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Embrace yourself, now

17 Aug

I’ve performed stand up comedy in my underwear twice,thanks to Joe Pettis and his underwear comedy party well,  once in boxers and a tank top, once in underwear, more like lingerie with a long sweater over it to cover the back, my ass was totally exposed (I LOVE my ass, but that was a bridge too far even for me). Both times were very fun and plan on doing it again next time it makes its way back around. What’s interesting to me is how many times I was told I was “brave” to do this show. Both before and after my sets. I found that word fascinating. Unfortunately I only taped my first set, not the most recent one from last year. I addressed this in the opening of both of my sets, in the link above I briefly talk about how this was just my body, my body has served me well, I’ve had two kids, and countless pizzas inside this body and this is it, it’s just my body, In my second set, I referenced being told I was “brave” again and said, I’m not rescuing kittens from a burning building, I’m just brazen enough to be okay with my body  as it is. I will admit there is a certain amount of chutzpah involved with being a woman of a certain size standing on stage trying to make people laugh, while wearing clothing that is underwear-like. But in all honesty, anyone standing on stage in general trying to make people laugh is pretty damn ballsy. My first underwear set was done about a month before my stroke, my second one, about a year after my stroke.  I was pleased with both sets. Do I think anything I did in my underwear has been brave, the second set more than the first,if I had to choose because post-stroke, I had a lot more issues to deal with (memory mainly) , and the road back to the stage was fraught with heartache and hardship. I don’t remember one person commenting how brave I was regarding my stroke after that set, but I did get the other comments  about my body. Does this mean Gainesville comedy fans are insensitive jerks? Maybe,  but probably not. I think it’s more that we’ve been socialized as a society to think to dare to live as a fat woman and be relatively okay with that is “brave”.

 

Several of my friends shared this Embrace official trailer on Facebook, and when I saw it, I shared it too. I got goosebumps when I first saw it, and read the heartfelt description about why it’s important for it to be seen in its entirety by as many people as possible, girls, women, men, boys, all different ages, nationalities, sizes, etc, society in general. I think what I took away from it besides the obvious junk we throw at people in this country regarding “ideal bodies”, is the importance of living in your body right now, emphasis on live. We have one life, this is it. I remember having a conversation with some past coworkers who were talking about not liking themselves in bathing suits, these women were moms. I told them “get over your weird feelings about your bodies, put on a bathing suit and go to the beach with your kids”. They weren’t very pleased with me.I lost 36 lbs. after my stroke, I worked really hard,  was hungry all the time, but I did it. My blood pressure didn’t drop one point, I didn’t magically feel better, I felt hungry. I gained what I lost and more back in a few months. I know, lifestyle change not diet is the key. I think if you followed me around you would be surprised that my diet is not bad or excessive. I don’t eat a lot. I don’t usually have chips, sodas or sweets in the house….I’m justifying my diet on my body positive blog…it doesn’t matter what or how I choose to eat, this is my body. I’m going to  embrace it and live my life now, inside this body. After I gained the weight back, I realized I was even more comfortable with my body than I had been before the stroke. I think maybe because I had fought back from stroke to get myself back to work and and back to my passion for comedy, and the fact that I fight my mental illness demons daily and will for my whole life, that it instilled a huge dose of IDGAF (I don’t give a fuck) in my psyche.

amy stage

This picture is from a comedy set I did last night(I promise the audience had more fun than it appears in this picture), pre-stroke, I NEVER would have worn a dress showing my arms like this . Last night I wore it because I felt like I looked pretty in it, it came in my size, it was cool (It’s 10,000 degrees here), so I said fuck it, and I spent the $11.00 to buy it, I stumbled across it when I went to get dog food quickly after work. I don’t care what I SHOULD wear according to whoever dictates those things. I also routinely wear leggings as pants because I’m a grown-ass woman who can do as she pleases. I can put them on my head and call them a hat if I want. Those snarky little memes showing (always a fat woman) wearing something deemed “socially unacceptable” with the oh so clever “advice” Just because something comes in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it. To that I say, if I want to wear it, it shall be worn.

I think getting attitudes to change about how fat people are perceived and sometimes shamed for being fat, won’t be an easy one. I think some misguided people think fat = unhealthy , but studies  have shown that to not necessarily be the case. My stroke was caused by a congenital heart defect and me being a dumbass and not taking my blood thinner regularly. We all have a comfort zone for how we feel most comfortable with how we look, if how you think I should look isn’t how I look, I don’t care,  get out of my bubble. You worry about you. Furthermore, I don’t know one person, fat or otherwise who would be appreciative of some stranger,under the guise of “being concerned about  their health” either fat or thin shaming  someone by telling them they need to lose or gain  weight. You cannot look at someone and magically assess their health based on outward appearance.   I think acceptance is very important, I want children to grow up with the realization that they are beautiful, special beings,inside and out. I want that for everyone beyond what their bodies look like, or what color their skin is, or how they identify themselves, or who they love, etc. I just want kindness. I don’t think that’s a tall order for humanity.

