Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just What I Deserve

I went up against Joe List in last night's World Series of Stand-Up competition at Caroline's. How did I do? Everyone laughed at my jokes. Great, but did I win? It's not about winning or losing. It's about getting the chance to perform.

Anyway, Joe said something that got an applause break, so I left without finding out which one of us won.

No, YOU'RE a big baby!

Then I went to buy a Cinnabon at Rockefeller Center just in case I lost. But it was closed, so I went to the Dunkin Donuts kiosk next door.

Me: Hi, I don't know what I want yet.
Employee: How about a DONUT? (Other employees laugh)
Me: I wanted a Cinnabon. What's the twisty thing you have here that's like a cinnamon roll?
Employee: Bagel twists
Me: No, I don't want a bagel
Employee: RAISIN bagel twist. With icing.
Me: Okay.

It tasted like a bagel with icing.

The No-Poo Chronicles: Victory is Mine

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 14: I made it to the last day! I survived two straight weeks without using shampoo! And I don't feel like a mountain man. I had another wash today, which makes the sixth in two weeks, averaging one every other day. Washing this often is why my hair was so dry before. Only now, I'm not stripping it of its oils.

Day 15: headband day. I could keep going. Can't wait to try my herbal vinegar rinse...

The chronicles can end now but the legend of restored hair will live on!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Skinny White Comics at Legion Bar

Hosted a new show called Skinny White Comics at Legion Bar in Williamsburg last night. David Lee Nelson and Nick Cobb produced and performed along with Sam Grittner and Reese Waters. It was a fun night, with everyone doing extended sets. It made the place feel like Rififi used to. I was hot and sweaty, and I kept taking my jacket off when I left the stage. I kept putting it back on to introduce the next performer because

a) it was fly
b) I didn't want people to realize they too were hot and sweaty

I highly recommend it! David and Nick are so talented, and the extra folks they invite are just icing on the cake. Sundays at 8:00PM. I don't know how regularly the show will be occurring. On Tues Sept 29 I am going to try to catch Matt Ruby and Colin Quinn at the same place on a show called The MacGeyver Show.

The No-Poo Chronicles: Wonder of Wonders

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 13: headband day. After ponytail day? That's unheard of! Behold
I say unto thee it can be achieved!

The No-Poo Chronicles: Money Matters

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 12: ponytail day, but the prettiest ponytail yet! It's official: I'm a believer in the no-poo method. I've already looked up other natural treatments for my hair to keep the trend going. I may condition with mayonnaise soon, who knows? Of course, the goal was to save money, and going to Whole Foods to buy $47 worth of herbs to add to a vinegar rinse is not my idea of saving money. A bushel of dried lavender cost $10, and the florist told me that was a steal--yeah, you're stealing from me!

Not to mention the cost of installing a garbage disposal in my bathtub.

Let's do a cost benefit analysis:


DevaCare No-Poo (32 oz) - $35.99
Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner - $13.99
Mixed Chicks Leave-In (10 oz) - $20.00
Kinky-Curly Curling Custard (16 oz) - $26.00
Total: $95.98



Herbs - $44.41 (rosemary, sage, lavender, catnip, basil, chammomile, citrus peel, lemon peel from Whole Foods)
Vinegar - $2.99 (Apple cider vinegar from the grocery store)
Oils - $24.56 (jojoba, sweet almond, rosemary essential oil and vegetable glycerin from a health food store)
Total: $71.96

If I divide the cost of the products by how often I think I would use them individually, the cost per month is

$12.86 (Old Routine)
$11.99 (New Routine)

Hmm, not much of a difference. I could probably cut the cost of herbs and oils down a bit.

The real test this method has yet to pass is will it keep my hair from drying out, long-term? Everything I've read says over-washing curly hair is what causes dryness. With the old maintenance routine, I could create the illusion of shiny, lustrous hair, but by the end of the day it was a wool sweater and the next day shredded wheat. And that's even after finding all-natural products that are sulfate-free.

Maybe tricks like washing less often, using a wide-toothed comb, blot-drying and finger-styling are what prevent frizz and dryness no matter which curly mane-tenance method you choose.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: Daily Dose of Micro Fiber

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 11: I slept in the scrunchie last night. I gave it a spritz of Rosemary leave-in today, but I'm not sure that does much once my hair is dry. It might even add to the frizz since the spray is mostly water. I think it looks fine today too though.

