Friday, May 31, 2013

Stand-Up? I think I'd rather sit, thanks.


Ok, so the stuff written below is literally my first, offensive, stream of conscience attempt at writing for my stand up performance. I get it - some of the stuff is really inappropriate and I apologize in advance but it's all just part of the process. It's just a creative outline to get out the crazy - so, simmer down and look away now if you are feeling judgemental today.


You know, it’s funny that I am even up here doing this because I hate public speaking. I hate it. Weeks in advance before it’s coming, I start to get the twinges of anxiety. I’ll be lying in bed, start to sweat a little and then instantly run to my safe place in the shower. There’s something about getting in the shower that literally washes away the stress of the day.  It’s also a great place to cry. It’s the perfect place actually, it’s tiny…most of the time you get to be alone, unless you have a really insecure gym session and need a quick emotional pick-me-up in a public shower. As the water streams down your face and mixes with the tears – you don’t have to admit to yourself that you’re crying. I don’t know if it’s tears or water running down my face and that leaves me feeling a little bit more secure about who I am as a person.

So, needless to say, I am super clean tonight because I have had literally 4 showers today and I will tell you that I have purged so much emotion about tonight. When I jumped in the shower earlier, I was nervous, scared, insecure but I stayed in so long that as the hot water started to run cold, I became intrigued, excited and quite erect. I mean, it’s just one of those things that happens in a shower. It’s natural. So, after, quite literally, beating my nervousness away – I’m here tonight with you fine people! Woooooo.

It’s funny though – so, I sign up for this comedy course, I mean, I paid to be here. I paid to conquer this fear - for this torture. But, I never gave the end result much thought until right now, as I feel my knees shaking and just a tiny dribble of urine streaming down my thigh. And, it’s stupid, right? The class is called “stand up comedy” -  obviously it implies that I will, at some point, have to speak in public and, not only that, I’ll have to be funny. 

So, while I am up here trying to be witty…I’m trying to do all the tricks people teach you about public speaking – pretend that your talking to only one person in the room, focus on a light in the back, imagine all of you naked. But, the problem with the last one is that I have an extreme body hair phobia – like, when I moved into my current apartment the former tenant was a female with long, jet-black hair and after 6 months, there are still f-cking full grow, Addam’s Family Cousin It hairs that walk out of the shower sometimes. And, I don’t know if you have looked around the room tonight but a lot of you here, I’m gonna be honest, look like extras from The Hobbit. So, God knows what sort of Sasquatch/Bigfoot kind of coat of hair you got going on below the belt. 

In reality though, I am panicked about this performance but I’m doing this because trying “stand up” is a dream of mine. I know, right? How f-cking sad is that? My life’s dream has been to stand on a makeshift stage in front of a bunch of drunks and wait to be harassed. But, it’s personal for me…because it reminds of my childhood. When I was around 4 or 5, I remember walking through the smoke-filled club as people were drinking and laughing and I’d look up and see my mom. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand as she lingered on all fours, gyrating to a Bon Jovi song, and as she clinched a 5 dollar bill between her teeth, I thought, “one day – I want to feel that level of shame”. And, here I am. 

So, anyways – we’ve been taking this class for the last month and delving into what makes us funny and there are moments when I would just stare blankly at the paper. Not one funny thought would enter my brain while the other students were being witty, funny, clever and every time the teacher, Rob asked us to come up with a line – my mind instantly went straight to the gutter. Like, I get that crudeness can be funny and it is necessary to humor but how many times can one person internally laugh at the term “fisting” before he really starts to question who he is. Like, I get that a lot of people are into it and by the amount of bruised hands and limping people here tonight – I’d assume this crowd has an above-average ratio. But, it’s generally not socially acceptable to discuss. But, for me, I like to roll with the punches and tackle the hard hitting topics.

It's like, you know when someone runs up to you and goes, “OMG – you’ll never guess what happened to me?” I always want to respond, with the same level of excitement, “You got fisted?” and just wait to see their response. Because the thing is…generally, when people say that phrase “OMG, you’ll never guess what happened to me?” I probably could guess what happened because it’s normally not all that exciting. I could say stuff like, ”OMG you bought a puppy!”, “Oh wow, you got a raise!”, “OMG – the herpes outbreak is finally gone?” But, I literally would never expect someone to exclaim that they had just been fisted – so, I like just toss it out there and see how they respond. If they laugh or otherwise engage me, I know we are good to go as friends. If they look disgusted – it’s probably just because their loose @$$ got called out.

