Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 176 - How to Make Love While Conscious

January 31st, 2010

I’m a little disappointed in myself for not reading more these days. I’ve been so consumed with writing that most of my reading involves proofreading my blog entries. Those of you who are following my 365 day blog entry challenge know that I’m not even so good at that. I think that the only way for me to get back into the perusing of the written word is to start my own book club. It shall be called Jax’s Cool & Exclusive Book Club. You are only welcome to join if you posses super cool and exclusive tendencies and a basic command of the English language. I commit to choose our reading assignments wisely. The following are real books (according to that we will be discussing over the course of the year at my apartment. I will be serving crudités, Hot Pockets and boxes of white zinfandel.

1. Down Home Gynocology

2. Scouts in Bondage

3. How to Reuse Old Graves

4. The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes

5. Knitting With Dog Hair

6. 101 Uses for an Old Farm Tractor

7. Across Europe by Kangaroo

8. 101 Super Uses for Tampon Applicators

9. What’s Your Poo Telling You

10. Super Fetus

11. How to Make Love While Conscious

12. Why Cats Paint

13. Razor Wire Pubic Hair

14. Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself

15. How to Be a Pope: What to Do and Where to Go Once You're in the Vatican

16. How to Read a Book

17. Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality

18.The History of Lesbian Hair

19. People Who Don’t know They’re Dead

20. If You Want Closure In Your Relationship Start With Your Legs

If you’re interested in joining my book club, please email my assistant Voldar at Voldar@Jax’ssupercool&

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 175 - Jax’s Clown Detainee Camp. For Clowns. Who Do Clown-like Things

January 30th, 2010

My friend Dan asked me why clowns always have tears.

My question to Dan. Would you be crying if you went through life wearing unusually large footwear, forced to sit in a cramped car with 30 of your peers and frequently accused of molesting children?

The reality: Unusually grotesquely costumed and made up jesters that elicit an amused response in a buffoon-like manner can be the catalyst for a paella of feelings. One’s response to a clown might depend on where it is seen. At the circus, a clown is (relatively) normal and may easily be interpreted as a successful amuser of sorts (but so are gay lion tamers.) The same clown holding a family hostage in their isolated country home is more likely to generate fear and distress rather than laughter and amusement.

Ronald McDonald, the seemingly lovable mascot for McDonald's, is referred to as a molester of the children in the majority of Urban Dictionary’s 34 definitions. Sample sentence: “Poor little Jimmy got 'Ronald' again.” The other definitions more gently refer to him as Adolph Hitler, a Marxist and the code name for a lewd sexual act. Luckily for Ronald, attention has been steered away from him ever since the introduction of the new Burger King mascot. I can think of very few things that would traumatize me more than waking up to the abnormally smiley plastic faced “Creepy King” handing me his Whopper while the “Have it Your Way” jingle is playing amongst the chirping birds. You know what Burger King marketing execs? I don’t want it that way. Besides, who wants to eat a hamburger consisting of a flame grilled quarter-pound beef patty, sesame seed bun, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and sliced onion first thing in the morning. Come on.

So Dan, yes clowns might be crying but you know who else might be shedding tears? We are. Clowns have been terrorizing us since the beginning of time(and "Poltergeist") and they can’t make up for it by twisting balloons into puppies, swords and intestines.

Followers of my blog know that I have a dream of starting a line of Baby Doo-rags. For babies. In baby gangs. I also have another heartfelt agenda that I am voicing for the first time on day 175 of my 365 blog day entry challenge. Jax’s Clown Detainee Camp. For clowns. Who do clown-like things. With the help of Jack Bauer and being forced to spend 18 hours a day miming for blind people, clowns will be stripped of all that has caused gut wrenching fear and dread over the human race for years.

The jig is up Bozo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 174 - Jax and Nerves. I Smell Buddy Cop. And Oscar.

January 29th, 2010

We call it the Addlestone Stomach. This is the informal medical term and condition (with my mom’s maiden name) that my family uses to describe a nauseating condition that creeps in during life's highs and lows. What causes it? Nerves. Nerves can be a dick.

At his Bar Mitzvah, my uncle walked off the bema, threw up and then came back and read from the Torah.

The blessing and the curse of being me is that I undoubtedly inherited this “I feel so hard” gene. I think that all of us are wired with this quality. Those who claim that they are not, are brilliant at the art of repressing the authenticity of feeling life's ups and downs."In da gut, Bob."

I don’t try to fight it anymore as I'm just not that good at it. I know that it will constantly be my shadow. But I'm trying not to look at it as my nemesis. I see it as a buddy cop movie where I play the straight laced cop forced to work with that “pesky” and seemingly out of touch partner, Nerves. Oh Nerves. You’re incorrigible. Once we get over our differences and conflicting personalities, our unlikely partnership creates the opportunity to learn so very much from each other, zany comedic hijinx ensue and I have my premise for a blockbuster movie called “Jax and Nerves.” The tagline – Jax and Nerves fight uneasiness, fear and a Mexican drug lord who speaks breathy English with a Spanish accent. Look for it in summer 2010.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 173 - Darkness Loves a Good Latté

January 28, 2010

Last night was a Marigrace night. I am so in awe of this heightened woman that I was inspired to devote a blog to her in the infancy stage of my 365 day blog challenge. I wrote an entry entitled “Marigrace” on Day 4. Here it is:

Day 4- Marigrace - August 12th, 2009

Last night was one of those nights where I was reminded that it all makes sense. All of it. I was in the presence of the divinely beautiful and otherworldly wise Marigrace. This might conjure up the image of this Jew stumbling into a Catholic church with rosary beads (or Mardi Gras beads) and sobbing at the altar like Nancy Kerrigan, “Why me? Why me?!” If I ever partake in an act of such lame overdramatic proportions..just shoot me. It would be for the best. Really.

I spent the evening with one of those people that is so beyond special and really validates that something much bigger is going on. I introduce to you: Marigrace Dineen. We lived in the same building on West 13th for eight years and met in our elevator as the towers were burning on September 11th. My inner photojournalist was heading out with the camera and she was going to get liquored up. God bless her. Mari "gets it." She’s a few years older than me, has kick ass untamed red hair and is a rocker in every sense of the word. She was part of the real East Village transformation in the 80’s when authentic “Rent” hard core artistry was in full swing. I hear stories about CBGB’s, loosing friends to AIDS, telling Bette Miller “At least I’m a real fuckin’ redhead” and her many many lovers.”. Disclaimer: there is nothing whorish about Ms Dineen. Her life is devoted to experiencing the feast of the senses and transmuting it to this heartfelt brutally beautiful singing voice that puts Janis Joplin to shame.

In my 20’s, I’d show up at her door just hoping to feed off her energy. Her apartment is a safe haven with the fluffiest pillows, phenomenal feng shui and(I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise) award winning weed. It’s Fantasy Marigrace Camp. Sometimes I’d come to her in good spirits. Sometimes in tears. Either way, I’d I always leave a little more confident that I am on the right path. She’s committed to being my constant cheerleader and has always FELT success for me. Not in the blow smoke up my ass kind of way. I break it down to, “Well if Marigrace said must be true.”

Plus, she always calls me a “skinny bitch.” What’s not to love?


Yeah. So that’s Marigrace. She knows me. She gets me. She loves me. She sees me as a little sister and just wants me to always feel, as she says, “comfy cozy.” Last night, Mari (passionately) was encouraging me to go darker with my blog entries. She thinks I’m ready for it, my readers are open to it and the world needs it desperately now. She’s not suggesting that my themes should be angry or crypric…she just is gently begging me to tap into the deepest(often unexplored) depths.

This is scary for me. First of all, some family members really support this endeavor while others are concerned that this honest project puts me in an incredibly vulnerable position. I get that. But putting your soul on the line is the very nature of being an artist. A good one at least. Creative types love the feedback so this seems like the appropriate time to give a genuinely heartfelt thank you to my readers for positive feedback, encouragement and, in some cases, even thanking me. It fuels and validates my momentum.

I’m not going to promise for the rest of this project to go all Donnie Darko because I like writing about bacon fetishes, Jesus and Moses having lunch at T.G.I. Friday's and my interest in starting a baby doo-rag business. For babies. In baby gangs. Even with these “lighter” entries, I do hope that I am saying (as they say in the comedy biz) something.

So, how do I go darker? Here’s my agenda. I need to walk up to Darkness and shakes its hand. This will take Darkness by surprise because this rarely happens. I convince Darkness to join me for a latté. And a scone. Darkness turns out to be a pretty nice noun. Just misunderstood. We’ll end up back at my apartment where I conduct a Barbara Walters-like interview. With my Flip Video. In fuzzy lighting. With a stage prop plant hitting my face. I make Darkness cry. I’m that good. I was a Journalism major.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 172 - Driven to Karaoke

January 27th, 2010

I almost got hit by a “student driver” this morning. It’s been so many years since “puberty Jax” sat in that death seat. The driver’s ed days just came flowing back to me as if I was 15 years old and given the not so wise opportunity to operate heavy machinery. Our instructor was an attractive middle aged African American man who was a heavy cologne wearing, cigarette smoking and mustache sporting guy. This man probably saved my life, his life and the lives of everyone else on the streets of Greensboro, North Carolina with his “super break” that resided on the floor by the passenger seat. Carleton Herban was his name. Good man.

One of the most vivid memories from Driving University were the videos. “Death on the Highway” or some variation of that title seems to be the name of most of these films. However, one vignette from these videos seems to have never escaped my memory. The theme was, “Driving while too happy can be just as dangerous as driving while angry and upset.” The footage involved a woman driving while thinking, “I wish I were a model.” Then there is a fuzzy lit dream sequence that involved her in a very 70’s photo shoot. This went on for several minutes. Actually, for most of the video. I learned little to nothing about driving but absorbed key insight as to what it would take to be a model for JC Penney.

I’d been wanting to do a little more on camera work these days. However, the competition for reputable film and television is fierce. Yes, I just used the word fierce. I needed to aim lower with exactly what type of film work I should be pursuing. Like an actress in a drivers ed video. For example. But the reality is that there is no urgency in making more of these instructional films as the ones from the 70’s still seem to be in demand. Plus, they have a mystique. I did audition for a late night 1-900 chat line girl. I was turned down for having a college degree. My only other option: Karaoke Video Asian Girl.

I know it might seem odd that I am researching this as a career option as I am not Asian. But sometimes I feel Asian. For no apparent reason. In my effort to gain knowledge of how to break into this industry, I went undercover as a craft services cart operator to gain insight on what it takes to segue from the stage to being an Asian Girl. In a karaoke video. Walking on the beach. Wistfully.

