Thursday, March 23, 2017

DREAMS DIE (posting anyway)

I was listening to NPR where a singer was getting interviewed.  When asked where she got inspiration for her music, she said “people leave and dreams die.”

How starkly candid.  It got me thinking.  Sometimes you spend more time trying to just get on, despite it all.  It might be something to actually slow down and look at the fallout.  People sometimes, in fact, leave and not always in the most affable of ways.  Dreams die, people disappoint you.  Avoidance is my M.O.  Alternatively, to look at and try to process it so it’s not dictating your life under the surface, might be a thing.  <----wow that was honest.  It’s not my failed marriage that I’m holding on to as much as the life.  I loved that I was creating a life with someone and that we had a home and that we had each other.

I’m a romantic but I hide it really well.  I’m so unnerved about exposing myself in my writing, that I might even make this blog anonymous.

I’ve swayed so far away from anything “romantic” that, at this point in my life I sexually identify as a golfer.

I will try to illustrate this next part without gushing, because I love Marc Maron so much I might not be able to pull it off.  He was interviewing Springsteen.  What is better than an informed, intelligent performer interviewing the Boss for fucks sake?  At one point Bruce was talking about the fire we all have inside.  He said, “. . . you get the burn, you aim it towards the right thing.”

I’m actually doing this process, (maybe) but it doesn’t feel like it, because I’m not painting.  I’m furiously writing about my frustrations with writing and performing in New York.  I’m trying to work on myself and not kill anyone (like roommates).  I keep writing about the art thing though, which means it’s trying to get my attention.  I mean, I write, and I average about 5 shows a week.  Depending on what else is going on, sometimes it’s less.  I’m writing, I’m performing.  But I’m the most honest when I paint.  What Bruce was referring to is life.  It comes at you and you have a choice.  Sometimes you definitely get overwhelmed by the dark stuff.  He’s saying do something with it.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

I am practicing extreme self care.  I went to the chiropractor which is $100 hard cash because I don’t have health insurance.  It’s like a drug deal.  I also went running and then took myself to a wine bar in Brooklyn Heights, one of my favorite neighborhoods to go write. The bar is cute.  It has a romantic setting with candles & swank (cuz valentine’s and all).  Here’s what I’m enjoying.  All of it.  Sinatra is playing.  Thank God !!!!  Lately, the hipster bars that I venture to play AWFUL neo-punk garbage.  After an hour I’m irritated.  I like jazz motherfuckers ok.  Straight on, 1950’s, big band, lush orchestrations with some horns and someone who can sing. <----(Wow that makes me sound old).  A lot of people don’t like Sinatra, but they never heard him sing It Might As Well Be Spring or The Night We Called It A Day, or any of those torch songs that he recorded with Capital.   Maybe I should stop writing.  Perhaps writing is just a series of thoughts that when put together it’s like sharing.  Ew.  Is that what writing is?  That’s what my writing is lately.  Would I rather write like Daschiell Hammett?  Yes.  But perhaps at this time, my writing is what needs to happen right now for my own personal growth.  I just cringed that I wrote that.  It’s as if I’m trying to evolve, but I’m in utter resistance to it all.  The artist in me wants to go “fuck it man, drink some vodka and read Krishnamurti - don’t be so serious.”  This is true, but writing about exactly what is going on in my life, it turns out, is sort of therapeutic.  Who knew.


Personally, I need to read about death.  I’m into gritty, post-war American characters that get involved with the underbelly of society and have a Smith & Wesson.   Happy Valentine’s day everyone.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

