Bumble Guys

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Resting Psycho Face

I got into a relationship a mere months before Tindr became an unstigmatized form of dating, so I was late to the idea of “swiping.”   When my relationship ended, I was very curious to try it.   Here is what I discovered:

Guys on Bumble 

Lots of Serial Killers – First thing I noticed was all the serial killers.  Sure, a handsome guy with a serious furrowed brow could be a mensch with an unfortunate case of Resting Psycho Face, but how am I supposed to know?   Guys, if you take a picture for a dating site, just run it by a few female friends and ask, “Does this say I enjoy hiking, traveling and ritualized murder?”

The Spirituals – A gym rat selfie is an easy pass for me, but the guys that confuse me are The Spirituals. They use words like “mystic” and “vortex” and “seeker” and talk about yoga and meditation.   I imagine they might see themselves as delving into the soul, but what I read is Yoga Teacher Who Hits On His Students.”

DJs/Skateboarder – There’s a very short window of time when DJing is cool. I would say 19 to 19 1/2 would be optimal “cool” DJing months .  Maybe longer than that. Whatever the age range, it does not, under any circumstance, extend into the 40s.  Any picture of a guy as a DJ should be approached with the utmost sense of silliness.  Much like one would approach putting on a balloon hat.  The energy should be, “I know this looks ridiculous, but it makes me feel young.”

The No Dramas – Guys in their 40s on Bumble are very clear about what they DON’T WANT.  And that is DRAMA.  Move on, they say.   I know a little about drama and I know that it takes two people to create it.  I imagine

 

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I Don’t Know What To Say

A few weeks ago, I drove to Skid Row in Downtown LA to hand out waters.   I met some nice young white folks at a Von’s and filled my car with hundreds of plastic water bottles (but plastic water bottles aren’t sustainable?! cried White People FB….WE’RE GIVING OUT WATER TO HOMELESS PEOPLE).  Myself and a costume designer wandered down a section of streets handing out bottles in the sun.   Most people accepted them with undue gratitude, that felt overwhelming to me.   One woman, LaToya, took three cases and  asked to have her picture taken with us.   When someone accused her of trying to sell them she called him a “metal head.”    (The organizers told us not to give out cases..but, seriously, what horror could come out of a case of water?)

What stayed with me was the woman who asked for extra water for her three children (most likely hidden from the public in one of the tents), the young pretty woman airing out her tent, doing housekeeping, while her boyfriend came out with his pipe, the guy who asked if I was single and/or had any food, the visibly high woman named “Chocolate” who wanted cases for her five kids, the sense of community, and the smell of urine and garbage.

The heavy load of water in my car ended up putting pressure on a a spray can I bought when I found a piece of tree sap that wouldn’t come off of MY NEW CAR.  God forbid, tree sap ruin my day.  Unbeknown to me, at the time, the can expelled it’s contents and my car filled toxic fumes.  I drove back to West LA with the windows open.  My friend Joe later said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”  Or, perhaps, no ridiculous obsession with your car goes un-toxified.

After Orlando, and then, this week, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas, I have been uncharacteristically silent.   I haven’t gone back to Skid Row. I worry about buying property, being able to afford a plane ticket, losing five pounds.  It’s so much easier to worry about that piece of car sap.

 

Posted in Is It All Going To Shit?, Justice | Leave a comment

New Piece in XOJane.com

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 3.48.59 PMHere is a new-ish “piece” I wrote that has been published in XOJane.com!

Losing My Mother Made Me Face My Trust Issues with Men

 

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Eat, Pray, Judge

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Lots of excellent research in “Committed.”

I don’t like to think of myself as someone who takes pleasure in gaining from the misfortune of others — in this case, Elizabeth Gilbert’s separation from her husband; a union she famously wrote about in “Eat, Pray, Love”— but I have not felt this inspired to blog since Betty Draper was sentenced to a cancer death.

Look, I’m not worried about Elizabeth Gilbert.  EG will be just fine.  Give her a Ted Talk, an advance on a book about polyamorous Chinese family systems, and a vegan meal and all this divorce stuff will be yesterday’s news.

Wait, am I making fun of a very smart woman who has helped women all over the world get in touch with their inner-entitled white lady?

Am I a “hater?”

Possibly. I’m willing to entertain that notion. I am not above petty snark packaged in cultural critique.  Something EG would never, I imagine, participate in.  WHICH IS WHY SHE ANNOYS ME.