Don't be fooled by my face in the picture; I'm happy. Maybe I'm over the hump of bad hair days or maybe it was the rainy weather in the past week. Or it could be that I used my fingers instead of a comb to detangle. I'm going to avoid washing on humid/rainy days, and I'm going to try never to comb it once I'm out of the shower. I read recently that curly-haired people should use micro fiber towels. I get by with a paper towel, t-shirt or cotton bath robe.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One-on-One with Jessica Kirson

Comedian Jessica Kirson offers informational courses to stand-ups as well as pottery-making for lovers and curb-stepping for the elderly. I met with her last night to ask her questions about the business. I highly recommend you exchange money for her knowledge. If anything just to interact with a human, you recluse. On a related note, I am now coaching middle schoolers on how to draw anatomically correct graffiti. I've seen one too many triple W's.

After the session, I was very encouraged to keep on plugging away. Especially after the string of crummy shows I had experienced last week. "Those are good because after two or three of them, you stop caring," she remarked. That's when you really let loose on stage. Or at least, you don't get in your head. She was right; the very next show I had in a noisy bar where a patron punctuated each punchline by shouting, "SCIENCE!" didn't bother me. We talked about technical things like auditioning for clubs in the city and getting booked at colleges, but also about broad topics like striking a work-life balance. For further advice on performing for colleges, read this post on Sandpapersuit, Matt Ruby's comedy blog.

A piece of Jess's bio from
Once you have seen her amazing talent, it is easy to understand why she was selected to perform at the Hamptons, Toyota, Marshall's Women in Comedy, Comedy Central's South Beach, Montreal, and HBO's Las Vegas comedy festivals. She has been featured on various television shows, including, Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and "Fresh Faces," ...NBC's "Last Comic Standing" Seasons 2 and 3, and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"... She was recently awarded "Best Female Comic" by the MAC association in New York City.

The No-Poo Chronicles: You Otter Know

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 10: Fresh start with the fifth wash. I cradled my shampoo bottles lovingly in my arms, like Dumbo's mama who has to hold him from a jail cell.

WARSHing: I went without the ACV rinse because I'm paranoid that it causes dryness. While washing, I felt a coating of oil, all the way down to the ends. Like an otter. But it's not the texture of greasy hair; it feels like protected hair, as in shielded from dryness. The down side is I feel like my hair will never be "silky soft" while washing it. That's something to get used to. Or hate for eternity.

Styling: I did not comb at all. I just wrung my hair out, applied the Rosemary leave-in, and blotted dry. There's some frizz at the top, but thanks to the sunny weather (no humidity), it looks pretty great today.

*wolf whistle* if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: Comb Down the Pounds

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 9: Fluffy hair was not my goal with this project. Sure it's soft,
but it's just a mass with no definition after sleeping on it. Like the kids who do the book reviews on Reading Rainbow. Ah, the 1980s, when a cloud of hair was an acceptable style among young and old alike. But you don't have to take my word for it!

To style, if you could call it that, I used the Foccacia Bread spray. I also found a recipe online for a new and improved vinegar solution, called an Herbal Vinegar Rinse.

Fill a jar or bottle about half-full with a combination of some or all of the following herbs: rosemary, sage, chamomile, catnip, yarrow, lemon peel, orange peel, basil, lavender. Fill the bottle or jar to the top with vinegar-- use a good quality apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. Seal and shake every day for a few weeks. Strain and use a tablespoonful in your final rinsing water.

I forget where I found it, but here is a similar recipe with more detail from

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: Bread Head

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 8: First week completed! How did I make it this far? The results have been so infuriating. Case in point, I had my fourth wash today. I know I just washed it yesterday, but it was frizzy beyond repair, and felt really dry. I didn't want to rake it into another ponytail puff. For the first time I feel like the ACV is drying me out. You're supposed to condition! Why have you forsaken me? When I finger-combed the vinegar through in the shower, sections of hair started to frizz before my eyes. When I rinsed it, the ends felt dry.

I looked up a more advanced, all-natural leave-in remedy besides olive oil. (1 Tablespoon jojoba oil, 1 Tablespoon sweet almond oil, 1.5 teaspoons veg gylcerin, 10 drops rosemary oil, and water in a spray bottle to fill) It's still rainy out so I tried wearing a bun. It was too drippy on my forehead, and since I can't towel dry without causing frizz, I took it down. But ooh la la, check out the waves! The oil seems to tame the frizz, even if I do smell like focaccia bread.