RANT TO A DEAD GUY

I don’t know why I’m feeling like this because you’re dead and you’ve been dead, but I’m still here on the planet and its sucks because something is wrong with me because I don’t want a boyfriend I question whether my sexuality is in flux and although women are far superior beings the bad news is I’m straight but I don’t like anyone even a little prob cuz everybody over forty is a catastrophe they say things like “cool beans” which was never hip and sometimes they have small beings that fell out of some other woman’s vatootle that hover around them who according to their Tinder profile are “their life” well your “life” smells like he soiled his trousers I can’t believe everything I’m writing to you so that you will read it from wherever you are (how strange) even though you were from the Bronx I’m very confident you went straight to heaven we met at Nicks in Boston my home club  I just thought you were so good on stage and you were covering for a comic who incidentally was in my wedding (WHAT) ya it’s weird and then you didn’t say you didn’t drink but after your set that’s what we all do in Boston, I did ask you if you’d go out with the gang and you said something that resembled a “naw” and your girlfriend walked up but it was really weird because we connected later anyway through Myspace (ridickballs)  Myspace? feels like centuries ago but you said hey next time you’re in New York, hit me up and I think you texted something about going to the Cellar I got really excited because my comedy career was in a holding pattern at best and New York was on my radar (to keep with the aviator themed analogy) I was just waiting to get enough money to move we hung out it was great I totes didn’t like you like you, I just thought it was cool to have a new comedy friend one time we went to the Strip.  After my divorce moving back to Boston was weird because the scene was younger douche-bro’s who started after me and not the guys that I knew from waitressing & from being around the clubs in the 90’s a New York friend was more than welcomed and I swear I didn’t like you beyond friends but you asked about my life and if I had kids and about my parents and what was I doing with comedy and then we went to get Thai food then we went to HA where we waited around forever and then I bombed in front of 4 people – I ate it so HARD we eventually went to the Cellar and I thought your shoes were weird.  I didn’t really see anybody else because you were all I could see and you had the symbols for Om Mani Padme Hum tattooed on your bicep J.C. on the your forearm and we talked about one man shows and how all comics need to explore other avenues of expression and I always thought I would write one and you did a Moth and I wanted to be with you and I couldn’t eat and I told you about my noir fascination.  You hugged Geraldo who was surprisingly humble and such a cool guy and you had to drive me back to Valley Cottage because my 82 year old aunt was worried and had made me promise I’d get back no later than midnight and although you both were puzzled at my indulging her request, the three of us went up FDR Drive and he was frantically arguing with some broad on the phone who kept hanging up on him which was making him furiously mad and we all couldn’t help but to laugh because it was crazy. Months would go by and we didn’t talk and more months and your career got big and you were travelling and I don’t recall when I took a shine to you because we lived in different states, maybe it’s cuz you were funny, then you let me crash at your place when you were away so I could look for a job and I brought your mother raw honey that I got from Amish people I’m not sure she liked it because it was the kind that’s hard in consistency because there are no chemicals so you have to put the jar in boiling water and she was nice and your dog barked a lot but then he warmed up to me and it’s weird that night you called from a tv contest show you were on and said you were losing to a dishwasher which despite it being a slam against his heritage was very funny only because you were incensed that you didn’t win.  At your bedside there was a book about Buddhism with a prologue about Asoka Maura who I had written a paper about in an ethics class in college and I knew it was a sign I asked you how you could even do a television show and you said you just have to relax more time passed and we didn’t talk and I grew bitter and eventually gave up on you. I was really hurt and disappointed because I guess its because you made my heart feel so good and I couldn’t even remember having something to look forward to you finally did call but I was away then you were going to Boston and expected me to drop everything which I did you kissed me finally after 2 years and it was amaze nostrils because it was soft and unexpected and you were a gentlemen because we held hands.  The very last text you sent me said “I can’t wait to see you.”  How cruel the world is that it took you so young.  I got that text a couple of days before you passed.  I cried for six months which I know you know because the psychic told me it’s really hard to write about you because it makes me sad I don’t cry any more but it makes all the blood go to my face and I get weird and some moisture happens around my eye area it’s like a silent intense cry, but I pretty much am dead unless I’m performing or writing I guess I could say thank you which is weird but for the writing part?  I was so mad at you for dying but it’s not like you had anything to do with leaving your body and I know you didn’t end like completely but I still have good days and some bad ones I don’t cope well with feelings any more so for now and to end this rant all I got is om mani padme hum.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

MID-40s PHENOMENON

Here’s what being in denial that you are in your forties is about.  I have an extreme aversion to the opposite sex and I have two unsuccessful half careers.  (I’m being dramatic) (and then there’s office gigs - Oh, the humanity!)  All this while I’m spiraling towards a narrow margin where people feel compelled to comment about my reproductive functionality, “well, you still have time to have a baby,” which is downright impolite, never mind implausible.

What is also happening is that I’m beginning to loosen the grip some.  Who knew?  Getting older has wisdom?  No kidding.  Trying to manage a creative career can be maddening.  I also just up and moved to New York City.  I always like to make things complicated.  My life consists of doing standup gigs, often travelling for them on the weekends.  I will do some writing and go do a set somewhere a couple of nights during the week.  At times, I also work an awful full-time job, so my schedule can be grueling.  I’m also a visual artist, but lately, I almost never have time and I currently have no studio to make art (the other half career).