(We actually had an assignment in which the teacher gave us an example to write a joke about a ventriloquist…now, how am I supposed to avoid a fisting joke there? Literally, he placed a potentially crude comment directly into my hand.)

Here go into Aussie slang (fanny) and the American slang term “Double fisting” and how Aussies never get it.

If they hate it - I could say, "Ohhh it's funny you all aren’t laughing! Apparently, you can take a fist but not a joke?"

-END-



Ok, so...you've read it. You may or may not be hating me but please, give me your opinion. As I said, it's literally my first try and keep in mind that this content will be spoken and delivered in an animated fashion beyond just words on a page. So, please, leave comments below, here on this page, and let me know your thoughts. All feedback is appreciated. And, why not check out my book by click here? Everybody needs a little stuck.at.seven!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Still Stuck.


It's been just over two months now since I released my book, stuck.at.seven [while awkwardly aiming for ten], and it has, literally, changed the lives of tens of people. It has gotten some good reviews, great words of support and I even received an amazing letter that outlined how a child in South Sudan was able to learn to walk after just a mere passage of my book was read to him. 

The best part about it all is that some of the people who have purchased the book have sent some fun, clever pics of themselves reading (or, pretending to read), and it has been most appreciated. My goal was always just to make a few people laugh through my antics, so it seems to be working.


I continue the book journey by just trying to gain exposure. I diligently contact reviewers and writers, asking them to check out the book and just give it a look. I have it in quite a few peoples' hands but, I get that it won't be everyone's cup of tea (based on the fact that a 70 year old woman read a chapter or two and then called on the sweet Lord to save my soul) but if I don't reach out, than they'll never hear about it.  So, I continue to push forward.



In my newfound pursuit of self-promotion, I have been finding and promoting other non-fiction authors along the way. Recently, I came across the fun, new book by Allison Hawn, "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus", where she takes you on a whimsically descriptive journey through some situations that seem to only plague Allison. Beyond having an amazing cover, Allison's writing is engaging and makes for a quirky read. So, if you're looking for a little pick-me-up or some good, clean fun - give Allison's blog a look to learn more.


So, the stuck saga continues. I shall continue to push forward in my delusional pursuit of literary mediocrity. Plus, I have been tossing ideas out for a stuck at seven 2.0 - but, will it come to fruition? I am not sure, but I do think I'd like to give it a shot. So, keep on the lookout - all four of you longing to read it!





Sunday, May 19, 2013

Humor Me.





People always tell me that I am funny. Generally, they follow that description with the words, "to look at". And, while initially offended, I have grown ok with that. But, after taking a few improv and stand-up comedy courses, I've really started to dig in and try to find out why or how someone becomes funny. One thing I have learned is that, to sit and tell a funny anecdote about your life is relatively easy (especially after a shot of tequila), but to stand before a crowd and engage them with your humorous tales and perils is completely different.

So, tonight, I have been analyzing when I first remember being funny and making someone laugh. I'm at home sitting on the couch with the stains of an oven-baked pizza riddled across my white t-shirt and I think I have narrowed down the exact moment when I got labeled as "funny". 

It all happened one, fateful day in 8th grade. I was walking down the hallway at school and some kid yelled out, for no apparent reason, "I bet your Mama sucks your Daddy's dick!" I paused for a second and thought, "If they are still into oral at this point, there is no way that Dad would be so pissed off all the time" and then, without further delay, I blurted back, "Well, at least she knows who my Daddy is!" 




(If Maury confirms it  - it's true, folks!)


As the words slipped past my lips, I waited for fist-to-face contact but it never happened. The kids within listening-distance erupted into laughter and gave me a sense of approval I had never felt before as they said things like, "Awww he got you!" and "Yeah - that ugly boy is funny!" It was the first time that I had ever spoken up to a bully and with that one line, I had shut that little bastard up. While I glowed in my success, my guilty conscience started to kick in as his formerly smug face turned sad because, apparently, my haphazard phrase probably rang a little too true. 