Look, I’m sorry she’s getting divorced.  (Though, I am more sorry for her “Felipe” guy.)   But single or divorced, she’s still one of my favorite people to make fun of.   She’s like the Billy Joel of intelligent memoir.  It’s not that she’s dumb, she’s a brilliant writer. But I’m pretty sure that there has never been a whiter female writer in the history of literature.  Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen, put together do not reach the blinding shade of pale EG makes worse by her sheer obliviousness about it.

So, she’s a white person. But what else is it that bugs me?  Is it her confident virtuosity?  Or that she has less of a sense of irony than Patrick Swayze or David Hasselhoff (are my references too old)?  Or that she profited so greatly from the “journey of self-discovery” memoir genre?  Or that her “journey of self-discovery” memoir ended in a way that would please Hollywood or any patriarchy, which is, with the acquisition of a man?  Or that she inspired so many other women to go on their own narcissistic journeys, thus, inspiring the new book, “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It?”

Are these genuinely irritating realities why she annoys so much?  Yes.  But there’s something else; one thing that grates me beyond all others.  And I think that’s her emphasis on Truth.  She talks a lot about “truth.” “Standing in your truth.” “Seeking truth.”  The truth is that she’s a white blond lady who went to a third world country and got what she needed.  She won the genetic lottery.  She leveraged her talents in the literary world, whether intentional or not, to great avail.  And she partakes in travel because it’s pleasurable and fun.  That doesn’t make her evil, but she’s not Nelson Mandela.    She wants to eat, sure, she’ll pray, if it brings her sex/love.

To be honest, I wanted to write the “Eat, Pray Love” of salsa dancing.  Sample title: “Dance, Sweat, Tell Everyone To Go @#$ Themselves.”

I just realized that I gave away her book about marriage,”Committed,” which I respected far more than “Eat, Pray, Love.” I thought “Committed” consisted of excellent research and questions.  I can’t say I’m surprised that her marriage didn’t work out. But I’m still glad I read it.  It was real.

Here’s my unsolicited advice for EG to try to win over cynics like me: Stop with the “truth” and the “courage” and the heroism, stop trying to be good. Own that you make money and wanted to leave your husband for maybe someone better.  Be bad, if you want.  Be a hater. Be a bitch.  Nobody said you had to be a savior to be a writer.

Posted in Annoyances, Books, White People, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Woohoo for “Lady Dynamite”!

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Weirdness descends on Maria’s Thanksgiving.

Netflix (finally!) set free into the world my pal Maria Bamford’s wonderful new show “Lady Dynamite.” While it’s nothing new to feel this way about Maria’s work, I’m so proud and excited you’d think I’d done more than just background artistry, (albeit very diligent and skilled background acting).

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Who’s this Bitch?

If you place some toothpicks between your eyelids you might catch me as a guest at Maria’s awkward tense Thanksgiving dinner. Or you can see me cry at Blossom’s funeral while one of the Karen Grisham’s (played by June Diane Raphael) cuts in front of me. (Bitch!)

Anyone who has seen Maria perform knows that she’s touched (in a good way) by a special talent.   Direct contact to source energy, if you will.   But even insanely talented people struggle and fear.   In fact, sometimes I think the more talented the person, the more struggle and fear. I have seen much confidence behind a dick joke (didn’t mean to go negative….but, maybe a little).

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Vision Boarding with Maria in 2002.

Over the years, (creaky old lady voice) I have spent many a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day creating vision boards with Maria. My VBs often featured touched up pictures of models pretending to be in love and paradise vacation spots (let’s face it, there is no vision that doesn’t begin in a magazine ad.)  Maria always honored one thing in her VBs and in life: Creativity.   She communes closely and possesses a deep reverence for the mystery and power of The Muse. She  also, not surprisingly, has a lot of respect for everyone’s unique weirdo-ness. She once told me that any show (not just standup) is a unique beautiful and perfect work of art that was meant to exist exactly as it manifested.  In other words, she honors the over-confident dick joke.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 11.48.15 AM I was into my 4th hour of Saturday morning binge-watching the show, when I heard my name come out of TV Maria’s mouth and saw my name appear on the close captioning of the screen.   (Audiences may assume that TV Maria is friend’s with Beyonce’s sister). Lennon Parson, who plays Larissa, had told me this when I worked on the show (scene stealing extra) but I had completely forgotten.  Needless to say, I felt deeply honored.

I have since finished the show and am going to do a second round of appreciation-watching for all the jokes and layers I missed.

Looking forward to the future of Lady Dynamite!

