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!"
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.