Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 367 - Ask Jax - Part 26

August 31st, 2010

This is the 26th installment of my "Ask Jax" series. Although I have completed my 365 day blog entry challenge, continuing to regurgitate blog seems to clear my mind as I am putting together my book pitch to submit to agents. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity. Remember there are no stupid questions. Just stupid people who ask questions.

How many people can I blame for an "air biscuit" on an elevator before being discovered? Say 8 others are riding said elevator. - Zachary B Atkinson, Wilmington, North Carolina

Jax's Answer - Your air biscuits, anal acoustics, backdoor breezes and butt blowing bugles are really just cries of imprisoned fecal matter. Blame yourself, own it and just explain to the 8 other elevator passengers that you always get a nervous stomach when you're drunk, disgruntled and have a gun.

What are the winning lottery numbers? - Roberta Scott, San Francisco, California

Jax's Answer - Jenny’s number. 867-5309

When we go out for sushi, my boyfriend only orders California Rolls. What does that say about him? - Anonymous, Madison, Wisconsin.

Jax's Answer - Only eating California is like saying you love the Grateful Dead. But the only song you know is "Truckin'".

So why did the dish run away with the spoon? - Heather Antonelli, Brooklyn, New York

Jax's Answer - The earliest recorded version of the English nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle" was printed in London in Mother Goose's Melody around 1765, with the lyrics:

High diddle diddle,
The Cat and the Fiddle,
The Cow jump'd over the Moon,
The little dog laugh'd to see such Craft,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

The history. The Dish and the Spoon first met when they were part of a high end Pottery Barn display setting. They were thrown out on the street after Dish was maliciously gossiping about a floral Decorative Pillow Cover being gay. Spoon was ostracized for seducing a Fork and branded as a whore for having a baby, a Spork. Dish and Spoon panhandled on the streets of London before Mother Goose, the Mother Teresa of rescuing impoverished dishware, saved them. Life was good....until Cow jumping over the moon landed on Dish...leaving him cracked, deformed and the plate where the Purina was served to the fiddling cat and laughing dog. Spoon had also reached the peak of humiliation when Mother Goose took a liking to hanging her from her nose. So the Dish and the Spoon got out of dodge in search of a more prestigious life. Where did they runaway to? There was an open call for Judas's place setting at The Last Supper.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 366 - I'm Back with a Blog & Tonic. Just Trying to Thrivive.

August 12th, 2010

It's been four days since the last day of my "365 Day Blog Entry Challenge of Cosmic Angst Through the Eyes of Comedic Insight". If you want to peruse the synopsis of my experience of this endeavor, visit http://jacquelinekabat.blogspot.com and read , "Day 365 - The Finale: Drunk. Drunk off Blog". Next step- pitch as book to literary agents. Goal it ready to submit to agents by September 17th. On deadline and my boss (me) is breathing down my neck. Bitch. And she didn't even wear a bra today.

I'm back bloggin' sooner than expected. It appears as if I have a genetic predisposition for getting drunk. Off blog. My poison? Blog and Tonic. With an umbrella.

Plus, I missed y'all...the rapport, the pillow fights...the walks on the beach discussing feminine products. Sure, I've risked the chance that you've moved on to another blog with a fancier backdrop. I know how you love paisley. I can't commit to daily entries... but just know I am available to be your part time blog lover.

Despite the fact that I am still supersonically driven to take McBlog to the next level, I was feeling a tinge of that sluggish malaise that visits us after those grandiose positive occurrences. Luckily before I got hooked on drowsiness, these happenings kept me in the flow.

- From the largish amounts of congratulations, it turns out that more people were reading than I had assumed. That felt good. Real good.

- I discovered that if printed Day 1 - Day 365, it would equal a 505 page book. My blogasphere output seemed tangible..and I like to touch things.

- My creative genius friend, Amanda Berlin, asked to interview me for the site. http://the-thrivivalist.com/. According to Amanda, I was a Thrivivalist: (n) thri-vie-vuhl-ist, one who lives in a state of thriving, living life with fervor, with love, and with integrity, minute by minute, not only during times of adversity.

As I never like to disappoint anyone who takes time to blow smoke up my ass, I answered her inquiry with a, "Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!"

I shall share:

What does "thriving" mean to you?

Thriving is directly related to owning your passion, the confidence to carve your own path and keeping your sense of humor. Laughing at our mistakes is an immediate remedy for self criticism. I also feel maintaining a deep empathy for others and yourself is a crucial quality. Making the effort to resonate with others keeps us grounded, selfless and humble. Thriving is the payback we get by tapping into our emotional intelligence to be sensitive, genuine and patient with ourselves and the world around us.

What do you do on a regular basis in an effort to thrive?

Write. I'm not only speaking about my 365 day blog entry challenge. If I say, think, see, hear or feel anything that makes me take pause...I know it's worth holding onto. It might serve me creatively in five minutes or 5 years. I trust that what's reaching me on any level is absolutely connected to my passion.

In what ways have you gone from survival mode to thrivival mode?

