another Boyfriend.” You’re well intended, I get it. But I want to take my time and don’t want to end up with someone who’s worse. Let me deal with my trauma and abuse on my own timeline. There is no set schedule to heal. And also, maybe my ex is scaring my suitors away by threatening them. Maybe I need some time to myself to get help and to heal. I will get another boyfriend, but just not when you snap your fingers because me being a DV person makes you uncomfortable.

 “Just Get A Restraining Order.” It’s not that easy. They just don’t sell them at K-Mart. There are proceedings, court hearings, lawyers, and I even need to stalk him to some extent to get his address or to find out where he’s staying. And I am constantly reminded he has rights too. (It’s how it works). And even with an Order, he can send friends and family members to harass me, and he can disobey it. An order does not fix everything. And maybe it’s an avenue I am exploring already and hitting a dead end. But yeah, thanks.

   “You Have To Be Compassionate. He’s Sick.” Yes, I am aware of his mental illness. I am well aware of his history of drug abuse and psychotic episodes. Have you ever considered that my compassion turned into enabling and that I put myself into risky situations because I mistook codependency for love? While I believe he needs compassion and professional help, I also need to take the appropriate actions to keep myself sane but most importantly, safe.  



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Built This Way (Samantha Ronson)

Summer in New York is the season of love. You walk down the street smiling and some creep hears I love you. Plain as day.
NYC is a weird place in the summer. The catcalls echo through the streets by the throngs of creepy men who want to take you to their cardboard boxes and take you no where. Women can legally be topless in NYC, but it’s a situation where you play at your own risk. Then there are the asshole men who claim it is your fault if you get groped. Your ass is hanging out. Your boobs are showing. You are a tease. But are you? Are you a tease for minding your own business?
Tough to know.
This past Saturday I had an experience. I was going to get my hair done and a creepy dude begged me for change. He followed me. I lost him. Creep.
Then I went to get my eyebrows threaded. Sure enough there he is smelling of weed, piss, and has his dreads. He follows me again. I tell him to get lost. Getting my brows threaded I didn’t panic. The city is filled with trash and the summer is when they all come out to play.
Finally, I was hungry. Headed home and possibly work. He follows me again. Follows me for several blocks. I tell him to stop. I take out my keys to use as a possible weapon. I don’t care if I get arrested. I am defending myself. The men on the block don’t stop. While they are possibly heading to their own day unaware I am being followed, it feels like they are all colluding together in brute force as part of the rape culture that is ruinous to both genders.
I am now terrified. This is how women die.
I get a friend on the phone because the NYPD are useless in an emergency. By the time they get there you are dead or close to dying. They are apathetic, undertrained, understaffed, and out of shape. My heart is beating. I tell her what’s going on. She asks where I am. She tells me to call the cops and if I don’t text her when I get inside my house she will call the cops.
I see the bastard staring at me. “I’m Shane.” He says.
“I am calling the cops, Shane.” I said.
“You wouldn’t do that to me, you love me.”
“We are breaking up and the police are helping me.” 911 is on the phone. Shane hears me. He slinks away. My heart is beating out of my chest. I want to die. I want to die. I want to die.
I am a DV person. I have had a partner hit me. This is all too visceral and real. I feel like maybe had I left the house in a full head scarf and snow suit this creep would have left me alone. I want to crawl under my covers and die. That way the pain won’t kill me. That way he can’t come back and kill me and win. I am so paranoid I order food in.
An older gentlemen who mentors me is the one stuck comforting me. I end up crying and yelling. I can tell he is cursing his life as he tells me it’s going to be alright. How the fuck does he know? As a white male over 60 he wins every election. He is a straight white male. He has always won every election regardless of what he voted for or who. He tells me people have it worse than me. Way to make me feel worse. Way to make me feel like a selfish piece of shit on top of the fact I feel like a piece of trash. Just then, I realize he is trying to comfort me in the way he knows how. He is trying his best. He isn’t chasing me out of his life. Take the friendship asshole. You aren’t dead.
And he suggests going into a store to ask for help if Shane returns.
The next day feels better. I am out. I am free. I have my book to be peddle.
In a good mood I call my friend to apologize. He’s not home. He calls back. The White Knight and his timing as usual are impeccable as seconds later, my landlord pounds on my door. “April, there is a guy out front to see you.”
I tell my friend I will call him back.
The window is open and pot is wafting in. My landlord’s parents, both in their 80s, are saying the guy is talking to himself. He is a “character” and won’t leave until he can talk to the pretty blonde named April. He’s got dreadlocks. He’s the creep from the boulevard. Now I am just pissed. “It’s the creep that followed me yesterday and he knows my name!” I screamed. “How the fuck does he know my name.”
Just then my landlord emerges. While he’s not tall, he grew up in Little Italy when it was Little Italy. He worked dice games for mobsters. He’s seen dead bodies. Shane didn’t scare him. “Get out of here, or I will call the cops or kill you. Or I might do both, do you hear me you mutherfucker!” My landlord says. There is a baseball bat near the door. My landlord picks it up.
“Sorry.” Shane says and slinks away.
I end up calling my friend back. A former cop, he is telling me how to have Shane arrested in the future. I don’t want to hear it. I tell my friend he’s an asshole and start verbally abusing this poor old man. My friend, while kind, tells me to stop and means it. I start crying. He comforts me. The poor sonvabitch has been avoiding me for days and now I know why. I would avoid me too. I have been a handful. Actually, we did speak and we are cool. He says he’s so old he’s forgotten, but I know April being April is too much even for April.
The next day I hear Shane had been making a nuisance of himself by knocking on the doors of the elderly asking if they had a hot blonde named April in the house. The asshole was persistent. I gotta give him that. This psychotic male admirer puts me first, and not many psychotic male admirers do that. Shane even mentioned he had seen me on TV and even knew about my book and recognized me. And here I was, thinking I lost my magic touch.