Posted in Acting, Comedy, Maria Bamford, This Los Angeles Life | Tagged | Leave a comment

I Ate The Stage

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Nobody took a crotch shot when I fell.

I have started to do this thing where I run up to the mic after the host calls my name like a game show contestant.  I guess I thought it “brings energy.”

Last Sunday night I spoke about this to a young man who asked to interview me after an open mic (he said he likes to interview “random” and “homeless “people, so, I did not take this request as the beginning of my meteoric ascent). I also explained to him how I sometimes like challenge myself to do unusual physical things on stage, like yoga poses or dance moves, or take risks with undeveloped material, because the discomfort keeps me present and engaged with the audience as a human being, as opposed to a disconnected bobble-head joke-robot.   I thought this all sounded very creatively wise and evolved at the time, which wouldn’t be a bad thing had not IRONY reared it’s head.  When I say “irony” I mean the Oedipal kind, not the hipster racist joke type.  By “irony” I mean where you talk about challenging yourself physically on stage one night and the next night you eat the stage for dinner.

The following night I went to, yet another, open mic (the glamour of this life can not be overstated) at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey.  Boats swayed gently on the water while white people sipped drinks the color of Fruit Loops with pineapple wedges stuck in them.   I contemplated the meaning of life and venereal disease jokes, until I heard the host call my name, at which point I began my game-show-contestant sprint to the stage.  I soon heard a collective cry from the audience (this mic had an actual crowd) when the taste of the carpet in my mouth alerted me to the fact that I had not arrived to the mic, but had landed face down.  The next thing I knew, the host peeled me off the floor with a concerned look and I wondered if I had just been roofied LSD. (Does anyone do LSD anymore?)

“I totally meant to do that,” I assured the crowd once I had realigned my knee sockets and wiped carpet threads off my face. “I’m awesome,” I stated.

That line may have been used by every public face-planter in the history of public speaking, but rest assured, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE.  I talked about the quality of my shoes and then launched into my planned set, but nothing was nearly as interesting — nothing will ever be as hilarious or brilliant — as an unplanned face-plant.   It had nothing to do with me, personally and everything to do with the Lady Who Ate The Carpet.

I have a friend who spends money to do hallucinogenic drugs with groups of people under supervised medical care in the Hollywood Hills.  He says it helps him release The Ego. Rest assured, falling down on stage does the same thing.   For a fraction of the price!  My comedy will never be so genius again.

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You Can Call Me Names, But I’m Still Supporting Hilary

A very flattering picture.

It’s not about what she looks like, but this is a very flattering picture.

A few weeks ago, I posted some pro-Hilary articles on my Facebook page. I assumed that the large part of my Facebook friend population consists of left-leaning, democrats or otherwise who respect my intelligence and would be up for a friendly debate. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

First of all, I don’t think most Bernie supporters are assholes.  Most are thoughtful people who just happen to prefer a more ideological platform.  What’s not to love about Bernie Sanders?   However, since I avowed my pro-Hilary stance on Facebook, I have had to block and restrict more vitriolic comments than ever before. I’ve not only had my own intelligence and reasoning attacked, but have had to delete attacking comments towards my Berkeley aunt WHO VOLUNTEERS TO GET ARRESTED FOR CAUSES.   She bristles if I call her “liberal” (she prefers “progressive”) and accuses me of “not doing anything to change the world.”  She also prefers Bernie Sanders in an ideal world.  (No sarcasm meant on the word “ideal”).  The point is it got unnecessarily ugly on my FB page.  It’s one thing to insult me, but leave my 70-year-old aunt alone!

Jesus.  What the hell?  Are we on different teams?  I could understand this hysteria if I supported for Trump. But the fact that we all want the same things (economic equality, health care reform, the protection of women’s rights) makes these attacks unreasonable.  And about something else.

I have been accused of voting for Hilary based on gender lines.   I don’t ask Bernie supporters, “Are you AGAINST Hilary because you’ve internalized the ubiquitous message that power and ambitious women are shrill, evil demons?”  From the legions of comments I’ve read (on other articles), it’s becoming clear that a Bernie-loving stance could be the perfect guise for hiding a deeply harbored misogyny. (And women can be misogynists, too).