I started to embrace my "think outside of the box" wiring. On the last day of my blog I wrote, "Upon review of blogs past... there were days that not only was I out of the box... I was miles away from the box. Or kilometers if I lived in Europe." My readers were appreciating and finding humor in the way I was processing everyday trial and tribulations. This support allowed my writing to develop because I had the confidence that my big, perplexing and amusing choices were resonating with my readers. And myself.

What are some things that get in the way of your efforts to thrive?

Being involved in so many aspects of comedy (performing, writing and teaching) has the potential to feel overwhelming and leave me scattered. The year long blog challenge kept me working, focused and curious. Committing to write everyday forced me to be accountable to my readers. To myself. My life on an "unconventional path" used to make me overly sensitive to what others thought about me. Upon reflection, I've come to realize that I am ultimately judging myself and creating a self sabotaging and debilitating occurrence that will undoubtedly put a halt to my focus, passion and creativity.

If you feel low, how do you boost your level of thriving?

Shifting self-critical thoughts is the first step because one negative idea has the capacity to turn into an 8-lane highway if we allow it be all-consuming. It's unbelievable how unkind we can be to ourselves. I would never treat anyone the way I treat myself at times. I have a very thin veil around me and tend to absorb people's energy very easily. This has been a great challenge when in the company of people who see themselves as victims...but has also served as a powerful healing tool. When life appears to be working against me, I try my best to surround myself with positive people with giving, authentic and loving energy. This seems to clear the negative emotions that could hold me back from success. I also suggest that diving into some creative endeavor can shift a mood quite fast by keeping us present. I've discovered that there is some wisdom to simply approaching fear, shaking hands with it and than transmuting the (real or perceived) fear into any medium of art. I generally process hardship into some form of comedy.

Is there someone whose efforts to thrive you really admire? Who and why?

My students. As a comedy improv teacher, I am aware that most of my students haven't played since they were children. Watching them step out of their comfort zones and unleash all fear and inhibitions never seizes to inspire me. They are constantly reminding me that although there are times we feel off-centered and unsure, there is the potential for us to thrive and become alive by simply getting up, doing something, trying it out, making mistakes, playing, laughing and trying it once again. Teachers teach what they need to learn.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Finale - Day 365 - Drunk. Drunk off Blog

August 8th, 2010

I'm feeling pressured. Totally self induced. I feel obliged that this final entry should promise closure, entice your senses and serve up some climactic event that will have you saying, "Wow. That Jax really ended her ‘365 Day Blog Entry Challenge of Cosmic Angst Through the Eyes of Comedic Insight’ in a satisfying way. I’m drunk. Drunk off blog.”

A promise I hope to fulfill: I will reach to my depths to satisfy (despite my performance anxiety.) I’ve developed deep empathy for men feeling the pressure to have "the sex" after heavy alcohol consumption.

One year ago, this I knew:

- I was not prolifically oozing creative gems out of my pores.
- I felt blocked.
- I was in critical need to bring back the “flow" of my life.
- When I am stagnant my spirit is in danger of plummeting.
- Forward movement in my life has always been connected to authentic creative expression.

Our patterns are observed by the sum of our experiences and the through line in my life is very clear to me: My happiness is directly linked to creative expression. Being involved in the arts provides intense bliss. And stress. Seldom anything in between. Quite simply, creativity=health. I figured that committing to a daily blog entry could return me to this flow thing, give my inner creative workings "a place to live” and keep me disciplined and accountable to you. To Me. To Us.

So I took that first step down that invisible staircase.

I know that I flourish artistically when I shake up my environment. Over the last year, my laptop and I have served up blog to you from a Chinese restaurant, my bed, on balconies, on couches, in bars, in the apartments of a few "special" men who have crossed my path this year, airplanes, trains, limos(not the fancy ones), subways, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Charleston, SC(3 times), a mid 80's-esque library basement in Sag Harbor, open mics, The Trump Soho Hotel in Soho, The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, my hair salon, a hospital waiting room when visiting my stepfather, the stoop in front of my apartment and many coffee shops(most notable, Naidre's Cafe down the street from my apartment.)

Then half a year had passed and on day 182 , we celebrated my blog’s half birthday. We ate ½ a cake. With marzipan. Good news: I was over the hump. Bad news: I spent $750 on soy lattes in six months.