I was very excited because the video for my research work was to be set on an exotic beach in Okinawa, Japan. It was a little disappointing to learn that it was actually being filmed on the Jersey Shore. I did learn quite a bit as I observed the video production in process. The song was "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. Good choice. There’s nothing like a petite Asian woman pensively (with a touch of melancholy) walking along the shoreline that will inspire drunk American singer wannabees to sing an 80’s one hit wonder. Since this was a low budget production, they had a crew member blow the woman’s hair since they couldn’t afford a fan. The biggest surprise was that the bouncy red ball in these karaoke videos was actually an actor in a giant red fat suit. Interesting note, he was a dickish diva on the set. He got ticked off at the director of photography for interrupting a very intense scene, ripped into the guy, at one point telling him he was going to "kick his f--king ass" and threatening to quit the set unless the man was fired. "I want you off the set! You prick! No, don't just be sorry! Think for one f--king second! What the f--k are you doing? Are you professional or not?" Next thing I know, the red ball angrily bounced off the set and knocked over my craft services cart. We lost a lot of good sushi that day.

The video couldn’t go on without the red bouncy ball. The Gods must have been looking down on me because the director grabbed my arm, said something in Japanese and the next thing I knew was that I was wearing a red bouncy ball fat suit. My film career had begun. I know this wasn’t where I intended my path to go but I can't complain. The pay is good, I'm in great shape from constant bouncing and I've gotten more work. I dot the lower case “I” on Sesame Street. The most amazing development is that I've found love. With a blue bouncy ball. We just had a bouncy baby ball. He’s purple.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 171 - Hipster Be Gone. Jax’s 12-Step Program

January 26th, 2010

Do you claim to be an independent thinker, part of a counter-culture, politically progressive and that you have an appreciation for indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter? The harsh reality is…you are the worst offender of conforming to conformity. You are a hipster. Your lame lifestyle choice affects men and women of all races and in all geographic regions and has a large impact on people with true uniqueness.

My 365 blog entry challenge is all about moving forward and releasing what no longer serves us. The truth is, this is no easy task. It’s OK to ask for help. You’re not alone. I want to help you. I want to help you hard.

I will be holding bi-weekly Hipster Anonymous (HA) meetings in a dank church basement with a mold problem. Based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program, we will practice the steps to rid you of your debilitating hipster-like qualities that are destroying your life. And the lives of people that love you.

HA – Hipsters Anonymous – 12 Step program. Here’s an overview:

The 12 Steps

-Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our hipsterness - that our lives had become unmanageable

Ask yourself the following:

Are you dancing with your Ipod at inappropriate times…like at funerals, silent independent German films or when you’re thinking about taking a shower.. but decide against it?

Are lice even scared to live and breed in your unwashed hair?

Have your flamboyant metro sexual tendencies gotten so extreme that even other
hipsters have had to have an intervention about your gayness?

If you answered yes to any of these…your life has become unmanageable.

-Step 2 - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Remember that you can choose a Higher Power that suits your comfort level and belief system. On Day 116 – Higher Power Auditions, I was in the process of auditioning some Higher Powers for myself in the back of my local coffee shop. This is who tried out:

-Morgan Freeman
-Thin Elvis
-George Burns
-Charlton Heston as Moses( not gun wielding NRA Heston)
-Claire Huxtable
-A Native American with a tear in his eye
-Shel Silverstein
-Black Jesus
-A Solid Gold dancer
-Clifford the Big Red Dog
-Quaker Oats guy
-Any of the Village People
-The random old man who patted me on the back as I was typing. He said, “I’ve seen you here. You’re a hard worker.”

This was an open audition and anyone or thing could have tried out. The only applications that I wasn’t accepting:

-Kanye west
-James Cameron saying that he is king of the world.

Anyone who declares himself to be a Higher not a Higher Power. Watch your back.
In any case, Black Jesus won the part. I will be referring to him as my Higher Power in the following steps.

-Step 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Black Jesus as we understood Black Jesus

Are you strong enough to say, “Black Jesus, for you and to restore my health, I will trade rolled cigarettes for Marlboro Reds. But menthol. Never.”

-Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Be strong enough to admit the following:

-Why am I pretending to be a self righteous vegan? I spend so much time and energy condescending meat eaters. In reality, I think what I’m really trying to ask them is, “Can I have a bite of your delicious filet mignon?”

-Step 5 - Admitted to Black Jesus, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs

Some examples:

-It was wrong when I dabbled in poetry. Not only did I hurt people with my pathetic prose, I hurt myself.

-It was wrong when I gave someone the time..when my 1983 Timex watch doesn’t even work

-My ironic trucker hat wasn’t ironic at all. It was a cry for help

-Step 6 – We’re entirely ready to have Black Jesus remove all these defects of character

Only you and Black Jesus know that you’re living the illusion that you don’t care about anything. But the reality is that you care way too much.

-Step 7 - Humbly asked Black Jesus to remove our shortcomings

Ask Black Jesus to forgive you for pretending to like the following bands: Matador, DFA, Definitive Jux, Dischord, Warp, Thrill Jockey, Smells Like Records and Drag City. You never really liked their music and would have been much happier listening to some classic rock. Black Jesus loves the Steve Miller Band.

-Step 8 - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all

Some examples:

-You mocked and dehumanized all employees at the Gap, Starbucks and The Pottery Barn

-Apologize to your parents for not cashing their checks in a timely manner.

-Apologize to executives at deodorants companies for replacing their product with patrouille.

-Step 9 - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

You must personally make direct amends with all remaining hippies from the 60’s. These were the real breed who inherited the countercultural values of the Beat Generation, created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as marijuana and LSD to explore alternative states of consciousness. You, as a hipster, are a failed attempt at recreating this.

-Step 10 - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

For example, if you go off the wagon and bought yourself a tight high school sports t-shirt, return it immediately. For a wallet perhaps. No, not a duct taped wallet.

-Step 11 - Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with Black Jesus as we understood Black Jesus, praying only for knowledge of Black Jesus’ will for us and the power to carry that out.

Here is a simple prayer/affirmation that (when said repeatedly) can keep you on track:

Oh Black Jesus:
“With you by my side, I know that PBR, pierced eyebrows and nonprescription 1966 glasses are not for me
I am ready to shower, eat dairy and use my liberal arts degree.”

-Step 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other hipsters, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

With the help of Jax’s 12 Step program and Black Jesus, you are ready to carry out the message that hipsters are just the embodiment of apathy, irony and hypocrisy.”

There is help.

It works if you work it so work it its worth it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 170 - Live Together, Die Alone

January 25th, 2010
(The following takes place inside a woman's purse. Lipstick approaches Wallet)

Lipstick – Hey Wallet. You look great!

Wallet – Thanks. I’ve lost a lot of weight since our Master got laid off and has no cash.

Lipstick – Well, lack of those pesky $20 bills is really working for you.

Wallet – Thanks. Are things going well for you? I haven’t seen you around the purse in a while.

Lipstick – I’ve been laying low the past few weeks after the most unfortunate run in with Pepper Spray. When Master stuck her hand in frantically looking for Pen she hit Pepper Spray by accident. He released some horrible chemical compound on me.

Wallet – That’s traumatic!

Lipstick – It really was...but I’m the lucky one. Movie Stub got sprayed too. He’s dead now.

Wallet – No!

Lipstick – It’s sad but Movie Stub was from some recent Nicolas Cage movie. Nobody’s really gonna miss him.

Wallet – True

(Blackberry falls into the purse and almost lands on Lipstick.)

Wallet – Lipstick! Watch out!

Blackberry – Hey guys. Sorry about that…sometimes Master drops me so hard..because she loves me so hard.

Lipstick – Are you OK? You get pulled out of here so much.

Blackberry –I'm fine. I am rather addictive. Right? Plus I’m strong because of my silicone rubber gel skin cover.

Wallet – Don’t get cocky Blackberry. It’s not flattering. Besides, you don’t have a touch screen so I’m sure you’ll be upgraded soon...only to be put to rest with the Palm Pilots.

Blackberry – Wallet, watch it! Seriously. I let you check your Facebook on me and I have no issue with taking that privilege away.

Lipstick – Guys..guys! Please. We have to learn how to live together…or we’re going to die alone.

Wallet – That sounds familiar.

Lipstick – Master was watching “Lost” the other night and I heard that line.

Blackberry - Nice. The truth is, I wouldn’t mind getting out of here because things have gotten so unpleasant after my affair with Tampon.

Wallet – Really? I always find her to be so reliable. On heavy and light days.

Lipstick – Me too. She’s Super. Super Plus.

Blackberry – Well, you haven’t dated her. She’s no saint. I arrived back to the purse sooner than expected the other night and caught her with her string wrapped around The Keys. Not just one. All of them.

Lipstick – Really?? I just assumed The Keys were gay because they do everything together.

Wallet – I know. They never leave each other’s side.

(Master’s hand reaches into the purse and chaos ensues as all of them try to avoid being picked up…the hand eventually gets hold of Lipstick as Blackberry and Wallet desperately try to hold on to her and fail.)

Lipstick, Wallet and Blackberry – Nooooooo!

(Lipstick, Wallet and Blackberry are all screaming and crying as Lipstick gets pulled out of the purse. Lipstick enters the light and Wallet and Blackberry are left stunned in the darkness when the zipper closes. There is a brief period of silence)

Wallet– She’s so young and fragile. She can’t handle the outside world like us. She won’t be back. She’ll end up used and abused like the rest of the lipsticks that have passed through here.

(Condom enters)

Condom – What’s shakin’ pursemates?

Blackberry – Lipstick just crossed over to the other side.

Wallet– We think it might be for good this time.

Condom -Dammmnnnn! I was so close to tapping that ass.

(Enraged..Blackberry and Wallet hold down Condom)

Blackberry – Watch it Condom! Master has recently been into stealing silverware and you don’t want me to have to call Knife and Fork over here.

Wallet – They'll destroy you. Even your spermicidal lubricant won’t protect you. They’re tough.

Condom – Ok..Ok…sorry. I’m just a little pent up from never getting used.

(The zipper opens and Lipstick falls back in.)

Wallet – Lipstick! We thought we lost you forever!

(They all happily embrace)

Lipstick – It was rough out there guys. I was spared because Master got distracted when a douche at the bar was trying to pick her up. We’re going to have a special guest soon. It’s Business Card.

Wallet – What’s Business Card's name?

Lipstick – You’ll love this – It’s Douchey McDoucherson.

Blackberry – No way! We’re going to have fun with him!

(Purse opens and Douchey McDoucherson Business Card falls in. Condom goes up to introduce himself)

Condom – Hi, I’m Condom.

Douchey McDoucherson Business Card – I’m sorry. I’m not familiar with your work.

Blackberry – (Calling out) Knife! Fork! You’re needed…we have a situation.

The End

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 169 - I’m Not Very Smart..and Hell..I’m Not Going to Pretend Like I am....