It’s no secret that humor stems from some forlorn sadness. It’s a coping mechanism, and a way to push back our fears, our doubt, our insecurities and rise above. So, currently, I am attempting to craft together a 5 minute monologue of my awkwardness to perform for a stand-up class that I am currently enrolled in. Will I succeed? Probably not. Will I end up chickening out on the performance? We are currently in the "highly likely" range, but I have decided, for now, that I have to try. So, I need to swallow my pride (and, no less than 2 Xanax), jump on that stage and just give it my all. But, until that night, I'll let the panic settle in and take its all-too-familiar hold.





(Uhhh, is this thing on?! Anybody?! Anybody?!)

Also, why not check out my new book?! If you've already read it - please give it a review and if you haven't, why not check it out here?!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

American Beauty?!


This week, I read the disturbing news that Maxim Magazine named Miley "Can't Be Tamed" Cyrus as the hottest person of the year. Apparently, BeyoncĂ© (don't forget the accent on the E), Sofia Vergara (roll that R) and the toothless cashier from the local Wal-Mart all took this year off.

Now, I am not being a hater and saying that Miley is unattractive. With her new look, featured below, she could easily step in as a replacement member of One Direction, a body double for the lead singer of Roxette or a less-animated Sonic the Hedgehog - and, all of those are fine options in my book. What I am concerned about is, how in the Sam-Hell did Billy Ray Cyrus' achy-breaky heart manage to make this happen?!


(It's must've been love - but, it's definitely over now)

Doing a little research to see what career feats Miley leaped to in 2012, I realized that she may have topped out the list due to her work in the straight-to-DVD classics, "LOL", "So Undercover" and her heart-warmingly delightful stint on Two and Half Men, which all easily overshadowed the fine cinematic works of Michelle Williams, Jennifer Lawrence and Miss Piggy.

When it comes to her music career, it could be argued that none of her glass-gargling, warbled tunes could be classified, technically, as music (except that one called "The Climb" - it gets me every time) but I am pretty sure she hasn't had a hit in recent times. So, that keeps me perplexed.

The one thing that she is winning (or, losing - depending on which side of the argument you are on) is her battle with Taylor Swift's over-active genitals. Miley catches a lot of flack and gets labeled with some unflattering terms from time to time, but we all know that Taylor is the real home-wrecker of this white trash party. She may wear a fancy, full-length skirt and make music videos with humans dressed as animals, but Taylor's got on the nasty stuff from Frederick's of Hollywood underneath. And, I bet it chaffs.


(#truth)

Nonetheless...2013 is proving that the devil (aka Maxim Magazine) is alive and well by proclaiming, Miley "Daddy's Little Angel" Cyrus, as the hottest girl in the land for 2013! I can only wait for 2014, when Della Reese makes a career comeback with "Touched by an Angel - The Revenge" and boots this little girl from the cover. 


(Get it, Della!)



(Come hither, y'all!)

In unrelated news, my book is currently the 474,767th most popular book on Amazon, you should help change that by clicking here!



Friday, May 10, 2013

Best Face Forward


There are people who say that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. However, none of those people happen to be affiliated with the clothing brand, Abercrombie and Fitch. The love child of Gary Busey and the Jolly Green Giant pictured above is Mike Jeffries, CEO and Head of Douchebaggery for Abercrombie and Fitch. I want you to look closely at the poorly-molded, plastic face of this man and know that if you are not skinny, tanned and desperately holding on to the last phases of puberty, is he probably so over you. Like, totally.

In the article linked here, Mikey boy goes on about how his brand does not cater to "ugly" or "fat" people and, because of that, XL and XXL sizes are not offered for girls and only offered to boys because some of the "hot" ones may play sports and be built bigger. To that I say, F off! 

Statements like that and the existence of brands who carry this sort of image obsessed mentality are the reason young girls, dressed in super cute A&F shorts are vomiting into toilets after eating, while their chubby friends hold their hair back and hope they don't spew on their $9 Targét (say it the French way) XL top.



(OMG! This ad is so fun and totally shows off their amazing products! You know, like the hands that they sell or the sultry, half-smiles available on discount in the back.)

Now, let me be fair for a second. There is something to be said for a marketing tactic that wants to cater to a very detailed, specific market and I don't have a problem with the company aiming to attract those people. However, the problem is when you blast people who don't fit that criteria for something that, in many ways, they can't control.  