At my halfway point, I perused 182 days of material and here’s where I took you. You’re welcome. Or I’m sorry. Your choice. In summation: There have been times that I have been tempted to throw an intervention for myself because I’m a big of fan of crudités, boxes of wine and denial. We learned that tits are powerful and I stopped getting things for free in the winter months when I am covered up. In the summer, the neighborhood scaffolding guy asked for my phone number because I looked like I had a “nice set of personalities.” Choosing a waxer is like picking a lover because both involve an act so intimate which involves endurance, strength, shared sensory experiences and interdependence. My dream is to have a bar called Bar Mitzvah. I’ll have an endless supply of top shelf Manishevitz, patrons will pay in savings bonds and I’ll have a sign behind the bar that says," Hava Nagila Have a Tequila!” I’m convinced that when men go to the bathroom with each other that they joyfully piss on each other while chanting, “God DAMN! I LOVE HAVING A PENIS!!!” I had some reflective days and wrote about being in control of life’s challenges as opposed to allowing them to control us. I conceptualized an ice skating show spectacular entitled “Sure. This is The First Time You Weren’t Able to Maintain an Erection. On Ice.” We learned the power of the blogosphere when someone with the title “Executive in Charge” from Jerry Seinfeld’s production company asked me to take a post down that could be damaging. I did not and wrote a blog entitled “Executive in Charge of Myself.”: http://jacquelinekabat.blogspot.com/2009/12/day-125-executive-in-charge-of-myself.html. You now know that I intend to start a line called Jax's Baby Doo-Rags. For babies. In baby gangs. I tested your knowledge in determining if someone was a Jew, not-a-Jew or Canadian. I shared Jax’s Guidelines For Using Time-Outs With Adults. I admitted to my readers that I feel like I live inside a Broadway musical because I once dated a guy whose last name was Of The Opera…first name, Phantom, I have an usher in my apartment who escorts me to my furniture and 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. We learned that on Christmas, Moses took Jesus to T.G.I Fridays for his birthday. I created a 12-Step program for hipsters do de-hipsterize. We compared PMS to a tornado, learned how to make love while conscious, read a fairytale entitled “The Serotonin That Lost Its Way” and went inside a purse and learned that our keys are gay.

I made note that if I was in still in the depths of an emotional, physical or a spiritual abyss, I wouldn’t have been able to stick to this project. Especially in the depths of winter. No easy task. There were blizzard like days where I was cursing out loud while walking through “wintry mixes” of evil. But I got to my destination, wiped the tears from my eyes and wrote:

- Day 114 - "The Weather = Satan"
- Day 132 - "Sorry to be Stern Winter. Tough Love"
- Day 137 – (Hot)"Toddy and Avoidance"

Then I softened up on Day 186 when I wrote, “Snow : The Sexiest of the Precipitations”. This entry was a preview for Fox’s newest reality show called “So You Want to be a Water Vapor Falling from the Sky Idol.” Judged by Simon Cowell, Snow won and went to Hollywood. Sadly, it didn’t end well for Hail when Simon said, “Did you really believe that you could become the next ‘Water Vapor Falling from the Sky Idol’? You’re a pathetic excuse for a complex dance between moisture, wind and ice crystals. You have to commit. Do you want to fall to earth or not? Go back to your cumulus cloud, lose some weight and if you want to pursue a career in precipitation, don't.”

At the half way point, I saw that my writing style was directly applicable to my many (many) years of improv experience and a few years of stand up. Improv is only effective when we’re writing on our feet. I took that facet of unscripted performance and applied it to being stringent about conceptualizing what I was going to write each day…on each day. Not before. Also, another fundamental improv rule is to always make your partner look good. Since I write from the assumption that “we’re all in this together”, I tried to be kind to my readers. I hope I succeeded. If not, just remember I think your ass looks great in those jeans.

My learnings from stand up came into play by attempting to write as if I was speaking to you conversationally. Not at you. I find it cathartic to tap into topics that we collectively find ironic and anger arousing…and then I like to put a candy wrapper around it. I discovered that I was choosing the words, using the punctuation and attempting to create a rhythm similar to how I deliver words while on stage(while you were obligated to a 2 drink minimum.)

Jumping into part two of the year’s writing-palooza was notably less daunting. There were hints of spring and I went from having no friends in my neighborhood to 30 friends who are "soul authentic friends" feeding me laughs, depth and reassurance that they have my back. The stage was set for me to apply another pertinent improv rule. Have fun.

I’ve always been told that I can think outside of the box…but upon review of blogs past... there were days that not only was I out of the box… I was miles away from the box. Or kilometers if I lived in Europe. I’m even perplexed and amused that the following were thought processes brought to you by me:

- On day 239 –“How to Resurrect – by Jesus H. Christ” - “This new book at the critics in agreement: “Finally an easy ‘how to’ guide that will have you resurrecting in no time! If you liked Judas’s critically acclaimed ‘Trader. Liar. Friend’...this book’s for you!”

- Day 238 – “Teeth. And Why you Need Them” – “The Tooth Fairy shouldn’t be required to visit anyone after puberty. And come on…like she’s not busy enough. She Tooth fairies at night. And strips during the day.”

- Day 363 – “ Motorcycle Guy: You Are So Cool, It Hurts” - “Ladies, it's of considerable value to prioritize. Let's stay focused. Although it's likely that our motorcycle man's time on earth will be cut short due to a bloody collision on the highway, he's smokin' hot before he expires. We can't consume our thoughts with the negatives that tell us a motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash. Sure, our special guy will take the full brunt of impact, is at risk of being thrown off the bike and being hit by other vehicles on the road. Bury those thoughts and have the attitude of gratitude. Our guy (that is immune to joy and grief) is assured in his superiority and sends a message of nonconformity. Except, of course, conforming to other men who ride motorcycles.”