Either way, I am done blaming myself. I am done living in self-pity. Shane better get his quarters together from begging and buy my damn book so my bank account can know I have stalkers. And you should, too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hunting For Witches

It was my sophomore year of high school. I still remember my sister Skipper squealing about Billy Jessup. Apparently he was the number one crush of the eighth grade. I didn’t get the appeal. The kid looked like Howdy Duty with a bad attitude. I am not into awkwardly placed red hair and freckles, but my sister was in love with this bad ass Mortimer Snerd.
That year, she did a project with him in a science class. Skipper was always a top student, and won the award for best GPA. Billy, on the other hand, had recently been disciplined by the middle school principal for cutting school and heading to the mall. Fortunately, Skipper had not picked him as a partner, but rather the teacher felt the need for the kids to mix by assigning boy/girl pairs.
Billy’s parents rewarded his bad behavior by getting him the latest in video game technology for his bedroom television. It was a parenting move I didn’t understand. If I would have cut school, I would have been met with the cold, sharp end of my father’s belt buckle. Yes, we were a spanking house. No, we didn’t cut school. And no, we didn’t have TVs in our rooms.
While the project started with Skipper having a crush on Billy, the attraction faded when she was handed most if not all the work. Billy simply stuck his name on it and that was the end. Of course, I was sent to retrieve my sister from his academic misadventure. When I entered the palace called the Jessup home, my sister was helping Mrs. Jessup wash the dishes. Billy was no where to be found.
Mrs. Jessup seemed like a nice enough woman. Tired and beleaguered, it seemed like she was a walking, talking doormat. William, as she referred to him, was playing his videogames. Okay. Meanwhile, Skipper, always the helper, was embarrassed for Mrs. Jessup so she was pitching in. After all, Skipper was so abused because she was required to do chores. Meanwhile, this one and only brat was worshipped for living and breathing. I had just gotten grief for my C on my latest math test. Put me on that program please.
Weeks after the project, young Billy was arrested for shoplifting.  While he was a marginal hockey player at best, he was passionate. Instead of military school or even grounding him, his parents splurged and got him a private coach who had previously worked with The Pittsburgh Penguins. Positive reinforcement is a wonderful thing, but this was simply just rewarding bad behavior. As a matter of fact, my father had the best response when he heard about the Jessup’s approach to their son’s recent arrest: “If that isn’t setting him up to be a guest of the state of Pennsylvania I don’t know what is.”
The following year Billy went to high school. He played JV hockey, and he didn’t make much noise in my memory, that is, until he came to school with a black eye, cast and crutches on one day. Hobbling down the hall, everyone demanded to know what happened. Billy had a story to tell. Over the weekend, he had gotten into a huge fight with varsity hockey captains Mike Stelnik and Rob Thompson. Apparently, he had not moved their pads and they jumped him after practice. When they left him cold and bleeding, injured, they drove away. Billy made his way home and his mother was forced to take him to the hospital. Nothing was broken but his ankle was sprained, his arm was sprained, his ribs were bruised and his eye had actually swollen shut.
I was shocked. Rob Thompson was a big mouth who dyed his hair peroxide blonde and had a jerk father who sported his trophy wife at the hockey games. But Rob wasn’t a bully. If anything, he was a friend to a lot of people and was likely to give you a high five on a bad day. Mike Stelnik was just nuts. He made a career of being ejected from games and always had a black eye or broken finger, but yet still made his name as a wing on the ice. His family went to my mass, and his sister had severe spinal bifida. Stelnik’s dad owned a contracting business, and talked about making an obscene amount of money. His mom had black hair with a skunk stripe and kept her Halloween decorations up until Christmas, and her Christmas decorations up until the 4th of July. These kids were a great many things, but not bullies.
Nonetheless, the consequences came down very quickly. Thompson and Stelnik both got a visit by the police, and because the incident happened on school ground they were even talking about expelling them at a separate hearing. In between, because the school pressed charges, there was also an appointment with the magistrate.
Of course peer justice was also enacted on these two. While both fancied themselves swinging ladies men, their dreams were crushed when their girlfriends of the week dumped them. The words of Misty Trainor, head majorette and former flame of Thompson, “I watched a video about domestic violence. You beat Billy up. You are going to beat me up too.”
The football team took this as an opportunity to do some punishment of their own. While those guys liked Thompson and Stelnik, the football players often felt the hockey players were their smaller, flashier, richer, yet less tough cousins. (Hockey was a club sport). Josh Nichols, football captain, made it his business to bump into these two insisting he could do what they did to Billy in one shot. While he was a gentle giant, Nichols didn’t have much mental activity. Yet like the rest of us, he had joined the witch hunt.
Even the hockey coaches were having Stelnik and Thompson run and do extra workouts. These guys were being punished in a way that made the gas chamber look good.