Weirdly, among white liberal people, supporting Hilary Clinton seems risky, alternative, or as this article says, a “subversive act.”  She’s not a glamorous candidate, she doesn’t make you feel better than anyone else.  She’s not a perfect candidate or a perfect democrat.  But a “lying “war monger”?  Yes, she voted for the Iraq war, but it only takes one lazy Google search to find out how she felt at the time.  Does a war monger say things like, “This is a difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make. Any vote that may lead to war should be hard…” She has the best truth telling record of any Presidential candidate of 2016.  (If you don’t have time to click on the link, this is written by a little known reporter named Jill Abramson.)

As this great piece pointed out, to support her, is to “empathize” with her.  Which I don’t have a hard time doing.  She’s taking huge bullets for Team Powerful Women.  I think about all the smirks, eye rolling and condescension I have endured in my less than stellar career.  I sorely lacked Hilary’s resiliency and fortitude.  I cry and wimp out when my writing is rejected.  Boo hoo.  Poor me. This woman has been attacked for decades for the color pant suit she wears.  And for aging.  Ladies, we will all be there if we aren’t already.

When Gloria Steinem faced a torrent of backlash for telling Bill Mahr that young women vote for Bernie Sanders because “they were going where the boys” I couldn’t believe that stripper-loving Bill Maher got off scott-free.  He set her up. But we live in a world where women are taught to tear each other down, where men routinely paint women as shrews and hags, where the biggest crime is not to be attractive.

Even if I didn’t believe she would make a phenomenal president (and I do). I would still pay respects to anyone who has endured the hate and still kept going.  It only seems to make her stronger.

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I ♥ 44

That 35-year-old "hag" Blanche DuBois.

Look at that 35-year-old hag Blanche DuBois.

I remember in my early twenties studying older women (old, as in over 30), and feeling sorry for them.  How sad they must feel about the circles under their eyes and the frown lines along their mouth, the glances cast by their husbands and boyfriends at younger women, the desperation at the edges of their feigned passion for life…ugh.  So embarrassed.  Youth is wasted on the young, but so are brain cells.

Of course, now I understand this line of thinking of the result of swallowing the eyeball of the male gaze.  Most of these thoughts bore from the corners of my psyche where culture, advertising and comments made by male members of my family festered into the shame of Blanche DuBois’ desperation.  (Even though, as I learned in theater studies, Blanche DuBois really represented Tennessee Williams’ own shame about his homosexuality.)  I actually wasted time and energy thinking about thus believed it true any woman who did not go out of her way to obsess about her appearance bordered on criminal behavior.  How dare a woman just like herself?     I, of course, always felt bad about my appearance.

Blanche DuBois needs to have a chat with Jane Fonda.  "Girl, get over it...get your whiny ass out of the male gaze."

Blanche DuBois needs to have a chat with Jane Fonda. “Girl, get over it…get your whiny ass out of the male gaze.”

Throughout my thirties, I lived in what’s fair to call terror of turning 40. I danced around my fears.  I, literally, went out to dance salsa three to five nights a week, rushing out at 10:00 pm on a Monday night after a post-work salsa nap on a  with sparkly top and some lipstick to some sweaty guy’s lead.  I didn’t care about the guys so much as  I wanted to live in the sensuality of my body before it became a decayed creaky old piece of furniture.     Each night I danced as if it were the last hurrah.  Some day I won’t be able to do this, I told myself.  Even when it no longer felt fun, or I found the male attention I was supposed to covet nauseating and boring.   I dated younger men, thinking that it would neutralize the old hag-ness that waited for me.

Even as I found greater confidence each year of my 30s, I started to panic.   One night a few months before my birthday I called my mother and cried out, “I’m going to be 40!” the way I had once cried that my boyfriend had broken up with me.

“Any woman will tell you that her 40s were the best time in her life,” she responded.

A few months after that conversation my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  I walked through the door into 40 more worried about my mother’s health. I was shocked to find that a band of men in ski caps didn’t kidnap me and put me in a dark closet, only letting me out to work and make social appearances. I still dated guys and felt like myself.  But more so.   I actually felt kind of relaxed And then came 41, 42, and 43, and I started to just feel kind of free, I seemed to acquire more “don’t-give-a-shit-ness” or what is also known as “zero fucks.”

I don’t love everything about aging, I hate dying my hair, and cracking in yoga…but it seems a fair price for the benefits of feeling like when I open my mouth, the person speaking is actually me and not some version

Right before my 43rd birthday my mother passed away.  The sad irony is that after the anticipation, all that I really miss of my youth is my mother and my grandmother.  It wasn’t my youth so much as a sadness and desperation that I was hanging onto.