As I was getting closer to day 365, I wanted to continue to have fun, grow and learn. And learn I did. While experiencing(and writing about) an intense case of writer’s block on day 203. I learned that there was an ailment that I have never suffered from - Penis panic. Sufferers become convinced that their genitals are disappearing into their bodies. It can be contagious and penis panic swept through Singapore in 1967 and thousands of men became convinced that their penises were being stolen. This was information I was unaware of on day 202.

Interesting note, I celebrated both of my grandmother’s 90th birthdays during this writing project. I used my blog as the place to document how pivotal these 2 women have been in my life. Not only did I share my tributes with my readers, I shared them with my grandmothers. Very Poignant. Expressing gratitude to those we love should always be shared when we have our time together. Do it. Just do it. Seriously.

Another granmotherly opportunity presented material that I got from a happy hour…at my grandmother’s assisted living. A few memories from Day 112 “Nonchalant Observer -Installment #3 – Retirement Community Happy Hour”.

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

- “One heavily made-uped woman in bright flowing clothes is stumbling across the room with her wine and flirting with disinterested men. Token assisted living floozy?”

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

The 25 entries of my “Ask Jax Column” were some of my most enjoyable days. I hoped that I lived up to my pledge to answer ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity. Again, my improv make up served itself in these entries as I thrive on the interactiveness with my readers. On day 336, Claudia Mizrahi of Brooklyn, New York asked me, “Sexual harassment at work-is it a problem for the self-employed?” My reply: “If your definition of problem is awesome... then yes, sexual harassment is awesome for the self-employed. I've been sexually harassing myself for years. My skin has a rosy hue, I'm getting along better with my mother and have taken up para-sailing.”

I can’t deny that found a surplus of amusement conceptualizing , personifying and exploring the point of views and emotional depths of nonhuman entities……like...

Drugs - Day 6 – “The Serotonin Who Lost his Way” and Day 257 – “Talk to Your Drugs. About Kids”

Dogs - Day 19 – “Canine Conundrum?”

Seasons - Day 33 –“ Summer, Didn't We Almost Have it All?” and Day 132 – “Sorry to be Stern Winter. Tough Love” and Day 241 – “Spring. I'm Ready to Put Out”

The Alphabet - Day 55 – “Inanimate Object Whisperer”

A Cliché - Day 78 – “You Complete Me”

Emotions - Day 127 – “Emotional Party”

Years - Day 143 – “Steamy New Years”

A pen - Day 149 – “Memoirs of a pen named Pen”

Objects in a purse - Day 170 – “Live Together, Die Alone”

Condensation - Day 186 – “Snow : The Sexiest of the Precipitations”

Days of the week - Day 192 – “Tuesday. No Rose For You”

Mental Disorders - Day 268 – “Insane Movie Night”

The Devil - Day 326 – “Satan - Lactose Intolerant”

Breasts - Day 334 – “Boobs: People Have Them or People Love Them”

Body hair - Day 355 – “Hair-mony”

Let us revisit a blurb from an entry you seemed to resonate with, Day 246 – “STD Happy Hour”.

(Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are standing by a pinball machine during happy hour at a dive bar called The Itch. Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin' for You” is playing on the jukebox.)

Chlamydia – Gonorrhea, I think it’s great that we make the effort to meet up periodically to discuss business.

Gonorrhea – I am too Chlamydia. Remind me, why can’t Syphilis and Herpes make it?

Chlamydia – Herpes got a gig with Eliot Spitzer and Syphilis went to England to research his ancestry.

Gonorrhea - That’s right! His roots go back to Henry VIII.

Chlamydia – And Christopher Columbus…

Gonorrhea - Syphilis is old school. We’re lucky to know him.

Since the blogasphere medium offers a writer instant feedback, I looked to the topics you seemed to be consistently be gravitating towards…and the result: day 319, “So It Turns Out...We're All Pervs”. More specifically... boobs. Y’all love the ladies. Since I write “for the people”, on day 318 –“ I'll Show You My Boobs If....”, I offered to show you my bosom if you could explain to me why Wolf Blitzer looks like a wolf.

Your intrigue with all that is mammary was the catalyst for an interview with a pair of breasts, Mommy 1 and Mommy 2 on day 334, “Boobs: People Have Them or People Love Them". Here are a few things we learned:

Mommy 2: We have no say as to who Master brings home to fondle us. That's Brain's job. Sadly, Master is a raging drunk and an expert in bad decision making. We've been mauled by some real douches.

Mommy 1: Sports bras are strait jackets for breasts. I'd rather not revisit the fear, claustrophobia and suffocation that we experienced when Master ran a 5K.

Mommy 2: We're not naive. When Master gets knocked up...we'll end up making all the meals.

In addition to tit talk, you all clearly were enjoying “tapping” into topics under the fornication umbrella. On “Day 340 - The Answer is Sex, Alex”, it was evident that our writer/reader relationship was developing a(sexual) rhythm and it only seemed fair and balanced that I continue to give you what you want. The Sex.