January 24th, 2010

I asked you all to throw out a word, expression, name, object, question... and promised to intertwine them into today’s blog entry. As usual, you stepped up to the plate and I got many responses. Here’s what you gave me:

-Fraggle rock
-New World Order
-Fist pumping
-Meeting a random, half-drunk guy at the airport bar, going to snowboard
-Shirley Partridge
-Stiletto heel omelette
-Final Countdown Johnson
-Spring Break 1992
-Gobbledygook bacon
-Hyperbolicsyllabic Sesquedalymystic
-Have you ever noticed..?

Below is a vignette, if you will, that includes all of your words(IN ALL CAPS) in the order that you gave them to me:

I went to the doctor because I had a horrible infection on my favorite finger. The middle one. This was quite debilitating because I use it all the time.

He told me that EXCELSIOR was embedded deep into my skin. I’m not very smart..and hell..I’m not going to pretend like I am. I had to ask him not to use fancy doctor terms. He told me that it was a piece of a fine wood shaving. That made sense. My injury must have been caused from the firewood from the bonfire I had made to sacrifice some Fraggles from FRAGGLE ROCK. It was a lovely Pagan type ritual dinner party at my apartment. I served crudités.

A proselytizer on the subway told me that a NEW WORLD ORDER was being orchestrated by Fraggles. It was up to me to prevent the hostile takeover. I didn’t need a lot of persuasion to off some Fraggles as I always felt they were just lesser than Muppets. A real BLIP in Jim Henson’s career.

After Fraggle Rock was canceled in 1987, the species moved to SCARESDALE, where they desired a simpler life among upper middle class white people. Initially coming in peace, the Fraggles would approach the human race with a celebratory gesture in which a closed fist is raised before the torso and subsequently drawn down to the body in a vigorous and swift motion. In some circles, this is referred to as a FIST PUMP. The chosen people referred to their new neighbors as “The felt people”. After a short time, the Fraggles got bored with living in the burbs and started the Facebook group: Fan of New World Order.

After my run in with the subway preacher, I went to bed with a conundrum. How was I going to lure the Fraggles to my apartment? And kill them. That night, a Native American Indian came to me in my dreams. Over and over, with a tear in his eye and a feather in his hair, he kept repeating the following, "MEETING A RANDOM, HALF DRUNK GUY AT THE AIRPORT BAR, GOING TO GO SNOWBOARD.” Then he told me not to litter.

Then a crucial piece of information came back to me. I once met a half drunk guy at an airport bar and he was on his way to go snowboarding. He was wearing an “I heart SHIRLEY PARTRIDGE” t-shirt. This struck me as odd because he came off much more like a Florence Henderson type of guy. We started talking and decided to share a STILETTO HEEL OMELETTE ( a popular airport staple food consisting of egg whites, spinach, goat cheese and diced remnants of Jimmy Choo pumps.) We proceeded to get drunk on a strong beverage that was a mix of Zima and malt liquor. It’s called the FINAL COUNTDOWN JOHNSON. The snowboarding loving Shirley Partridge crushing gentleman then proceeded to tell me that he was impressed with my BOOBAGE and hasn’t seen such impressive “ladies” since SPRING BREAK1992. This was my cue to leave. But as I was about to go, he was very adamant about giving me an index card with a recipe for GOBBLEDYGOOK BACON. I had a strong feeling that the Indian would want me to read it. Now. Luckily I held onto the recipe and found it between an unpaid Sprint bill and a jury duty summons that I ignored. Here’s what it said:

• 8 slices of bacon cooked as crisp as you like
• 4 cups hashbrown potatoes freshly shredded or frozen
• 0.5 onion finely chopped
• 1 t salt
• 0.5 t black pepper
• 0.25 t cayenne pepper
• 0.25 t garlic powder
• 2 tablespoon butter
• 4 eggs beaten
• 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 green onions chopped (optional)
• dollops of sour cream (optional)

****Also, the aroma is guaranteed to lure Fraggles to your apartment for a tasteful sacrificial Wiccan type celebratory dinner party.****

This was SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS! I had the key to ridding the world of Fraggles. The next night my apartment was full of my cult friendly friends and we threw the gobbledygook ingredients into a bonfire. We started dancing around the flames in a Lord of the Flies-like fashion while chanting HYPERBOLICSYLLABIC SESQUEDALYMYSTIC. Entranced, the Fraggles just started arriving and jumping into the bonfire. Unfortunately, felt and puppet fabric got into the air and a lot of us ended up getting FURBALLS. But that was a small price to pay. Our job was done. The world was Fraggle free. After the ceremony, we played Pictionary.

The next day on the F train, I told my subway preacher leader that I had completed my task. He said, “Come on Jax…HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED that we 'God loving' subway types really have no idea what we’re talking about. I just wanted a nickel, half your pastrami sandwich and for you to buy some M&M'S so the boys basketball team could have some uniforms.”

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 168 - What’s a Jackson Pollock?

January 23rd, 2010

I think my neighborhood has become my muse. As I’ve mentioned in previous entries, I’ve recently made a deliberate effort to intertwine myself into my community in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Characters that I couldn’t even make up are providing inspiration for fodder beyond my wildest dreams. My sense is that my neighborhood is comparable to what the village used to be 30 years ago. Just more expensive brownstones, less AIDS and I have not yet heard anyone singing about the RENT. Besides myself. I see my new friends possessing my favorite combination of grounded free spirit who pursue their life goals but also like to have a good time. On top of that, I’m quickly getting the vibe that these people have each other’s back. That’s solid. Like a rock.

Last night, my new expanding crew ended up at Bar Tabac, the exposed brick-esque French bar slash bistro that has become my neighborhood Regal Beagle. It is here that I found myself being bought a $30 dollar glass of scotch while “Predator” was playing on the flat screen. That's how they role at Tabac. Several of us ended up back at my friend Julie’s apartment which was located in a building that was formally a Catholic school. These were the 30 and 40 somethings involved in phase two of the night:

Myself – The tall blond Jewish comedian from the south.

Julie – The sassy real estate broker who, personality wise, is my shorter twin with black curly hair.

Anders – Half Jewish. Half Swede. I didn’t know they made those.

Paul – The nucleus that seems to bring everyone together. He’s a lawyer originally from Texas. Republican. Throws bad ass parties:

Raphael – Puerto Rican architect

Since I am an observer by trade, I’m always fascinated by the dynamic that develops among seemingly random people. I find that sometimes diversity actually makes the group vibe more seamless. Certainly more authentic. Since friends are the family that you can pick, I had to assign roles to my new friends.

Mom – Julie

Dad – Anders

Big Sis – Me

Li’l Brother – Paul

Exchange student – Raphael

If I were to write this, I would have Raphael continually asking his host family for the meaning of dubious sexual terminology. While doing jazz hands. I mentioned this to him and he really ran with my suggestion. Over the course of the night, he would approach us (with the jazziest of hands..and sometimes accompanied with spirit fingers) and ask his “host family" with his Fez-like Puerto Rican accent,

“What’s a dirty Sanchez?”

"What’s a rusty trombone?"

"What’s a Jackson Pollock?”

Now I had never heard of this Jackson Pollock that my pretend foreign exchange student brother spoke of. This morning I visited the always reliable Urban Dictionary and learned that, yes…yes indeed, the JP is an act of the sexual. I try to keep it relatively clean on here so I will only supply you the constantly mediocre Urban Dick sample sentence: “She's such an unpleasant person. I hope she gets a Jackson Pollock tonight!”

In summary, my new friends make my heart feel full and I am staying clear of lewd sexual terminology during my 365 blog entry challenge. You won't find it here. Go visit a Russian hooker’s Myspace page if you want to read about Danza slaps, pearl necklaces, donkey punches, Lucky Pierres, Mars Bar parties, teabagging, felching, tossed salads and Cincinnati bowties.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 167 - Jax the Musical. Starring John Stamos. As Jax

January 22nd, 2010

Last night I saw the Broadway revival of “Bye Bye Birdie”, the lighthearted musical about an Elvis type(Birdie) joining the army — and the chaos it causes amongst oversexed teenage girls. I’m sure your high school attempted to put on some low budget production of this Tony Award-winning musical. At my school, a guy named Bunny played Birdie. True story.

The production starred a legendary Broadway staple. Zero Mostel? No. Sidney Poitier? Guess again. The answer: John Stamos. This didn’t surprise me because when I watched him as Blackie on “General Hospital” and mullet sporting Uncle Jesse on "Full House".. I thought one thing. Broadway. In all fairness, he held his own as manager-songwriter Albert Peterson and according to unreliable sources, I hear he’s a nice guy and, dare I say, pretty smokin’ hot. Rebecca Romijn thought so. Then she married the fat Guy from “Stand by Me”. Besides, casting Stamos as a Broadway lead is no dumber than having a phone ring tone that is the sound of rapid gunfire. I learned that the hard way.

As a little girl, I would come to New York with my family when Times Square was a death zone, people were shooting people on the subway and checkered cabs still existed. Every trip, we would see at least one Broadway show and I was always captivated by the over the top grandiosity of these productions. I am certain that these experiences were a pivotal precursor to my interest in the performing arts. As I got a little older and started to make fun of musical theater, I was given the catalyst that honed my interest in the comedic arts.

In 2004, I was at the opening night of “Fiddler on the Roof” staring Alfred Molina. About five minutes before the show was about to start, some woman in the audience died. Someone yells, “Is there a doctor in the house?!” Opening night of a Broadway show? Yes, physicians were not in shortage. It turned out the newly deceased was the sister of the original choreographer of the play. Either she didn’t like her seat or had seen everything she had needed to see. Rue McClanahan was there. No segue. Just thought you should know that.

Sometimes life takes such random twists and turns that I can’t help but to feel that I might be living inside a Broadway musical. Here’s my proof:

-Musical theater and gay men are synonymous. You know who has a lot of gay men in her life? That would be me.

-I often break into song at any moment…on the street, in the shower and at silent meditation retreats. Sometimes when I see a guy that I am automatically smitten with, I just start singing, “I’ve never felt this way before..this way I’ve never felt..sha la la!”

-In the musicals of Broadway, sets change all the time. Well, I’ve moved a lot in the last few years resulting in excessive stage changing.

-I once dated a guy whose last name was Of The Opera. First name, Phantom.

-If I behave badly, I have to give myself a time out. In the theater world, I believe they refer to this as an intermission.

-I went on strike in 2007.

-When I was a little girl, I was a feisty orphan with a red afro who just knew that the sun would come out. Tomorrow.

-I have an orchestra living in the pit of my apartment and an usher who escorts me to my furniture.

-I once had a cat that could sing, dance and did a gripping rendition of the song “Memories”. She went on to have a promising film career.. then got involved with the Taco Bell dog and died from a chimichanga overdose.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 166 - Bill O’Reilly, Kanye West or Mother Teresa?