Meanwhile, Billy Jessup was fairing quite well. Every girl in the freshmen class carried his books. Skipper took a turn, even though she claimed she was “over him.” His teachers were lenient with his grades. The hockey coach promised him a starting position if he recovered in time for next year. And his dad, auspiciously away on business in Thailand, came home early. Even his grandparents, who apparently had a lot of money, purchased him a horse. It seemed this injury was the best thing to happen to Billy.
As Stelnik and Thompson saw their lives going to complete ruin, they stopped me in the hall. “You got to help us Brucker. You got to tell people we are innocent.” Thompson begged.
“Why, because you didn’t do it? Please.” I said.
“We didn’t do it. We were away at a hockey tournament in Canada with our traveling team. I even got ejected from the game.” Stelnik offered. “Here is my latest broken finger. How could I have punched him with the broken finger if I wasn’t in the country?”
Now I was puzzled. “I was with him. It’s our travelling team. And we don’t even know who the kid is. I mean, we saw him once maybe. But how could we beat him up if we weren’t here and don’t even know him?” Thompson asked.
“Then why is he saying you did?” I demanded. “He’s injured.”
“Hell if we know. But the cops aren’t pressing charges because we proved we were out of the country. That’s why we aren’t suspended or expelled. He’s lying.” Stelnik explained. “Besides, why would I bully someone? My sister’s disabled.”
I looked at the both of them. Their eyes were big and fearful. They were telling the truth. They didn’t do this. I had known these guys for years. Sure, they teased. They made fun. But they weren’t vicious and violent without provoking.
“Then who did it?” I asked.
“My uncle’s a detective. He thinks this kid might be being abused.” Thompson offered.
“I have been to his house. This kid gets rewards for messing up. That’s not the case.” I said. And then the next words still echo in my mind as I assured them. “But I believe you.”
The next twist to the story would shock the living hell out of everyone.
After questioning and the police not pressing charges, it turned out Billy Jessup had not been beaten up by Thompson and Stelnik. He made the story up. And a family member hadn’t hit him either. Billy Jessup had beaten himself up. The truth came out after the stories of Thompson and Stelnik checked out, and his began to fall apart.
By beating himself up he got sympathy from his teachers, his father to come home from Thailand, a horse from his distant grandparents, the promise of a starting spot on the hockey team, and attention from women. Stelnik and Thompson were vindicated. And when asked if they would beat Billy Jessup up for real they replied, “Why? He did a better job of it than we ever could?”
Billy went from being temporarily popular to persona non grata very quickly. He dropped out of school the following year, and after another shoplifting arrest was placed in night school. Billy was then arrested for heroin possession, and after rehab his parents got him a brand new convertible to increase his self-esteem. This epic fail ended in Billy using those wheels, leaving their house, and buying drugs in a bad neighborhood where he overdosed on a bad batch and died.
In between, people who talked to him claimed he was super crazy. Talking about people following him and his food being poisoned. He also claimed he could speak troll. This could have been more nonsense to get attention, or it could have been something more. Either way, he was dead at 18. When my sister went to his wake, she said that while it was sad, he also looked like he was finally at peace.
As this was all happening, I was taking a college psych class and learning about mental illness in adolescents. Apparently it begins around the age of 15, the time Billy began shoplifting and skipping class. They also act out by self injuring, and more often than not self-medicating with drugs.
That spring, Skipper graduated first in the class and gave a speech to a round of applause. Directly after, Billy’s parents accepted his diploma. They looked sad, tired, and defeated. Their well intended over indulgence had failed. If anything, their son didn’t need a new video game or car, but professional help. And a hug while they were at it. Instead, they chose to ignore the problem hoping presents and treats would make it go away.
While the applause celebrated the deceased, the real tragedy was that every adult in his life had failed to see a young man who was in trouble. As we begin to understand more about how mental illness manifests, we also forget the people lost because so many missed a young person who was severely sick.
We also forget that we cannot always believe everything we hear. And yes, lying is a symptom of mental illness. Stelnik went on to play minor league hockey and now coaches in Vermont. Thompson brought the small private college he played for to the championships and now works for JP Morgan in Chicago. Both are still very loud but lovable and have extremely hot wives. They eventually got over the slander and moved on. Billy didn't. While his lies, often a symptom of mental illness, caused a lot of damage, in the end these two were right, he beat himself up more than they ever could. Billy beat himself to death. As I write this, I will say at the time I was disgusted, but now I feel remorse and regret for a person who fell through the cracks because of the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding mental illness.
I hope tonight Billy is safe wherever he is, happy and not being harmed by his own hand or another. I hope he is experiencing love and understanding outside of fancy presents and over indulgence. I hope he has found rest from the demons that so plagued him. RIP Dear Heart.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Josh