I will continue to be a bad ass/fat ass and stand on a stage wearing what I want, while getting people to both laugh and think about talking openly about mental illness and if simply doing that is perceived as “bravery” I can’t imagine that’s a bad thing.

Fight Like Hell, Baby Girl

13 Aug
Robin Williams

Robin Williams

 

I haven’t written anything on here in ages, and I apologize to my awesome readers for that. I have been writing, just comedy. I have been bitten in the ass by the comedy bug (yeah, sorry about that awful metaphor). When I’m not with my children, I’m either writing comedy, reading books about comedy, or performing comedy. I fell hard, and comedy, she is a cruel mistress (I’m sorry, it appears this post is going to be riddled with awful metaphors).

I have been fortunate in that I have surrounded myself with some amazing comedy mentors. I call the people (sometimes I refer to them as “kids” but not in a derogatory way, more in a I COULD BE THEIR MOM way, but we’ll stick with people) that I have gotten to know through workshops, open mics, actual gigs,  and Facebook posts, my comedy family, and they really are.  I have seen very little of the fabled cattiness that comedians can sometimes exhibit. I have found people who encourage me, nurture me, and have not ONCE made me feel like the oldest person in the room…and I am almost ALWAYS the oldest person in the room.

When Robin Williams took his own life, there was a collective gasp of disbelief across the internet. I, like many other people I imagine, first heard of his death on Facebook. I was actually practicing a set and was using my phone to record it. When I finished listening to myself, I clicked over to Facebook and was absolutely shocked at post after post proclaiming Robin Williams had died, apparent suicide. Immediately I got it.  I understood. I have always had a firm grasp on what drives my need to make others laugh. Classic case of chubby girl making the obvious joke before anybody else did. I have since embraced my body, but the need to make people laugh before they discover that I’m actually really boring, or stupid, or any number of other things that creep into my psyche on my darkest nights, lives on.

I’ve known days that were so dark it was almost impossible to see any light whatsoever. I felt like nothing would change. That this apathy was now my life. I would never feel any kind of joy, or even pain, nothing, ever again. Luckily, those days have numbered in the tens and I have an incredible support system in family and friends. I also sought therapy and was taking medication.

I don’t know if my depression was a case of nature or nurture, but I assume it was a mixture of both. I know my father, one of the funniest human beings ever to exist, fought his demons with all his might, and he battled them often.  I know if I could have chosen to NOT feel the way I was feeling, I would have chosen that. I also know if I had continued feeling the way I was for any length of time,  I would have felt like taking my own life was the lesser of two evils. I would have felt like my children deserved so much better and that I was like an anchor wrapped around them, dragging them down with me.

Now, two days after Robin Williams’ death, mental health professional (not really) and apparent mind reader (nope) and all-around asshole (absolutely) Rush Limbaugh, has said this about Williams’ state of mind when he ended his life –

“What is the left’s world view in general? If you had to attach, not a philosophy, but an attitude to a leftist world view. It’s one of pessimism, and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they?

”Robin Williams felt guilty that he was still alive while his three friends had died young, and much earlier than he had. He could never get over the guilt that they died and he didn’t.”

Fox news Sheperd Smith, another person with apparent inside information,  said this –

“It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? You could love three little things so much, (referencing Williams’ children)  watch them grow, and they’re in their mid-20s and they’re inspiring you and exciting you and they fill you up with a kind of joy you can never have known. Yet something inside you is so horrible, or you’re such a coward, or whatever the reason that you decide have you to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.”

 

How dare these two windbags.  The level of hatred I had for Rush Limbaugh was already off the chart before these comments.  I consider him a sub-human at this point.  I would rather listen to this over and over again then to ever read or hear anything Rush has said.  He should not be a celeburty (little nod to the awful song linked above). He is pond scum.  Sheperd is a fox news personality. I feel like that says enough. He AT LEAST has issued an apology/explanation (which I’m sure was HEAVILY encouraged by his superiors), though at least it SOUNDS sincere and fuck it, I’ll take that.

Besides these two dumb-asses, I have been hearing that people are debating the validity of depression as an actual clinical issue. I wish I was more eloquent, but I’m going to go with what I know. This is bullshit.  It is counter-productive to what we should be doing, talking about the exact opposite. Depression and mental health issues ARE real clinical issues that should be brought from the shadows into the light and discussed. The stigma attached to depression and/or mental health issues is a real thing, just as real as depression and mental health issues themselves.