January 21st, 2010

On day 158 of my 365 day blog challenge, I wrote an entry called “Jew, Not-a-Jew or Canadian?”. I gave you scenarios and asked you which of these three categories the examples fell under. Today I bring to you another list to test your knowledge of 3 interchangeable people: Bill O’Reilly, Kanye West and Mother Teresa. I have a sitcom in the works starring these three public figures that involves them having crazy shenanigans in a deluxe apartment in the sky, at a local dive bar and..oh yes... in the bedroom. Stay tuned. In the meantime, peruse the list below and I challenge you to determine if the following examples would be that of Bill O’Reilly, Kanye West or Mother Teresa.

•You say, “Can’t we give Chris Brown a break?…. O.J. Simpson, amazing. Is he not? What he did, when he did, what he did. Was he not amazing though?”

•You scream at children of 9/11 victims.

•You convert an unused Hindu temple into Kalighat Home for the dying.

•During a telethon for Hurricane Katrina, you perplex Mike Myers and America with the comment, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

•You want people to boycott Pepsi when they use Ludacris as a spokesperson because you think his lyrics are"Degrading to women". As a “moral crusader”, you are the same person who is hit with a sexual harassment suit for failed attempts at dirty talk .You want to rub "falafel" on your producer's womanly parts. That’s just insulting to Mediterranean food. In an interesting turn of events, falafel boycotts you.

•You are awarded the Noble Prize for Peace for your struggle to overcome poverty and remove the sorrow and suffering from society.

•Taylor Swift sends you a thank you note for being a blessing in disguise that catapulted her career into the stratosphere. After your self righteous outburst, middle aged Midwestern women, who never heard of Ms. Swift, have been heard saying, “I hope Taylor is OK. She’s been like a daughter to me.” Then they arrange their garden gnomes.

•You receive a divine message, possibly an intuition, after which you decide to devote your life towards the betterment of society.

•You have a meltdown and scream, "Fuck it, we'll do it live." Then tear off your microphone and probably scream something totally unrelated like “Gay marriage is ruining the country!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 165 - Napping Championship

January 20th, 2010

I asked my blog readers:

Besides jobs, kids and that responsibility stuff...what really gets you out of bed in the morning?

Many replied that they would have no reason to leave the cozy safe haven of their high thread count sheets and plush-riffic down comforter if it weren’t for the calling of nature.

Some other answers:

I've run out of change for the vibrating bed - John Kosciusko

Regularity - Thomas Anthony

My hatred of warmth and comfort - Gabe Fonorow

The feeling of the warm sun...around noonish...- Brian Baron

Your blog . . .OK - and the gym too! - Lance Hoffman

The sound of my should-be-dead cat barfing on the new carpet - Eric Bergson

The service of my Lord. - David Forman Katz

I didn't know there was anything else- Neil Hyman

A dead hooker, or an unpaid hooker- Zachary B Atkinson

They say (and never question the wisdom of “they”) that the key to living a life with passion is to find that one thing worth getting up in the morning for. In my case, it generally has something to do with some overpriced caffeinated beverage that I look forward to the night before. But I do agree to live a life of passion equals a life of purpose. I’m lucky since I'm certain that committing fourteen years of my life to being involved in comedy in some way, shape or form is the path that I have to be on. Improv, sketch, standup, hosting, blogging and teaching comedy hasn’t made me rich (yet)… but it makes me whole.

BUT...what if hiding under the covers IS your passion because you’re training for a professional napping competition and are committed to making it to state? I know you’re out there. Very common population. Seldom discussed. If you become too happy and your life starts to become worth getting out of bed for, then you’re not getting those 18 hours of sleep that is key training for your upcoming napping championship event. This will piss your Russian napping coach off . His name is Vladimirovich and has anger issues to begin with.Your passion for life needs to be immediately replaced with depression, self-loathing and delusional thinking in order for you to return to your excessive sleep training program.

Jax’s advice: Immediately lose interest in “this passion” that is giving your life meaning during your waking hours and get back on track to becoming the world napping champion. Unless of course you have a reputable passion for hookers. Dead or unpaid. Because..that’ awesome.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 164 - March of the Faux Aware

January 19th, 2010

It has been brought to my attention that tomorrow is Penguin Awareness Day.

I know. Right? It’s here already? I’m still cleaning up citrus remnants and feces from my annual orangutan potluck luau. With only one day to prepare, I ran to Barnes & Noble and was fortunate enough to pick up the last copy of “Penguin Enthusiast”…in Spanish.

Let’s take the opportunity to learn about and appreciate one of the few natives of Antarctica. I’d like to share a few little known facts about penguins that I learned from my magazine (more of a leaflet actually.) I don’t speak Spanish. At all. My translation should still be on par though.

-Along with fish and squid, black and white cookies were a staple of the penguin diet until it was discovered that they were actually made of penguins.

-Michael Phelps trained in the frigid southern hemisphere with these aquatic birds. He was asked to leave because his abnormal unproportioned torso to leg ratio “freaked the penguins out.”

-The smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as the Fairy Penguin. Gay as a French horn.

To me, awareness day just means that there are 364 days that we make the choice to be deliberately unaware and disinterested in a person, cause or penguin. On the one celebratory day, we march. We eat. We justify too much drinking. All in the name of awareness.

I am pioneering a new annual holiday. Starting right now, January 19th will be Awareness Awareness Day.

Awareness Awareness Day aims to increase people's awareness about people who claim to be aware. But are not. Fake awareness affects men and women of all races and in all geographic regions and has a large impact on families, communities, societies and blond comedians. The prevalence is currently rising in many countries around the world. Caring for and educating people with this faux awareness condition places challenges on health care, education, training programs and blog writers like Jacqueline Kabat.

Be Fair. Really Care. Don’t Be a Fake Aware.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 163 - I Promised to Say Goodnight to My Blog Readers....

January 18th, 2010

Last night I went to my friend’s apartment to mindlessly watch the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards. I wore my Dolce & Gabbana gown, a 100 carat diamond Lorraine Schwartz choker and Converse shoes to stress that I am All Star. I find the ceremony that recognizes outstanding achievements in film and television to be a guilty pleasure. There is safety in consistency and every year we are guaranteed a lot of people who just love being celebrities, at least one sincerely gracious acceptance speech from a relatively unknown thanking (with a glisten in their eye and a quiver in their voice) the director who "took a chance" on them and some mind boggling taped cleavage. Last night Mariah Carey was the standout with her bronzed hued ladies that truly were..Golden Globes.

But none is more consistent than celebrities telling their oddly named children to go to sleep. Often at inappropriate times. Last night, “We get’re famous” Julia Roberts rode the children plug wave in an all about me moment while announcing, “And the Golden Globe winner for Best Drama Motion Picture is…ok go to sleep Finn, Hazel and Henry… Avatar!” To me that won the statue for most self righteous moment since James Cameron made the wise decision not to King of the World himself this year.

Ok. Famous people. We know. You have kids. They have weird names. They are coerced (with their SuperNannies) to watch you announce an award. Past their bedtime. Perhaps I’m the one missing out on the “goodnight my child” phenomenon so I am going to test saying nighty night to children at times that..I don’t know..just feel right. Since I have not made any babies yet..I will wish a pleasant slumber to the children of celebrities with only obscure names in the following scenarios:

1) Being picked up by a douche at a bar
Douche- Can I borrow your library card? Cause I'm checking you out. Let’s share a cab to my house.
Jax – Before I turn you down douche, I’d like to say goodnight to Atherton Grace and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

2) In the shower
Jax(to myself) – I really feel that this Redken Clear Moisture Conditioner will take care of my split ends. Get to bed Jazz Domino!

3) Calling 911
Dispatcher – 911. What's the emergency?
Jax – There is an intruder downstairs…hold on...Time to go to bed Gulliver, Destry and Jermajesty…I think he wants to murder me.

4) In my blog
Jax(to readers) Before I conclude Day 163 of my 365 blog entry challenge I promised to say goodnight to Maddox Chivan, Zahara Marley, Shiloh Nouvel, Pax Thien, Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 162 - Gowanus, Keggers and Code

January 17th, 2010

My father always told me that if I could make money for making friends...that I’d be very rich.

I’ve been living in the Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn for about a year. In the last month, I’ve made more of a conscious effort to explore my new community. My efforts have worked in my favor because fascinating souls are continuously crossing my path. In bulk. I guess I just had to be open to it. My new acquaintances (who are quickly shifting into friends) have welcomed me with open arms and just seem to speak my language. No. not Cantonese…just like minded authentic types who quite simply …get it. You know who you are.

Last night my friend Paul had his birthday party at his new (not yet furnished) apartment in a nearby neighborhood in Gowanus. This underdeveloped section of brownstone Brooklyn has an artistic community, an industrial feel and a canal almost solid with algae feeding on human waste. In 2007, a minke whale swam into the canal, beached itself… and died.

Yet all these random elements add a mystique to the neighborhood and I found myself at a party that was candy for the writer’s eye.

The guest attendants were every shape, color, size and represented a variety of tax brackets. Basically, it was a Benetton Ad. But edgier. I met a yoga teacher, a couple of Bulgarian guys, a chef, someone who pissed off the balcony, a painter, a lady who just sat on a chair while hugging her small bodied violin, a mechanic, a documentary filmmaker, an unemployed for lifer, a doctor and an Eastern European woman running around saying odd observations like, “You have an arm!” There were straight people. Gay people. Confused people. A hipster type lesbian earned herself a captive audience while she limberly and interpretively became one with the music. She came. She danced. She left.

There was some little intense guy working as the DJ. He was standing by the laptop wearing giant headphones while and (this confused me) breaking a major sweat. A few times other party goers got by him and changed the song. Bad. Bad idea.

Paul, who is a lawyer in his 30’s, won bonus points from me for making the absurdly awesome decision to go through the hassle of getting a keg into his third floor walk up. I hadn’t been to a kegger since my closeted homosexual friend in college told me that he thought the middle Hanson brother was “pretty.” It came to my attention that I put on an unintended show for some guys (and maybe a lesbian or two) when I bent down for an extended amount of time to fill my beer. Looking back, I wish my refill had been done with a Winger song in the background, in slow motion and in fuzzy lighting while a fan blew my hair. Next time.

Later in the night, a good looking writer asked me if I wanted to join him and some friends at the Canal. Hearing the setup, this canal he spoke of sounded like a bar. But no, he and his friends were heading across the street just to hang out on a bench by the waterway filled with sand, gravel, mud and a substance described as “black mayonnaise.” Just the phrase…going to the canal. I immediately thought back to high school in North Carolina where teenagers went to “the reservoir” to make out, do drugs or just tell people they went to the reservoir. I felt like my new handsome creative friend was trying to speak to me in some code that I was not able to break. Maybe he just wanted me to join him for a harmless “let’s get to know each other chat” like two potential lovers on the veranda of The Love Boat. But in this case it would have been on a picnic table overlooking a canal filled with curious white goo that is a mix of bacteria, protozoans and various contaminants.

