Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 114 - The Weather = Satan

November 30th, 2009

Yesterday I was walking with my mom on the divinely sunny beach of Sullivan's Island. This is a private residential community located just north of Charleston, South Carolina. At low tide, the beach is wide and the sand is soft. It would seem like the perfect opportunity to discuss feminine products. We did not. Today I’m back in New York where the weather is Satan. On a bad day. I will not let the gray, cold and damp dampen my spirits. These are the days where we have to force ourselves from under the cocoon of our down comforter and be creative as to how to manufacture our own sunshine. Using a Bunsen burner, a straw and piece of felt, I conducted a very unscientific study to discover what can effectively shift our mood on days like this. Below are 10 proven ways to keep spirits in line when the weather is being a dick.

1) Spray on an entire bottle of Patchouli and then go to a Young Republican's meeting. Remove all processed food and offer them green tea.

2) Tell the Verizon people that you want to replace your "Friends and Family Plan" to the "Mild Acquaintances and Nemesis Plan".

3 )Listen to the song "Birthday Sex" with your grandparents. Tell them its about the 1917 Russian Revolution that lead to civil war and the creation of a communist government.

4) Give someone a pot brownie who doesn’t know it’s been "tainted" with herb. Wait 10-15 minutes. Then, just watch them.

5) Repeat to yourself 10 times: "It is a good thing that I was not a young adult in the early 80’s because I’m pretty certain that I would have feathered hair and a major coke addiction." This one might just apply to me.

6) Sculpt Lionel Ritchie’s head. The gheri curl is challenging..but if you dream can do it.

7) Use crime scene tape as a jump rope

8) JCrew is carrying onesies for adults. Go try one on.

9) Make an oil painting(on canvas) of a bird flying into Fabio’s face on a roller coaster

10) This last suggestion is guaranteed to lift your spirits on an inclement day. Do something really intimate...that involves strength, endurance, shared sensory experiences and interdependence. Like doubles figure skating

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 113 - Alternative Universe Lexie

November 29th, 2009

My mom has a family of dachshunds that run around the house like a centipede. Will the father and Sam the son are sweethearts. Lexie the mother could use a relaxant. She loves my mom. All 7 pounds of her is always attempting to protect my mother. Oh, you think that all dogs love you? She'll bite you. She bites babies. Cute babies. There was a short stint(5-10 minutes in 2002) where she liked my brother Scott. If they were to procreate..they would have had a litter of Scottschunds. But their love was short lived and my brother went on to make babies with someone who wasn't a domesticated form of a wolf.

I woke up this morning in my mother's house to Lexie wanting to get in bed with me. This bitch(literally and figuratively) has never requested a Jax cuddle in ten years. I went against my comfort zone, let her join me on the bed and there was no aggression. She was still super uptight and has the physicality of having a dog treat stuck up her ass. But, to her credit, she was doing the best that she could. I recognized that. I attempted a few self portraits with the Blackberry camera to prove that we were connecting. Our union only lasted a few minutes and chances are that she will try to attack me later..but that will never take away from those few minutes of canoodling with alternative universe Lexie.

That moment would never have happened if we didn't act counter intuitively to every instinct ingrained in our being.

Since I think anything and everything in life is synonymous to comedy improv, I have included an article that I was featured in about the healing power of comedy improvisation from "Body and Soul Magazine's" October 2007 issue. It's one of those Martha Stewart magazines which is interesting because she could benefit from lightening up. Like Lexie.

"Body and Soul Magazine"
Learn to Think on Your Feet
By Terri Trespicio

Your boss interrupts your presentation with a question you hadn't considered. A spontaneous debate springs up at a family gathering. You're asked to address a touchy issue with a mutual friend. Sure, your life seems scheduled on paper. But no matter how much you plan, every day brings unforeseen situations that can catch you off-guard -- and leave you feeling tongue-tied.

You can't prepare for those surprising moments (like when a friend asks you point-blank whether you think she should elope), but you can improve your ability to handle them. And who better to ask for think-on-your-feet tips than the people who do it for a living? Unlike actors in a traditional play, improvisational performers step out onto the stage with no scripted lines, no costumes, no set. With little more than gut instinct, they rely on quick thinking, teamwork, and a few audience suggestions to create a compelling show. "Improv simply means unscripted performance, which is essentially what our lives are," says writer, director, and improvisational performer and coach Jacqueline Kabat. "You may have a vague idea of what your day may bring you. But let's face it, you never can be too sure."

The same skills that serve improv actors so well -- listening, picking up on cues, approaching interactions positively -- can pay off in your day-to-day life, too. We gathered the best insider advice from Kabat and seasoned performer Matt Chapuran, and then we included real-life scenarios from career coach Maggie Mistal, host of "Making a Living" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112. Using their strategies, you'll meet the unpredictable situations of everyday life with aplomb. And who knows? You may even get a laugh or two.

Rule 1

Let the Scene Unfold

Because it's not scripted, the success of an improv show depends wholly on honest, immediate reaction to the present moment. This can be hard if the improv actors need for control kicks in-an impulse that can magnify stress and, ultimately, work against you."In improv, we call it steering the scene, " says Kabat. "When one person attempts to control everything that happens, it signifies a distrust for his fellow players." Onstage or off, the only thing you can really control is your response-and that comes with focusing on what the other person is saying. The more clearly you tune in to the natural unfolding of the conversation, the better off you'll be in moving the discourse forward.

Try it: Stay in the moment. When you're in the middle of a serious discussion (or even a not-so-serious one), resist scripting the conversation; let go of control, focus on the other person, and then on your honest response. For instance, say you're at a party and you meet someone new. Eager to come across as witty and appealing, you may get so caught up in what you'll say next that you miss what the other person is saying. Instead, practice giving him or her your full attention.

Rule 2

Make the other guy look good

Want to know one of the biggest mistakes improv actors can make? It's sabotaging collaboration by trying to be the star. What works far better for everyone, including you, says Kabat, is to make others look good. "I call it putting spirit over ego. Rather than try to be the funniest or smartest performer, I tell them to respond to the other person as truthfully as possible," she says. "Stealing the scene tends to compromise the effectiveness of the show-not to mention make your partner uncomfortable."

Translated into real life, Mistal says that we often operate under the assumption that if we make someone else look good, we will then look bad by comparison-and, in turn, by making someone else look bad, we come off smelling like roses. In fact, just the opposite occurs. "Passing blame as a way of saving face works in reverse," she says. "People never forget when they were thrown under the bus."

Try it: Spread good gossip. Find opportunities not just to praise people directly and publicly, but to share their gifts, skills, or accomplishments with others. In so doing, you become the bearer of good news-and you also come off as the kind of person who's big enough to acknowledge and appreciate others' efforts and abilities.

Rule 3

Trust your gut

In an effort to make valuable contributions, we often suppress our first and best instinct. "We tend to put our own ideas down as too obvious or stupid -- like if it's my idea, it mustn't be very good," says Chapuran. "This is often not the case at all." In improv, unique ideas don't come from trying harder, he says; they emerge naturally. "You don't have to out-unique yourself," he says. "I've wasted time and good ideas trying to be funnier, and I didn't have to."

Mistal agrees that we tend to live under the impression that success is achieved only through sweat and hard work. "If anything, the fact that something comes easily to you could be a sign that it's the right thing," she says. "When you get into the flow and rhythm of what you're meant to be doing, it comes naturally." It shouldn't have to be a struggle.

Try it: Go with it. Don't deep-six your first idea just because it came to you quickly and effortlessly. Instead of negating it, run with it and see where it takes you. Try to resist the notion that you need to be super smart or creative every single time you open your mouth, says Chapuran. "You would be surprised at how sometimes simply stating the obvious is the most valuable thing you can do."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 112 - Nonchalant Observer -Installment #3 – Retirement Community Happy Hour

November 28, 2009

Today is my third installment of my “Nonchalant Observer” series. On day 22, I observed (judged) what crossed my path as I sat with my coffee on my Brooklyn stoop. On day 38, I took you with me to the happenings of beach life in the surfing town of Hermosa Beach, California. Today, we're crossing the age gap and hitting a retirement community. During happy hour.

My 89 year old grandma Rae recently moved into an assisted living community called “The Palms” of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. My other 89 year old grandmother, Harriet, has lived in a retirement home in Greensboro, North Carolina called Abbotswood for several years so I am not unfamiliar with how life works in these communities. Imagine a dorm furnished like an upscale hotel with indoor pools, salons and people hooking up. I’m tempted to write a nighttime soap opera called “Kabatswood” that documents how steamy it can get during a heated game of bingo and the back handed competition to land the newest widower resident. I want the opening montage to be” The Young and the Restless” theme song with old people making dramatic head turns to the camera in fuzzy lighting. Yesterday, I visited Grandma Rae during happy hour and I knew geriatrics plus alcohol must be documented.

I made detailed notes from 4:00pm-5:00pm on Friday November 27, 2009.

The following is presented in “real” time:

4:01 – Grandma “parks” her walker amongst many others across the hall. I’m thinking there should be a public service announcement commercial with someone like Chuck Norris saying, “Please, elderly people, if you must drink, don’t use your walker.” Then there would be a shooting star and rainbow.

4:04 – Grandma and I grab a corner table and I notice the festive vibe, beautiful mahogany bar and a volunteer on the piano playing “As Time Goes By." Interesting choice.

4:17 – After getting Grandma situated at our table, I go up to the bar to get our drinks. The bartender is a 40 something cute skinny blonde with big hair who looks like she could have been employed at Mel’s Diner. I assume her name is Trixie. Or Wanda. Interesting note, I order a ginger ale for myself and a white wine for my grandmother. I’m no saint...I had just had a Venti Bloody Mary with my mom.

4:20 - One heavily make-uped woman in bright flowing clothes is stumbling across the room with her wine and flirting with disinterested men. Token assisted living floozy?