NOBODY knows how hard Robin Williams fought, nor what he was thinking when he chose to end his life. Not one of us, and it is irresponsible to pretend that we did. I would imagine that he felt there was absolutely no other option, and I GET IT. It’s a real thing, and I SINCERELY HOPE anybody who sees it as something that can just be fixed by waking up on the right side of the bed, or by just humming a merry tune, do not ever find themselves, or their loved ones, suffering from depression.  They are in for a world of hurt if they think it can just be shrugged off or prayed away or that it will just pass.

The title of this post came from something my mom told me when I was a child about an article she read about how girls who don’t fight during an attempted rape end up not being hurt, and those who fight are usually hurt. As she was reading the article she said, “you fight, baby girl. You fight like hell. You’re going to be hurt either way. Go down fighting.”  In the case of depression, sometimes finding the strength to fight is a Herculean task, and I want to believe that fighting makes a difference. I know many people who have found themselves on the cusp of the blackest chasm of depression, and they have, through whatever means necessary, beat it.  I am so grateful they did, but I also do not fault anybody who has not. I get it.

My mom was right then, as she has been so many other times. It’s going to hurt either way, go down fighting.

If you feel like you just need someone to talk to, there are several ways to reach someone.  Hell, you can talk to me if you want.

 Hotline and Helpline Information

 This is a Cracked article that I have shared many times that very powerfully and eloquently puts into words why funny people kill themselves.

 

suicide

Bombing is not NEARLY as Fun as NOT Bombing

12 Mar

I am going to be SO SUCCESSFUL!

You may recall that this time last week I was ready to quit my job because my first foray into comedy at an open mic night went so well. Maybe I wasn’t ready to QUIT, but I  was ready to at least consider myself a “natural” stand-up comedian.

You guys, I am not a “natural” stand-up comedian. I am funny,  and I did do really well last week, but I can’t just jump on a stage and run through my material and nail it, and to think I COULD do that brings to mind the post I wrote about being a narcissist.  I am surprised I’m not a politician because I do hubris followed by contrite pretty damn well.

I had two friends come to see me, and why not because my god I’m so so good at this comedy thing. Honestly, they were the only two in the bar, the rest of the audience was made up of other comedians and employees of the bar. EASY PEASY. I can talk to them and be relaxed and just jump up there, kill it, then be showered with compliments, money, and offers of sexual favors afterwards.

You guys, I cannot talk to them, be relaxed, and just jump up there, kill it, then be showered with anything except the disapproving glares of other comedians and my friends. I rambled, I talked too fast, I skipped most of my material. I. Was. AWFUL. And  I knew it as it was happening, and yet I could not stop. I had to finish my set, and when I was given the sign that my time was up I literally said “THANK GOD I CAN GET OFF THIS STAGE NOW.” It was the exact opposite from my experience last week when I loved it and couldn’t wait to get back up on stage and do it again.

I learned that I need alone time before my set, I need to pull myself together and meditate and/or try deep breathing techniques. I need to concentrate. I need to talk slower. I need to punch my, um, punch lines.  There are a whole lot of things I need to do that I did not do last night. And it showed. And it felt horrible.

I was BUMMED at first. I SUCK AT THIS AND SHOULD NEVER DO IT AGAIN. OH well, comedy dream, we had a good run. Then, thanks to the other comedians who have become my friends, I was given the advice listed above, and told that first of all this happens to everybody and second of all, this was only my second time.

All I can do is learn and try again, and I will be trying again tonight actually. My family and friends are all so supportive. My sister sent me some clips of comedians talking about the first time they bombed. Patton Oswalt, one of my favorite comedians, tells the story of a time he bombed.

I don’t think this is the LAST time I will ever bomb, and I don’t put myself in the same category as Patton Oswalt (or the same as 99% of the other local comedians I’ve gotten to know) but this is something I have wanted to do, and I’m doing it.

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Adding Comedian to my Bio Starting Now

7 Mar
first night

Me on the left, sister on the right

I fell in love with comedy at an early age. I grew up watching Saturday Night Live with my mom and I watched in awe as my dad could instantly put people at ease with his quick wit and humor. I learned early on that making people laugh felt good, and it was something I was pretty good at doing.  I always gravitated towards people I found funny and I always had nothing but respect for people who made people laugh for a living.

I was told more than once that I should do stand-up, and it was always something I wanted to try, but I could not think of anything that sounded more intimidating than to be on a stage in front of strangers trying to make them laugh. After Brett died 2 1/2 years ago, I started to realize that this is it. We get one life and I was letting fear hold me back from something I wanted to do.  Earlier this year, I decided that this was my year to do it.