In health class, we didn’t just have abstinence speakers appealing to the women, we had some that appealed to the men, too. Hey, the Christianity is about being fair so they decided to shame everyone.
Coach Ryan explained that having a male speaker would show young men that sex outside of marriage was both immoral and dangerous. While he explained young men could shirk their parental responsibilities and dodge court if their teen lady friend were to become pregnant, there were other consequences. In a sessions where it was only the men and the women were relegated to watch an awful anti-sex video, Coach Ryan apparently told the guys, “One thing about sex is that it can give you diseases and low self-esteem. Trust me, my first wife gave me both.”
Silence.
Who could top that confession?
As the men were being lectured, the women got to watch a crazy, anti-sex video. Promise rings flashing in the class, we were witness to a man on screen who spoke in a thick Southern accent. With a cross around his neck, he claimed to be a doctor. “He’s a man of God and medicine.” One girl said. She had recently become born again and was saving herself for marriage. It was working out because she was shrill, annoying, and guys seemed to dislike her anyway.
The doctor explained anal sex was a dangerous alternative. All the Jesus loving girls who couldn’t deny their raging God given hormones notoriously used it as an alternative because if it didn’t enter the front it didn’t count.
The doctor had other thoughts. He explained a young man and woman thought they could cheat this way. However, because “both things were next door to each other” the girl got pregnant and got anal cancer. That’s when the doctor informed us, “It was a bummer this happened.” I don’t know who edited that script, but it was the most unintentionally funny thing ever and the whole room started laughing.
Needless to say he explained the young man didn’t get off the hook either. He was so enticed and seduced after anal that he became a practicing homosexual. The doctor explained because AIDS was the gay plague, that the average age of the practicing homosexual was 35. Years later, this misinformation and homophobic statement boggles my mind.
Since the women had an abstinence speaker, it was decided the guys should have one too. Enter Josh.
Much like Renee (see previous blog), Josh was good looking. He wasn’t super tall, but was muscular and built. His eyes were deep, rich and brown. Josh had tan skin and dark hair. He was like the hero in one of my mom’s trash romance novels she listened to on tape. The second I saw Josh I dreamed of him renouncing his decision to be abstinent and bending me over the table and fucking my brains out.
From the look in the eyes of every girl in the class, they had the same dream. The Jesus girls were trying to hide it, but they wanted to be screaming, “OH GOOOOODDDDDD!!!!!” in a different sort of way. Josh was a hot piece of ass. Sexy Jesus could rob my virginity any time.
Josh began to speak. Unlike Renee, he sounded sane and didn’t seem to exchange sex stories with his sister. Josh explained when not educating teens about abstinence, he was a graduate student in biomedical engineering and was a triathlete. He was 25 and still a virgin, but it was because he was waiting for the right woman.
All I could think was, I am the right woman Josh. I will take your virginity in the coat closet. It will be hell because it will be the first time for the both of us. When my mother find out she will be disappointed. My father will probably want to shoot you and is cleaning his gun as I am having this fantasy. But damnnnnnnnnnnn you are so fine I want to 6969…….
As Josh talked, I was busily drooling and his words were going in one ear and out the other. He went to church but it was a mainline denomination. His explained two of his church mates hadn’t been abstinent in their previous relationships but decided to renew their virginity with a Christian courtship. They hadn’t even kissed until their wedding day. But Josh said it was a kiss that was so full of love and so pure it stopped the whole church. This was like something out of a Hallmark movie. Josh had every girl in the class, but the guys were getting restless.
“Douche.” Rob Thompson said. Rob was the captain of the hockey team. His claim to fame was getting a lot of girls, being ejected from games, and refusing to wash his blood soaked jersey for luck. Rob was looking better because his recent black eye had healed and his tooth had been repaired. While he was a loud mouth and a bit of a crazy man, Rob wasn’t a bully. He told it like he saw it. What wasn’t to love?
Just then it was Q and A time. Jenny Francis, a teen ambassador for March for Life raised her hand. A big grin on her face, I could tell she too had been rocking sexy Jesus. “I admire your decision to say no to sex and sin and obey God……” This was going no where good.
Jenny continued, big crazy eyes and brown hair in a pony tail, “What would you tell someone who was being pressured into sex?”
“Go for it.” Rob Thompson said. I tried hard not to laugh.
“I would say wait for your true love.” Josh replied.
“But what if your true love was injured and deformed in an automobile accent?” Jenny asked.
“Worst question ever. And my dad’s on his third wife. He says all you want is a bitch that isn’t crazy.” Oh Rob, how I loved thee, badly dyed peroxide hair and all.
“Well, I would probably leave her.” Josh replied.
Every girl in the class now let out a collective gasp. All at once, Josh had stopped being cute. My fantasies of having rabid jungle monkey sex with him stopped, but now they came to a screeching halt for everyone.
“What!” Krista Smith said. She was also am ambassador for life.
“Listen, when someone’s appearance changes and they are physically deformed, I am no longer attracted to them and I cannot be with someone I am no longer attracted to. That is why Quasimodo was alone in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Josh told us.
The room went silent. We hoped he was kidding but he wasn’t. Finally, Rob Thompson decided to unleash his wisdom. “Man, the only reason you decided to be a virgin is because you are an idiot who cant get a girl.” The whole class laughed. Ordinarily Coach Ryan would have stopped this but Josh had earned this verbal ass whopping.
“Son, I have elected not to have a woman.” Josh informed him.
“If you dated my sister I would chase you out of my house.” Rob fired back.
“I wouldn’t sleep with your sister.” Josh said.
“My sister wouldn’t sleep with you either and neither would any girl in here. Face it man, you are a loser. And you can have safe sex. Just use a rubber.” Rob pointed out. While Rob’s academic eligibility was always tenuous at best, this was the smartest thing we had heard in a while.
“What would you know about sex?” Josh was now angry.
“Enough to have had it with three different ladies and enough to currently have a girlfriend. Which means I am doing better than you.” Just then the bell rang. Coach Ryan had a look of embarrassment that was far outweighed by amusement. His whole life Josh had never been able to bag a babe and it would never happen. And he was defeated in a debate by Rob Thompson. He could study biomedicine. He could compete in triathalons. He could even talk about abstinence. At the end of the day, Josh proved that if you are 25 and still a virgin……..it’s not just your choice. It’s everyone’s.

