Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Park Slope, Brooklyn Bulletin Board

On nearby streets, young, middle-class couples push baby strollers alongside funky, artistic types off to sip brunch mimosas at one of the district's fine restaurants...

Self-defense: Adult Women and Transgendered People (Now reviving successful "Turn-in-Stilettos-for-Safety-Whistle" program)

Birth Doula (When trained medical professionals just aren't enough.)

Labor Support Doulas (Pick from our many, homely women skilled at sitting in a room and looking at you.)

Emotional Midwifery (Push with FEELING. I want to BELIEVE you are having this child!)

Breast-feeding Basics (Step 1. Get breasts. Step 2: Use breasts to feed hungry baby.)

Post-natal Fitness Classes (Because you really do look awful)

Practice Pilates at Home (Fart in the comfort of your own living room)

Positive, Holistic Solutions: Dog Training (Rex needs to learn to take his Mercurialis perennis)

Critter Sitters (Free diaper service for chimpanzees)

Training for the Urban Dog and Family (Training for the urban dog includes walking with a Gangsta Lean. Training for the family consists of hitting them with newspapers.)

Hypnosis (Collecting untold amounts of money from people since 1992.)

Aikikai (Marital arts classes specializing in weight-shifting technique, balance and typecasting you for the rest of your film career)

Piano/Guitar Lessons (Also known as the Keytar. Location: Subway platform)

International Voiceover Artist (For all of your international voiceover needs)

Children's French Book Fair (Qui veut aller a la bibliotheque? Qui veut se tuer d'un coup de pistolet?)

Music Therapy (Doris Oswald invites you to listen to Pure Moods vol. 1-8 in her 4th Floor Walk-up. Cost: 1 box of Lean Cuisine)

Craniosacral Therapy (We don't know what this is either.)

Well-Being Massage Therapy (Covered windows for privacy. Video of Asian Women on continuous loop in front of store so we're all on the same page here.)

Holistic Medicine (Doris Oswald invites you to drink a tea she made from leaves collected in Prospect Park. Cost: Dressing in a Michael Bolton costume.)

Family Improv: Private Tutor ("May I have a suggestion? I heard booger. Thank you.")

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Mourning

We recently lost comedy hero George Carlin. He's the second celebrity in weeks to die of heart problems (RIP, Tim Russert). I heard about it this morning from the elevator in my work place, where I get all my news and golf salary statistics.

It is always sad when an artist passes on because they will never create again, unless they release rap albums. The good thing is that it's a wonderful time to reflect on all the joy they brought while they were here, and re-visit some of the work that made them great.

From an article in The Associated Press:

The counterculture hero's jokes also targeted things such as misplaced shame, religious hypocrisy and linguistic quirks — why, he once asked, do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

He's a four time Grammy award winner, a five-time Emmy nominee, recipient of the Mark Twain prize for American Humour, and gave birth to more than a dozen HBO specials. I hope to have one HBO special in my lifetime.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


On Monday I took home the prize money awarded in a random drawing at Ochi's Motel open mic. The show is produced by John Morrison, hosted by Joe Powers and headlined by Sean Donnelly.

It feels fabulous to be a winner. I like to think I willed it to happen. Like the time I was 10 and participated in a cake walk at my grade school's Family Fun Day. I stared at a plate of homemade, chocolate chip cookies as we walked in a circle. Around and around the cafeteria to the tune of a blaring boom box, we marched on masking tape that formed jagged numbers on the floor. When the music stopped, a number was drawn from the hat, and the person standing on that number got to pick from the bounty of donated sweets. I was one of the last people to win, but when I did, my cookies were still there, as I willed them to be. If only I had used my concentrated brain-power to make them taste good...it might be a better memory today.

But I've still got it. The ability to make things turn in my favor. Granted, two other names were drawn before my own (they had left), and once I was called, instead of calmly nodding in anticipation of my victory, I jumped off of my bar stool shouting, "YES!! YES!!" amid a smattering of polite applause. I ran to the stage, and then, realizing there would be no acceptance speech, I walked back down the aisle. Then I figured they might want to ceremoniously hand me the money so I turned and inched toward the stage again. Joe and Sean were still talking to the crowd so I turned back toward the bar.