Chris if you say anything about my puffy eyes I will slap the black off you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: That Puts a Damper on Things

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 7: This is the third wash and the first fight with my hair. I'm guessing this is why people quit early. While scrubbing my scalp, before conditioning with the vinegar, I felt an oily build-up, confirming my sister's suspicions that I am a boxcar hobo. This may be my own natural oil or it may be the olive oil I added after each of the other two washes. It makes my hair feel thick as I finger-comb it under the running shower water to get it fully wet.

It's getting too cold out for chilled ACV solution, so that was an unpleasant icy blast. This time I mixed only 1T ACV in 12 whole ounces of water. I did something new by putting 1T olive oil in a spray bottle and mixed with water (shaking to emulsify), and applying all over hair, not just on ends. I tried to finger style, but sections of frizzy hair appeared in the back. I sprayed water on it and resorted to combing it. Dripping wet, and running late to work, it was hard to be patient enough to blot it dry. I'm trying not to use a towel as instructed. It's also raining out, which will amplify the frizz and keep it from ever drying.

I never had any auditions this week, but I do have a show tonight. Want to primp and look nice, but I can't break down now! This is the test. On the subway platform the breeze from a passing train made me wish I could use a blow dryer. By the end of the day even I can smell the vinegar on it. Celebrity look-alike today: Ola Ray

It's All Goods

My buddy Chris from writes:

My friend Ana in San Juan emailed me to ask if that girl with curly hair on my blog has a Home Goods commercial.

You're huge in Puerto Rico.

How cool! (For the record, I define cool as someone throwing a ball of paper in a trash can three feet away.) I have received lots of nice words on Facebook about this television appearance. You might remember when I wrote about shooting it. Since I have no pictures of it, here is a story board, as it has been described to me.

I poke my head in the door...

I notice how fabulously I've decorated my home...

I walk all the way in and greet my house...

Then they flash the Home Goods Logo.

It sounds as though they did not keep my ad-lib: "Come check me out at Botanica Bar on Sundays and Root Hill Cafe on Mondays!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: Meh

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 6: Ponytail. Looks more like an Afro. I guess there's no more
frizz than when I use styling products and have slept on it for two
days in a row. Looking forward to washing though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: The Fabric of My Life

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 5: Headband day. I miss styling products and the shampoo ritual. The shape is wild and unruly and won't comply when I try to reposition it with my hands. Also it is looking slightly dry. Luke said it feels like Cotton. My scalp likes when I scratch it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The No-Poo Chronicles: Things Are Getting Crunchy

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 4: Second wash. Used chilled ACV solution, same 2T in 6oz. Will
use less ACV and more water next time as per Internet, to reduce confounded vinegar scent. Combed hair in shower to detangle. Won't use a brush anymore because I read it damages curls. Used only a few drops of olive oil this time (not a handful), and blotted dry with lightweight bathrobe. Styled with fingers and shook upside down. It dries more quickly than when loaded down with products. Went to work. Scalp still a little itchy...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rolling the Comedy Gutter Ball

Two bombing stories in a row! Can you tell I haven't had my Wheaties?

Yesterday, I was slated to perform at Caroline's for The World Series of Stand-up. Unfortunately the show was cancelled. Fortunately, I dodged my own bullet. I have had such a bad attitude about performing lately, that I was convinced I would fail. I was toying with the idea of going on stage and just playing recorded music from the last time I was put on hold by tech support.

Every time I have gone up I have lost to whoever I was pitted against. I felt the same as when I was six, and went bowling with my family. So many of my balls had veered into the gutter, that on my next turn, I saved the ball the trouble and deposited it directly to the gutter THEN rolled it. My parents scolded me for being a spoiled sport and a quitter, which just made me feel worse.

The lesson I did not learn then, that I am supposed to learn now, is that failure is not trying. So did I fail since I did not have to try? I pondered this dilemma by eating a Cinnabon for dinner.

Fat Chance

This past Monday marked the return of the Root Hill Open Mic!

I was pumped to host the show. Giddy with excitement. Then about 4 minutes into my opening the vibe went south. My energy dropped, my confidence disappeared, and my desire to perform turned into a loathing of humanity. I was in the middle of working on a new joke called, "Dating Heavy".

"I don't like to joke about fat people. Have you ever been in love with someone who was overweight? The hugs alone are heaven! So soft and warm..." (this is the set-up to a joke that ultimately refers to uncooked pizza dough. I know. It's in the works.)

But in response to my rhetorical question one of the comedians at the mic playfully muttered something, and four comics around him burst into laughter.

Me: What did he say?

Audience: (Silence)

Me: Seriously, what did he say?

Luke: He said, "No."