I was thinking of sending a copy of my book to Josh. It’s a good deed because he is probably still a virgin. At the end I’ll write, “Hope you enjoy. Xoxox Another Girl Who Won’t Sleep With You.”


And you should


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rock Me Sexy Jesus (Hamlet 2)

I grew up in a very conservative area. In the morning, when going to school, it was not uncommon to see a prayer circle by the flag pole. There were teachers who had Bible study in their classrooms at lunch. Our school even had an unofficial youth group, Campus Life. Their leader, a white haired adult, wandered the cafeteria looking for fresh blood. Vulnerable lost souls, he would recruit them and tell them to get their friends to come to youth group. So many new recruits and there would be a pizza party.

The principal our school got half way through high school expelled him from the premises. Many of us were creeped out but long since stayed silent. After all, we didn't want the wrath of his Bible quoting parrots upon us. Later this youth group leader went to prison as a sex offender. You fill in the rest.

I still remember Renee like it was yesterday.

Our conservative school board was afraid if sex education was taught, kids would have sex. After all, this was the land of the promise ring. Translated, I promise not to have sex in your front, but we can play poker all night in your rear. So they figured if they gave us abstinence education, we wouldn't have sex let alone sex urges at all. Wet dreams and 17 Magazine quizzes were from Satan. God wanted us to stay pure. Jesus the long haired hippie who was screwing a hooker and had a rich Dad wanted this too. Oh and this socialist Jew of course would love the gay hating going on too.

At the front of the health room, there was an acrostic poem on the wall. On the white painted brick it read, BIBLE, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. As class began, papers rattled. The goth kids began to explain there was no God, only Marilyn Manson. While the existence of God is debatable, that was a weak argument. One of the religious nuts, who later would come tumbling out of the closet, screamed that the kid wearing eye makeup was gay. That no man shall lay with another man the way he lies with a woman and blah blah blah. There were two more hours left in the day. Yet high school insecurity and people tenuously holding on to an identity know no time nor hour. 

Our teacher, the football coach, introduced Renee. A pretty blonde, she was tall and leggy like you would want her number at a bar. But under all that pretty and behind those eyes you knew was a hell of a lot of crazy. Renee told us from the bat she went to church. Oh yes, church chicks are the most horny. At least thats what my guy friends tell me now.

Renee began by telling us she saved herself for marriage. She said her mother explained sex was like M & Ms. Once you had one, you would have the entire bag. Renee opened the bag and poured them down her throat. As she did this, everyone, regardless of belief or nonbelief, stood in utter horror. Renee narrowly managed to avoid choking. 

My best friend beside me, she asked, "Did this just happen?"

"Yes." I said. 

Renee continued to tell us that her brother had just gotten married. On his wedding day, Renee told him that now he could have sex. That is when her brother apparently buried his head in his hands and told her that he had previously had sex. And he had sinned. Looking back, not only do I assume this is the weirdest brother/sister relationship ever, but this family tree was possibly a straight line.

The class ended with Renee having two girls do a skit. One being the mother and the other being the daughter. The daughter had to tell her mother she was pregnant, and the mother had to tell her daughter that her life was basically over.

Note, there was no talk of the man having any responsibility whatsoever. No talk of adoption. Not even exploring abortion. It was the woman who sinned and now she was having a baby. Ironically Kally James, my sworn enemy was the girl in the sketch. A talented artist, she decided she hated me and regularly called me a slut. Meanwhile she was sleeping with a set of twins who were the class ahead of us. Because Renee was so busy slut shaming and not talking about responsibility, Kally would continue to have sex with both boys without the use of condoms, because keeping condoms meant you intended to sin. 

Needless to say, Kally had to drop out a year later when she got pregnant and had a baby. Did I mention my high school had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the area? Yeah, so Renee didn't teach me how to put a condom on, but in a pinch I can throw a baby in a dumpster.

Years later, I consider myself a sex positive feminist. My message affirms all women are beautiful in all sizes, as long as they are physically and emotionally healthy. I also know safe sex isn't about slut shaming or abstinence but having sex with someone you feel safe with. 