I said to myself “for reals I’m out” which translates roughly to “I want to quit.”  Actually, I had arrived at this conclusion as a result of wanting to rid myself of worrying about money, and to live in a nicer apartment.  So I entertained the idea of letting go.  It’s not performing that is difficult.  The “grind” is working some job that takes up all of your energy, and then writing and performing anyway.

I emotionally gave up comedy because I wanted to see what it would feel like.  I wanted to just live life for a minute and avoid furiously trying to stay relevant.  What I noticed is work floods in.  When you’re not frantic and trying so hard, it puts you in the space to step aside and allow the universe to do its thing.  This new found detachment also allowed me to be freer on stage.   

I can’t really fool myself.  I’ll never give it up.  But in my false quitting, I noticed that finding contentment with exactly where you are has a lot of power.


It’s not evident whether my uterus will be all for naught.  I can’t seem to get the online dating thing to have significance, particularly because, gross.  But, perhaps when I am in the right state of mind, I will consider a relationship.   As far as my half careers go, I don’t really have an answer.  Writing, performing and making art are really just about doing it.  Living in New York makes me scoff at such liberties because it is so expensive.  I’m telling you, I was born in the wrong era.  I would have been perfectly happy being a mafia moll with a tommy gun.

Monday, January 30, 2017

TOUGH GIRLS ALWAYS RING TWICE

Here’s the thing, I’ve had wine.  Pinot to be specific.  I’m not typically a fan of pinot (noir), but I find Malbec to have a very scary finish.  I’m a wine snob which is code word for ‘”too old to admit you’ve turned into one of those broads that really likes wine.”  It’s my little thing I do to cajole myself to write.  It works.  I hate being this honest. It’s not in my nature.  Plus I hate people.  Those two things alone are reason enough to own a gun.  I also have a fascination with guns.  Not in a Yosemite Sam, yahoo-nutbar way.  It’s more of a fascination with all things retro.  For instance, I like revolvers.  In particular, how they look and I like gangsters.  Not bullshit fake celebrity ones like Snoop.  I like old school noir characters.  I love black and white gangster stories but Boardwalk Empire might be the best neo noir ever.  I’m getting off topic (I have to reel in tangents sometimes – it’s the wine).  Actually if we’re going to get into it – in addition to film, I like gangster characters that early to mid-century novelists like Raymond Chandler or Daschiell Hammett created.  My favorite is The Big Heat by William P. McGivern, who tends to write about cops… either side of the law, I like the tough guys.  They can be unscrupulous but still are coming from the right place.  They’re loners because they have integrity and they are not afraid of what comes at them.  They drink whiskey like water, and I imagine they don’t lose any sleep.


My fascination with these characters might be the appeal of a man’s man who’s tough but has valor and truthfulness.  There’s something about people who have braved a lot but haven’t been corrupted by it.  Real gangsters are people who have been through the ringer but still remain noble.  Real gangsters work temp jobs.

WORKERS COMP AND OTHER DEBAUCHERY or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Failure

This little ditty could also be a part of what I might sub-title The Divorce Chronicles

I’m drinking wine.  
THIRD GLASS.  <---That is inappropriately in all caps.

I have digressed mentally from the original blog idea --  which I think was to try and get to real meaningful writing before the end of the world (which could be any day now, but still).  I’m not sure this blog is going to do that.  It will, however, catalog some rough patches in my evolution as a human, that may eventually become a memoir or color my stand up, or be impetus for a one-man-show, or at least gain some followers.  

I recently had a face time interview.  This is sort of in the realm of the ridiculous, but I went along with it because I needed a job.  Do you know these awful people that are so deceptively upbeat and positive that they just come across as grossly counterfeit at best?  Temp recruiters that’s who!  This is who “face-time” interviewed me. 

She was selling me “temp-to-perm” positions that I did not want.  I actually went out of my way, more than once, to tell her that I was not interested in getting caught up with these listless, dead-end positions that only benefit the temp agency.  She was one of those people who said catch phrases at the end of every sentence.  I could have said “I’m going to come to your house in the middle of the night and murder every inhabitant in your dwelling,” and she would have still responded “perfect.”  How corporations are so good at creating robots is beyond my comprehension.

Did I mention I love drinking wine.

So let’s go back to general mockery of me trying to get back on my feet.