In the spirit of going all jeopardy on your ass (that I can bounce a nickel off of ) I presented some inquiries where the answes were s-e-x. A sampling:

- “Instead of teaching Bristol the sport of wolf gunning, Sarah Palin should have been talking to her daughter about _______.”

- What was anti-gay Idaho Senator Larry Craig in search of when he entered a men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport?”

- “What's the number "6" in German?

Looking back at my entries, I feel confident that some are rich in content. And some are absolutely disposable. But even the “trashables” add value to this endeavor’s continuity because I see these misses as necessary components in order to arrive at the hits. On day 52 –“ My Bad”, I wrote," If we’re consistently hitting the mark every time... it seems that we’re blessed with a certain amount of luck and will eventually suffer some hard to process disappointments when life serves up some reality. Perfectionists scare me. The twist seems to be that expecting nothing less than perfectionism every time is, in itself, missing the mark.”

I don’t see my writing days coming to a total halt. However, I will be taking some time off because I need to know what I miss, why I miss it and focus on how exactly I can take these 365 days to the next level. This project has confirmed that it’s crucial to make very real goals and let the universe know.

- I want to make money from my writing
- I want to have a book
- I want a "Ask Jax" column. In "The Onion" would be ideal
- I want a literary agent
- I want a pony. Named Dazzle

On past blogs, I’ve already brainstormed possible book titles:

- "How to be Successful in Comedy When You and Your Parents Are Not Alcoholics"

- "Writers: Keeping Coffee Houses in Business Since the Invention of Words"

- "My Year of Tranformative Soul Searching. And I'm Still Fucked Up"

- "The Divinci Code"

- "Enablers are Just Special Givers"

- "Boobs! Boobs! Boobs!"

- "Oprah"

My blog has proven to be a reliable tool to access my “flow” by offering up some soul clearing, mental stimulation and emotional grounding. Without a doubt. It has made me stronger. Will I still have seemingly stagnant shitty days? Without a doubt. Besides, the doldrums tend to inspire great material.

I find beauty and solace in knowing the permanency of throwing our art…our authenticity… our soul into the universe (or blogasphere…same thing). No one can take that away from us. Bonus if we reach people in a positive way.

A very special friend once told me that my purpose in life was to be a healer. Through comedy. She said that I was an alchemist (who turns lead to gold.) This friend said that I " have the ability of taking the lead of every day trials and tribulations and turning it into the gold of the spirit.”

With these 365 entries, I found some peace while riding(writing) through my own angst. Maybe you did too. And if not. You got to read about boobs.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 364 - I'd Be a Narcissist If I Didn't Love Myself So Much

August 7th, 2010

I'd Be a Narcissist If I Didn't Love Myself So Much.

As I compose day 364 of my 365 day blog entry challenge, I'm coming to terms that just the very nature of partaking in this yearlong endeavor could imply some narcissism on my part. The following equation has developed. I write + You read + When I get positive feedback = I feel good.

But as I have glided and stumbled through this life thing, I have repeatedly been told, "You're too hard on yourself."

So I will gentle. Treat myself like a delicate flower.

Here goes. At my core, I don't see myself as egotistic, vain and selfish. I'll fess up that I possess a certain amount of healthy narcissism that includes a reasonable amount of self-worth, principles of the moral kind and being sensitive to the plight of others. Yay me.

Perhaps my candidness is inspiring you to look inward and you're asking me, "Jax, Am I narcissistic? Am I narcissist, Jax? Like the bad kind of narcissism. I'm scared. Confused. Need to be held."

Just your uncertainly implies that it's critical that you immediately evaluate yourself and take painful self-analysis of your motives, actions and beliefs.

Do you resonate with the following scenarios?

- You embrace the shame that lurks in your soul and take every measure to never process negative emotions in healthy ways. Your days are filled with reading Hitler's "Mein Kampf", going to your OJ Simpson fan club meeting and listening to white power singer songwriter Johnny Rebel's song "Nigger Hatin Me".

- You preach that entitlement is your birthright. This is often exemplified when sharing toys with small children. With malicious intent, you grab toys from toddlers and enjoy watching them cry because you're getting instant feedback. And that's awesome.

- Not a day goes by that you don't tell yourself, "Feeling emotions is so Oprah. I hate her. But Stedman's pretty cool. Because he has a mustache."

- You tell yourself that your magical thinking and irrational beliefs are making you creative. As a result, your "artistry" is exhibited by weaving pot holders. Painting pine cones. Using your blood to write the following on your ex's car. "I love you so much that I will kill you quickly.XOXO".

If you're saying to yourself, "Yes Jax. All of these symptoms above...I have them. Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!"

You need help. I will help you heal. After I stop admiring my reflection on my computer screen. I simply can't look away.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 363 - Motorcycle Guy: You Are So Cool, It Hurts.