4:23 – My grandmother might be the nicest person. Ever. She is beautiful, sweet and very southern. She smiles and says hello to everyone. A woman named Helen walks by and Grandma asks her how she is and Helen’s reply was, “Horrible and alone.” Then she told us about her bad knee for 10 minutes.

4:33 – A chatty volunteer (around 60) hears I’m a comedian and sits at our table to test his material. Every joke is done with a Yiddish accent. I don’t remember any of them. But one was about Chinese people.

4:45 – I ask grandma if there are any gentleman that she finds “special.” She surveys the room and tells me, “not interested.”

4:50 – I notice two grandfather types talking at the bar wearing cardigans. Old men love cardigans. One of them is drinking from a 1930’s leather flask. I can’t hear them but I want to assume they’re talking about the war. Not the Gulf War.

4:59 – Grandma tells me in her classy molasses southern accent, “Have ya noticed darlin’… most of the people here are elderly.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 111 Tryptophan, ER and Mom

November 27th, 2009

I’m down in Charleston, South Carolina for Thanksgiving weekend. So far:

1. Last night’s meal was a cornucopia of culinary goodness that would put Martha Stewart and other food snobs to shame.

2. I took a bubble bath. With bubbles. Not Michael Jackson’s beloved chimp in the 80’s.

3. I woke up this morning at 5:30 to my mom making a 911 call because my stepfather had aspirated and was unconscious. Cut to a few minutes later when their bedroom was filled with firemen, policemen and paramedics. Oh yeah 3 barking dachshunds (locked in the office) added to the ambience. Yet, everyone was cool. Especially my mom. This is nothing new.

My stepfather has been to the emergency room 25+ times over the last ten years. In 1999, he received large doses of radiation for cancer treatments and since that time his swallowing and breathing has been debilitated. Episodes like the one above generally land him in the hospital for 2 to 5 days (sometimes longer) while receiving intravenous antibiotics to treat his frequent lung infections and inflammation or pneumonia.

Over the years, he continues to appear on the brink of death, then (in alarming record speed) recovers. Every time. So far. He was unconscious longer than usual this time around so there was concern as to why. a Thanksgiving miracle should be...he came to. One of the male nurses is convinced that his extended slumber was the result of the tryptophan from the Turkey. There is much debate whether this amino acid truly does act as a natural sedative. It seemed pretty factual today.

I’m not making light of this scenario because his constant health rollercoaster is of great concern. Yet my mom has discovered some centered and admirable space that is present, efficient and heartfelt as she always revisits the familiar routine: She finds her husband unconscious - calls 911- medical types are in the house - medical types take him to the ER - he’s hooked up to scary machines - then.... he’s back in the land of the living – repeat cycle.

My step father is a doctor. An ophthalmologist. Yet it is my mother who has played nurse for the past decade. She holds her own talking medical linguistics with everyone involved in his recovery. It blows me away. She used big words, works respirators and changes trachea tubes. Yeah, confuses me too.

Once we received the word that he had pulled through, mom and I got some lunch. We talked about how she was a biology major and had always had an interest in science but getting married at 21 resulted with her switching her major to education. She has no regrets because she has two children who are “honest, moral, curious and have the ability to be present, especially when needed.” Nice. Right?

Here’s what’s interesting about mom. She admits that she has been known to exhibit “anxiety” when life’s smaller mishaps occur. Yet, under extreme pressure, no one is as collected as my mother. She is finding that these more traumatic events are assisting her with riding through all of life’s unknowns.

Mom: Nothing is constant but change

Jax – Did you make that up?

Mom – No. But I use it.

I asked her the fastest way that she can shift her mood. Mom lives on the beach and finds long meditative walks nurturing. If you don’t live by the ocean....I suggest running your bath and just taking a meditative saunter around your bathroom. Also, she finds cozy rituals are helpful. She starts and ends her days on the porch over looking the water. In the morning, with coffee. At night, with brandy.

Mom and I bonded and I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful that I have learned of a real life scenario that is analogous to a movie cliché. As we know, many films will have local police handling a crime. Eventually (to the dismay of the cops) the FBI will take over the scene. There is always a bit of animosity between these two groups as the local guys feel jilted about the hierarchy of crime solving. As I mentioned this morning, the firemen and policemen showed up first to do some basic medical work on my stepfather. Once the EMS(paramedics) arrived with their fancy medical equipment and(less than a doctor but more than a fireman) medical training... I sensed there was a similar rivalry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 110 - Thankful for So Much. Not You CNN

November 26th, 2009

Its Thanksgiving morning and I’m waiting at the gate for an early flight to see my family in Charleston, South Carolina. Why didn’t I leave last night? There is nothing I loathe more than being caught in the mayhem of an airport during the busiest day of the year. I think outside the box. The black box. So far so good. The Pakistani car service driver was so courteous that I offered to buy him a cup of coffee before the drive to LaGuardia. He seemed surprised by the gesture and accepted my offer. He took it regular with one sugar. The gentleman who gave me my ticket at the curbside check in was in good spirits. In fact, he told me that I looked nice in my driver’s license picture. Then he casually said, “Have a good trip Jax.” I found that odd as he wasn’t in the Jax nickname loop. Did he know me better than I knew myself? Side note. The guy who ran my high school media center (library) checked luggage at the airport during the summer. Awkward.

I figured now would be a good time to express all that I am grateful for. However, CNN is blasting their journalistic dribble and its invading my attention span. I’m going to do the best that I can and list what I am thankful for but bare with me as snippets of mediocre journalism oozes through.

- Both my Grandmothers are alive and will be turning 90 this year. I will see one of them in a few hours and (as always) she will tell me that I look thinner. After hearing that for years, I imagine that I’m at my goal weight of zero.
- I’ve never dropped my Blackberry in the toilet.
- I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses.
- I am not the kind of girl who drinks appletinis, watches Grey’s Anatomy and sings along to “I will Survive”.

Last night, a couple from Virginia crashed a State Dinner at the White House. They upped their classiness when they posted their pictures with Joe Biden on their Facebook page. Furthermore, it turns out that they’re reality show wannabees who are in the running to be on “The Real Housewives of DC”. At least they didn’t claim that their child was flying away in some giant tin foil balloon. Yet.

- I’ve never had to dress up in a chicken costume.
- I am certain that I love teaching, performing and writing comedy. Plus, I think I’m alright at it. There is an anchor and safety in knowing what you love. And pursuing it.
- I generally am trying to better myself.
- I am not the person who squeezes the seeds for pomegranate juice.
- I love my family and they love me.

“When we return, we’re going to share some haunting texts that people sent from the towers on 911 AND get excited..because tomorrow’s a BIG shopping day!”

-I am healthy.
- I’ve gotten to day 110 of this 365 day blog entry challenge. I might actually finish this thing.
- I don’t have to eat yogurt that keeps my digestive tracks in order.
- I have pretty good hair
- Not only do I have a lot of friends...I am surrounded by people who are kind, authentic and enriching.

There appears to be a coked up sub par journalist at the festivities pre -Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.The big news is that there is a Spider-man balloon and a new longer route. Some of the balloon handlers are nervous about increasing their pace. After surveying the portliness of the balloon carriers, I am wondering the same thing. My guess is that people who attend this parade hail from every city in the world. Except New York. Ms. Journalist hits the crowds for some questions.

“Why did you come?”
“I don’t know.”

“What are you looking forward to the most?”
“I don’t know.”

- I have readers who actually take the time to visit my blog. Your feedback, support and appreciation keeps me going. Thank you.

I’d like to share one final thought before I board Delta Flight 6010. There is a man sitting next to me reading a book called "Coping with Being a Genius". I’m going to suggest my follow up book called "Coping with Being a Person Self Righteous Enough to be Reading 'Coping with Being a Genius' in Public".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 109 - Obesity Rate: Fan of Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2009

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I feel obliged to explore this secular holiday that encourages us to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude while we gather and devour an excess amount of food with friends and family. Very pertinent reasons to take pause. Yet the first thing that came to my mind was the predicament people with less than five fingers on one hand face when drawing a turkey. Sad.

In order to run with the Thanksgiving concept, I feel it is appropriate to bring back Johnson and Phillips. I introduced them to you in “Day 16 - Bacon Fetish”, you grew to love them in“Day 43 - Take a Load Off Annie” and you felt a combination of complicated emotions for these guys by" Day 63 - You Hate Me. You Really Really Hate Me" and you considered making a baby with them in "Day 93 – 1993". As a reminder, they are reoccurring fictionalized (but real in my heart) ahead of their time marketing executives with a mutual interest in each other’s wives and unsubtle sexual innuendo for each other. Let’s just assume that the conceptualization of Thanksgiving took place in your typical 17 Century boardroom in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

JOHNSON: Phillips, first let me say that you look dashing in you pantaloons.(Long sigh oozing with sexual tension.) OK. Let's get to work! I want to create an iconic holiday that is generally referred to as.."This is so Solid""Another Reason for Americans to Overeat""Thanksgiving". Yes, Thanksgiving!

PHILLIPS:I love it you stocking wearing genius! The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoags Indians can celebrate their peaceful co-existence and the harvest after a brutal winter.

JOHNSON: Just like the harvest that I planted in your wife last night Phillips!

PHILLIPS: Exactly! Venison and wild fowl will be eaten on this special day. Then..centuries throw things off for no apparent reason.... Americans will indulge in pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

JOHNSON: Half assing tradition! Brilliant.

PHILLIPS: For some exotic flair, let's throw in a Patuxet Native American named Squanto. He resides with the Wampanoag tribe, teaches the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and serves as an interpreter.

JOHNSON: Yes! The European settlers will return the favor by introducing the indigenous people to influenza, bubonic plague and smallpox infested blankets!

PHILLIPS: Superb. Simply magnificent. Hold me Johnson. Just hold me.