Comic: (Mumbling again. More laughter.)

Me: What's he saying now?

Audience: (Silence)

Me: You're not going to tell me?

Luke: You asked if anyone had dated a fat person, and I told you, he said, "No."

Abbi: Well, now I've lost my train of thought. Any more outbursts like that, and you are cut from the list.

Audience: (Slight chuckle followed by Silence).

I didn't recover for the ENTIRE show. Every time I tried to comment about a performer I felt like I was antagonizing them. I was already bummed out about a few things that had happened this week: some articles I read online coupled with good old fashioned self-doubt. It happens to everyone, and it's what makes doing comedy so hard sometimes. Going through the motions when you don't feel like it. Getting out of your head about how you come across. Calmly dealing with distractions and bringing the focus back to yourself.

I am determined not to let that happen again, so I look forward to seeing you and your doughy behind at the next one!

Root Hill Open Mic
262 4th Ave (@ Carroll St)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Mondays at 8:00PM, sign-up at 7:00PM

The No-Poo Chronicles: Hakuna Matata

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 3: Wore my hair in a ponytail. Ponytail is a last-resort style, because the hair no longer has a pleasant shape. It starts doing a SideShow Bob kind of thing. My scalp is a little itchy, and the perimeter of my face is a little broken out (possibly from the olive oil). At the end of the day, I brushed with boar's hair(which comes as bristles on a brush; I'm not actually holding a live boar) to distribute my scalp's natural oil. For some reason boar's hair is recommended over plastic bristles, and there's big talk about spreading your natural oils down the length of the hair. I dont' even know what oil is doing up there in the first place. You have to take for granted that these are the properties of hair and it's not just some Hippie Conspiracy. Anyway, the result was Chaka Khan.

Oh well. Hakuna worries! I'm washing again tomorrow to start fresh. Itchy head, bad skin, bird's nest's going to get better, right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Muh-muh-muh Mike Maronna

Ooh my taller ginger one, narrate some.
Chunky watch is keeping your time, Maronna.
Little Pete is lots of fun, he's lots of fun.
Wiggling Petunia's so fine, Maronna.

Never gonna stop, chasing trucks--
of the Tastee kind. Always on the run with his hat;
he's too hard to find. My my my aye yay woo!

Muh-Muh-Muh Mike Maronna...

Ooh you gotta goofy dad, not so bad.
How the heck did he meet your mom, Maronna?

X-ray shows her metal plate, not so great.
Picking up the signals from Guam, Maronna

Did a lot of films. Then you stopped in 2005
Kevin's always such, a disease
in the winter time. My my my aye yay woo!

Muh-Muh-Muh Mike Maronna

When ya gonna wrestle him, the strongest man?
Don't you think that it's about time, Maronna?

Owned by Nickelodeon, but only one
kid can be a star at a time, Maronna

Never gonna stop, slackin' off.
With Sarah Marshall guy

Ellen's just a girl and a friend
but it's not combined.




aye yay


Muh-Muh-Muh Mike Maronna...

The No-Poo Chronicles: You're Scrunchalievable

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 2: Not unruly. I wore a headband as a fashionable shortcut to styling. I got a compliment on it. At night, I slept in a Scrunchie, which is supposed to help preserve the shape for one more day. Some website referred to this bedtime high ponytail as The Pineapple 'Do. I have one question: how will I know if he really loves me?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Glassful of Happiness

Hello, my name is Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake, and I am the most delicious thing on the planet. You can find me at Stand4 restaurant in New York City. I taste like campfire memories with every sip. The secret to my perfection is toasted mini marshmallows from the castle of a magical kitten that walks on two legs and plays the flute.

She Put The ODD in Patriotic

I'm posting this now since I can't wait for next Fourth of July.

"I always loved Rhinestones, fireworks, and Bozo the Clown."

The No-Poo Chronicles: Olive Oil To the Rescue

In an effort to save money, help the environment, and restore my hair's health, I am trying not to use shampoo for two weeks. Is that even possible?!

Day 1: First wash while scrubbing with nothing but water. Conditioned with 2T Apple Cider Vinegar in 6 oz water. Out of the shower, I combed my hair while it began to dry which caused it to frizz. I added a teaspoon of olive oil in my hands and put it all over the hair. I loved the results and was pleasantly surprised with the shape and definition. It made me wonder if my style was so nice because I had not fully washed the old products out. My only complaint for the day was that Luke noticed the vinegar smell even after my hair was dry.

Photo after first wash:

Thank you Olive Oyl!