Not only did I get to eat someone's leftover fries, but I also got to see some hilarious up-and-comers and underground fixtures work out great material. From the girl whose first time on stage prompted her to ponder aloud, "I thought just talking about it would make it funny, but it just sounds like rambling..." to the countless tall guys with great jokes that bang their heads on the low ceiling. Not to mention some of the freshest, funniest ideas hatching in NYC. It's as fun to watch as it is to perform.

Ochi's Motel
Comix (Ochi's Lounge)
353 W. 14th St (8th/9th aves)
Mondays at 6:30PM and 9:00PM, FREE
(comics pay $5)

Photo credit:
©2008 John Morisson

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Musical Stares

Did anyone else wish they were saying, "The 60-Second Annual Tony Awards"?

Translation: It was mad long, yo! But worth watching for the costumes, the good editing, and the VERY moving acceptance speech by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Talk about hard work paying off. Not only is he the founder of NYC's best rap group, Freestyle Love Supreme, but he busted his hump to take a musical from his brain to Broadway.

Other aspects of the Tony's I enjoyed this year were the Oscar-quality gowns, the 13 songs they allowed me to sample for free, Mandy Patinkin's beard (Hello! My name is Inigo Mantoya. You killed my father. Prepare to get lost in the forest on my face.), the brief re-caps of speeches they would play to shorten the show ("While on commercial break, John Lithgow won the People Who Need One More Award To Play Chess With Their Statues award"), and the flash backs to famous moments in Tony's History (Early 1990s Madonna on her teleprompter flubs, "I'm being punished for skipping rehearsal!" followed by thunderous applause and no mention of how she's trying too hard to stay young).

And of course, she was swell, she was great: after 28 years of singing her heart out, Corky's Mom took home her second Tony. I'll be watching next year for Jane Kaczmarek.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

For the Kids

"Abbi and Luke: Character-Building" Gotham City Improv
This past Saturday Luke and I performed a show in Gotham City Improv called, "Character-Building". We brought characters we created at The Living Room out to the big city to strut their stuff.

We had a great turn-out of friends, fellow-comics, college buddies and friends of family. More specifically, we had a great turnout of muscular, tattooed guys, classy, well-dressed women, non-denominational Christians, interracial couples, spoken word artists, musicians, Georgetown graduates, Starbucks employees and members of Delusions of Spandex and Bacivo Nuggets.

Greg of Aemiessence Fine Arts (who does all the eye-popping photography for The Living Room) took pics of the event, and Nick Cobb was our featured performer and did a smashing job opening the show for us.

We both come out, have a little banter, and then I abruptly leave the stage to get something "hilarious for the show". Luke buys time by interacting with the crowd. He finally can't stand to wait any longer and exits. My first character takes the stage: an old woman intensely involved with her work as a feline behaviorist. Luke's first character enters the scene, and the night carries on with eccentric personalities from brown-toothed hippies to jilted sea captains. By the end, I have returned as myself, out of breath, to present what I think will be the perfect prelude to a night of yuks. Luke informs me that I've missed the entire show. (The stupefied audience never realizes it was me on stage! A little trick I picked up doing dinner theater in Indianapolis.)

The entire night was in preparation for a performance we'll put on for a middle school in Maryland this week. If the kids like it, we could be the next Sharon, Lois and Braham. Without the guitars or the hip replacements.

The highlight of the night was seeing comedian Kumail Nanjiani among the guests after the show. I had only met him a month ago, and seen him once since, but I threw my arms around him and said, “Kumail! Thank you so much for coming!” He looked at the floor and said, “Uh, I’m actually in the next show. I didn’t catch yours.”
“Oh! Ha ha! Well, I still appreciate your being here. At your own show. Supporting live comedy and all.” Then I turned to thank a fire extinguisher.