I had been working on material for a few weeks and I thought it was pretty funny. My comedic hero, and all-around dream man, Zach Galifianakis, advises comedians to go with material they find funny, and not to try to write FOR any particular group of people. If you get no laughs, who cares, try again. This was good news to me since I live in a college town and kind of don’t know what college-aged people find funny.  I sent my rough material to my sister and she told me it was funny, and that people in her office thought it was funny.

By some amazing stroke of luck, Greg, my niece’s ex-boyfriend, had been doing comedy for years and he was at the first open mic that I attended just to watch. He was then, and is now,  incredibly supportive. He told me about a workshop that local comedians attend to try out material and my god I hate the term but I’m going to use it, brainstorm, on material together. The day of the first workshop, I actually sat in my car, psyching myself up to go inside. I was afraid to go inside alone, because Greg had said he was running a little late. I didn’t know anybody else. And I’m old. And I’m a woman. An old woman who knows nobody. And I was petrified. The guys I had seen at the open mic I attended were funny, some funnier than others, but hell, they were all up there trying.

I sat there in my car texting a friend and my sister asking for positive thoughts because I was scared to even go inside the stupid coffee shop where the workshop was being held. They came through and I got out of the car and strolled in and nobody was there yet, so I sat down on one of the benches and ordered a giant glass of wine and waited.  Soon I started to recognize some of the guys from the open mic I attended. I introduced myself to them as they asked me who the hell I was (probably said much nicer than that. Just injecting some drama).  Greg came in and I almost instantly felt better.

Everybody took their turn in front of the room running through bits they were working on. Greg looked like he was born on that stage and I was jealous. I was so nervous about the whole thing, but I got up and went through some of my material…and some of them LAUGHED. These 20 something guys found humor in my stories about being a 44-year-old single woman in a college town, online dating, and my kids. Although embellished for the sake of comedy, this was my life, and they laughed.  I felt empowered. I decided that I would do an open mic in a few weeks.

I think I was less nervous before having my chest sawed open and having open heart surgery. I think I was less nervous driving my Aunt’s car in Washington DC the summer I was 16. I think I was less nervous before any first day of any job or any school year.  I almost talked myself out of doing it several times throughout the day and a couple of more times while sitting at the club waiting for my name to be called.

My sister came into town so she could spend some time with me and my niece and we went to dinner and dropped my boys off with their dad for the night so I could get to the club to sign up by 8:30.  I had spent the last few days in front of my bathroom mirror speaking my material into a hairbrush. I also ran through my material in the car with my sister.  By the time I got to the club, I was sure I had forgotten all of it.

I got up on the stage and my sister and niece were in the front row. I did not forget all of it. I did forget some of it, and while my first open mic was FAR from perfect, I felt really good about it. I still feel really good about it, but I am over being in love with myself and more into what I can do to improve.  I feel like if the material is good, my delivery and saying UMM all the time and nervous tics and stuff on stage, will get better with time. I’m working on more material, and I’ll be doing another open mic on this coming Tuesday, and will be competing in an amateur comedians showcase contest thing in a few weeks.  My plan is to do as many open mics as I can the weeks the boys are with their dad.  I plan to keep writing new material, and polishing this material, because it is ME. This is material I think is funny, and yes, I cuss, and I have some adult themes, but if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you should know this is who I am.

My dear sister recorded this and I had no plans to share it with anyone at all, but a lot of people wanted to see it, so now I am posting it everywhere. I am nothing if not totally fickle.  The response has been mostly positive.  I’m working very hard on not letting the negatives overshadow the positives. I’m proud of myself, and proud of my material.

Also, so many people have expressed an interest in doing stand up. Two words…DO IT. I greatly regret that Brett and my dad, two of the funniest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, are not around to see me do this.

You Say Narcissist Like It’s a BAD Thing

25 Feb

This morning The Huffington Post called me a narcissist. They might not have called me out by name, but they might as well have. It’s like they have been following my blog and wanted to let me know exactly how they feel about me.

I know many of you will not click the link above and read the entire article, so allow me to condense it for you.  Narcissists don’t take to aging well. They (we) feel a disproportionate amount of sadness when we realize we are not receiving the same attention we once received in our youth. We may do things like get a lot of plastic surgery to try to convince people that we are actually still attractive, or we may try to garner attention by, say, trying something we have always wanted to try, like stand-up comedy or something. Okay, they don’t SAY that, but it is there, between the lines.