JOHNSON: Come here you colonial slice of heaven. I want to explore your Plymouth Rock.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 108 - Dear Diary

November 24th, 2009

I was rereading some old journal entries and letters I’ve written and received. It really exemplifies that just putting your hopes, dreams and seemingly random thoughts into writing doesn’t get lost in the universe. Many of these passages were written around the time I was training for the San Diego Marathon in 2005. A lot of metaphors during this time. Most of the below was written before I was a “committed” to blogging and really explored my work making the connection between humor and health. I needed to reread this for myself today. I hope you enjoy.

MAY 2, 2004
I find it so valuable to surround myself with people who are simply trying to better themselves. It’s a beautiful thing. Of course, facing your fears is a personal journey and it is best to approach it in the way that feels right for you. Personally, I feel that people who feel things deeply often possess a heightened emotional intelligence that mainstream society fails to recognize. I also feel that’s a big reason certain people have addictions…not knowing how to deal with that “feeling”.

MAY 6, 2004
Dream's funny...I've been thinking about that recently.This journal writing and my freelance magazine work is my constant. As much as I connect with and enjoy this "introspective" and "open minded" side of can be so heavy as a “full time endeavor”…I have to keep myself in check…do light things too. I really believe in the medicinal effect of humor. I wonder if there is a way to combine these 2 passions. I've been thinking of a concept..."Spiritual Comedy". I think if I can expand on these two strengths that have been continually pivotal in my life on so many levels.......I would really have something unique and honest to share with the world...through writing perhaps. In the meantime, I will continue to take it day by day.

MARCH 11, 2005
I need to take bigger creative risks. It motivates me to plug away with creative endeavors. I was born with a right’s just tough to be in this city where one’s success is measured by corporate success.…pursuing the arts certainly can be lonely.How great it would be to be measured by being present, self aware with the courage to follow your heart. My goal is to stay on this path and keep myself surrounded by those that live with the same philosophy.

MARCH 12, 2005
My marathon training is paying off.I just ran from 13th to 143rd….and back. Not sure if there is clear segue here..but I like this quote:

I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
-Herbert Bayard Swope

JUNE 7,2005
I ran 26.2 miles in the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon! I did it through Team in Training and raised several thousand dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. What an experience…don’t know where to start. I think it’s best to just recall the moments that stood out the most. The night before at the pasta party, I was really reminded and touched by the fact that amazing people directly affected with Leukemia and Lymphoma were there. 3300 Team in Training participants raised 12.5 million dollars! There were so many visuals that stand out while running. One of the most pivotal moments was when I was rounding a corner at mile 11. There was a very simply dressed man(around 60) that was holding a no frills poster that said “I’m a Leukemia survivor…thank you.” He had such an expression of sincerity. I got a little choked up. Also, seeing my family at mile 131/2 was another peak. That support gave me such a lift and inspired an interesting metaphor…I am capable on my own…but better with people (especially the support of loved ones.) When I ran passed my brother I told him, "There is so much cowbell.”

JUNE13th 2006
This was a letter from an ex-boyfriend.

“You certainly are a fighter. One of your many amazing qualities. You are definitely on the right track. You light up whenever you talk about your classes. I deal with vulnerability too, as i prefer to have my shit together than to admit that I may need assistance. I'm working on it. We're working it. You're gonna be fine. You're gonna do great. I admire your drive. One day we'll both look back and laugh. At the poor people.”

January 13th 2007
Here is a letter that I wrote to a very special photography teacher that I had for a workshop in 2001 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Hey Ms. Wendy!

I was doing a “big clean” over the weekend and found my Santa Fe folder with your email. I have to tell ya woman… you made such a significant impact in my life and think about that experience in “Beginner’s Photography” quite a bit. In fact, I have made some career choices that have inspired me to draw from what I learned from you. As you might recall, I have been involved with sketch comedy and improv comedy for about 10 years here in New York City. During most of that time I had "real" jobs to supplement myself so I could do these creative endeavors. I had a wake up call(that sounds so gentle because it felt more like a rude awakening that I need to truly declare myself an artist and pursue it full time.)

I have continued to perform professionally but what I am so excited to share with you is that I’ve been teaching comedy improv and have discovered that I actually have a gift for this and get a joy from the experience that is totally separate from performing. I started off just renting theater space in Manhattan and teaching beginner’s classes. Most of my students were in the corporate world (not starving artists) and what I realized was substantial. I had the opportunity to help people tap back into their creativity. The results were phenomenal.They looked brighter..their physicality changed..their spirit shined(very similar to your students as well.) I really saw how the art and rules of comedy improv(or all art) is basically a spiritual tool that can truly help people see their potential. I started marketing my workshops to places that “promote” the idea of wellness and the response has been great. I have done workshops at The New Age Health Spa and The Deepak Chopra Center. Next month, I am going to a fancy destination spa called Cal-A-Vie in San Diego(and bringing mom for her 60th birthday!) I also started marketing my services to the corporate world as these people need to lighten up. I'm focusing on where I want to go.

I’ve really enjoyed working for myself and have basically begun a small business that I truly believe in. I’m taking a big risk..but I know this is my “purpose” and don’t have another choice. Thank you for the inspiration.


I think it's appropriate to end this entry with the following:

Be careful what you think,
What you think leads to your words,
Your words lead to your action,
Your action leads to your habits,
Your habits lead to your destiny
-Author unknown

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 107 - Hava Nagila Have a Tequila

November 23rd, 2009

Last night was the Facebook wedding of the year. The formal union of Pam and Dan. No one will update Facebook statuses more than these two. In fact, the guests would not have been surprised to observe them do some updating while the Rabbi was doing his thang: “Pam and Dan ARE getting married. The Rabbi is singing or moaning. In Hebrew. I don’t have time to listen. Statuses don’t update themselves.” Surly I jest..kind of... but the wedding was exceptional because these two people belong together.

I did have a few mishaps prior and during the event. I stubbed my toe(badly) in my open toed high heels(dare I say, they really do a hot little number for the legs and ass) and was trying to trouble shoot the bloody issue on the subway. Luckily the blood matched my toe polish, I was wearing a black dress and a “tough looking thug” on the subway sensed my distress and gave me a paper towel to manage the problem. Although I’m certain the cloth was germ was germ ridden with love. I appreciated the sentiment.

Dan, the groom, is a phenomenal artist. I was under the impression and telling everyone within earshot that he made the chuppah. For you non Jews, that’s the canopy traditionally used in Jewish weddings that consists of a cloth stretched or supported over four poles. It symbolizes the home the couple will build together. Well, it seems as if I was only a rumor spreader because it came to my attention that Dan did not make the chuppah. But he could have. So there. At least I didn’t spread unjustified gossip like Dan was doing it with a bridesmaid in the coat room 15 minutes before the wedding. I know he did not for two reasons. Dan is deeply in love with Pam. Also, there were no bridesmaids.

There really is little certainty in life. Yet there is an exception to this rule when it comes to Jewish weddings. The following holds true at every ceremony celebrating the marriage of a couple of chosen people.

-There will always be very audible(loud) whispers during the bride’s entrance. There is a collective harmonious gush making note of the bride's hotness. In last night’s case, Pam was stunning. But let’s face it, Jews in bulk have the same reaction even if the bride is challenged in the looks department.

-Lamb chops circulating during the cocktail hour are always a HOT commodity. I’ve seen a best man, a grandma and a wedding crasher leap over buffet tables and ice sculptures to claim these things. The glimmer in one’s carnivorous eye once they’re gnawing on the meat oozes pure bliss. On the flip side, the person who just missed the last lamb chop on the tray of happiness..just looks so sad. Defeated.

-There is something very primitive about how all men rush to be chair lifters when the band hints that the hora is about to begin. Testosterone is in full swing as well toned guys appropriately take their positions. I am man. I like to lift people in formal wear up in chairs. However, there are always the guys eager to participate who were undoubtedly the last ones to be picked for dodge ball. In middle school. And last week.

-It’s best to sneak out of these weddings otherwise you’ll be trapped in the Jewish Goodbye. One Jew telling another Jew of their departure results in linguistic overload. You’ll still be there as the band is wrapping up two hours later.

-There will always be family members from Long Island. Even if the wedding is in Bangladesh.

--One person will always be the MacGyver of wedding guests. They’ll be prepared with extra cash, pens, a flashlight and a first aid kit. In the case of my circle of friends, Lauren was my go to when I arrived with my bloody toe. She immediately reached in her purse and gave me a Hello Kitty band aid.

Jews. We do love Israel, family values and preventing toe catastrophes. Rest assured, we are not a perfect people. We are not skilled in anything handy and don’t ask us to help you move. We’re just not wired for that shit.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 106 - Stalk Talk

November 22nd, 2009

I officially have a neighborhood stalker. And it’s a woman. Several months ago I was sitting outside my local coffee shop and this woman sat next to me on the bench. Since I can talk to anyone and anything(I’ve had enlightening discussions with garden gnomes, Snapple bottles and exposed brick walls) I let her engage me in light neighborhood-cenric conversation. Seemed harmless. Well this thorough lady keeps showing up outside my apartment, aisles in bodegas and in a concerned pit in my stomach. It’s surpassed coincidence and mild annoyance. Then again, part of me feels it’s harmless. When is it safe to assume that a line is being crossed? On an exponentially vain level, I have to admit that if I did lean towards the female persuasion…she is totally not my type.

Looking back, I did take note of her (hairy)enlarged mole over her lip. That seems like such a signature stalker character trait.

Perhaps being stalked is the highest form of flattery. However, one can’t dismiss that it is concerning when a sick unhealthy person has an insane obsession with you. Maybe I’m hypersentive to this scenario because this is not my first follower. A few years ago, a guy who looked like Mr. Clean went through my old job, got my number and would call 20 times a day and hang up. Total stalker fopa in the world of caller ID. He stopped by my apartment building a few times and luckily my doormen(Marty, Nick and Moose) had my back. They were ex-Mafiosa who were bred with that protective gene. From wackers to doormen…life takes interesting turns.

The formal definition of stalker is: To follow or observe (a person) persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement.