August 6th, 2010

I made a new friend in my neighborhood several months ago and every time I'd cross paths with this guy... he was holding a helmet. Since I never investigated his protective head gear thoroughly, I just assumed it accompanied his preferred mode of transportation, a motorcycle. There was no doubt that this cool rider had mastered the art of badassery and I had thoughts that went like so: "Wow this guy really carves his own path. He wears, watches, drinks and listens to what he chooses, when he chooses and where he chooses. Clearly he is supplied with an unlimited source of awesomenimity. He is so cool, it hurts. What a badass.”

As I watched this indifferent heroic being exit the bar, I witnessed as he confidently sauntered over to his vehicle...which was, in fact (to my surprise and undelight), not a motorcycle. A bike it was. A bike I say. Immediately my image of faux motorcycle hero plummeted. Deep.

Don't fight me on this: Bikes are cool. Bikes with motors are cooler.

Sure, there are arguments that attempt to steer women away from falling for that stoic power symbol connected to a 2 wheeled motor vehicle. Our new man will most likely die soon since motorcycles have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance traveled when compared with automobiles. But don't let that overshadow the pluses. We get to brag to our friends, family and random strangers on the street that we have landed a free spirited power symbol. For a limited time only. Because of that death thing.

Oh statistics, why is your mission to eradicate enjoyment, amusement and pleasure?

Ladies, it's of considerable value to prioritize. Let's stay focused. Although it's likely that our motorcycle man's time on earth will be cut short due to a bloody collision on the highway, he's smokin' hot before he expires. We can't consume our thoughts with the negatives that tell us a motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash. Sure, our special guy will take the full brunt of impact, is at risk of being thrown off the bike and being hit by other vehicles on the road. Bury those thoughts and have the attitude of gratitude. Our guy (that is immune to joy and grief) is assured in his superiority and sends a message of nonconformity. Except, of course, conforming to other men who ride motorcycles.

And to the men out there who are asking themselves, "Should I get a death vehicle or be guaranteed (a brief deadly pre-collision) opportunity with a slew of women who will open their hearts (and legs) to me?"

Baby steps.

I suggest walking around for 1 day with a motorcycle helmet. No motorcycle necessary in this phase. See the reaction. Feel the reaction. Fornicate with the reaction.

You will have your answer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 362 - Ask Jax - Part 25

This is the 25th and last (for now) installment of my "Ask Jax" series. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity. Remember there are no stupid questions. Just stupid people who ask questions.

When you have completed the 365 day challenge what will you attempt next and will it be a goal on which all your FB friends will be brought along? Andy Caploe, New York, New York

Jax's Answer - Valid inquiry Andy. I've been thinking that my follow up project will be less about "bringing" my Facebook friends and more about "going" to them. Literally. I plan to visit all 2075 of my Facebook friends. I will personally go to each and everyone's house to physically converse with them. I will bring along a professional camera crew (film students from NYU) to document the non virtual unions. I will only ask one question of each member of my network. "What do you like best about me?"

Boxers or briefs? - Debbie Ross Serrano,Woodland Hills, California

Jax's Answer - Underoos

Query: How do you stay so fresh and dewy looking? - Jessica Steward, Boston Massachusetts

Jax's Answer - I’m pretty healthy ¾ of the time. The other quarter I wreak havoc and destruction on my mind, body and spirit. Also, for no apparent reason, my cutlery set only consisting of sporks seems to keep me young.

Jackie now u done w 365thing where u go for vacation? Steven Hwang

Jax's Answer - Your bedroom

Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup? Pete Schwinge, Brooklyn, New York

Sadly, the illiterate don't experience the delightful mental stimulation that readers get when indulging in soupy goodness. What could be more frustrating than not stringing together linguistic gems with processed letter shaped noodles in a simmering liquid edible? Interest note, illiterate individuals...surprisingly good at Boggle

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 361 - Foot Loose Councilmen

August 4th, 2010

In Footloose, upbeat Chicago teen Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) moves from the big city to a small town and is informed, "You won't get any dancing here, it's illegal."

His response: "Jump back!"

Let's revisit the most classic tales of teen rebellion and repression that only comes to resolution through sweeping choreography and overacting.

As an adult, I've wondered what uptight Reverend Shaw Moore(John Lithgow) and the city council decided not to ban before they banished rock music and dancing.

Let's assume it went down like so:

(Location: City Council Meeting in a small church lead by Reverend Shaw Moore. I have conceptualized the names of other council members. Some inspired by media figures. Some are names I just picture in this meeting. In my mind's eye. Also, let's assume the meeting was conducted in Parliamentary Procedure. With powdered wigs.)

Reverend Shaw: The meeting will come to order. The secretary will read the minutes of the last meeting.

Secretary O'Reilly: I'll just cut to the chase. We basically just said that we hate black people.

Reverend Shaw: Are there any corrections to the minutes?

Councilmen Burnell - We also moved that we hate Jews, Mexicans and Persian kittens.

Reverend Shaw: If there are no further corrections, the minutes stand approved. Is there any new business?