Per the article, these are the 5 surefire signs that I am a narcissist

  1. Believing that you’re better than others
  2. Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  3. Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  4. Expecting constant praise and admiration
  5. Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly

What I find interesting, actually I find MANY things interesting about this article, is that there seems to be a very fine line between self-confidence and narcissism.   I teeter on the line between feeling like I deserve anything at all to feeling like I deserve everything. It’s crazy-making and something I work on constantly to obtain balance, but I didn’t know it made me a narcissist.

The second trait listed above really puzzles me because isn’t this what we are TAUGHT to do? Even my new-age hippie vision board is really just a bunch of pictures of things I fantasize about so that I can manifest my own destiny or some such bullshit (and yes, I have a vision board. I’m allowed to call it bullshit).

oscar

I am writing this tongue in cheek of course. I don’t think I am a true narcissist, but, and the article fails to mention this, each and every one of us has to have a bit of narcissism for our own self-preservation.  When this kind of thing is written in a flowery script with a pretty background, it’s inspirational. When it’s on the list of the traits of a narcissist, it’s scary.

I have never been one for labels or boxes, but I do believe that in the realm of psychology labels have their place. The thing about that article, and many like it, is it sort of spews all this information out then leaves it there for public consumption for all of us to diagnose ourselves. I try to stay away from WEB MD when I have a stomach ache so that I don’t end up convincing myself that I have a tumor.  I imagine I should probably stay away from articles like this one for the same reason.

I wonder, does the fact that I think this applies to me MAKE me a narcissist or would I be more of a narcissist if I read the article but saw none of myself  in it?

Enjoy this humorous video that totally applies to both this post and my life.

Oh No…She’s Talking About Sex Again

24 Feb

let's talk about sex

I grew up hearing the same bullshit stuff that presumably many girls grew up hearing about sex. Things like “sex is a girls most precious commodity”,  “don’t give it up to someone easily”, and my personal favorite, “why buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?”  What does this last one even mean? Am I the cow in this scenario? Are we telling our girls that in order to snag the man of their dreams that they need to play games to finagle an engagement ring out of him? What if a girl WANTS to be the cow that enjoys giving away her milk, is that cow doomed to walk the earth,  sadly mooing alone, forever?  This could go on for days, and while I enjoy a good metaphor as much as the next person, let’s mosey on from this one.

This “fun” and “informative” little video called The Economics of Sex that was made by The Austin Institute pretty perfectly sums up the claptrap that I was taught as a child. Go on, watch it, it’s short. I’ll wait.

SO MUCH WRONG, am I right? I imagine I believed all of that at the time. I might not have really understood it, but I believed it.  However, I had a lot of guy friends who were not being told the same thing. In fact, it seemed they were being told almost the exact opposite.

I attended a very small private Christian school for two years in 7th and 8th grades where I learned that YES, having sex is bad if you’re a girl, and so is listening to Van Halen, whether you are a girl or a boy, and the fact that I didn’t REALLY believe in all of what I was hearing didn’t really stop me from carrying that information with me when I went off to high school (except for the Van Halen part because those guys rock).

My guy friends who were having sex in high school were being high-fived while the girls with whom they were sexing (yeah, I know that’s probably not exactly the correct way to phrase that but let’s go with it) were called names like “slut” and were widely regarded as being somehow less…everything…than the girls like me who weren’t having sex in high school.

Before that comes off sounding like I am high atop Mt. Betterthanyou, I was a virgin until after high school mainly because I just didn’t date in high school. At all really. I just wasn’t asked. At all really. The first person I went on a date with after I graduated is the guy with whom I lost my virginity. I was 18 and felt like BEFORE having sex for the first time that surely I was missing out on something incredibly amazing. AFTER I had sex for the first time, I thought…something different. Let’s just say sex didn’t get good for me until many years after that.

As I grew into a young woman, my feelings about sex remained complicated. I tried to stick to what I had heard was the “right” way to nab a man, and that meant the three date rule. Don’t give it up until at least three dates in. This will show the guy that you’re a highly valued commodity, and not some piece of trash that has a lot of sex because it is…gasp…enjoyable.  If you want to get into these culottes, you sir will need to take me out on three actual dates and yes, McDonald’s all three times does count. Maybe I needed to work on the “highly valued” part, or maybe I just loved the McRib sandwich, in either case I understood that having sex right away, even if I wanted to, was just BAD, and would make ME BAD.

After my first relationship with a guy that I dated for 3 years, off and on, then my next relationship with a guy that I dated for 3 years, off and on, what counted as three ACTUAL dates with the couple of men I dated casually changed quiet a bit, and sometimes, they weren’t dates at all.

I wasn’t sure how to rectify my feelings that I was actually starting to enjoy sex and yet I still wanted to be considered a “nice” girl.  How could that BE? This was an absolute impossibility, right? Once I started enjoying sex didn’t that mean that I was one step away from just being a filthy porn star? It was a slippery K-Y lube-covered slope as far as I was concerned.