For further clarification, I visited Urban Dictionary to see the word in use: Here’s what they gave me.

-A hot guy who gives you flowers is a romantic.

-An ugly guy who gives you flowers is a stalker.

As a writer, I do feel a bit obliged to be objective with today’s topic of stalk. It's unfair not to hear the defenses of some of these individuals with unhealthy obsessions. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything that came up in my Google search under “Stalkers are Just Misunderstood”. I did recall an old “Saturday Night Life” sketch entitled “Stalk Talk”. This piece falls under my “damn I wish I wrote that" umbrella. My only other option is to pay it forward. Enjoy.

Stalk Talk

Allison McGrath.....Julia Sweeney
Brian.....Christopher Walken
Danny.....Rob Schneider
Marty.....Adam Sandler
Ellen.....Jan Hooks

[ Music Open: "Every Breath You Take", The Police ]

Allison McGrath: Hi, and welcome to "Stalk Talk". I'm your host, Allison McGrath, and as usual we are joined by four stalkers, men and women who seem to have a difficult time letting go of their ex-lovers and consequently follow them around and scare them very much. Let's say hello to our guests. Our first stalker is Brian, who broke up with his girlfriend..

Brian: 5 months, 3 weeks and 3 days ago.

Allison McGrath: Oh. And what's the girl's name?

Brian: "Bitch."

Allison McGrath: Okay. Let's move to our second stalker, Marty.

Marty: Hello. I'm Marty.

Allison McGrath: Hi, Marty. Now, your stalk victim broke up with you in the fifth grade.

Marty: She didn't break up with me! We decided to see other people.

Allison McGrath: And, yet, you're still upset with her, aren't you, Marty?

Marty: [ laughing nervously ] Oh, no, I wouldn't.. Yes.

Allison McGrath: Um.. fine. Danny, you're a stalker, too?

Danny: Uh, yes. I've been stalking a certain someone for the past four-and-a-half years, non-stop around the clock.

Allison McGrath: Well.. [ laughing ]'re here now, so I guess you're not stalking her all the time!

Danny: Uh, no. I have a friend stalking her for me right now.

Allison McGrath: Great. That brings us to our final stalker. A female stalker. Say hello to Ellen.

Ellen: Hi. Can I just take a minute to talk to David Hasseloff for just a second? [ to the camera ] David, you can marry as many girls as you want, but I will always be true to you, my love. Damn you to Hell!

Allison McGrath: Okay. Now, uh.. Brian. Uh.. how did your relationship end?

Brian: With "Bitch"?

Allison McGrath: Uh.. yeah..

Brian: Say it!

Allison McGrath: Uh.. okay.. How did your relationship end with "Bitch"?

Brian: It was hard. Like any relationship, there were good days.. ups and downs.. good days, bad days.. She started to answer the phone again, I really thought we had a good chance to put things back together. Until that tennis instructor used his magic powers to get "Bitch" to fall in love with him.

Allison McGrath: Magic powers?

Brian: Spells, withcraft, what not. You see, in real life.. she loves me, but she's under the influence of this agent of the Devil.

Allison McGrath: Um.. alright.. Marty, why do you think your girl broke up with you?

Marty: Broke up with me, what? Did she tell you that?

Allison McGrath: Um.. no.

Marty: We're not broken up.. I mean, we're just taking a little time to sort things out.. [ laughs nervously ]

Allison McGrath: Well, seventeen years to sort things out?

Marty: [ laughs nervously ] Yes.

Brian: Do you suspect any involvement by the forces of evil?

Marty: [ laughs nervously ] Yes.

Allison McGrath: Uh.. Ellen, as you said before, you're in love with David Hasselhoff, of TV's "Knight Rider"..

Ellen: Yes, I love him. He's on "Baywatch" now, okay?

Marty: He's good. I like him, too.. a lot! [ Ellen gives him a dirty look ]

Allison McGrath: Well, Ellen.. David obviously hurt you bad. When did you guys go out?

Ellen: Well, you know.. David and I aren't a real "going-out" kind of couple.. Our idea of a perfect night is to order Chinese food and watch Cary Grant movies.. [ laughs ]

Allison McGrath: And what does David Hasselhoff's wife think of that?

Ellen: [ angry ] I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear you say that!

Allison McGrath: I'm sorry, but have you ever even actually met David Hasselhoff?

Ellen: [ teeth clenched ] "No! I have never met David Hasselhoff! But I have seen him, and I've watched him many times.. and he welcomes my watching like a lover should!

Brian: Do you have those infra-red goggles?

Ellen: No.

Brian: Me, neither. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't need these modern devices.. that help me see in the dark. I mean, stalking is simplicity in itself. It's a person.. and the person he's hunting.

Allison McGrath: [ feigning interest ] Interesting.

Brian: But.. that's me. Now, this guy.. [ acknowledges Marty ] ..I'll bet he's got the best goggles money can buy.

Marty: [ laughs nervously ] Yes.

Danny: Excuse me? So, I can wear those infra-red things, and hang on a tree branch and watch her sleeping in an upstairs bedroom at night?

Marty: [ nodding ] Yes!

Danny: [ elated ] Oh-ho, yeah!

Brian: You see? They're like that, young stalkers. They're kids. It's a generation thing, I guess.

Allison McGrath: Um.. stalkers, give me your best stalking story. Let's start with Ellen.

Ellen: Yeah. Okay.. it was the eighth episode of the 88-89 season of "Knight Rider".. David had just started to grow his hair too long, you know? And I thought it needed to be cut. So, I snuck onto his set and I hid under his trailer with a pair of scissors.. but he never showed up! He knew that I was there! He needed a haircut, but he left me lying there like a fool! I hate you, David Hasselhoff! I hate you!!

Allison McGrath: Boy, talk about crossed signals! [ laughs ]

Ellen: [ laughs back and shrieks ]

Allison McGrath: Okay, uh.. Brian, how about a stalker story?

Brian: Well.. "Bitch" had gone over to the tennis instructor's house after work.. no doubt as a result of his voodoo. Naturally, I was 50-75 yards behind her at all times.. "Bitch" had been there about two hours, during which I was hiding in the bushes reading a comic book. I got kind of bored, so I started making bird noises.. like this.. [ demonstrates some wild bird noises, as Marty laughs ] What's so funny?!

Marty: [ laughing ] It's just that I've done that!

Brian: Oh. Well, anyway.. I'm making these bird noises.. all of a sudden.. the warlock comes out with his tennis racket. I guess he was looking to beat the hell out of this crazy bird that's interrupting his demon seance with "Bitch". So, I jump out of the bushes, I run out in the street screaming, "I'm the bird! I'm the little bird! And the Bitch will burn in Hell!" I must have run fifteen blocks before the cops picked me up.

Allison McGrath: Oh, you were arrested for disorderly conduct?

Brian: Also, I was nude. There were a variety of charges.

Allison McGrath: Okay. Um.. Marty, how about a story?

Marty: [ laughing ] I liked his story!

Allison McGrath: Yeah. That's nice. I bet you've got a good one, though?

Marty: I liked his story! [ continues laughing ]

Allison McGrath: [ turning ] Uh.. Danny, you've been quiet. How about you?

Danny: You look like Becky when you smile.

Allison McGrath: Uh.. really?

Danny: Will you go out with me?

Allison McGrath: Well.. I have a boyfriend.

Danny: He'll never love you as much as I love you. He'll never love you as much as I love you!

Allison McGrath: [ really nervous ] Okay, that's all the time we have for "Stalk Talk"

Brian: You know.. I think about you when I masturbate. I'll bet that.. that disgusts you, doesn't it?

Allison McGrath: [ quickly ] Good night!

Brian: Typical.

Announcer: "Stalk Talk" has been brought to you by Night Vision, the first name in infra-red surveillance.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 105 - Megaduck

November 21st, 2009

I was informed that Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants and cavorts with an unmarried female duck.

Here were some of your feelings about the TMZ worthy breaking story.

His career over there is Finnish.
-David Forman Katz

I'm outraged. When I was in Finland, Donald did a great job in many peoples pants... he should have left his bill... that's right.. he was that good.
-Ken Miller

That is the same reason I am not allowed out of my apartment.
-Adam Holtz

He has no sex organs but real ducks wear no pants and do have sex organs and they are not banned. this is hypocrisy and discrimination. If Finland wants to avoid a class action suit all ducks will have to be depicted with pants
-Michael Codispoti

My friend Bjorn Joœrgöüsseēn is serving 5-7 in a Finnish prison for distributing duck porn out of his Citroën.
-Jon Reitzes

Well rest assured heated readers..this Duck ban is urban legend much to the relief of the Disney monopoly, other aquatic birds species in the family Anatidae and Donald’s parents, Quackmore and Orthensia McDuck.

Along with bans of notable movies, books and marriages, I feel obliged to mention a few more:

-US boycott of the 80s Olympic games

-People banning Star Jones

-Wikipedia bans Scientology From editing

-Republicans blacklisting the Dixie Chicks

-US bans Cuban cigars

-Pamela Anderson bans KFC chicken

-Hip hop bans Cristal champagne

-Jacqueline Kabat banned from South Carolina. Kind of.

My comedy group, Rash Behaviour, was invited to perform at the Charleston, S.C. Piccolo Spoleto Arts Festival in 2003. However, when a gay actor in the group performed an openly gay character(a vampire named Fagula) in front of 3,000 people, an audience member threatened to sue the festival, the festival demanded that my group apologize and a lawyer for the city of Charleston was called in. Knowing that our actions would determine how future performers were treated in Charleston, my group decided to stand up for ourselves, for the arts and for freedom of speech. New York filmmaker Eric Trenkamp caught the events on film and won an honorable mention in the New York Independent Film Festival for his documentary, "Confederate Behaviour".

So along with a lot of traffic violations in my teens, this was my other run in with the law. There was some irony revolving around the one naysayer which conjures up the phrase “doth protest too much”.