Councilmen Newt: I move that it's time to ban something fun. I'm just not sure what. I'd like to open up the floor to discussion.

Reverend Shaw: All in favor of an open floored discussion about banning things that are fun...say "Aye"...those opposed say "Nay".

(All members passionately yell"Aye!")

Councilmen Jofestuss: I would move to make alcohol illegal...but I have some significant reservations. I love that booze gives me the excuse to feel confident, uninhibited and really horny.

Secretary O'Reilly: The effects are too positive...acting without reason and accountability should not be a right to be stripped of. I go back and forth on banning crystal meth...but I do see some valid reasons to keep it around. It's been brilliantly effective in desecrating the bad part of town.

Councilmen Newt: True, we've really seen progress. Now I vacillate if we should put an end to our key parties. But Reverend Shaw, your wife is so smokin' hot.

Reverend Shaw - That she is Newt. (They high five.) I welcome the times you have sinful relations with the Mrs...that's when I explore my gayness with the young naive boy at the Dairy Queen. I move that we ban guns!( All laugh)...Just kidding.

Councilmen Burnell - Nice one Rev. On a serious note, I need to address what is truly causing havoc in society...Boy Bands. (All pause then l nod in agreement.) Although I am entranced with the sweet guy. The brooding one. And the guy who oozes, "I am so street...", I just think it's time to put an end to them...because they get more attention than us.

Councilmen Jofestuss - Excellent point Councilmen Burnell. I move that we ban rock music and dancing. If we take that away from the Boy Bands...they'll just be undereducated guys working manual labor. Plus, taking away music and dancing is sure to piss off the teenagers. And I hate teenagers.

(All mumble under their breath that they are also haters of teens.)

Councilmen Burnell - I move that we ban rock music and dancing from our small ignorant town because there is nothing we like to do more than fuck with the teenagers.

Councilmen Jofestuss - I second the motion.

Reverend Shaw - The motion has been made by and seconded. All in favor of banning rock music and dancing from our small ignorant town because there is nothing we like to do more than fuck with the teenagers. ...please say "Aye"..and if opposed, say "Nay". (Overwhelming "Aye" response.) The motion has been passed and as of now, there is a ban on rock music and dancing from our small ignorant town because there is nothing we like to do more than fuck with the teenagers.

(Cheers from the councilman. Secretary O'Reilly and Councilman Newt accidentally start to dance in celebration. As a punishment, they are tar and feathered.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 360 - Being Nice. Overrated?

August 4th, 2010

Two days ago, on day 358, "Catered Camping. Good For the Soul"
( http://jacquelinekabat.blogspot.com/2010/08/day-358-catered-camping-good-for-soul.html), I explained that I had a near perfect weekend in the wilderness with some of my favorite people. I urged you all to take a similar getaway and shared some essential ingredients that must be included in your adventure.

One necessity: Bill. I wrote, "We stayed at a campsite in Bear Mountain operated by Bill. If you ask him what his last name is, his response will be, 'Not important.' He looked like Santa Clause's alternative universe twin with more pot belly and no jeer. 73 year old sketchy Santa shared a little about himself. 'I got this far by being mean.'"

I didn't share with Bill that I pride myself in striving to be conscious, creative and compassionate. Basically, nice. I feel that I live these intentions most of the time...and when I don't, I've found that I've gotten better(not perfect yet) at constructive criticism.

But Bill seemed happy...in a bitter lonely geriatric kinda way. After all, he does own a campsite...the most respected outdoor career(closely followed by large animal manure inspector and the guy who draws chalk outlines on pavement.)

I had a dream last night(in black and white) and Bill sauntered over to me and handed me a pamphlet: "How to be Mean - Live the Life You Want..But Let's Face It...Are Never Gonna Get".

Some tips:

- Use your temper. You know who has chutzpah? You do.

- If people have inconvenienced you, let them know in a childish manner. Children are cute.

- Don't put yourself in another person's shoes.Toothbrushes should be shared..not shoes. Ew.

- Interrupt people when they're speaking. You're a words savant. With a BA in English. And a Masters Degree in Lowbrow Insults.

- Fighting fairly is boring. When arguing with another person, don't stick to the subject, be long winded and bring up unrelated issues that happened when Pluto was still a planet.

To my credit, I realized that I was reading garbage after being saved by that well intended peaceful old Native American man (with a tear in his eye) who is always dream crashing. He convinced me to continue to strive to live righteously. Then we went to pick up litter.

I wanted to return the pamphlet to Bill... but he had walked away. To kill a kitten.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 359 - Strong. Like El Guapo

August 3rd, 2010

I have to give myself an internal high five.

No. Not because today's horoscope praised my awesomeness.
Not because I'm having an exceptional hair day.
Not because the chef at my neighborhood cafe just gave me a free salad for being nice.

Although the above triumphs are worthy of the the gesture of the upraised arm/slap combo signifying elation and victory, I've metaphorically been observing myself as of late and have taken notice that I feel strong. Emotionally. I don't feel immune to adversity, but I am noticing that I'm coping better and recovering more hastily from strenuous conditions.