1. Tim the Party Man, 2. Lucinda Wentworth-James, Mystery Novelist, 3. Billy Hawkins, Old Sea Captain, 4. Kerry True, Environmentalist, 5. D.B. Westchester of the Bull Moose Party, 6. Dr. Erick Newberry, feminist motivational speaker, 7. Tony Francione, New York Sports Guru, 8. Betty the Cat Lady, 9. Nick Cobb

Friday, June 6, 2008

What the E.L.F.?

Eyes Lips Face cosmetics are NOT being re-packaged by Nordstrom as I stated in my previous post. Thanks to Snopes.com I learned that these products are always sold for a dollar. I should have known something was up when some items were listed, "In stock soon!" Why would something be in stock soon if it were going to be discontinued shortly thereafter?

I bought a handful of items even if the brushes are, as my sister says, "made of cat hair" because

a) I like things that don't cost a lot.

b) I once bought a wallet from Skymall. This wallet. Two days ago.

So under E.L.F.'s FAQ, answering question #15 of "Why only $1?", it says,

In today's world, beauty and wellness go hand in hand - it's a holistic approach that [blah blah blah]...Every woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget. We hope you agree and[buy as much of this stuff as you can, much as a pack of hillbillies will eat at McDonalds month after month but never go out for a steak dinner at a fancy restaurant once in a while. But who can blame them? They don't know what a salad fork is, and sauce au poivre doesn't come in a plastic cup with a peel-back foil wrapper.]

On the bright side, I now have refurbished my arsenal of inexpensive beauty supplies, and I saw the most hilarious video I have seen in months. From Current.com via averagejane.blogs.com I give you, "Target: Women...Yogurt Edition".

Photo credit:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How is This Legal?

Before it hits your inbox and sounds like a hoax...

Nordstrom is changing the packaging on their "Eyes Lips Face" makeup, so they're selling everything that says "E.L.F." for $1.00!

Cut and past the following website: http://www.eyeslipsface.com/shop.asp

It is fun to try things when you don't have to worry about the cost! They have powder, mascara, brushes, nail polish, you name it .. Just thought I'd pass along the good deal. Also, if you use the coupon code: CAROLINA you will get $7.50 off your first $15 of your purchase.

And to continue this celebration of womanhood I will sing a song we can all relate to:

I'm a girl, and by me that's only great!
I am proud that my silhouette is curvy,
That I walk with a sweet and girlish gait
With my hips kind of swivelly and swervy.

I adore being dressed in something frilly
When my date comes to get me at my place.
Out I go with my Joe or John or Billy,
Like a filly who is ready for the race!

When I have a brand new hairdo

With my eyelashes all in curl,
I float as the clouds on air do,

I enjoy being a girl!

When men say I'm cute and funny

And my teeth aren't teeth, but pearl,

I just lap it up like honey

I enjoy being a girl!

I flip when a fellow sends me flowers,
I drool over dresses made of lace,

I talk on the telephone for hours
With a pound and a half of cream upon my face!

I'm strictly a female-female

And my future I hope will be
In the home of a brave and free male

Who'll enjoy being a guy having a girl...like...me.

When men say I'm sweet as candy
As around in a dance we whirl,

It goes to my head like brandy,

I enjoy being a girl!

When someone with eyes that smoulder

Says he loves ev'ry silken curl
That falls on my iv'ry shoulder,

I enjoy being a girl!

When I hear the compliment'ry whistle

That greets my bikini by the sea,

I turn and I glower and I bristle,

But I'm happy to know the whistle's meant for me!

I'm strictly a female-female

And my future I hope will be
In the home of a brave and free male

Who'll enjoy being a guy having a girl...like...me.

Photo credit:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman

Not given enough attention as a kid.

Given too much attention as a kid.

Follows her nose.

Follows her spirit guide.

And Now she's out of a job.

And she's out of touch.

She's all out of face.

This one doesn't really play guitar.

Just a reminder to love yourself, take care of your family, have some standards, be kind to others, remember where you came from, see your beauty within and meet the Muppets.

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