This exclusivity is yet again a statement on American culture, and where our values lie. We see a cute, blonde girl splashing around in the waves as a shirtless 18-year-old with well-sculpted abs carries her off into the sunset (all set in a black and white photo to make it seem more dramatic) and somehow we give these people value and therefore, decrease our own based purely on physical attributes.

For fans of this clothing line, the reality check is this. You may be a high school god or goddess now, but you need to wake up and be humble. The day is just lurking around the corner when you are going to become fat and jaded, and the less judgmental you are right now, the less people are going to revel in your fall from grace at your high school reunion in 10 years. Do you know how few people keep their "cool" status after high school? Very few and, if I were good at math, I'd give you some arbitrary figure to prove it but I am not, so just trust me on this one! 

Slowly but surely, nobody cares about that "cool" junk after you leave the confines of like, the best high school EVER! Soon, you'll be wearing the finest shirt that the Jacqueline Smith collection from K-Mart has to offer or the elastic waistband khakis from Sears for your job interview at Rent-A-Center, just like every other former high school beauty queen and prom king.


(Santa called and he wants his capes back, please!)

It could be argued that I am just bitter. And, I am. I've never had abs, I've never had a clothing budget that would allow such frivolous purchases and more so, I have never had the attention span to shop in a store with lighting levels that resemble a brothel and music blaring so loudly my ear drums just give up and say "man, f*ck this!"

So, if you want to continue to keep putting cash into the pockets of narcissistic, over-rated brands who do nothing for society, you go on and do it. In the meantime, I need to go order Season 4 of "Keepin' Up with the Kardashians" on Amazon.


(A face only a mongrel could love!)

Oh yeah, and while you're at Amazon shopping and making unnecessary purchase - you should make a necessary one! My first ever book, "stuck.at.seven [while awkwardly aiming for ten]" - check it out here!





Thursday, May 2, 2013

Watch Out, Pretty Woman!



I've never felt a direct connection to the film Pretty Woman. I am not a philandering, playboy millionaire who buys and sells people as if they were designer shoes, nor am I a hooker with a heart of gold. However, in the spectrum that falls between those two, I'd more likely be found on a well-lit street corner wearing something inappropriate than I would be dining on expensive French cuisine in a fancy suit. However, you can imagine my surprise when my life seemed to unintentionally parallel the famous Pretty Woman scene from below on an innocent Saturday afternoon.


You see, I am not a big fan of shopping. In general, you will never find me meandering through a mall browsing windows or longing for the items behind the glazed, shine-free facades, unless there is a 100% guarantee that I will have the ability to chow down on some exotic cuisine, like burritos, from the food court. It's just not how I roll. But, the other day, I was a little bit bored and I live within walking distance of a big, trendy shopping centre. The floors are marble and the brands inside are top of the line and generally pronounced in such a way that requires too much effort for my lazy tongue to attempt. It's a far cry from my Wal-Mart sensibilities and a place that I'd never want or be able to purchase things from.

Anyways, I decided to dip into the Tag Heuer watch store and look at some of their products. Within recent times, I have refused to wear a watch because I have felt as if I am a slave to the concept of time. I was always checking it and worrying about it, so I eliminated watches from my life. Plus, why would I pay money for something when I can just look to the heavens and use my forehead and protruding nose as a sundial and get a somewhat accurate assessment of the time of day?

So, I walked in looking like an urban hillbilly with jeans, an old t-shirt and flip flops - a picture of white trash perfection. I walked past not one, not two but three employees and the most attention I got was a side-eyed glance. I apparently did not fit their customer mold. Moments later, a young couple wearing tacky gold necklaces and bracelets walked in and instantly, they were on them like, well...a hooker on a street corner. Me, nope...I remained ignored as I "accidentally" smudged the glass encasements with the remnants of the Kit-Kat chocolate that I had attempted to lick clean from my fingers before entering. 

With my self-esteem having been dipped in the mop bucket of life, I walked out of that store vowing to never return. At least not until that precious day comes when someone discovers my real worth and fills my pockets full of gold coins, and I go buy the most blinging, oversized, gold Rolex watch that I can find. Then, and only then, will I walk back into that Tag Heuer store, look those fake, barely minimum wage earning employees in the eyes and let them know that their treatment of me was a "big mistake - HUGE!" Until then though, I'm just gonna be here eating a Kit Kat.



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