My current book is really funny. It explores my fear of being naked in public. The photos are rather steamy and I will admit it was fun to put together. Sadly, there are no M & Ms. That being said, do you think I should send Renee a copy? 


To buy go to:

https://www.amazon.com/April-Unwrapped-Naked-Dreams-Revealed/dp/0984208577













Saturday, June 17, 2017

Open Letter To Michelle Carter

Dear Michelle,

I read your story. I read about your conviction. I wish I could say I was sorry you were found guilty but I am not. Actually, I am relieved you will be punished to some degree because I find you repulsive and disgusting on so many levels. Worthless is more of what I was shooting for. Conrad Roy III was a person who had his whole future ahead of him and you manipulated and coaxed him to throw it away. Shame on you. What gives you the power to do that?

Looking at you, I wonder what kind of power you had over the poor boy anyway. You are marginal looking at best. Your eyes have this dead, soulless look. When you walk by you don't strike me as someone who has one bit of remorse, other than that this might interfere with your life and quest to be popular. Your eyebrows are hideous. Oh, and you look like you escaped from the TV series Girls, but they probably cut you because you weren't the least bit interesting. Just another whiny white troubled teenager with problems.

I will be the first to defend free speech. You cannot make someone do something unless a gun is put to their head. Then again, even in that instance one can choose to die. No one can make you feel any way. I get that. But this young man wanted to kill himself. It was no secret he was struggling with suicidal depression. You didn't call 911. You told him to get back in the car. Night after night he talked about wanting to die. You didn't tell an adult about Conrad's plans. Instead, you told him to stop talking about it and take action.

There is no word to describe your egoism, hubris and outright evil.

You listened with glee as he died.

I get that at times he wasn't the best company. People with psych issues who are not properly medicated never are. But if you called 911 maybe he could have finally gotten the help he needed. Maybe Roy's family would have taken it seriously. Maybe Conrad would have gotten the meds he needed along with the therapy.

MAYBE IF YOU DECIDED YOU WEREN'T THE BOATMAN ON THE RIVER STYX WHO TOOK MATTERS INTO HER OWN HANDS YOU TRIFLING BITCH!

Oh and you even told him how much carbon monoxide would kill him. With friends like you along with a severe mental illness, Conrad Roy III had no need for enemies.

FYI, I know how it is to be in a relationship with someone who's mentally ill. I get how painful it is when they won't get help let alone be medicated. I can tell you first hand how incredibly draining the experience is, managing their symptoms on your own and defending your partner to a world that can't let alone won't understand.

I have been in instances where my former partner was not only a danger to himself but me. His breaks with reality were getting worse. To add to the cocktail, he self medicated with drugs and alcohol. Instead of coaxing him to relapse or take his own life, I walked away. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was between him and my peace of mind. If Conrad got to be too much you should have walked away.

Let me tell you, I am no fan of my former partner. Mentally ill people do things that aren't kind. They lie. They steal. They cause chaos and conflict. Unfortunately their sickness is one where they not only bring down themselves but others. While my ex cannot safely be a part of my life, if I found out he was about to kill himself I would still call 911.

It's not because I love him or cherish him. But he is a father. A brother. An uncle. A friend. While he might not be in my life, his life is still worth something. And my hope still is, even as he is homeless and back on drugs, that he gets the help he needs and is properly medicated someday.

On a more personal note, a friend of mine helped me get the nerve to write again after a rough time in my life. He battled bipolar disorder and ultimately took his own life. I am about to release a second book, and my friend is not here with me which makes me sick. You talked Conrad Roy III into taking his own life, and if I could take a time machine I would have talked my friend out of taking his.

My friend meant a great deal and helped a lot of people. Yet he could not help himself. His sister's, years later, are not over the loss of someone who was a baby brother and uncle. Conrad Roy III's family will never be over his loss. They will not forget about it. And now the world will not forget about him either.

Was your sentence fair? On an ethical level yes. On a free speech level, that is still murky. Ironically you wanted to be popular. Well now you are the most hated woman on the internet. We all hate you. Trust me, no one likes you. No one.

There will be plenty of parties in prison where you will be going that you will not be invited to. You're the most hated woman in America. At least they had the nerve to murder people for real there. You were so pathetic you had to do it over the phone. Conrad Roy was sick and desperate, and in you he met evil.

I would tell you to kill yourself because you are worthless. Yet that would be stooping to your level. And if you wanted to kill yourself I would talk you out of it. Not because it would make me feel important or that the world would be lesser without you, but because it is the right thing to do.

It's because I am a semi-decent human being who does the right thing. A lot of us are out there. Hopefully your sentence, however long or short that is, will transform you into one too.

Love
April


The Lady and President Tramp
Wednesday June 21, 7pm
The Duplex
61 Christopher Street













Monday, June 12, 2017

New and Exciting

I know I haven't blogged in a while. It has been a mix of a lot of things. One is March saw a lot of death. I lost 2 people I knew to cancer in a week. One was a Las Vegas Director friend who helped me shoot a pilot. The other was a comedy club manager who gave me faith and food when I had none.