As I had more relationships and life experiences and matured (SHUT UP) I feel like my views on sex have become clearer. Not clear as in things are either black or they are white (I am so not going to make a 50 Shades of Grey joke here but god help me, I want to) but clear in realizing that there IS a whole lot of grey. My views are mine, and while they might be controversial,  I no longer buy into the whole “sex is a commodity” thing. I don’t think it’s right or even fair (yes yes, a word I TRY not to use because it’s pointless) that there is such a double standard regarding sex.  Regardless of my feelings about marriage in general, I think any man who doesn’t want to marry someone because she is  having regular sex with him is an idiot. I also think that any woman who feels the need to wrangle some poor not clearly thinking because his mind is clouded by all the sex you’re refusing to have with him man is also an idiot (please pick up on the sarcasm in this sentence). But, I’m not judgmental, I hope these two idiots live happily ever after (maybe not so much sarcasm in this one).

I do sometimes stumble upon something that gives me pause as far as how I actually feel about sex and what being sexually liberated means and this is one of those times.  I read about this and went through a plethora of emotions in a short period of time.  For your reading pleasure, here is a brief re-creation of my emotional state after reading about this comedian/writer having a romp with James Deen on film.

9:02 pm – WHAT? This woman,  (and I cannot find her name for the life of me and I have read the piece 3 times) who is a comedian/writer responded to a Tweet to be in a scene with James Deen? That’s kind of weird and gross.
9:03 pm – Well, I can see how it would be an empowering thing to do. She’s an adult. He’s an adult. It’s her body.
9:04 pm -Google JAMES DEEN just to jog my memory as far as what he looks like
9:10 pm – I wonder if he is going to Tweet this offer again?
9:11 pm – Follow James Deen on Twitter

James-Deen

In just a few minutes, more than I should have taken because I got sucked into the Googling portion, I came to the conclusion that it was her choice, and as a feminist, a choice I respect, and while it would not necessarily be something I would do, on film anyway (okay, in a film that would be seen by a lot of people) her choice doesn’t make her a BAD person, it doesn’t make her anything other than what I know about her, a woman who chose to have sex on film with a guy who makes his living by doing just that. I don’t know anything else about this woman, but I would not jump from woman I know nothing about to woman who has sex on film so she is obviously a terrible person. Not a leap I would make because it makes no sense to me.

At this point, at 44 years of age, I feel like the crux of true feminism is that women are free to pursue their happiness however they would like. If that means they choose to not work outside the home, then they should do that, if that means they work construction, they should do that.  It also means that if they choose to have a lot of sex because they want to then they should do that.

Every choice has its consequences, however. If you read the piece above, she mentions that people were hurt by her choice. I surmised that she has a significant other who was none too pleased with her decision, though she does not go into detail. That is unfortunate.  Also, if you read the comments connected to the piece, and really, I highly recommend you don’t ever read comments of anything posted on the internet, but I felt it was necessary in this case,  if you even take 20% of what is said as not trolling and as the real thoughts of those commenting, this woman is now thought by many to be “diseased gutter trash”, “a disgusting whore bag”, and my favorite a “morally bankrupt sex object”, yet not ONE person commenting says ANYTHING about the fact that James Deen is ACTUALLY A PORN STAR, which means nothing to ME, but why does she get lambasted while he is absolutely left alone?  I guess with a great penis comes great respect. Yeah, I don’t know, it just SUCKS that this is the double standard in which we reside.

I think the person going by the name Truth, who left this comment, can close out my feelings on this whole thing –

So you don’t like girls who do things like this? Big deal. Hang around with girls who don’t. But don’t pretend that everyone should be or think like you.

Boom.

Also, I will add on to what Truth said and say if you don’t want to BE a girl who does something like this, then don’t. The world is your oyster, do with your clam what you wish.

Happy Galentine’s Day AND Happy Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and today is, from what I understand, Galentine’s Day.  What, prey tell is Galentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day is from an episode of “Parks and Recreation”, a show starring the very talented and hilarious Amy Poehler as well as an equally talented and hilarious supporting cast including Nick Offerman (and his EPIC mustache), Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari,  Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, and Rob Lowe. See? Why aren’t more people watching this show? Including me actually since I don’t watch it on the regular either. I know, I suck, but in my defense I just now figured out how to program my DVR.

Anyway, Galentine’s Day is a day invented by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope,  to celebrate the women in your life. It doesn’t matter if your gal-pals are married or otherwise attached, Galentine’s day is a day to let the gals in your life know that you love and appreciate them. Here is what Leslie Knope herself has to say about the day –

What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lillith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.