Last August, I found myself one unemployed Wednesday afternoon wondering what to do when some voice in my head told me to go to Santa Monica College and sign up for a Jazz Dance class. It was literally 45 minutes before the class began, on the last day of registration, and, yet, I made it in time.   I fell in love with the teacher and hardly noticed that I could have birthed three quarters of the class.  I took the same teacher’s Modern Dance in the Winter and there I was literally the oldest woman in the class by twenty years.  I never felt more age-less or cared less.  I choreographed a piece with a group of 18-year-olds and listened to them talk about birth control, Taylor Swift, weight gain.    I didn’t exactly relate to them, but I also didn’t feel a generational divide.  I just felt like a dancer among dancers.

I’m thinking of becoming a dance major.

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This Website Endorses Hilary Clinton For President

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It’s alright that I took this picture straight off the NY Times endorsement…right?

Yesterday, the New York Times published an editorial endorsing Hilary Clinton for President.   Today, SearchforSanity.com endorses her as well.  Media, take note! This blog support Hilary Clinton for president for the following reasons:

1) She understands political realities.   Hilary understands the game.  She works within the system.  Her number one goal is to get shit done.  Yes, she has changed her mind about healthcare from when she was a doe-eyed wife of a presidential candidate in 1992.    In 1992 I believed in my Top Gun bomber jacket and a life dedicated to Art.  But things came up that made me question my Ayn Rand type of thinking, things like, rent and heath insurance.   Reality.  Hilary knows a thing or two about reality.  Presidential husbands lie, politicians turn their backs and haters hate…she can work with that now. Especially having weathered more shit storms than a public restroom. Sorry, for the gross analogy, but the Hilary in my head would say it’s true.

2) She forgave her cheating husband and moved on.   If we discredited all women who stayed with their philandering partners the list would include Frida Kahlo,  Simone De Beavoir, and Eleanor Roosevelt, just to name a few that we know about.  Brilliant males do horrible things.   Sometimes their brilliant wives want to keep their husbands’ brain around, but you can’t separate the cerebral cortex from a penis: you have to live with the whole human.    Bill’s escapades were just a hiccup in the wheel of Hilary’s life’s work.  She faced public humiliation and came out more committed than ever to her goals and life’s purpose.  More importantly, she understands that men and what they do should not be at the center of a woman’s life.   How many people get over betrayal like that and go on to a higher state of bad-assness?

3)  Bernie is great, but Hilary is Badass.   I’d love to have Bernie Sanders sitting next to me at Thanksgiving.  I’d even feel OK letting him give me a hug. But we’re talking about leader of the free world.    Hilary Clinton is a searing comet, the mountain around which the wind blows.  Bernie is a solid Pine tree on top of the mountain.  Maybe my metaphors are falling apart, but the point is that women, forces of nature, create weather.

4) She inspires me.  I am a fairly non-political person.  I think the system is rigged and all politicians have howling winds where their souls should be (more nature metaphors).   And, yet, in 2008 I did unusual-for-me activities, like drive to Hilary Clinton’s campaign office and call strangers and ask them to vote for her.   I did this not because I didn’t want the other person (Obama) to win, but because I wanted Hilary to lead this country.  Prior to this moment in my life, my political choices consisted of  justifications like, “Well, he’s better than  this other creep.”   My faith in Hilary has nothing to do with anyone else.  I sometimes cry when I think of her winning. This has no basis on intellectual thought. I understand the criticisms. I just believe in her.  I feel it in my bones.

5) She inspires me some more.  I have learned that female success results in a lot of hate, snark and comments about said woman’s appearance. Have you noticed that?  No?   Hilary has absorbed more than her share of that hate and somehow has managed to contain it in a box marked “toxic” that she stores with her feelings towards Gennifer Flowers and large glasses.  Because this giant box has contained so much hate and bile, she’s really making the world a less toxic place for women.   Whether or not you support her, she’s made the world a better place to be a woman.

Therefore, this websites fully endorses Hilary Clinton for the democratic nomination.

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“Changes In The Mating Strategies Of White People” -The Complete Play

On January 17, 2014 the play I wrote “Changes In The Mating Strategies of Women” opened at the Lounge 2 theatre in Hollywood, California.  It closed on February 28th and my friend Jim Coughlin filmed (or video-ed) the last show.   People have inquired about watching it or when the next production will mount and because I’m missing some brain synapses it didn’t to me that I could put it on YouTube until my friend Kendall Sor asked. I know YouTube is the last place where you want to watch a play, but I believe this is worth an hour of your time. Just take it out of your binge-watching time budget.

 

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