Mirror, Mirror…(on a Funhouse Wall)

Here are some micro-affirmations from me to myself courtesy of I-yay-yay to add some pep to my salt:

You sure know how to break up a sentence with a well-placed semi-colon.

You show up at parties at the right time because it reminds others that they need to leave.

You would not yell “Alright, who’s pregnant?!” after someone announces a water break at a meeting, but you would think it.

Your hair styles are non-threatening.

You enjoy movies that make others feel morally and intellectually superior to you.

Your use of a stapler is completely competent.

You would defend someone’s honor if they needed another quarter for the vending machine.

You are not afraid to refuse a receipt from an ATM even if it’s dressed real nice.

You always eat one more pancake than is your limit because you feel sorry for it.

You accept backhanded compliments with backwards grace.

You tend to stay slightly dehydrated at all times in case someone might ask you if you got the thirst before sending you on a modern-day quest.

Show Me the Funny! Or, At Least Stop Crying.

PART I: No, to Answer My Own Question, This Thing Is Not On

So I did an open mic two nights ago that was well near a disaster hamhandedly boiled with a few sprigs of catastrophe. A disastrophe! A cataster! Other words unfit to print come to mind!

It was in a fairly crowded bar/restaurant with the stage way off in the corner so people could easily not notice it (to be fair, it was an expansive space where it was easy to ignore lots of things such as manners and people’s feelings).

There were a couple TVs playing sports footage but muted because the pictures obviously were worth thousands of words alone (mostly curse words if you had asked the comics).

Ooh ooh! Could you feel the impending challenge of performing a free stand up show? It burned.

To liven things up a little more, the stage spotlight wasn’t working so all the lights in the venue were on and everyone was freely conversing willynilly. One man was yelling, but it appeared to be his best approximation of an “indoor voice”.

Once I got onstage, I had to dance a little so people even realized I was a human being, let alone the next performer. I tried to muppet it up a bit, but then, when I was doing fairly mediocre which was my greatest hope for the night, right in the middle of a joke, the microphone abandoned me. As it was a handheld one, the batteries just went ahead and gave out (perhaps the room wasn’t to their taste…I couldn’t blame them).

Speak to me, Mikey!
photo courtesy of Flickr and Professor Rogers

Then there was a riot. Not actually, but it got real awkward real quick.

Someone yelled “Sorry!” from the crowd, and I retorted, “Not as sorry as I am!” which got a hearty, derisive laugh slash some kind of approving verbal fart from the audience.

Then I watched whatever baseball game was playing (mind you, I was still onstage) while they fixed the microphone and then I attempted to finish a set that was sooo over before it even started.

All’s unfair in comedy and tragedy. Such a fine line.

PART II: Ego Booster Seat (So I Can Sit With the Big Kids)

Salutations again, pilgrims, pioneers, and indigenous peoples! New NBC blog is live, so read if you please.

PART III: My Latest Attempt at Style Has Me by the Neck

Also I dressed up in honor of Friday. Sort of. Let me qualify. I am wearing a ridiculous necklace today. I enjoy and appreciate it because it is a jumbly mess like me. It’s like someone dumped a bucket of glue over my neck and then poured a craft basket over that.


And I adore it. Oh do I ever. It’s a homeless shelter for abandoned beads and pendants. Mama loves each and every one of these baubly misfit gewgaws.


PART IV: Since Vice Means Immoral Conduct or Depravity, Vice President Would Mean…? Am I the Only One Who Noticed This Blunder?

I am not going to comment on recent politics, at least not well.

I just would have preferred more WWE stunts in the veep debate (i.e., Mr. Amtrak Record [someone dressed up as the average train] vs. Ms. Baked Alaska [someone dressed up as a mindboggling but quintessential dessert]). Even if the candidates themselves did not execute the acrobatics, they could have had body doubles (even Gwen could have had one, especially because of her foot injury).

This guy could have played someone…I’m sure of it!
photo courtesy of Flickr and Snerkie

Batman-type sound animations such as POW! or BAP! or KER-PLOP! or FLRRBBBB! would have livened things up a bit as well.

BIFF BOFF!!!
photo courtesy of Flickr and Snerkie

Well, Try Harder Then

(This entry has no focus. I don’t know why I bothered mentioning that this time.)

I. Clothes Make the Man (i.e., the One Who Is Oppressing Us/Me)

Hi, so I realized a lot of people at work dress up (yeah, I just realized now. I was living in last season’s rose-colored bubble until a moment ago). But not in a trying-too-hard way. But rather in an efficient and color-coordinated way. I am always impressed by their wanton yet measured style.

I often end up sharing the elevator with one of these fine specimens, and I think “Why me?” and then I just stare at the panel of floor buttons for the entire ride rather than the snazzy buttons on whatever productive assemblage they’ve managed to pull together.