I credit this to a supportive and positive network of friends, family and cooks who provide me free ruffage. Perhaps even having only 6 days left in this 365 day blog entry challenge has contributed to my sense of self worth, perseverance capabilities and my ability to follow through. By focusing on the things that I can control, I am seeing progress in my life and no one, thing or zombie can crush my spirit and take that away for me.

Good news to those who feel like the world is pillaging against them with a pitchfork... strength is a mindset that can resurface from the muck of powerlessness. Effective coping skills are at our fingertips. So often we forget. To heal, some turn to religion. To a facet of spirituality. To Oprah. Where you find comfort is a personal choice. Look for it. Remind yourself that it is possible to derive joy from the world around you.

Perhaps the following movie quotes will assist you in taking the first step to an upward spiral.

- In "Animal House", John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky was a drunken degenerate in his seventh year of college and had a GPA of 0.0.

D-Day: War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

Bluto goes on to become a United States Senator.

- Steve Martin (as Lucky Day) inspires a shift of consciousness in " ¡Three Amigos!"

"For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us...El Guapo is a big dangerous guy who wants to kill us."

Along with Nederlander and Dusty Bottoms, Lucky Day rode off into the into the sunset. As a hero.

- And no person has taught us the possibility of overcoming hardship more than Mel Gibson as William Wallace in "Braveheart".

"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

And Mel Gibson has the ability to spew hate about everyone. In one sentence.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 358 - Catered Camping. Good For the Soul

August 1st, 2010

According to the blog, "Stuff White People Like", American whities are universally smitten by expensive sandwiches, black music that black people don’t listen to anymore and vespas.

Also included in the list of Caucasian loves is camping.

Turns out to be true. Here's the deal. I've been feeling a little vulnerable the last few days. A relationship came to an end and I had one of 2 choices. Stay home and indulge in sullen aloofness or go camping with my friends. Yes, my white friends.

In one of my best decisions ever, I put myself on a bus to the wilderness to meet 8 people that I just adore. Bless their hearts....

It's been Jax tested. Should you feel in the doldrums, go camping immediately. However. You MUST include the following or I can't guarantee happiness:

1) Walkie Talkies
- We found it best to communicate with each other via walkie talkie. Very effective when the group was divided into 2 cars, at different places on our 10 mile hike through Minnewaska State Park and when we really wanted to drive a point home with the person next to us. Plus saying, "Roger", "Over" and referring to bikes as "boagies" is cool.

2) Assign nicknames to camp mates.
- We did:
Jax -Venus
Claudia - Desert Fox
Katy - Maverick
John - Poo Bear
Paul - Scooter
Mollie - Digger
Lauren - Odyssey
Pete - The Artist Formally Known as Jack Rabbit Formally Known as Bald Eagle

3) Bill
- We stayed at a campsite in Bear Mountain operated by Bill. If you ask him what his last name is, his response will be, "Not important." He looked like Santa Clause's alternative universe twin with more pot belly and no jeer. 73 year old sketchy Santa shared a little about himself. "I got this far by being mean."

4) Think outside the box campfire dialogue and shenanigans
- The Artist Formally Known as Jack Rabbit Formally Known as Bald Eagle snuck out of the darkness wearing a hockey mask and holding a bloody ax. The only screamer was Desert Fox who later let out a high pitched cry after finding a spider in her tent. Interesting note, fear is unusual for this Jewish carnivorous breed.
- Tell your friends what product they would be. I was assigned Mrs. Butterworth which still perplexes me(even though...I do tan quite well. And my blood is made of syrup.)

5) Pick up $200 worth of BBQ to be eaten at campsite.

6) Props
- Decorate the site with a colorful banner of flags, bring a blow up monkey and a polka dot clown/ dunce hat to be worn by people who do stupid things. I wore it a lot. At one point, I wondered if Odyssey would get the hat if she got clumsy and fell in the bonfire. Would she have to wear it as she was being put in an ambulance? At her funeral? We came to the conclusion that if she "didn't make it"....the hat would sit upon her urn.

7) Not your grandma's alcoholic beverages
- Have you ever had a beer called Mountain Beer? You should because it claims to be "A very cool brew."
- From the cooler, Desert Fox presented a watermelon(wrapped in tin foil and easily mistaken for a severed head) that had been marinating in vodka and Malibu rum. Well received. VERY well received.

8) Sleep in an Eddie Bauer tent with built in sky dome.
- I saw the sky. And the sky saw me.

9) Chihuahua in an antebellum dress.
- The elderly couple in the RV next to our site came over to ask if we would leave our bottles for them to recycle. We suspected their true intention for the visit was to bring along their freakishly mellow chihuahua wearing a Scarlet O'Hara dress, pearl drop earrings and sunglasses. All beautifully accompanied with red painted nails.

10) On the way home, stop in City Island for seafood on an outside deck overlooking the water.
- Debbie the hostess gave us "the alleged" best table. Overlooking the parking lot.