Sounds like fun! I am extremely fortunate to have an excellent support system of women near and far that I call friends. Some are family members, some have been my friend for over 30 years, some for not that long, some I haven’t even met in person but thanks to social media we have become friends. I share in their lives and they share in mine. They are my biggest cheerleaders and I know when I need anything, they are there. We have cried together, we have laughed together, we have gotten outraged together over my seemingly endless bad luck regarding relationships, and we have nervously laughed at my sometimes terrible decisions, because if WE can’t laugh about not being able to stop texting someone who clearly doesn’t want to be contacted simply because I think I thought of the PERFECT way to explain why I sent so many texts to him BEFORE, then who can?

So to my gal pals I say Happy Galentine’s Day! I love each and every one of you and I thank you for being there for me.

galentines

As for Valentine’s Day, I grew up with a father who felt it was important to give his daughters Valentine’s presents and/or candy and/or flowers and because of him, the day is much LESS about having a romantic relationship than it is to shower those you love with love, and a balloon or little box of Scooby Doo bubblegum balls (spoiler alert, that’s what my children are getting from me this year).

I have my fair share of stories of Valentine’s Day plans that went terribly awry. My personal favorite is when I was dating someone and we had plans for him to come to my house for dinner, this was when I was in my 20’s so when I say “my house” I really mean a crappy studio apartment. I searched all day for a heart-shaped baking pan and I made a delicious yellow cake and topped it with whipped cream and strawberries. Rick never showed up that night or called until the next day.  I don’t remember why he couldn’t come over, but I do remember that over the course of about 6 hours while waiting for him, I ate that entire cake with a fine white wine (just guessing since I don’t remember but it was probably from a box).

I’m not involved in a romantic relationship this Valentine’s Day, BUT I can guarantee you, I will feel loved and I will show love. I will be spending the day with my two favorite Valentines, my kids, and I will tell them that I love them, just as I do every day, and I will hug them a little tighter than usual and I will tell them that no matter what, their mom will always be their Valentine, and this will creep them out immensely, but hopefully when they are older they will carry on the tradition of looking at Valentine’s day as a day to show appreciation and love to everyone just a little more than they do every day, and that being single on Valentine’s Day is not a big deal.

And I may or may not, just for old time’s sake, eat a whole cake with some wine.

heart-shaped-cake

 

 

Who’s Funny? I AM, DAMMIT

12 Feb

I’m tough. I AM tough, dammit.  I have lived through many hours of unproductive labor, two C-Sections,  open heart surgery, a whole lot of other surgeries, personal attacks, multiple broken hearts, and sometimes people on the internet call me names, and yet, I live. I lived through all of it.  Some would say I’m worse for the wear but I don’t think I agree with that.  I am definitely scarred, literally and figuratively, but dammit, I’m here and I’m tough.

YET…I am not tough ENOUGH.  I know this about myself. I get my feelings hurt and take things to heart more than I should. Not ALL the time, but recently I was reminded just how thin my skin really is, and how I absolutely HAVE to work on just…for lack of a less awesome term…not giving a fuck sometimes.

Not long ago, I met someone cool and I INSTANTLY wanted to be his best friend. His BFF. I thought he was funny, he thought I was funny, and we talked all night the first time we met. Seriously all night, and it was wonderful. I felt like I might have found a really good friend who would be around forever. He reminded me of my Brett.  We clicked instantly and had the same sense of humor.  We talked a lot over the next few days but I could tell something was just off and the day before  we had planned to spend together working on my comedy material and eating pizza, he blew me off.  Something came up. It was an abrupt turn around from where we were a few days before.

To say I was cool about the whole thing would be a lie. I came in like a wrecking ball and if he was sort of on the line about my sanity, I sent him enough texts trying to explain why I was so hurt about being blown off that by the time I was finished, I have no doubt he had firmly crossed that line into CrazyAmyLand.  I KNEW this, yet I could not stop. I really wanted to explain, and I really wanted to still be his friend, and I really wanted to just turn the clock back. This was in the span of a WEEK you guys. A WEEK.

crazy

I could see he was reading all of my texts, yet he was not responding,  and why would he?  He doesn’t know me that well and he doesn’t know that I am in fact, not insane. So now I’m in that awesome place where I feel so stupid for my actions, and lack of impulse control, and sad that someone I thought was cool does not feel the same about me.

The thing is, he’s not my Brett. Nobody will ever be my Brett, and I can’t forge a friendship with someone in a week that is anything like the friendship I had with Brett that we nurtured for almost 30 years. It’s not possible, and it’s silly to try.  It’s not silly of me to miss Brett, and I do every day, but it is silly to try to replace him.