The irate crazy eyed gentleman looked like he would be cast as a mountain man in the remake of "Deliverance".Oh yeah, he was wearing a Megadeth T-shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the artistry around thrash metal, but I did internally note that this is the group with the debut album entitled "Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!"

I do feel that I possess a bit of intuition(for better or for worse) and my sense was he was a more redneck version of the homophobic father(brilliantly played by Chris Cooper) in "American Beauty" who ultimately reveals his own militant repressed homosexual tendencies. Perhaps my comedy group just triggered our protester's fear of himself. Amongst the chaos, could we have done our job to perfection because we put art out there that inspired someone to feel something? It wasn't what we intended and it wasn't what he expected. But it was real.

So Donald, I salute you for quacking through life and Nordic countries trouserless. Besides, at the end of the day, if any animated character should be banned..I vote for Smurfette. Let's s punt her out of the Smurf Village for being a whore.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 104 - The Mic That is Open

November 20th, 2009

I’m sitting in a sushi restaurant eating miso soup and drinking green tea before I go to an open mic. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. Open mics are glorified rehearsals for comics. Generally, they're held in coffee shops, bars, seedy comedy clubs and I can’t omit the Moroccan restaurant in midtown that lends their dank wood paneled basement that takes you back to the sophistication of a key party in your parent’s 1970’s basement. Usually the cast of characters ranges from a comic possessing intimidating brilliance to a hobo type that was told by one random stranger(in sympathy) that he was funny back in the mid 80’s. It’s like the gym. You don’t really want to go but are always glad that you did.

As you sit with your notes with other creative types at these open mics, there is a subtle sense of camaraderie as angst ridden artists collectivity think the unspoken, “Why the hell do we do this to ourselves?” For most of us, really pursuing some type of comedic career...we don’t have a choice. If you ask any successful comic how you can succeed in this often grueling craft, the answer is universal: Stage time. That is the only way to perfect the art form. It doesn’t matter if your writing rivals George Carlin. If you don’t hit these mics to will never be great at a comedy club or another appealing venue.

More benefits to open mics:

• It’s great networking with other comics. You find out about reputable shows around town that are looking for talent. Even sharing the stage with the questionable people might give you a tinge of confidence about your own ability.

• Comics are not known for laughing at the jokes of other comics. Just how we roll. If our material does muster up some audible joy from a fellow comedian, that’s a good sign. The truth is, trying out bits on a silent audience is great training for just rolling through your set even if a “real” audience finds your jokes below par.

• You can make friends who are on Facebook and ask them to read our blog.

• 10% of the population is unemployed. In most cases, there is a 100% unemployment rate at the mics. There’s a comfort to that.

• You can film yourself and brutally critique your material and body at a later time.

• Often there is beer within arms reach. Comedians like beer. A lot

I hope I didn't scare anyone off who wants to dive into the world of comedy. Come join me at the Moroccan restaurant mic and we can smoke their hookahs and then wonder why there is a sign on the bathroom door that says “No Smoking”.

If you take one thing away from the world of open mics..let it be this. It hurts. That means it’s working.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 103 - This is So Not Funny. Enjoy!

November 19th, 2009

I’m going to really let you in today. This entry is not filled with my attempts at witticisms. This is just where I’m at today and I committed honesty to you from day one. It’s good for me to tap into these places because comedy(well in my opinion, good comedy) ultimately comes down to truth.

People are like candy to me. This was alarmingly evident to me when I was in a complicated relationship living in isolation in a house in the woods 45 minutes outside of Boston. While I appreciated the beauty, significance and power of nature, there was only so much peace I could get from meditating on a leaf. To just feed off the energy of people with seemingly light energy, I would force myself to the mall. No, not to shop...just to refuel. Yes readers, it is an unfortunate scenario when you get more solace from observing people at a food court than the comfort and ease you get in your own home. Needless to say, that was a dark time. Fortunately, I saw that the particular situation could no longer be my life. I left and came back to New York.

I wish I could say that I just jumped back into my life with optimism and fervor. I most definitely suffered from exhausting self diagnosed post traumatic stress. I went inward and ruminated over the following:

How could I have hurt someone?

How did I end up in a situation that was so emotionally draining?

Why did I stay so long?

I teach comedy improv workshops...I teach people how to be present, let go and forgive others and themselves. Why can’t I do this for myself? Am I a fraud?

I was not at my best. Luckily, with the help of unbelievably supportive friends, family and something deep inside me that I didn’t even know existed, I got my life back.

It still is challenging to make sense of this time, but I have tools and a support system. Most importantly, I have developed much more compassion. I’ve always considered myself a kind person(yay me) but sometimes embodying our darker selves, although excruciatingly painful, is also unexpectedly enriching.

I have had many candid conversations with my uncle who has suffered through the loss of a spouse and child to cancer. He knows loss. He has felt pain at the core of his being. Yet, he is committed to making it through each day. As a doctor, he has always been more of a science man than a “spiritual” seeker. Now he is open to all that can carry him through. Embracing ambiguity seems to be a significant survival mechanism. Let go of control. What will be will be. The good and the bad. In fact, you can’t have one without the other. Embrace the darkness as it will be an ongoing component in our lives. Don't be ashamed of it. It’s not going away..but how we manage it can make it bearable. As I mentioned, I doubted if I should continue teaching the very topics that I was struggling with myself. My uncle shared something with me that I needed to hear. He argued just the opposite. He felt that I was the candidate to be teaching because I now had developed an even deeper empathy that would undoubtedly enhance my ability to be an effective teacher.

I took his words to heart and feel positive about classes that I’ve taught since the conversation. I have also realized that I’m the one who ends up learning invaluable lessons from my students. Another tool for my well being. Watching adults who have not “played” since they were children dive right into one of the scariest things(unscripted performance on stage...the metaphor of life) is beyond inspirational as vulnerability is front and center. So Real. So Raw. Just their commitment to powerfully throw themselves into the pain heals them, heals me and even heals the audience.

I will end with a visual. Imagine making the choice to find that centered place where you seek the strength to lift yourself up…you’re like a giant parachute lifting up other parachutes that are the people needing a shift in consciousness. It’s not about words. It’s about moments. It’s about energy.

Be the change you want to see

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 102 - Flat Stanley

November 18th, 2009

I received this letter along with a cut out figure of a little boy from my cousin's daughter who is in second grade in Charlotte, NC:

Dear Cousin Jacoline,

My class read a book called “Flat Stanley”. Stanley is a boy who gets flattened by a bulletin board falling on top of him. When he was flat his parents mailed him to see a friend in California. The friend sent him home. We are sending Flat Stanley to you to spend time with him and take him wherever you go. Please write me a letter and send Stanley back. In the letter, please tell me what you and Stanley did together, where you went and if you enjoyed his visit. If you have any pictures of flat Stanley’s visit, please send me copies. I hope you have a good time with Flat Stanley.



So far, I have just had a lovely visit with my flat guest, Stanley. This morning we shared a coffee as we read the New York Times, this afternoon we chatted with some New York City firefighters after they saved him from falling into a trash can and we even did some comedy together at an open mic. I have to say, for his first time on stage, Flat Stanley had unbelievable stage presence, rich writing and the ability to really feel the audience. A total natural. I’d still like to take him to see The Empire State Building, eat pizza at Lombardi’s and introduce him to the homeless man with a ”heart of gold” in the West Village. I look forward to sharing all these endeavors with Joanna when I send Flat Stanley back.

However, Flat Stanley and I have experienced some things that might be best not to share with a second grader. FS and I had an instant connection as soon as I opened the envelope to meet him. That might seem odd as I am a human being and he is a two dimensional piece of paper of a little red head boy with freckles. It wasn’t a romantic feeling as much as my strong desire to show Flat Stanley how the wild side lives in New York. Oh, how fun it is to play host. That’s the southerner in me.

Our debauchery started off light. We called several local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and if a woman would answer, we would say, “How big are you breasts?”. Hilarity ensued. Next, we bought an excess of toilet paper so we could roll the trees in Central Park. Sadly, the inclement weather prevented this so we just rolled, egged and spray painted a porta potty. Our last endeavor was ever so scandalous. We had no money on our metro cards so we ducked under the turnstile without paying the fare. Shhh..don’t tell.

So that was some of the crazy shiat that we did before I stuck him in an envelope and sent him back to little Joanna.

Oh yeah..almost forgot. We also hung out with investment bankers who accommodated Flat Stanley with hookers and blow.

Flat Stanley the Boy will be returning to North Carolina as Flat Stanly the Man.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 101 - Let My People Go

November 17th, 2009

Why do we hang on to things, people, places, happiness, good and bad memories, resentment, guilt and my clock radio that I’ve had since I was seven years old?

Why? Because some of the above are so joyous that they give our life meaning, peace and comfort. Don’t let them slip away. On the flip side, some of these cling-ons only serve as distractions and are quite simply, familiar. In fact, they have the capacity to freeze and shutdown our life-force. Be careful. We must let go. Seem too heavy? Well my blog is a safe place and I will share with you some hardcore Jax vulnerability. Hi. I’m Jacqueline..and I am making a commitment to let go. I’m not speaking of one particular scenario. As adults, we become the sum of our experiences and our very nature is composed of the good that can carry us through and the negative that blocks our contentment that life is meant to bring.

Therefore, it is my mission to let go of what is no longer serving me and polluting my mental space. I challenge you to do the same. Yeah, it might not be pretty and let’s face it, this dialogue is seldom uttered:

You: So Jax, what are ya gonna do today?

Me: Well you, I'm thinking of hitting a yoga class, prepare for my show later and then consciously face head on all the unpleasantries that I’ve been avoiding.

You: Sounds fun!

Me: Sure does! Better yet, there’s a good chance that people might get hurt. Also, I’m really looking forward to walking straight into some of my own pain!

You: Great Jax! I’ve always envied how you can organize your day.