I gracefully declined his invitation. My gut told me that I needed more concise information as to what this “going to the canal” business meant. He should have just been more clear with his code speak and said “Jax, the eagle has landed. Let’s go to the canal because the duck flies at midnight.” Then I would have known that he wanted to invite me over to watch “Breakin' 2” while eating noodle strudel with plastic sporks.

His lack of clarity resulted with my decision to stay put at the party and learn that yes..yes I do have an arm.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 161 - wikiHow You Humor Me

January 16th, 2010

You know when you wake up in the morning and just think, “I’d really like to make a mannequin out of my pillow?” Happened to me this morning. I immediately got on that “interweb” thing and went to my favorite extensive database of how-to guides written by non experts, wikiHow. Not to my surprise...but certainly to my delight, I came across step-by-step instructions on how to make a mannequin out of a pillow. Since any visitor to wikiHow can create a new page and write about how to do something, my contribution will be thorough directions on how to utilize a mannequin to substitute for real friendship.

Since we’re also allowed to edit current how-to guides on wikiHow, I invite you to join me in adding some of our expertise to already existing instructions:

1. How to Make a Sock Puppet

2. How to Hook Up with a Girl Who Has a Boyfriend

3. How to Pierce Your Own Penis

4. How to Deal With Catching Your Parents Having Sex

5. How to Rid Yourself of Emotions

6. How to Make People Think You Can Solve Rubik's Cube

7. How to go Insane

8. How to Not Get Caught Looking at Porn

9. How to Be a Buddy

10. How to Practice Nonviolent Communication

11. How to Be a Stereotype Teen Girl

12. How to Banish a Spirit if You're Pagan

13. How to Enjoy Having Ginger Hair

14. How to Argue That God Does Not Exist

15. How to Stay Quiet During a Movie

16. How to Stalk a Stranger

17. How to Look Like Sarah Palin

18. How to Cheat a Polygraph Test

19. How to Survive Nazi Zombies Call of Duty 5

20. How to Vomit While Driving

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 160 - Marla Maples Syrup

January 15th, 2010

On Day 144, I lent my name to questionable products and establishments in a blog entitled – “Jacqueline Kabat Stripper and Nun Training Facility”. One example was “Jacqueline Kabat Terrorist Training Camp: “Our monkey bars will get you killing in no time!” Celebrities are lending their prestigious names to questionable and seemingly mismatched products all the time....I wanted to play too.

My three favorite endorsements of the stars thus far:

1. Tom Cruise – His Galactic Confederacy
2. Bob Dole – Viagra
3. 50 Cent – Vitamin Water

Nothing makes me want to hydrate with electrolyte and vitamin enhanced water more than a rapper who has been shot in the face.

In 9th grade, I had to create a product along with an advertisement for said creation. Since this was around the time Donald Trump’s first (recorded) infidelity scandal was getting an overload of media attention, my father suggested Marla Maples Syrup. I was sold. Dad, my brother and I filmed a commercial for this syrup that has sadly now gone missing and resides in beta max tape heaven in the sky.

The commercial went down something like this:

Using a combination of self taught method acting and Stanislavsky technique tools, my brother Scott exquisitely played and captured the essence of Donald Trump while wearing a red velvet robe while sitting at the head of the dining room table. In front of him were a stack of pancakes and a “lesser than” syrup. He proceeded to pick up and bang his silverware on the table while shouting “IVANA A BETTER SYRUP!” Then I enter as the spokesperson (which, dare I say, I have a brilliant knack for) and proudly introduce him to Marla Maples Syrup. I recall using sweeping “Price is Right” spokes model hand gestures around the plastic bottle where I pasted Marla’s face over Aunt Jemima’s. I don’t remember the specifics as to how the commercial ended so let’s just assume I said, “Marla Maples Syrup is found on Donald Trump’s breakfast table. Shouldn’t it be found on yours?”

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 159 - Time-Outs. For Adults

January 14th, 2010

I saw a man defecate between subway cars the other day. The woman sitting across from me looked at me and said, “Is he doing what I think he’s doing?” My reply was, “Yes. Yes he is.” Potty humor is not my style… but there was something to be said about his confidence to just do what he needed do where he needed to do it. There is a sign that says you’re not supposed to stand between subway cars... but I haven’t seen the one where attending to our bathroom needs is prohibited in that area. Maybe the jokes on us.

The action that I witnessed was clearly in the wrong and once again reminded me that my theory that adults need time-outs has its merits. This idea was birthed a few years ago when my friend was constantly getting himself into trouble because he lacked a verbal filter. Over and over, I took charge and would have to place him in time-outs which provided him the opportunity to reflect on his behavior. He was 32. After the punishment was complete, I suggested that he keep his mouth shut. Plain and simple. The result: The world started working for him rather than against him.

Do you know of a grownup who could benefit from a time-out? For you, readers, I give you:

Jax’s Guidelines For Using Time-Outs With Adults:

1. The time-out area should be easily accessible and in such a location where the adult can easily be monitored. For example, if most activity takes place in a strip club in a seedy part of town, the time-out area should be on the premises. A chair by a pole is an excellent spot. Placing an abacus nearby is a superb way to keep the adult informed of how much time he or she has left to serve.

2. It is very important that the adult be aware of the specific behaviors that he or she is being punished for. They should be very concretely defined. For example, stalking means sending a ransom note along with salad ingredients to Carrot Top every Thursday at 3:50PM. That is wrong.

3. While in time-out, the adult should not be permitted to talk and make noises in any way. He or she should not be allowed to play with any wireless mobile devices, watch Season 3 of “Lost" or bang on the furniture. Any violation of time-out should result in automatic resetting of the abacus for another time-out period.

4. Very difficult adults, such as those with alcoholism, narcissistic tendencies or short fused anger issues, may need to be placed on a short reward program. This could include lining up 20-30 margaritas. Each time the adult does a time-out, he or she gets a little umbrella for the drink. When each beverage is full they can earn a special treat for learning how to do time-out.

On a final note, the most self aware of adults are capable of giving themselves a time-out. I am about to seclude myself and reflect on my wrongdoings for just having sent Carrot Top some baby carrots, arugula and Paul Newman salad dressing along with a note that says, “You won’t get your props back until you love me.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 158 - Jew, Not-a-Jew or Canadian?

January 13th, 2010

My friend Andrew seems to have a hard time deciphering if a person is a Jew, Not-a-Jew or Canadian. It occurred to me that he might not be alone in his inability to decode one’s defining classification. Let’ face it…if we don’t know which of these categories that one belongs..we aren’t in the position to stereotype. And that’s just wrong. And I'm a Jew.

I have created a questionnaire for you to determine if the following fall under the umbrella of Jew, Not-a-Jew or Canadian. If you get one incorrect, you should consider taking my online class at the barely accredited University of Phoenix called “There is No Stereotype Myth: Conventional, Formulaic and Oversimplified Conceptions to Hone your Generalization Skills”. In the comment section, please submit if the following examples would be the actions of a Jew, Not-a-Jew or Canadian.

1) You are handy.

2) You get turned on thinking about Sarah Palin and Cindy McCain mud wrestling.

3) You take the money that you don’t spend on health insurance and purchase Wayne Gretzky's tooth on eBay.

4) You never have offered to help a friend move.

5) You have a suspicion that you might be 1/16th Cherokee.

6) You can write your name with your pee in the snow. All year.

7) Boys in this group have their privates assaulted by an old man with a knife 8 days after their birth. Friends and family celebrate the savage mutilation with bagels, whitefish and strudel.

8) You proudly sew your country's flag on your backpack.

9) You make casseroles. With Corn Flakes

10) You and your friends devour a 100 piece sushi platter in less than 90 seconds.

11) At a Chinese restaurant, you order your own dishes, don’t share and have leftovers

12) You own the Alex Trebek swimsuit calendar.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 157 - Ben Stiller & Bear Gays. Oh My

January 12th, 2010

I'm feeling very free form today. In the last few weeks, I've met so many new friends in my neighborhood who are authentic, interesting and ambitious.It feels like college. With brownstones. My newest bad ass friend and neighbor, Katy, revealed to me last night that she was a writer's assistant for my favorite TV show of all time. ALL TIME. "The Ben Stiller show". It lasted for about 15 minutes in 1992 but it's brilliance cannot be denied. I mean there was a parody of "Cape Fear" called "Cape Munster". To this day, I still matter-of-factly quote, "There will never be anything between you and Eddie Munster!"

I've been so consumed with recalling my favorite moments from this show that I seem to have developed some writer's block as to what journey we shall take on my blog today. So I put the ball in your court and I asked you all to throw out some topics for me to write about. And you did:

Ed Blank - Have you tackled this totally surprising phenomenon where a guy with a billion dollars has a lot of women?

Jax's Thoughts - It’s funny that you mention this because the other night I got approached by Robert Redford and he offered me $1,000,000 for one night of the sex. I was intrigued until I found out that he planned on paying me in nickels. I find too much loose change to be a nuisance. I turned him down and continued to eat my Ramen noodles. Let me ask you this Ed Blank. Have you tackled this totally surprising phenomenon that women with one notch above mediocre looks and low self esteem get a lot of guys?

Bryce Edwards - Write about Dolly Parton. Pretty please!?!

Jax’ thoughts – I love anyone who says, "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap." Only a genius can foil bawdiness and flamboyancy with the most angelic distinctive vocal range. There’s an underlying sweetness to her soprano that indicates to me that this woman, at the core, is to put it quite simply, a pure soul. If you’re not yet sold on this queen of country music, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist, just, if you will, listen to her cover of “After the Goldrush” with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. If you still feel’re dead inside.

Neil Arthur James - Pre-Show

Jax’s thoughts – Readers, my senior year in college, I was in the University of Georgia production of “Macbeth”. Those of us in the cast unaffectionately referred to it as “MacTeribble”. This is where I met Neil James. We bonded immediately. He’s a bear gay, a subculture of a bigger homosexual man who according to Urban Dictionary “looks ‘butch’... but when he talks, purses fly out of his mouth.” Do you know what Asian bear gays are called? Pandas. In any case, the director of the play, Joe Moser, decided to do some rewrites to the script because Shakespeare could have used the assistance from a man who was later fired from the drama department for sexual harassment. He went with a modern day version that involved the majority of the cast on stage for a pre-show (as the audience was walking in) improvising the anticipation of the arrival of King Duncan. Moser wanted us to be smoking cigarettes on stage to add a dreamy, whimsical and health hazardous element for the audience. Brilliant stuff. Neil and I played Caithness and Menteith who would be the equivalent to extras in the film version. We knew that our only opportunity to steal the scenes would be during this pre-show phenomenon. And that is what we did. We were dressed “corporate” carrying clip boards and being asked questions by journalists. We would hold our hands to their faces and curtly say, “No, questions.” Then walk away. Briskly. Rehearsal lasted 3 months and 99% of that time was spent on the pre-show. Looking back, this was the inspiration for the birth of MacImprov Jax.