I had an ugly divorce where I had to flee Hawaii.  In retrospect, that’s pretty fucking Hunter S. Thompson bad ass, if you ask me.  I landed back in Dorchester.  I happen to love Dorchester.  Not many people have written, never mind uttered those words.  The name comes from a county town of Dorset, England. The Boston area Dorchester is wonderfully mixed and urban with beautiful Victorian houses and fabulous triple deckers .  It was where I lived after college and where my art studios and exhibitions were .  It also was the last place my mother lived before she died (Fields Corner).  It is home for me.  After disembarking off of a ship and flying back to the east coast, heartbroken and penniless, I landed not only in the same neighborhood, but the same house by Patty's Pantry (St. Margaret's Parish).  I had a lot of difficulty finding work.  I didn’t even have a laptop.

Because there was a recession, I ended up going back to restaurant work.  Somewhere in here I need to mention that I always go back to office work because it is usually there for me when I need it, except when there is a recession.  So working in an upscale restaurant, I tried to take on the attitude that I was being entrepreneurial about it, as in “My Albanian grandfather was a restaurateur - I might run a small wine bar some day in the South End, so this is valid.”  But in reality, I was just waiting tables.

This wicked white trash “bar manager” who didn’t even drink wine and, who incidentally, was dumb as a bag of hammers, was doing the wine buying/selecting, the outcome of which produced a sludgy-overly-fruity-alcohol-forward selection of cheap wine (complete with white zinfandel which we used to call hooker juice, and mind you, this is way before rosé had made its comeback).

I liked working at said restaurant, but it became evident they were not going to put me on the bar, and then I got injured. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Excerpt from Recipes For A Broken Heart

Michael picked me up in Harlem.  He took me to HA Comedy Club in Times Square to try and get me a set in front of the manager to ultimately get me a show and/or a lot of regular spots at the club.  Before HA we went to a Thai place.  I told him I was going to get a sugar daddy.  As a painter and a comedian making $50-$100 bucks a show – a sugar daddy seemed like a practical approach to remain in the arts.  He goes "but then you have to sleep with a saggy old guy"   And I laughed and was like "EEEEWWWWW !!!" deflated that I hadn't really thought out my plan that far.

He made me laugh.  He had a cool detachment that made him interesting.  But he also had depth.  He talked about being a recovered drug addict.  He was asking me about what I was doing with the comedy.  He also asked what happened to my marriage.  These were tough questions, particularly the marriage one.  It was an abusive marriage and hard to talk about.  Looking back, I realize I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life or my career.  I didn’t have any money and I was trying to put back together the pieces of my life like Humpty friggin Dumpty.  And I mean, who wants to cut to the chase and say “yeah I’m broke and depressed.”  I was not comfortable talking about that.   I craved that kind of honest, open dialogue.  I'm sure I talked and kavetched to my friends endlessly, as one does after a breakup, but that is just complaining, it isn't necessarily open, honest conversation.  That's hard to come by.  And I could have had that with Michael who, from recovery, I imagine, is well versed in people airing their dark stuff with no judgment.  But I guess I wasn't ready at the time.  He had recorded two storytelling radio hours on NPR and had done some television.  His career was taking off and I hadn’t even made the leap to New York yet. 

Another time we hung out, there was a big fund-raising event at Webster Hall that included music, art and standup.  The standup segment was in a large room with a stage and several bars, somewhere within the labyrinth of the many rooms that makeup the massive nightclub and concert hall.  We walked around after his set downstairs where they were selling merchandise.  He tried to buy me underwear but I was embarrassed.  So instead he bought me a pair of black, fingerless gloves with a revolver on the left glove.  We made our way upstairs on to a level that overlooked a giant stage below.  The art was hanging on this level.  We conversed with the other comic and his girlfriend for a few and walked around a little.  It wasn’t anything earth shattering, just cool, and I realized I liked being with him.  The event was really an interesting concept, but it was a little helter skelter, because there was so many things going on, so we left.

            He dropped me off in Harlem where I was staying with a friend.  I told him that was my gay boyfriend’s house… and he laughed and said “your what?”  Then he texted me later that night that in three separate texts...

            ANGEL

            OF


            HARLEM

-originally published in Recipes For A Broken Heart, compiled by Dr. Laura Hayden.  You can buy a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Broken-Heart-Laura-Hayden-ebook/dp/B00TN1UVS8