Perhaps the only way to step up to the plate and face all that is holding us back is to shift our interpretation of fear itself. A few years ago, life was a little shaky and a very wise friend of mine explained the “cellophane analogy” to me. Sure, it might seem odd to use what we wrap leftovers in as a metaphor..but I find some poignancy in it. He explained that experiencing pain should be viewed positively because that very discomfort is the only catalyst for true growth. Imagine trying to push through a piece of cellophane. Initially, all we meet is resistance. If we don’t give up, we break the barrier, there is no more pressure..and we are free.

Although I am an idealist..I'm a realist as well. If we tend to judge people that we care about and ourselves for holding on, perhaps we need to understand that we’re all doing the best we can. Letting go is directly linked to forgiveness of others. Forgiveness of ourselves. Everyone deserves to let go on their own time. Besides if all was forgiven at record speed, we’d be living in a boring Utopian society where psychotherapists, self help gurus and reality television stars would be out of business.

So how do we troubleshoot pain that might consume us in the future? If I knew the answer, I'd be much richer than I am now. However, I feel that being honest with people and ourselves from the beginning(even if uncomfortable) is a good place to start.

As Larry David said in a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Hi, I'm Larry David, and I enjoy wearing women's underwear.”

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 100 - Happy Centennial To Me. To Us

November 16th, 2009

Today is the 100th day of my 365 blog entry challenge. Aww..thanks for the centennial
well wishes. Feel free to visit me later as I celebrate with Yahtzee, crudités and boxes of wine. I feel like I should honor this day with some lighthearted “bloopers” from previous posts. Remember when I misspelled Guido on “Day 8 -Douche Bag VS Jesus”? I’m just glad that we can laugh about it now. Pig in a blanket?

The number 100 seems to be a series of digits that provides us a base in
mathematics, "best of lists" and reasons to celebrate milestones from the 100th episode of "Seinfeld" to Grandpa's 100th birthday shindig.

A few other places where "100" shows up that will never serve you on trivia and wing night at your local dive bar:

-100 is the number of tiles in a standard Scrabble set.
-Wolves are capable of covering over 100 miles in a single day.
-100 Americans choke to death on ballpoint pens per year.

It's not 99. Or 101. It is numero 100 that we have chosen as our barometer. One hundred just feels safe. Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez wasn't critically acclaimed for his novel, "One Hundred and One Years of Solitude". If it is something as seemingly simple as a number that can give us some comfortable anchor in our complicated lives..I say embrace it. Take the # it… dine it…open your heart and mind to it…make a baby with it.

So it seems the number 100 cannot escape us. I even made a mental reference to the number when I saw a skinny man walking down the street next to two heavier women. As they walked side by side on West 14th Street, they were the human representation of the number that we speak of. I’m a visual learner.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 99 - Red Balloons, Philanthropy and Friendship

November 15th, 2009

On my 99th day of my 365 blog entry challenge, it only seems natural for us all to revisit the melodious sounds of "99 Luftballons”, German singer Nena’s Cold War-era protest song (and later re-recorded in English as "99 Red Balloons".)

Come on readers..let’s sing!

99 red balloons.
floating in the summer sky.
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from somewhere else.
The war machine springs to life.
Opens up one eager eye.
Focusing it on the sky.
Where 99 red balloons go by.

Now in German!

99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Hielt man für UFOs aus dem All
Darum schickte ein General
'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher
Alarm zu geben, wenn's so wär
Dabei war'n da am Horizont
Nur 99 Luftballons

Good hustle Y'all( and for you non southerners.. that means You-all”.) It’s always nice to connect with my readers through songs that reached #1 in West Germany in 1983. Ahhh…musique. We all love it. BUT no one appreciates a good musical composition of words and music than my high school friend Dana Lanier Schaffer. As teenagers, She loved to introduce us to the hottest new bands as we drove around the metropolis of Greensboro, North Carolina. Her passion was so consistent that she earned herself the nickname, Dana “just one more song” Lanier. As I mentioned yesterday, I joined her and some other high school friends for the VisionWalk--a 5K in Valhalla, NY to raise funds to support research for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative retinal disease that is currently affecting her peripheral and night vision and will eventually lead to blindness. She handles her diagnosis with such grace and humor that one can’t help but be envious and inspired by her leadership, determination and fervor as she fights the disease. In fact, I see greatness in all my old friends that I reconnected with yesterday.

Since the weather was on the inclement end, the 5K ultimately ended up being something like a 1/2 K. The event was organized to celebrate the money raised for research and Dana raised over $11,000. There were tents with “energy foods”, local middle school cheerleaders and, for the kids, volunteers making balloon animals(that ended up resembling mangled falic symbols and intestines.) The setting couldn’t have been more perfect to just catch up with my friends who knew me before puberty. The Change.

First off, it is fascinating that so many of my formative year comrades ended up in the northeast. That is not the norm when you graduate from public school in North Carolina. Everyone is kind of exceptional in their own way. were the cast of characters.

Dana and her Husband Sam live in New Haven Connecticut. She’s the Assistant Director at The Gildar Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition Yale University. Her Morehead Scholar (nicest guy in the world) husband is also at Yale getting his phD in history. I wish they’d aim higher

Laura Walters. Laura and I met when we were about four and used to hang out under tables at potluck dinners when our older brothers were cub scouts(boy scouts for younger people.) A few years later we reconnected in ballets class, then middle school and high school. We also went to the University of Georgia together. Spring Break our junior year we went on a cruise and Laura entered a dancing contest on the on board discothèque. Her partner didn’t possess “mad skillz” and dropped her on her head. This incident was captured on film and played over and over on the 24 hour cruise channel in everyone’s room. She has recovered from the trauma and went on to get her Masters at Oxford University and is currently getting her phD in political science. Laura is getting married in May and lives just a few blocks away from me in Brooklyn. It seems that I can't quit her.

Kerry Schwarz. Kerry and I met at Kiser middle School when we were eleven. She just finished traveling the world, living in Israel and recently moved to Boston to get her Master’s in Public Health. At Harvard. Oh yeah, she already is a pharmacist and toxicologist. Have no doubt about it, this woman will blind you with science.

I just wanted to give a casual shout out to some of my favorite ladies and celebrate their admirable uniqueness and awesomeness . There is more I can share but don’t want potential employers discovering some of our exploits in Google searches. In the meantime, I just want to say that I am blessed to have you all in my life and hope to meet up with you again in sixty years at some rockin’ assisted living. Laura will enter the geriatric dancing contest.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 98 - The Flying Trapeze

November 14th, 2009

I write to you from a train heading up to Valhalla, NY. Just that sentence makes me think that you are my sweetheart, my love..and I write to you from the war. I digress. One of my best high school friends, Dana Lanier Schaffer,was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) , a degenerative retinal disease that is currently affecting her peripheral and night vision and will eventually lead to blindness. I’m meeting her for the VisionWalk--a 5K to raise funds to support research for RP other degenerative retinal diseases. I will write more about this experience tomorrow..I just want you to know my whereabouts at every moment. I like to check in.

As I am being transported, I am reminded of a 6 month period in 2007/2008 where I gave up my apartment and basically lived on the road. I was seeking some type of life change and spent that time traveling around to workshops that I was teaching, living with my then boyfriend and reconnecting with friends and family all over the country.

While this was a unique a lead to some major exhaustion. Life on the road(love that phrase) results with the unavoidable reality that I utilized every type of transportation imaginable…planes, trains, automobiles, bikes, subways, my feet, horse and buggies, flying carpets and magical unicorns. I have to admit, with so much uncertainly, it was often during my transit that I felt most at peace. There was something very cathartic and real about just being in the moment as I bounced from on locale to the next. These moments ended up being rather rejuvenating and offered me the opportunities to gain some insight and clarity.

I really didn’t have any other option than to just “be” as I was being moved from one location to the next. I have included a short piece below called “The Flying Trapeze”. The author is unknown. I read it at the end of my Humor for Health Workshops because this art form is only effective when participants are committed to allowing themselves to still their minds and be in the only thing that’s real, the present.


Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging onto a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I'm hurtling across space in between bars.

Most of the time I'm hanging on for dear life to my trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I'm in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while as I'm merrily swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance and I see another bar swinging towards me. It's empty and I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of- hearts, I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well-known bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens, I hope – no I pray – that I won't have to grab the new trapeze bar. But in my knowing place I realize that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar and for sometime I must hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss -that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer an alternative. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of "the past is gone, the future is not yet here." It is called transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs.

I have noticed that in our culture this transition zone is looked upon as a nothing - a no-place between places. Surely the old trapeze bar was real and that new one coming towards me, I hope that's real, too. But the void in between? That's just a scary, confusing, disorienting "nowhere" that must be gotten through as fast and as unconsciously as possible. What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and that the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void where the real change, the real growth, occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored - even savored. Even with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth filled, most passionate, most expansive moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang out" in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar...any allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void --we just may learn how to fly. -Author Unknown

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 97 - Young and Impressionable

November 13th, 2009

Kids can get away with anything because the go to phrase for justifying rebellious behavior is “young and impressionable”. Adults who partake in the same frowned upon acts are generally coined as “old and bad decision making doers”. If you’re over the age of 25, be prepared for harsh judgment when you loiter with your coworkers on golf courses and cemeteries after midnight. Drinking Pabst.

Psychotherapists, self help gurus and our inner child all agree that there are gigantean benefits to acting like a kid again. Yet there seems to be a double standard when grown ups indulge in the same "think outside the box" endeavors. I say let’s never lose our right to act youngish and be easily influenced. By Satan.

I asked you all what “young and impressionable” endeavors that you pursued years ago. Let's not delude ourselves...they will undoubtedly be viewed as unkosher if we attempted the same mayhem today. So only moon people you really care about.