Then I had the stomach flu and work was insane. I didnt have a morning to sleep in let alone a moment to myself. Not to mention winter was like the party guest who wouldn't leave. You know, the annoying idiot who's boyfriend never lets her talk and now we know why? Oh and she kept double dipping which was so gross.

And then there was the rain. Yes, the rain was the downer party guest who probably worked in publishing that went to a preppy backup school that had a chip on her shoulder that she didn't get into Brown or her parents couldnt afford NYU. She not only just stayed with winter, but just had something negative to say the entire time.

YUCK!

Then of course I have been writing two books. More on that later. When you are writing a book, that mission is your book. It's like you are Rambo back from Vietnam dodging the cops. Except I do not have his prowess let alone emotional problems. Rambo is hot. He would be a good looking mistake.

God I have had too many of those in my life and times. But two books, does that make me more macho than Chuck Norris?

Anyway, I have an awesome show at the Duplex on June 21. It's my show The Lady and President Tramp. We have Donald J. Tramp. We have Kellyanne Oneway, Mexican President Don Juan De Casanova De Gorgita, Mike Dispence, supporters, protesters, and even a weirdo named Vlad that calls.

I have been working steadily on my show and am so proud of all I have done. Two my life was a lot different, and not in a way that was productive. If you want to know what I have been through, read my previous blogs. Either way, I am grateful for all I have today.

(God/Goddess is good, all the time)

The tickets are available here https://www.purplepass.com/index.php#157539/The_Duplex-The_Lady_and_President_Tramp_-__April_Brucker-The_Duplex_Cabaret_Theatre-June-21-2017.html

And if you plan on coming to surprise me, the address is 61 Christopher Street. Stalkers welcome.

Either way, I am closing this post with my photo of the week. Someone said I looked like Belle from Beauty and the Beast before their big outing. Now if I am the beauty, who will be my beast. Tear me up, Buttercup. MWAH!


And before I forget, moment of silence for those lost in the Pulse Nightclub Shooting. One year has passed and it is still difficult. Saw the memorial last year at Pride and I thought I was going to vomit. 



Friday, March 31, 2017

Jesus Freak (DC Talk)

This past election season I have received a lot of hate mail from The Christian Right. These men and women of God have told me to kill myself, that I deserved cancer in some instances, and even that I should die for blaspheming a man of God. (Donald Trump was that man of God).

Yesterday I got into a bit of a twitter war with right wing nut job and blogger Matt Walsh. In case you didn't know, you and Jesus would probably hate Matt. Jesus was a liberal Jew who embraced all people. Matt is an anti-Jewish, anti-gay, and anti-woman bigot. Matt is also pro-life, because why would someone so tolerant hold any other view. He blogs for The Blaze, which is where all bigoted, closed minded, fearful morons like himself flock. Apparently he is popular. That is, popular with those who can't read.

As a matter of fact, some of the brave men and women, especially the ones with the KKK avatars, follow Matt. Color me surprised.

I was first introduced to this ass clown via his facebook page. It was filled with hate of course. His followers believe all Muslims stone women and are traitors. They are all pro-lifers who want to cut social programs for single mothers whilst they terrorize women in crisis. They believe being gay and transgendered are choices, and LGBTQ people commit suicide as a cheap ploy for attention. One even went on a limb to say that rape wasn't real. Nice people. I trolled him a few times because it was fun, but gave up the ghost because it was no use. You can't fix stupid.

So yesterday the controversy began. Mike Pence apparently is not allowed to dine alone with another woman, and his wife is not allowed to dine alone with another man. WOW, Telling your significant other who they can and can't talk to. Looks like unhealthy codependency to me. Take it from someone like myself who has experienced DV.

Matt of course defended Mike Pence. Why would Matt not? He clearly knows how to treat a woman by keeping her barefoot and pregnant on his alpaca farm. Matt stated all healthy married couples didn't dine alone with members of the opposite sex. Nevermind if it was a boss or a work colleague. Or a childhood plutonic friend. Or the husband or wife of one of your friends. No. Sex was going to happen.

I told Matty McMatt Matt he was as qualified to talk about a healthy marriage as I was moon rocks. His followers, who probably chew moon rocks and wonder why they are crunchy, informed me moon rocks were not complicated. I guess that's why we have NASA because space is simple and rocket science, well that's a breeze.

Then I tweeted about combating codependency and Matt told me if I had to combat codependency then it was clear I wasn't good at marriage. Well Sherlock Holmes, while I have been in two LTRs I am not married. I told him I thanked my pagan Goddess for my freedom, because if the men on the market were like him I was screwed. Matt tweeted two asinine tweets back. Because he's stupid like that. I told him by his metric that because he was tweeting to a woman that wasn't his wife, he was having an affair. Others even came to my rescue to tell the sexually repressed Matt Walsh to stop flirting with me.

Needless to say his followers were even stupider than he was. They told me I was unsuccessful because I was single and childless, when meanwhile their marriages are so successful as they aren't allowed to talk to other people without their spouse's permission. Others also defended codependency as a good, loving thing.