Scott Stern - Top ten reasons Englebert Humperdink had a bigger influence on American culture than Conway Twitty and Neil Sedaka comined.

Jax’s thoughts – Fuck you Scott

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 156 - Paparazz-Me!

January 11th, 2010

-Mike Tyson beat up a photographer at LAX.

-Britney Spears viciously attacked an SUV and some members of the paparazzi. With an umbrella. Then she dated one of them.

-Avril Lavigne has a tendency to spit on the paparazzi.

-Kanye West rushed towards a photographer, smashed his camera and then attacked him. West was arrested.

-Hugh Grant apparently enjoys throwing tubs of baked beans on photographers.

-Sean Penn, king of paparazzi attacks, grabbed a photographer and dangled him from the ninth-floor balcony by his ankles. He was arrested, charged with attempted murder and pardoned.

OK. You know who has grown exponentially fatigued with celebrities beating up photographers? This one. Unless you were the Princess of Wales, I have little patience for these short fused displays of entitlement. The reality is that 5% of “artists” catapult into the gold painted arena of fame and fortune. My sense is that a good number in that small percentage didn’t do it for the love of the craft. They did it for the love of fame. Having the TMZ crew attached to your dog purse is the price you pay. To quote from the movie "Airplane!": "They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting themselves into. I say, let um crash !"

Deep breath. Since I try to practice the philosophy of philanthropy, I have a few suggestions for celebrities who have not mastered anger management when it comes to the paparazzi. The following will keep them off your back…and you off theirs. Literally. :

- Wear a ski mask. With a beret for flair

- Get career advice from David Caruso

- Hide in an Afghani cave.

- Use reverse psychology. Push too hard to get the paparazzi’s attention. Call too much. Text too much. Ask them, “What’s going on with us?” They’ll loose interest.

- Become the spokesperson for living with genital warts

- Stop wearing your t-shirt that says. “Please take my picture. I’m important.”

Sorry. I’m just so heated about this topic that I just beat up a photographer. Annie Leibovitz. I take it all back. It felt great! I’m awesome.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 155 – Jews and Chinese Food. A Love Story

January 10th, 2010

I did crack last night. Crack pie. I went to a friend’s Asian themed potluck dinner party and one of the guests brought this dessert from the Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar that contains no freebase form of cocaine —just butter, heavy cream, brown sugar, sugar and a little corn flour. Bonus(or not) that it’s been endorsed by Anderson Cooper.

Most of the guests at this gathering were Jewish. Like me. My particular ethnoreligious group originating as the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East has a long history observing the laws and commandments of the Torah, believing that there is a single, omniscient and transcendent God and having a fetish for Asian cuisine. Particularly Chinese food.

Growing up in Greensboro North Carolina, you could find the majority of the Jewish Community at Lin’s Garden’s on a Sunday night. Despite its “C” rating, this was the Chinese restaurant chosen by the chosen people. Without fail, my family would always see one peripheral family friend, a doctor, who was obese one week and then emaciated the next. His weight would be one of these extremes in alarmingly short intervals. It was as if had gone with the gastric bypass surgery. Then reversed it. Every week. Another memory of this mediocre excuse for Asian cuisine was taking an Israeli teenager that we hosted for a week. I don’t recall his thoughts on the experience but I remember him telling us (as we sipped lukewarm tea) that he learned English by watching “MacGyver”.

My next Jew heart Asian example isn’t a personal memory but one worth sharing and cementing in the blogosphere. One of my best college friends went to a very liberal high school in Atlanta, Georgia. They would protest the Gulf War. The first one. She told me of a club with Jewish members called “The Asian Sensation”….their motto was: “You don’t have to be Asian to join. You just have to feel Asian.” A typical meeting would involve watching “The Godfather” while eating moo goo gai pan.

All I’m sayin’ is that we Jews have had a deep appreciation for far eastern edibles for some time. Yet I sense that the Chinese population does not reciprocate the palpable desire for Jew food.

I expect to hear this:

Shlomo – Honey, I’m home. I’m wiped out from having such a long day of being Jewish. And doing Jewish things.

Rivka - Me too sweetie. Let’s just take it easy tonight and order in some egg rolls, chow mein and General Tso's Chicken.

And I assume this has never been uttered:

Chen – Honey, I’m home. I’m wiped out from having such a long day of being Chinese. And doing Chinese things.

Zhang - Me too sweetie. Let’s just take it easy tonight and order in some herring, brisket and knishes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 154 Tune Up of the Soul

January 9th, 2010

Yesterday I tapped into how the ancient Greek philosophers interpreted the “essence” of soul, my hopes that my ethical behavior would give my soul a good report card and then asked you to tell me the color of your soul.

I'm still on a soul kick. My friend told me that people who don't t appreciate the movie “Avatar” and the song "Empire State of Mind" are dead inside. This inspired me to consider other signs that indicate that one possesses a soul of darkness and in desperate need of a tune up:

-You give someone a decaf coffee when they‘ve asked for regular.

-You brag about finding Waldo. We don’t care. He’s a dick.

-You put Disney movies in the vault.

-You watch, work for or have any type of appreciation for Fox News.

-You’re a narc with a cocaine addiction.

-You’re a germaphobe who doesn’t shower enough.

-You’re a Holocaust denier.

-You need to read directions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

-You do the five stages of grief in the opposite order: Acceptance, Depression, Bargaining, Anger and Denial.

-You’re Clippy the cartwheeling Microsoft Word paperclip who possesses an unjustified sense of entitlement.

-You’re the very fertile Elisabeth Hasselbeck who won’t stop breeding.

-You’re a sex therapist. And a virgin

-You groom standard poodles.

-You conceptualized the movie “Angel” that came out in 1984. Tagline: “High School Honor Student by Day. Hollywood Hooker by Night.”

-You’re a thin woman who complains about being fat.

-You’re a Benihana chef who doesn’t know how to make tin foil swans for leftovers.

-You think your falsetto can be compared to Barry Gibb and Daryl Hall.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 153 - Soul Glow

January 8th, 2010

I was briefly introduced to the classical Greek philosophers in humanities class my sophomore year in high school. It didn’t reach me when I was 15. I was distracted with the surrealistic reality that my teacher, Mr. Hands, wore ties that looked like cheddar cheese, a belt that said NASA and told us that he would make out with his wife/Algebra teacher, Mrs. Hands, in the stairwell during lunch time. To his credit though, I do remember that Socrates came first, then Plato and then Aristotle because Mr. Hands said to imagine them sitting in a S-P-A. Effective shit.

I revisited the teachings of these greats my sophomore year in college in a philosophy class. This time around I paid attention and was fascinated that there was no mention of religion when dissecting fundamental problems concerning subjects such as existence, knowledge, values, reason and mind. It hurt my brain but I was committed to wrapping my head around it and making an A. I did.

I was particularly intrigued with how these SPA guys chose to interpret the concept of soul. Plato, drawing on the teachings of his teacher Socrates, considered the soul as the essence of a person, being, that which decides how we behave. Aristotle defined the soul as the core or "essence" of a living being.

These Classical Greeks would be pleased to know that I was walking in Greenwich Village yesterday and was approached by a psychic on the street. She tells me that I have a beautiful bright soul. Then she wanted my money. I took the compliment and not the reading. I generally try to do the right thing and treat people with the respect they I would hope my soul would exude something in the luminescent spectrum. Plus it is validating to know that trying to live ethically is what determines soul color configuration. If it were as simple as the shade altering with the color of a bra… my current soul status would be a shade of leopard.

I threw it out to you and asked you to share with me, on day 153 of my 365 day blog entry challenge, the color of your soul. My readers never disappoint:

Poodle poop brown - David Schlesinger

Atomic Tangerine (originally issued as 'ultra yellow' in 1972 by Crayola) - Andrew Mackler

Pitch black - Todd Faulkner

Salt and pepper - same color as the hair - Michael Dubow

Green. Isn’t everyone’s? - Jared Upshaw

Black...and blue - Michael Codispoti

Aqua green, but on Monday's it's usually navy blue - Brian M. Levy

FD&C Blue No. 2 - Kerry Schwarz

My color? Awesome. That is all - Benji Feldheim
My color? Awesome. That is all - Benji Feldheim

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 152– Jax's Baby Doo-Rags. For Babies. In Baby Gangs

January 7th, 2010

Announcer - Are you a baby in a baby gang?

Babies – Yes!

Announcer – Do other babies make fun of you when you’re doing what you love most… bank robbery, looting, burglary and murder?

Babies – Yes!

Announcer – That’s because you’re not wearing a Jax’s Baby Doo-Rag. For babies. In baby gangs. This distinctive accessory will increase your confidence and fashion sense so you can rediscover the joy that you get from baby extortion. Jax’s Baby Doo-Rags are made to fit the fine definition and contours of your baby head. Plus, we offer a variety of colors: Paisley. Butter. Mother of Pearl. If you’re in a French baby gang… we’ll even provide you with a beret. And anti-Semitism. Any unaffiliated individual disrespecting your style of choice is grounds for a violent retaliation.

Announcer – Listen to what babies are saying about Jax’s Baby Doo-Rags...

Tyler – When I’m cruising the streets in my stroller wearing Jax’s Baby Doo-Rag…it sends a message.

Hailey – Jax’s Baby Doo-Rag has never made drug trafficking look so good! It’s the perfect complement to my baby nunchucks.

Aiden – If only I had my Jax’s Baby Doo-Rag when I was getting circumcised. I would have had the courage to fight back. That savage.

Announcer - When you purchase your Jax’s Baby Doo-Rag, you’ll be given one complementary session at a tattoo parlor to get a tattoo that says, “God damn.. I love my Jax’s Baby Doo-Rag.” This will gain you respect within your baby gang and you’ll be marked as a member for life. So order now. Let the world know that even though you’re only ten pounds, drool and have poor motor will not be messed with because you’re wearing Jax's Baby Doo-Rag. For Babies. In Baby Gangs.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 151 – Warning: Manufacturers Think We’re Idiots

January 6th, 2010

“Estas gafas no defienden contra la luz ultraviolet. Usarlas como gafas de sol no protegerá sus ojo. Utilicelas solamente en el teatro. Mantenga lejos del alcance de los niños baja 3 años.”

I just saw King of the World James Cameron’s three dimensional science fiction epic, “Avatar”. The above was the español warning that was on the packaging of my 3D glasses. It translates to: “These glasses do not screen ultraviolet light. Wearing them as sunglasses will not protect your eyes. Use only in the theater. Keep out of reach of children under 3.”