Peeing on people.
-Tony Naccarato

Flashing my bum....don't nobody need to see that!!!!!
-Debbie Ross Serrano

Vandalizing the local restricted golf course. And that's no joke. Of course I only did it for fun, not in protest
-Ted Kim

Running through the neighborhood, across front yards and over backyard fences, screaming, carrying guns. They were fake guns, but this was back when they could look like guns instead of day-glo ray guns.
-Nat Sternbergh

When I was around sleeping people, I would pry open their eyelids to see if they'd wake up. They didn't but I'd watch their eyes dart all over the place.
-G.M. Guity

In grade school,I would walk close behind my 5th grade nun and lift the cape thingy attached to her head covering and walk behind her for a while holding it. I did it a lot and I never got caught and not one kid in the class ever told. Sorry sister Margret Mary.
-Michael Codispoti

I used to jump over Big Wheels with my 3-Speed bike when I was 10. I would line them up like they were buses. Thought I was Evel Kneivel. Then one day, I crashed just like Evel Kneivel. Not fun... :)
-Dan Verkman

I tore the tags off all my pillows and mattress. I also murdered a man in upstate NY...
-Ruth Kabat Thomas

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 96 - I So Happy

November 12th, 2009

Are you suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.. SAD? Do you experience lower energy levels, weight gain, fatigue, interrupted sleep and irritability each fall and winter?

While most of us despise the winter blues, there are some people that benefit(and dare I say prosper exponentially) this time of year. Those in the light therapy business must be ecstatic when that clock falls back an hour in October. Evidently this therapy box of sunshine gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Sound like a portable travel size tanning bed. Adorable. This faux sun therapy is thought to alter our circadian rhythms and suppress our body's natural release of melatonin. Biochemical changes will magically alter in our brain and reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

Bar owners also must yearn for an evening that starts a few hours after lunch. Professional and amateur drinkers both received the memo that intoxicating during daylight hours is frowned upon. If you have an affinity for one of the only legal drugs,you get to indulge in your addiction earlier than you became “that drunk in the beret“ at that Bastille Day party last July.

A few years ago, I reviewed some New York City bars in "Shecky’s Nightlife Guide". I am recommending a few that you might want to visit at 4:00 PM. On a Tuesday.

Temple Bar
332 Lafayette St.
(Bleecker & Houston Sts.)

Temple bar provides the perfect atmosphere and décor for the chic business casual crowd wanting to impress a highly anticipated first date or those in the midst of a scandalous clandestine affair. The long stained cherry oak bar, inviting cocktail lounge, dimmed back lighting and velvet drapes set this romantic stage at this lover’s den. With jazz favorites crooning in the back background, an extensive list of alarmingly strong specialty beverages and seventy different types of vodkas can be savored at this Noho establishment. If you want to nibble on more than your date’s neck, try the tasty salt and pepper Calamari. You can always rely on the complimentary bowls of popcorn. if the high end cocktails have emptied your wallet.

Old Town Bar
45 E. 18th St.
(Broadway & Park Ave. So.)

Authentic New York at it’s best. For over 110 years, Old Town Bar and Restaurant has welcomed generations of good ‘ol beer guzzling Manhattanites. Grandiose are the 16 foot ornate tin ceilings, 55 foot long mahogany/marble bar, and the giant urinals “fresh” from 1910. Pretentious attitude remains refreshingly minimal at this former Speak Easy. Grab an ale and juicy Bison burger while you enjoy tunes ranging from Jewel’s rendition of “Wild Horses” to the soulful melodies of Louis Armstrong. The walls are pasted with beer signs, political paraphernalia and photos of stars who have filmed here…Liam Nesson, Frank McCourt and Chloe Sevigny. Not only does this bar lure celebrities, it IS a celebrity. The neon sign was featured on Letterman’s Intro when he was on NBC. That’s good history!

375 3rd Ave.
(26th & 27th Sts.)

Tread through the sawdust and peanut shells, grab a bottle of Dixie beer and hoedown to the tunes of this lively southern roadhouse. Great honky tonk bands with names like “Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash” play in a horse trailer imported from Vermont and are enjoyed by a melting pot including Good’ Ol boys, punk rockers, upper east side gentry and German tourists. Don’t let the giant stuffed Bison above the bar prevent you from ordering some top notch barbecued Tex Mex grub. According to the menu, “Rodeo bar employees are the baddest mofos walking this stupid planet”. The only thing missing from this Lone Star barn on Third Avenue is a mechanical bull. Can we at least sit on the stuffed Bison?

To answer that question. Yes. Yes we can.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 95 - Shall I Read Your Mind?

November 11th, 2009

I am cognizant that my blog readers are keenly aware and profound thinkers. There is so much more that unites us than just our precious virtual connection. I feel you and you feel me in ways that are ethical and legal. Most of the time. Yes, I do take your questions in my “Ask Jax” series but I know some of you might be too shy, busy or ashamed to submit your inquiries.

As a thank you for following my 365 blog entry challenge, I’m going to utilize day 95 To ANSWER QUESTIONS that you’re THINKING about right now. I will let intuition be my guide and everyone wins. You get to keep your anonymity and chances are others might benefit from my replies to your thoughts.


1. Yes, if we go to a Japanese restaurant and order swan and have leftovers that are wrapped in a tin foil origami swan…that is indeed full circle.

2. No sir, I’m not interested in joining you for a really moving John Tesh concert.

3. Oh I can help you out with that.. the capitol of Idaho is Boise.

4. IF I AM WRITING IN “ALL CAPS”..then yes, it’s safe to assume that I am indeed yelling at you.

5. Yes, it would be fun to ride on a luggage carousel.

6. No sir, I’d rather not quiet the room down and soothe your soul with jazz sounds that combine island passion and urban emotion.

7. Yes m’am. Rosemary is a delightful herb. There is none more woody, medicinal, savory and aromatic than this perennial plant.

8. Sir, that is totally inappropriate..and I’m not that limber.

9. I’d love to join you for a ceremony involving Pagan chants and Wiccan rituals.

10. No, I don’t believe that we’re related… that would be kind of awkward..right?

11. I do think Geraldine Ferraro would look great with cornrows

12. You are correct. Cleavage can be an economical accessory during these fiscally challenging times.

13. Yes, a still life of a bidet with fake fruit would be quite stunning.

14. Yes sir, if things aren’t running smoothly in your are not accountable. Remember that deep down in your soul that it is Joe Jackson’s fault.

15. My mother’s maiden name? Addlestone. The 3 numbers on the back of my credit card? You’re a dick.

16. You want me to paint a portrait of you while you pensively stare at a tea kettle? My pleasure.

17. Yes, SARS does feel slighted that the Swine Flu is the new “in epidemic”.

18. Am I ready to rock? Actually, no. No I am not.

19. Yes, fake flowers are like the white zinfandel of the plant kingdom.

20. It is safe to assume that Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty have found each other at the Del Boca Vista retirement community in the sky.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 94 -Nothing Says I love You Like Declaring it on Facebook

November 10th, 2009

It’s always so nice to spend time with you on Facebook. Let's face it, this is where stars are born and legends are made. I wish Jesus had a Facebook page so(on Christmas) he could write the obligatory status update thanking everyone for the birthday wishes.

I debated even tapping into the Facebook universe for a blog topic as it is no secret that it will undoubtedly be overtaken by another self promoting ,voyeuristic and more desirable online networking community. I already fear that there will be a rumble between Facebook and Twitter. It would go down very similarly to the “Beat It” video choreography. Twitter’s most powerful weapon of all: simplicity. While Facebook ultimately wins with the help of the Fans of Bea Arthur.

I want Facebook to change their look again. I enjoyed the violent backlashes and mini revolutions when they dared to alter the familiar layout. I’d like to lead a revolt with the intention of reclaiming Newer Facebook back..that’s right...the one from the future. After winning that battle, I will time travel back in time to early 1900’s Tsarist Russia Facebook and join groups called “I Love my Babushka” and “Fan of Arranged Marriages”.

Let’s talk about this poking thing. It screams, “I am too lazy to see you in person, call you, write you a hand written letter, send you an email, text you or post a ‘I’m thinking of you but would prefer to put little to no effort into it’ post on your Facebook wall." Not only does it sound worthy of a sexual harassment lawsuit, poking is as pointless as searching for a job in this economy, a soundtrack for a silent film and Stedman.

Although I seem cynical about our favorite virtual addictive time waster, I guarantee that I will continue to Facebook the hell out of you. Truth be told, I’ve never felt this way about an online community before. Yes, I am a sensitive soul and you must know that I do feel bad about blowing off other online communities. Do Myspace and Friendster ever ask about me? Friendster is a mean drunk.. I learned that the hard way.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 93 - 1993

November 9th, 2009

Today is day 93 of my 365 day blog entry challenge. This number contains a hint of significance to me because I graduated high school in 1993. I attended Grimsley High ( you might recognized us as being ranked the 84th best public high school in the nation by Newsweek in 2008. ) It was at GHS that I learned how to put a condom on a banana in 9th grade health class. That’s right readers, #84 in the country! The school had quite a diverse population with an enrollment of around 1,600 students and a deep-rooted commitment to wanting to beat our rival, Page High School, in football. Generally, we lost. I blame it on our mascot, the Whirlie. Let’s face it, tornado-like symbols don’t really inspire excellence on the field. Yet Grimsley often kicked ass in the blood drives. So Page, you had football..but we beat you in blood.

it seems as if every year has a paella of significant events. Within a twelve month time frame, something interesting seems likely to occur. If not, rest assured that our givers of news will eagerly spice up some bland ”news” topic. What if we were given some type of teaser that would give us an idea of what to expect the following year?I was feeling nostalgic for the year 1993 and went deep inside my brain and imagined the pre-production for 1993 that took place in 1992.