Codependency is NEVER a good loving thing. Codependency kept me with a partner who was physically abusive because I believed I somehow deserved it. Codependency kept me with a mentally ill partner who, while he had a heart of gold, was irreversibly broken because of his refusal to comply with a medication regimen. Yeah, I had a role. But codependency is never a good thing. Domestic violence sometimes ends with someone dying. So when someone refuses to take meds, has violent mood swings, abuses drugs or hits you, RUN LIKE YOU SAW GODZILLA.

When I explained to someone I left because a partner was abusive, she told me I deserved to be hit. Yes, a woman of God. A church goer. YIKES!

So I lost it. I told her she was a cunt.

She responded back by telling me that I dissed the sacred institution of marriage and therefore I deserved what I got.

Yes, nice woman.

So I told her that her telling me I deserved DV was like me telling her she deserved a sick child. Needless to say seconds later, twitter blocked me.

I was in twitter jail for 12 hours. Ha ha ha.

Today Matt Walsh posted and called someone a bigot. It was a tale of the pot and the kettle. While fighting with him would have been fun, it is also a waste of time because he will always be a steaming ball of hate.

And one of his followers who reported me to twitter messaged me to let me know he did it. Now is that what Jesus would do?

Needless to say, I had a chat with a buddy who's son has severe autism and is a woman of God. She told me people who quote scriptures like that are actually from the devil and not God, which I found interesting and actually believable on a strange level. She also said evil was cowardly.

Yes, like the Matt Walsh's and his followers, so free to hate behind a keyboard and such mice in person. Cowards.

My friend also pointed out Jesus wasn't a coward. Jesus not only helped the poor, he helped the lepers, the HIV/AIDS patients of the era. He helped the widows and the people on the fringes. He helped those Matt Walsh condemns. Jesus died because he spoke out on behalf of social justice and told the truth. Jesus was brave.Jesus didn't need to hide behind a keyboard.

 These people claim to know so much yet they know so little.

That being said, I hope they all find peace, serenity, and come to know a higher power that loves them as well as anyone else.

www.AprilBrucker.TV










Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It Gets Better

A year ago I was ready to quit show business. I was uninspired and just all around burnt out. Life had been one blow after another.

For starters, a living situation I had been with for nearly ten years went up in utter smoke. I had tried so hard to hold on to that apartment and then one day it was gone. As I was leaving I remember feeling this strange mix of relief and failure. Relief that I wouldn't be sick over a living situation, but failure because despite my efforts I still lost.

Then a relationship with a mentally ill partner ended. It was also a mix of relief and failure. It was relief, because his mood swings were becoming more and more unpredictable and I was feeling more and more unsafe. It was failure because the relationship ended because of a lie he told, and therefore I wasn't good enough for the truth. It was failure because once again I lost a man.

The career had been a miasma of successes and disappointments. I lost two national campaigns for stupid reasons. I lost a nomination to a well-respected organization because of my past as a reality star. I lost a grant for a stupid reason too, paperwork.

But I became a union member. I also got press everywhere but the US for my puppets. And a short film I did puppet work for was nominated for a top award. It even looked like I was going to tour Europe and that fell through like a trap door.

Was the universe telling me to stay or go? Hell if I knew.

My new life was like a dark forest where I was alone, unsure, and struggled to find my place. Each step onstage bored the hell out of me. I had paid the ultimate price to follow my dreams. Were my dreams even worth it? It seemed if anything my dreams caused me a lot of disappointment and heartache.

Over the years, I had friends who left the business because they got sick of the bullshit. Many did it on a smaller scale. Some gave it up altogether. They got married and had kids. They told me how much more fulfilled they were. I had some success. I had been on TV. Maybe I had my fun and it was time to be a normal person.

However, you have plans and the universe laughs. This career has a funny way of picking you, and if it's meant it also has an even stranger way of not letting you go.

I was set to quit when I got invited to do a fallout date for a headliner after he had a nervous breakdown and needed to be replaced. I figured I would tank out, get paid,and this would determine whether or not I continued in comedy.

Yes I tanked. It was horrendous. Maybe it was time to quit after all. However, I met a club owner who had different ideas. Not only was he honest to the point of being brutal, but he was helpful. I left the trip not only rebounding for my next two shows (I killed it) but I left feeling like an asshole. My crime hadn't been being knocked down. It was staying down.

So I got back up, ordered a puppet stand, and started working like a real professional. I pounded stage time like I did years before I had any TV credits. I didn't care if it was an open mic or bar show, for the first time in forever I just wanted to be good. I didn't even care what the outcome was, I was just enjoying the journey and the process for the first time in my life.

My puppetry grew leaps and bounds as did my ventriloquism. So did the opportunities. I got to go to Cleveland with Donald J. Tramp and lead a protest. I also got to perform in Las Vegas. I performed a one woman show at a showcase. I covered the debate with my lil puppet president, too.

Currently some good things are in the works. This Sunday I teach my first ventriloquism class. It's at QED Astoria 3/26 from 2-4.

I am also reading Paul Winchell and can tell you that there is more I need to be doing, but again it is a journey.

I am working on a new book.

I feel hopeful about the future.

Sometimes, when life sucks you need to take a bath, get rid of the bad shit, and keep going.

Yes, it gets better. But only if you let it.