This is really a shame because there is nothing I would like to do more than to wear these glasses outside of the cineplex and start divvying them out to children under the age of 3 . As I’ve mentioned, I have a dream of starting a baby doo-rag business and I do think 3D glasses would be a phenomenally edgy accessory for babies in baby gangs.

But I was warned. And I’m insulted that manufacturers expect the worst of us. I was inspired to find other products that had warning and instruction labels that leads me to conclude that said creators just have decided that all consumers are special. Not the good kind of special. Here’s what I found on the web. That is worldly. And widely:

Dremel Electric Rotary Tool - This product not intended for use as a dental drill

Arm & Hammer Scoopable Cat Litter - Safe to use around pets

Little Ones Baby Lotion - Keep away from children

Dial Soap - Directions: Use like regular soap

Stridex Foaming Face Wash - May contain foam

Zantac 75 - Do not take if allergic to Zantac

Komatsu Floodlight - This floodlight is capable of illuminating large areas, even in the dark

Pine Mountain Fire Logs - Caution: Risk of fire

Children's Superman Costume - Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly

Nabisco Easy Cheese - For best results, remove cap

500-piece puzzle - Some assembly required

Hotel provided shower cap in a box - Fits one head

Can of self-defense pepper spray - May irritate eyes

Microwave Oven - Do not use for drying pets

Rat Poison - Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice

Portable stroller - Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage

Depend Adult Diapers - Step into underwear and pull them on just like regular underwear

Nytol sleep aid - Warning: may cause drowsiness

New Zealand insect spray - This product not tested on animals

Blanket from Taiwan - not to be used as protection from a tornado

Package of Fisherman's Friend throat lozenges - Not meant as substitute for human companionship

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 150 – Releasapalooza. For Real This Time

January 5th, 2010

A lot of my blog entries around this New Years have revolved around the idea of releasing people and circumstances that no longer serve us. This is so much easier said and typed in my 365 day blog entry challenge than putting into action. I promised to be honest with my readers. I haven’t exactly practiced what I preached in the last few days, I want to “recommit” to detaching from the clutter on my path and make room for my power, security and as Frank Costanza says, “Serenity Now!” We’re only on the 5th day of the new year so I feel like I have a window to restart my resolutions. If it were the 6th day...I’d just wait until next year and dedicate 2010 to bad decision making.

Sometimes it’s time to cut the cord to those scenarios, things and individuals who at one point might have added value, laughter and sometimes pain into our lives. Sometimes we make the metaphorical cut and then choose to revisit it. It’s familiar. Ultimately, I’ve found that the outcome will generally turn out the same and prove that our initial gut feelings about that and who we should say “buh bye” to deserves to be listened to. Life is filled with catalysts that tempt us to say, no scream, “I will revisit what I want to revisit. Fuck the Red Flags. Fuck my ‘knowing place’. Fuck my intention to use the word ‘fuck’ less. So there.”

I usually end up depleted and disappointed that I knowingly re-dabbled in something that does not synchronize with my moving forward. I would compare it to a vice that offers up distraction when I really need to be focusing more on my own life.

So how am I going to implement my releasapalooza into 2010? I’ll start by rereading something my mother sent to me a few years ago. It’s given me a lot of peace and I wanted to share it with you.

A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or
a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you
will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is
usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have
come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you
with guidance and support, to aid you physically,
emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a
godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason
you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our
desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you
sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount
of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things
you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the
person, and put what you have learned to use in all
other relationships and areas of your life. It is said
that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 149 – Memoirs of a pen named Pen

January 4th, 2010

(The following is from the perspective of a ballpoint pen. Named Pen)

I’ve lived a good life. I write to you with the last reminisce of my ink. I want to immortalize my legacy and share my life’s story with you.

I was born a poor black pen in a small village in France in the year 1992. I was one of an octuplet. My mother (a beautiful feathered pen) was approached by an agent from BIC who saw our ink to paper potential. He wanted to take us to America and mother accepted his offer as she knew we would have a better life in the New World. The eight of us were packaged in a transparent yellow rimmed package and sent directly to a card and gift shop in a strip mall in Duluth, Georgia. We hung on the wall in the company of spiral notebooks, scissors and rubber cement (who would let us sniff them.) After about a month of shelf life, my siblings and I were purchased by a housewife who gave us to her son in the 4th grade. I believe his name was Angus. I was quickly separated from my brothers and sisters when this hellion of a boy abruptly opened our packaging in his social studies class and started dividing us off to his classmates. It was quite traumatic. The teacher was trying to instill some “sharing is caring” lesson. That bitch. I was on my own and was pimped off to a 10 year old named Lucinda who frequently stuck me in her mouth and chewed on my delicate plastic outer shell. My remaining years were spent with a shameful teeth marked deformity.

After about three weeks with Lucinda, she left me on her dining room table and I was retrieved by her he father. A lawyer. He would solicit business from accident victims and their families. A real class act. As fate would have it, he left me in an Olive Garden and I was handed off to the manager who was off to an Olive Garden managerial conference in Vegas. I never actually made it to sin city because he left me on seat 8A on Jet Blue flight 2536. This particular plane did quite a few international flights and an extreme sports enthusiast named Bolt was the next passenger to take the seat and I ended up in his backpack. I was on “his person” when he went skydiving in New Zealand. I think Bolt and I really bonded when we were flying through the air with views of National Parks, blue oceans, golden beaches and meandering rivers. We felt bad about landing on and killing that dingo. Bolt and I were reamed out by a local animal rights activist who was on his way to DC for the “Save the Labradoodles March”. As a peace offering, Bolt handed me off to this vegan and a few days later I was in Washington. I did the march but the following chain of events is a blur. After the rally, I ended up in a hookah bar with my “hipster” host and passed out from the smell of patchouli and molasses flavored tobacco. I came to a few days later in a mug that said “World’s Greatest President”. I was in an office that was oval shaped and a charming southern man was doing naughty things to an intern. All I know is that I got on TV when this smooth gentleman had me sign something called the Brady Bill, which imposes a five-day waiting period on handgun purchases so that background checks can be done to help keep handguns away from criminals.

This powerful man took me with him to a conference at the United Nations in New York and the next thing I know is that I’m in the hands of a Yemen leader named Muhammad Said al-`Attar. A few days later I was living with him in his homeland located in an Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. This was a dark time because I spent several years under a couch cushion with his remote control and some foreign coins. Eventually I was retrieved and did some international traveling with this Yemenite head of state and landed in Argentina…in his mistress’s Prada handbag. During this time, I had a brief and passionate affair with a tampon. She was Super.Super Plus.

My senior years were spent at college keggers, writing illegible doctor prescriptions and at a women’s high security prison. One of these ladies escaped through some hole she cut in her cell wall. With a spork. I fled with her and ultimately ended up in some Polynesian Country. I write to you from a trash can at a tiki bar.

My ink is close to running out. But I feel it is my purpose to leave a message for the pens of the world…fountain, calligraphy and Erasermates. Live your life proud. Write. Write like the wind because Microsoft Office will soon make you obsolete. You will be lost. Like teardrops in the rain.



Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 148 - The Tension of the Sexual

January 3rd, 2010

Last night I went out for an evening on the town in Austin, Texas with my dearest friend, Erin Scott Kessler. As I’ve mentioned in my blogs over the last few days, I was brought from New York to Austin to teach comedy improv workshops at a high end destination spa called Lake Austin Spa and Resort. Erin is one of my favorite people ever and we performed comedy improv and sketch in Manhattan from 1997-2001. She’s lived in Austin for several years and took me to The Continental Club last night. This venue is considered the “granddaddy” of all local music and we were fortunate enough to see singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet headline. His genius lies in creating a paella of a wide variety of genres that has resulted with him being described as an “early Americana rocker, mid-period electronic folk singer, latter-day style chunky rocker and sensitive pop balladeer.” It sounded like alternative country to me. But what do I know? I’m a comedian. Not a musician. But I do have exceptional singer-songwriter hair.

At one point in the show, the cute bad ass keyboardist chick joined him at the mic for a perfectly harmonized love song of sorts. He introduced her as a friend…but seriously. I mean, seriously. Anyone with vision and the ability to hear could decipher that there was hot hot hot sexual tension between these two. I know the nature of “making the art” together often leads to some primal cravings because sexuality and creativity come from the same source. These two performers were giving each other soulful glances and sharing the same microphone as their lips were ½ an inch away from each other’s. The sexual force field encompassing these two was so over the top palpable that Erin leaned over to me and said, “Get these two off the stage. They MUST have sex. Stat!”

Let’s talk sexual tension. Shall we? Wikipedia defines it as an “occurrence between two people in which two or more of the individuals sexually long for one another, but the consummation is postponed or never occurs." I looked to Urban Dictionary for this term in a sentence. I didn’t feel their examples of the tension of the sex were stellar or particularly helpful...but I have included them just because I’m humored by what names they go with.

- “I so felt the sexual tension between you and Rufio yesterday.”
- “Char and Dom have major sexual tension.”

Poor Rufio, Char and Dom. I have a friend who is a chronic masturbator and would tell them to hit the sex toy store on the Lower East Side called “Toys in Babeland” where you can purchase some inanimate objects(that could double as mantle pieces) that can assist with release. She swears that “you’ll go through double-A batteries like you never have before.”

Looking back, primal sexual longings begin pretty early. One of my first introductions to the pheromone exchange between the two sexes was when I was five years old in a Jacuzzi in a hotel in Washington DC. My parents initially failed to notice that I was alone with 2 people who broke through their tension and began the act of getting to know each. Quite well. In front of my innocent eyes. Mom and dad eventually noticed what had transpired and I was removed from the hot tub. And my new friends.

A few years later, I developed some crushes that I would write about in my Hello Kitty journal…equipped with lock and key. I was in love with Scott Baio, John Ritter and my swim coach at Starmount Country Club, Quint Barefoot. All the mothers swooned over this guy too and would show up at swim practice in heavily applied early 80’s blue eye shadow and sexy form fitting mom jeans. You know, to “support their children, the budding swim stars.” This was also around the time my friend and I had a joint crush on a guy in our fifth grade class. We wrote him a love letter that included our favorite stickers (even the satin ones) and the sentence, “We know you have feelings for us too because you kick us.” We called them love kicks.

I guess I just revisited Jax’s intro to sexuality because I want Chuck Prophet, his singer-songwriter “friend”, Rufio, Char and Dom to know that it might be time to explore the tension. It’s how we’re wired. It’s our birthright. The fact that you're even in the presence of someone feeling a mutual heightened otherworldly energy…is a gift. You’re blessed. Besides, if you continue to hold back, I’m afraid you might end up like my sexually pent up friend who has developed some odd infatuation with Micky Rourke in “The Wrestler” and watches the film 5 times a day to quench her desires. The double-A battery industry sent her a 1-800-FLOWERS bouquet thanking her for singlehandedly being responsible for their best quarter. Ever.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 147 - Adhere to the Pleasure Principle

January, 2nd, 2010

The body doesn’t lie. Even if we tell ourselves that we’re the masters of deluding our emotional wellness, physical symptoms and mannerism are telling when it comes to the state of our truest selves. As an improv teacher, I am constantly telling students onstage to uncross their arms. This position closes them off to other players on stage and most likely to other people in their own lives. I’ve found that how we are on stage is often a mirror to how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives. I’ve also learned that students with poorly postured hunched over shoulders are generally shutting their heart down and having a difficult time attaching and detaching to and from people or circumstances.