Even when I was in the middle of Bad ChoiceaPalooza 2014,  I knew part of my motivation was that I desperately needed him to think I was funny, because I thought he was.  For any of you who don’t understand that, let me try to explain. Making people laugh has been my goal, my defense mechanism, my way to endear people to me, my entire life.  Considering I contacted this guy because he is a working comedian in town, and one I found funny, I felt like if he didn’t think I was funny then I wasn’t. It. Is. NUTS.  This is called having very little self-esteem and faith in the fact that I AM funny and that I CAN get up on a stage and make people laugh and that I don’t need anybody’s approval or help.

When I’m up on stage I need to be prepared for whatever happens, including hecklers, or drunks, or drunk hecklers.  I can’t let them shake me. At this point I plan to agree with whatever negative thing is said about me when I’m on stage. “Get off the stage, you SUCK” would be met with “I know, I really do”. I don’t know if this will work but it’s all I’ve got right now.

I wish a thick skin was something I could just purchase on ETSY, but I’m afraid it is something I will have to work on myself. I have made friends with my self-destructive streak, I have sat down with my broken hearts and made peace, now it is time to KNOW I am funny and that I have nothing to fear on that stage.  Learning the subtle nuances between being passionate and not closed as far as my emotions are concerned and going crazy and having no impulse control is a lifelong battle, I’m afraid. For NOW, getting myself up on a stage and conquering that fear is where my main focus lies.

owl

Announcing a Change

10 Feb

The time has come to renew my premium WordPress site which, among other things,  would enable me to keep momticks. com rather than switching to the non-premium address , momticks.wordpress.com. Well, I’m not renewing because

  1. I don’t have $99.00 to spend on something like this right now
  2. I don’t really see the point. I may be changing my domain host as it is
  3. Mostly #1

I don’t want to lose any of my readers so please, rather than miss out on such fascinating tales like the ones I have written about in the past such as “What will I wear to my niece’s wedding?” and “Why can’t I stop making foolish choices when it comes to my heart…literally and figuratively?” and the upcoming saga “From nobody to slightly more well-known nobody, 44 years in the making , my journey to the comedy stage”, please look for me at http://www.momticks.wordpress.com, starting February 12, 2014.  It’s just like my old blog address, but there’s a wordpress after the momticks.

If you go to momticks.wordpress.com now, you will automatically be directed to momticks.com, but when February 12 arrives, much like Homer Simpson, you will probably find yourself going through the five stages of grief.  Sure, other people have cycled through the five stages, but none so succinctly as Homer.

I tried to find a clip of this most fantastic Simpson’s episode but I couldn’t find it and I ended up stuck on YouTube for far longer than I would care to admit watching everything from OTHER Simpson’s episodes to makeup tutorials…about how to make myself look like a character from the Simpson’s.  Here instead is an excerpt from the episode of the Simpson’s where Homer thinks he is a goner thanks to having eaten some poisonous blow fish.

Dr. Hibbert: A little death anxiety is normal. You can expect to go through five stages. The first is denial.
Homer: 
No Way!
Dr. Hibbert:
The second [stage] is anger.
Homer: Why you little!
Dr. Hibbert: After that comes fear.
Homer: What’s after fear? What’s after fear?
Dr. Hibbert: Bargaining.
Homer: Doc, you gotta get me out of this! I’ll make it worth your while!
Dr. Hibbert: Finally, acceptance.
Homer: Well, we all gotta go sometime.
Dr. Hibbert: Mr. Simpson, your progress astounds me.

As hilarious as that episode is, and it IS, there is no need for you to go through even one stage of grief, because I’m not going anywhere. Not really. I will just be at momticks.wordpress.com, still writing about all of the important and so not important things that I have always written about.

I am sorry for the change. I know change is scary, but I feel like we can get through this together. You are a smart group of people, hell, you’re following my blog already so you MUST be smart, and I know that you are more than capable of adding one more word into a website address.

YOU. CAN. DO. THIS.

I am trying to research if followers who have subscribed through email will be automatically moved or if they would need to re-follow. I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with answers. I plan to blast every email address I have, post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and every other social media site that exists, to let everyone know of the change in website address.  If I have to start from the bottom then by golly, that’s what I will do. I shall rebuild. I shall rise again. Like a phoenix, but instead of rising from ashes, I will rise from crappy metaphors, yet I will always use crappy metaphors, so that really is a bad example, so forget that.

As always, thank you all for reading. Look for my first post in a couple of days at the new address about trying to acquire a thicker skin, something that will serve me well in my foray into comedy as well as in life.

http://www.momticks.wordpress.com

Know it. Learn it. Live it.

 

racoon

 

 

J. A. Allen

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