In order to run with this concept, I needed to bring back Johnson and Phillips. I introduced them to you in “Day 16 - Bacon Fetish”, you grew to love them in“Day 43 - Take a Load Off Annie” and you felt a combination of complicated emotions for these guys by" Day 63 - You Hate Me. You Really Really Hate Me". As a reminder, they are reoccurring fictionalized (but real in my heart) ahead of their time marketing executives with a mutual interest in each other’s wives and unsubtle sexual innuendo for each other. Let’s just assume that the conceptualization of the events for the year 1993 took place in a Manhattan boardroom on December 31st, 1992. Out the window, there is a good view of the ball about to drop, joyously cold crowds and “Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve”.

Johnson: Phillips, I see big things for 1993! We’ll start off strong with the inauguration of our 42nd president of the united States, William Jefferson Clinton.

Phillips: Love it. Let’s throw in some scandal by showing a lot of pictures of Al and Tipper Gore French kissing.

Johnson: Excellent angle Phillips. Perhaps in a sequel we’ll add something I like to do with your wife. Think cigar related improper relations with an intern. But not yet. Too soon.

Phillips: We speak the same language my friend, my love. Let’s take a religious sect in Waco, Texas that will be lead by a man named David Koresh who believes himself to be its final prophet.

Johnson: Brilliant! He looks like Jesus so nothing bad can happen! Also, we should kill River Phoenix so his brother Joaquin can have a promising career.

Phillips: Yes. Joaquin. Love him. Nothing intense about that guy at all. Also, just for shits and giggles let’s throw in a 13-year-old Los Angeles boy that will accuse the King of Pop of fondling him.

Johnson: Damn you’re good Phillips. I want to fondle every hair on your back right now. But back to work!

Phillips: During 1993, you and I can unsuccessfully suppress our homoerotic tendencies by drinking an excess of a new alternative beer called Zima. It is sure to represent all that is straight and cool!

Johnson: Indeed. People will love this Zima as much as I love your wife’s pot roast and curling up with you when we took that well needed and deserved business trip to that cabin in Vermont. Now kiss me you fool...because 3-2-1...HAPPY NEW YEAR! Cigar?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 92 - The Past That Bites You In The Ass!

November 8th, 2009

The Past That Bites You In The Ass!

By Jacqueline Kabat and Kenny Wade Marshall

(Gay Christopher and fag hag Sheila and film crew inside fancy NY apartment)

Sheila: Hi, I’m Sheila Jaffee!

Christopher: And I’m Christopher Lemmel! And we’re here in New York City’s

Both: Upper-West Side!

Sheila: Victor and Bernadette Smith-Bouvier have finally reached that time in their lives where everything is coming together..

Christopher: Victor just made junior partner at Weinstein-Weinstein-Weinstein & Gentile!

Sheila: Bernadette has found success with her at home business, Denim for Doggies, her own exclusive line of acid wash jean shorts for miniature canine breeds.

Christopher: God, I wish I had four legs!

Sheila: Silly Christopher! Word on the Equinox Sauna Blog is that you might just have three!

Christopher: Sheila! But, back to Victor and Bernadette!

Sheila: Due to the miracle of fertility drugs

Both: And selective reduction

Christopher: They’ve just had twins!

Sheila: And we’re about to give them the surprise of a lifetime!

Christopher: We’ve bribed their doorman

Sheila: Into letting us into their Junior 4

Christopher: on West 78th Street!

(Sheila opens the refrigerator door of the Smith-Bouvier kitchen making herself at home.)

Sheila: They’re just about to return from their fun day at the Museum of Natural History.

Moo-Goo-Gia Pan Christopher?

Christopher: Thanks Sheila! Victor and Bernadette have no idea that we are even here!

Both: Shhhhhhhhh!

Sheila: I hear a key in the door!

Christopher: Hide!

(Victor and Bernadette Smith-Bouvier enter each holding a baby.Bernadette has red hair..just make a note of that)

Victor: What a lovely day sweetheart.

Bernadette: I know honey. We started out doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Victor: And that was certainly a nice acceptance letter that the twins got in the mail.

Bernadette: What a relief that they are going to the most exclusive private high school in Manhattan.

Victor: Yeah. Class of 2021.

(Sheila and Christopher burst out of hiding together.)

Both: And your days about to get better!

Victor: What the F---?

Bernadette: Who are you? How did you get into our apartment?

Sheila: I’m Sheila Jaffee!

Christopher: And I’m Christopher Lemmel!

(Bernadette and Victor begin to notice the cameras.)

Bernadette: Oh My God!

Victor: We’re on TV!

Both: Yes, you are!!

Bernadette: You’re here for the HGTV free nursery upgrade! Oh, I just knew it!

Victor: Even though they said our ridiculously high income made us ineligible.

Sheila: Oh, guess again, Victor and Bernadette Smith-Bouvier!

Christopher: Although your current lifestyle has turned into what you dreamed it would be,

Sheila: We’ve got a tape of what you were doing in 1983!

Bernadette: What? 1983?

Sheila: Bernie, that’s the years between 1982 and 1984.

Victor: I think you best be leavin' now. Hand over the Moo-Goo-Gia Pan!

Christopher: Sheila, the tape.

Sheila: Christopher, you bet!

Both: Cause it’s time for….

(Sound Cue IN)

Voice-Over: The Past That Bites You In The Ass! This week’s episode, Victor Smith-Bouvier.

(Sound Cue OUT)

Christopher & Sheila: Play.

Voice-Over: After having an all night fraternity pledge event at Cornell which involved making love to various barnyard animals, Victor Smith-Bouvier consequently failed his Early Irish American History midterm due to lack of sleep and a mild case of scurvy. Professor McGuiness had no sympathy for young Victor Smith-Bouvier’s plight. To avenge his failing grade, young Victor Smith-Bouvier drugged her with rubber cement and forced her against her will to visit every North Eastern miniature golf course on the eastern seaboard.

This was followed by even more sadistic behavior on the part of young Victor Smith-Bouvier as he subjected a defenseless McGuiness into bad food and horrific entertainment at Chucky Cheese’s chain restaurants in a three state radius. As a result, Professor Connie McGuiness, Ph.D., was found dead by an attendant underneath the skee-ball machine as he attempted to refill the ticket dispenser. At the scene authorities noticed that she had been gagged with a red Putt-Putt standard issue windmill golf ball. On her forehead was scribed Rouge Ripper in what appeared to be marinara sauce. The “I” was dotted with a pepperoni.

Bernadette: Huhhhhh….

Voice-Over: What resulted was a series of baffling murders committed against ginger women by Victor Smith-Bouvier, otherwise known as the Rouge Ripper.

(Christopher and Sheila stop the tape.)

Sheila: I smell Oscar!

Christopher: You can say that again Sheila!

Bernadette: But, wait. How can my husband be the Rouge Ripper? Look at me. (Points to red hair)

Christopher: Even the most seasoned

Sheila: Sadistic

Christopher: Serial killer knows….

Both: Sometimes the carpet doesn’t match the drapes!

Victor: They’re right on both accounts honey. I have been responsible for the murders of 42 red headed women in the 80’s, 90’s, and most recently, twenty-five minutes ago in the paleontology exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.

Bernadette: Well, that’s just great. What are the other mothers at Gymboree going to think?

Christopher: Well, Mrs. Smith-Bouvier, sorry to say….

Sheila: That’s not our problem and we’ve gotta be on our way!

Christopher: We’re about to tell an upper-eastside socialite that her real-estate tycoon husband

Sheila: has been laundering money from the American Cancer Society

Christopher: FUN! Well, it looks like the two of you have a lot to talk about. Right, Sheila?

Sheila: Silly Christopher! I know it’s hard to say goodbye to us. That’s why we’re going to leave you with

Christopher: Christopher Lemmel and Sheila Jaffee sing your favorite folklore hits from the French Indian War, Volume II.

Sheila: Very popular in Europe.

(Christopher and Sheila hand the Smith-Bouviers a copy of the CD. They Exit. They both re-enter)

Christopher: Oh, almost forgot something!

(Christopher takes the Moo-Goo-Gye Pan.)

(Awkward pause)

Bernadette: Well, that explains the missing Irish nanny incident. Thanks Victor. It’s so hard to find a decent fucking nanny I could just die!

Vincent: Would you do that for me?

(Lights slowly fade out.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 91 - Jax High School. Go Centaurs!

November 7th, 2009

If A = B and B=C then A=C. Impressed? Oh you want to one up me with breaking down the Pythagorean Theorem. Please. Who doesn’t know that in any right triangle, the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares whose sides are the two legs? I just touché’d myself. Oh…Don’t. Don’t you dare go Binomial Theorem on my ass with your (a + b)5 = a5 + 5a4b + 10a3b2 + 10a2b3 + 5ab4 + b5. Sigh.. I have grown tired of our math-off. Wanna memorize the periodic table? You remind me of something that rhymes with boron.

Readers, this is the first time that I have revisited math and science since wondering how these subjects would benefit me in my more mature years. My high school teachers should have just told me that I would revisit these subjects on day 91 of my 365 day blog entry challenge. There are so many classes that should have been part of our budding mind and body years. I certainly could have gained useful insight with classes like Managing Personal Finances, How Men and Women Are Different and How Hot Tubbing Can Result in Pregnancy.

I am opening my own school. Jax High School. It’s a magnet school and our mascot is the centaur. I have dedicated my time and effort to create a curriculum that will serve graduates in realistic real life matters.

Many of you felt that I was onto something and helped me with handy subject matters that teens are lacking in our current system. Let’s take a look at a sample class schedule at JHS:

1st Period - Drinking on a College Level/Drug Use on a Rock Star Level

2nd Period - How to Pick up Women That Will Always Be Out of Your League

3rd Period -Oral Sex Ed/G-spot Exploration

4th Period - How to Avoid Douche Bags and Assholes

5th Period - Cultivating Marijuana for Fun and Profit

6th Period - How to be a Bitch

7th Period - How to Mix the Appropriate Amount of Alcohol with Painkillers

8th Period - Understanding That a College Diploma is Just a Piece of Paper and You Will Probably Still End Up in a Shitty Low Paying Job While Corporate America Shits on Your Sorry Ass.