Our body loves holding onto tension. Journaling, using Native American rituals to remove “spirits” from our house and 12 step programs are helpful to clear mind and emotional baggage, but physical release needs to be given equal footing. This is particularly true in my case as I am cognizant that I must deliberately take more action to squeeze some tension out of my physique.

Luckily, I’m off to a good start with my goal because my New Years has been spent teaching improv workshops at Lake Austin Spa and Resort, a fancy destination spa in Austin, Texas. I have a variety of tools at my fingertips to aid in my goal of disposing this physical tension. So far, I have found that a unique dance-like class, some ritzy spa services and a steam room challenge have commenced my journey to attain this goal.

When I was seven years old, I took ballet and my poor brother had to suffer through a 5 hour “Nutcracker” performance where I was on stage for a “blink or you’ll miss me” amount of time "jogging" around the Sugar Plum Fairy with other prepubescent aspiring ballerinas. He might have been a little more engaged (and humored) if he had seen me in a Nia Class this morning. Standing for non-impact aerobics, Nia was established in 1983 when the fitness industry was overloaded with strenuous muscle-building high-impact aerobics classes taught by sweatband wearing Jane Fonda wannabes in high cut electric colored leotards. Emphasizing creativity, self-expression and enjoying movement for its own sake, Nia urges people to adhere to "the pleasure principle" and draws from nine movement forms from martial arts, healing arts and dance arts. More specifically:

Martial Arts - T'ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do and Aikido
Healing Arts - Feldenkrais method, Alexander Technique and Yoga
Dance Arts - Jazz dance, Modern dance and Duncan dance

The end result was that I found this class shook out some stress while being fun and gentle. I'm a big fan of consistent low impact exercise and I welcome the built in physical activity of the constant walking that comes with living in New York. I agree with Deepak Chopra’s theory that Western society has it all wrong because the purpose of exercise is to gain energy. Not deplete it. Granted, I am aware and grateful that genetics are a significant component that has allowed me to maintain my health and weight under the low impact umbrella. Thanks mom and dad. You’re tops.

Next up on my “physical tension be gone” agenda was to take advantage of my two complimentary spa treatments. I’ve always seemed to resonate with acupuncture so I had an hour with a guy who, along with using needles, burned an herb called moxibustion (moxa) directly on the acupuncture points to stimulate circulation to induce smoother flow of blood and chi. The fact that moxa smells like the love child of sage and marijuana explains why I felt so creative, profound and hungry after the session. For my next service, I went with your basic Swedish massage. I was a little concerned when my masseuse gave me a weak handshake when we were introduced. I thought that could be telling in regards to her strength of massage and character. Side note, if you’re on a date, see how your potential romantic partner treats the wait staff. That’s how they’ll treat you in 20 years. Back to Sweden. Luckily, my instincts were proven wrong about the masseuse because I felt some notable relaxation as she was quite good at her craft. Only downside, she was a bit of a heavy breather.

My final attempt at making my body feels like Jell-O was a self induced steam room challenge. I had only been able to last a measly 5 minutes for the last few days…and that’s just embarrassing. I can perform on stage, run a marathon and be on day 147 of my 365 day blog entry challenge….I should be able to be steamed longer. I mean, my toxins aren’t going to remove themselves. My new spa friend Elva was in there to coach me. She suggested that I put some eucalyptus spray under my nose for a kick. I put it on my entire face right before I poured my thermos full of half water/half tea on my head and neck. I was afraid that I would turn into a puddle and be unable to write today’s entry so I crawled out as if I just unwillingly spent a few years in the Sahara. Final time: 15 minutes.

Overall, I do feel I have released some stored up physical tension and hope to maintain new and improved flowy and toxin free Jax when I return to the real world tomorrow. Let’s just gently overlook that tonight I'm going out to party in downtown Austin to wreak some havoc on my mind, body and spirit. Like Nia, I adhere to the pleasure principle.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 146 - I Heart Erin Scott Kessler. I Heart Her Hard

January 1st, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about the significance of clearing physical, emotional and human “clutter” from our lives to create room to let positive circumstances and people into our space to provide forward movement that allows good energy, authenticity and happier dispositions. On the flip side, there are passions and individuals that I will grasp onto for my entire life to ensure that I keep my spirit and life in flow. There is no doubt that I will always be performing, writing and teaching comedy in some capacity. Then there is Erin Scott Kessler. She’s my kindred spirit. My BFF. My rock, if you will. I will never let this girl go because there is none more authentic, supportive and talented than she. I’ve been in her weddings. Both of them.

We met in our early New York formative years in 1997 in the basement of a Dean and Deluca for an audition for an improv troupe called “Endangered Improv”. Michael, the director/producer, was the son of the original Second City director, Ann Bowen. Erin and I connected immediately. We were both southerners, she was from New Orleans and I was from North Carolina and were both semi naïve 22 year old creative types that had just graduated college and moved to New York. We also had the same body type.

Michael, like many people who aren’t 100% balanced, possessed this unbelievable charisma(at times) that was perfect for enchanting young 20 somethings into his improv world. He wanted to be the man in control. He never allowed manly men in the group. Maybe a gay. Or a man in a diaper. Eventually, all the guys left or were kicked out and the name of our group changed to WIGS (Women’s Improv Group.) Erin and I were onto his narcissism from the beginning but stuck it out because we did learn some fundamental improvisational basics from the guy and there was always the hope that we would get to work with his legendary mother. Lucky for us and not so lucky for Michael, his vices, delusions or the misfortune that he was no longer getting laid by one of the girls in the group, made him incapable of working with us and he passed us onto his mom.

During the Michael days, Erin night managed Bar 54, a restaurant/bar next door to Dave Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater that was often frequented by European types who weren’t into the art of tipping. I worked there for five minutes. It didn’t take. Michael was somehow given the job as general manager and (unsurprisingly) his comically demented character traits crossed over to this world. Erin told me that there were two trained bartenders named Mark and Paul who were chiseled, funny and incredibly threatening to Michael. Erin walked into work one night and the following dialogue exchange occurred:

Michael – Mark’s gone and I’m getting rid of Paul too.

Erin - Did they steal?

Michael – (Irate) No. Listen to this. Mark comes in for his shift at 8PM. This is prime dinner time Erin.(Side note:Prime dinner time crowds at Bar 54 consisted of 4 people. Maybe 6.) He’s wearing penny loafers! And no socks! It’s grotesque. Who the fuck does he think he is? He’s a no good penny loafer no sock wearing...coming in here, no socks, no socks, no socks! (The following is delivered very slowly.) This is what you need to know about bartenders Erin. You see…Mark…he’s shit. He’s shit inside. Inside, he’s shit.

Soon after this, Erin left the restaurant, Michael fled town and Erin was inspired to create her own improv group, Molotov Cockroach. She’ll say that we co-founded it but she was the driving force and I was simply the second in command. Our shows consisted of improv games and sketches with tight creative transitions which gave our productions a seamless feel. Giuliani had recently transformed peep show venues into Off Broadway theaters and we would do some shows at these converts that often had poles on the stage. One memorable sketch was called “Charlton in Charge” where Charlton Heston was the adored rifle wielding babysitter teaching the kids about the NRA.

This was one of my happiest times in New York because of its rawness, really coming into my own and accepting that I was an artist.

In 2001, Erin’s life took a huge turn that was traumatic but ultimately ended up being a blessing in disguise. In May 2001, Erin married Neil. In December 2001, Erin divorces Neil because he didn’t get the memo that explained that when you get married you’re not supposed to have sex with other people. She was working at New York University and received an email from the girl he was shtupping that was a detailed account of his infidelity. She comes over to my apartment immediately with this grounded empowering strength and calmly says, “Pop the champagne that I don’t have kids with this asshole.” Soon after, she moved home to New Orleans and then to Austin where she met her wonderful husband Kevin. They’ve made two babies. Girls.

Whenever I come to Austin, I get to see my favorite lady. I’m teaching a comedy improv workshop for a few days at Lake Austin Spa and Resort and she came to visit me yesterday afternoon. As we went on a long walk and sat by the pool, we reminisced about our shared experiences in New York from 1997 to 2001. It was very much like two friends catching up over an intimate cup of General Mills International Coffee. The Vienna Blend.

I got into journalist mode and started a casual interview with Erin:

Jax: What do you miss about living in New York?

Erin: Being in a place as big as my ambitions.

Jax: Your character work is as committed, brilliant and as transformative as Kristen Wig’s. I don’t throw out this grandiose analogy lightly. How do you embody (mind, body, spirit) these rich characters that you create?

Erin: I have to be in character for a few minutes before I get on stage. First I get the physicality down and then I layer in the vocal aspects and the emotional components.

Jax – Your strength was the character work while I was more of the writer and host.

Erin – You could make a character out of the straight woman. You were an anchor for the shows with amazing one liners. There was one bit that we did where you were being sold something complicated and needed more explanation. You said, “I’m not very smart and…hell...I’m not going to pretend like I am…” That brought the audience back into this esoteric world that we were trying to build.

Jax: The sketch that you and I created called SOMO’s (Southern Mothers) is one of my all time favorites. Just our names..Loretta and Judith.

Erin: I remember coming on stage (wearing neckerchiefs) and talking in this lovely upper class over the top southern accented gibberish. We would talk over each other and then take these exaggerated collective sighs.

Jax: We were so in sync. There was almost a rhythm to it. Then we would try to outdo each other with our children’s achievements. I’d tell you, “My daughter just move to New York and got a part in a film on the Greek Isles. It’s being filmed in New Jersey. She’s not getting paid…but she got a free lunch.”

Erin: Then I’d turn to the audience and say joyously, “Well that’s like getting paid..ya gotta pay for lunch!”

Jax: I miss throwing regular house parties and having you at them.

Erin: When I think of your parties...I think of fondue and no cliques. New Year’s 2001…you had this huge party in your studio apartment in the village. You were preparing spinach dip, there was some type of “Breakfast Club” Molly Ringawald dancethon and people were doing ecstasy in the bathroom.

Jax: Who was that guy you would make out with in the bathroom at Bar 54?

Erin: Greg Sax. He played the bass.

Jax: Words of advice for your daughters? And my blog readers.

Erin: A goal is only as good as its commitment.