It’s hard to talk to someone who’s much better-dressed than you are without it turning into a quasitragedy of manners. You can only use the I-dress-for-comfort plea so much while halfheartedly fingering the ratty sleeve of your for-bedroom-only sweatshirt (you know, the one with “No Coffee? No Thank You” stained on it in peeling puffy paint) that somehow made it into the light of day.

Ok, I get it. I should have put more thought into my outfit.
photo courtesy of Flickr and mbtrama

I’ve tried taking the stairs instead but I realize I run up between levels all zig-zaggy like a harrumphing hooligan. Woe to those who may bump into me because collision is inevitable. I look at my feet and tend to stomp when on an incline.

II. Cleanliness Is Next to Evolution

So I try and take comfort in other aspects of work life such as having a clean desk space.

Do I succeed in this endeavor? No, of course not. Failure is the order of the day.

My desk is always covered in dust. I don’t know why. I don’t know where it comes from. But I do know no one else has this phantom dust that follows me around in the manner of Pig-Pen.

In fact, all my office furniture is covered in dust. And I wipe it all down every week, but the dust is back a day or two later. I don’t see anyone else with this problem. Heloise, help!

This is insane. I don’t even smoke.
photo courtesy of Flickr and kaeau

III. Financial Blow-out! Market Clearance! Everything Must Go!

Also, I hear our country may be headed into another depression. The more, the merrier, I say! Come join the rest of us mental health enthusiasts on a macrocosmic scale. We’ll read up on 10 Ways to a New, Stress-Free You (as if stress comes without a price) enough times that you’ll be able to debut your laissez-faire self by next summer, give or take a few moon cycles!

I also like how all the analysts talk about Wall Street (suits) versus Main Street (the commonfolk). Main Street sounds like a place where there are parades and ice cream trucks. Wall Street sounds like a place where there are charades and bailouts and rundowns and kickbacks and smacktalk.

Sometimes I forget that people make up Wall Street. It’s easier to think of it all as a giant robot with platinum grillz who is wearing a blue button-down shirt with a white collar (who sold the first one of those, I wonder).

Next stop, Treasure Island!
photo courtesy of Flickr and epicharmus

Does anyone else also still imagine large sums of money as only existing in briefcases carried by trenchcoats at midnight and/or in burlap sacks with dollar bills on the outside? I know there are also liquid assets but those just remind me of melting bars of gold. Take a nostalgic dive in Uncle Scwooge’s money bin!!!

In the meantime, start prepping the bunker. First order of purchase: bunker beds.

Stand Up? More Like Run Around! Am I Right? No, I’m Just Late.

A PWNED SYMPHONY in three parts

PART 1: OMG U n00b

My entire attempt at executing my plans last night gets a small, irate FAIL stamp.

The instructions were simple, too simple maybe.

I had to be at an open mic at the University of Maryland by 7:30pm.

As I work in the south of Virginia, the trick was to cut through the District of Columbia real suavelike, and then get on some road that turned into another road that turned into the dead center of the University of Maryland campus. It sounded too good to be true.

It might still be. The fact remains that I didn’t get close enough to ever find out.

I mapped everything out using the Internet and then painfully transcribed the directions onto the back of a receipt. Ha! Little did I know my paltry measures would never hold up in the face of the cold, hard facts!

So I left slightly after 6:30, giving me an hour of time to get there (that’s a century in a chronic late person’s arsenal).

I missed the first crucial exit I needed and ended up circling the museums and monuments in Washington a coupla times. A worthy pursuit, but there was no time for sightseeing! Not at a time like that!

Then I thought I was going the right way but then it became the wrong way and then it became the oblong way and then it just became the long way. All of it was the bumpy way. Potholes, people! I’m telling ya!

At many points, I felt like this car: overwrought and alone, so alone.
photo courtesy of Failblog

I ended up crossing the And-uh-that’ll-cost-ya river (cost you time, that is!) into a shadier part of town. Said river also has a bad raw sewage pollution problem so no, it was nowhere near as glorious as the crossing of the Delaware. But thanks for hitting me where it still hurts.

After passing a naval base and an air force base, I finally got my “bearings” if you could even still call them that anymore.

I was even farther from my destination and a good deal south of my original starting point, but I was back on track.

I also had suspense movie-style sporadic phone conversations with Justin (AKA Night Hawk), the poor, trusting organizer at the open mic to which I was headed, to give him status reports and blow-by-blow commentary. Fittingly, he could only get phone reception outside of the actual basement lounge. So our communication was totally erratic. Edge-of-your-seat stuff! Top notch.

Here is a map detailing what happened:
I Family Circus-ed it just like Jeffy!

Part II: BACK TO SCHOOL BLUEZ-ER

At about 8:40pm (70 mins late and counting), I pulled through the holy gates of the campus of the University of Maryland on a full ride charity scholarship for the directionally-challenged (I got stuck in two parking lots first).

After circling the entire campus in my car (see also: pretty but deserted) and ending up at the football stadium a few times (again, sporting events are good, old-fashioned fun, but there was just no time!), I finally parked my car in front of an innocuous enough place called the Benjamin Building.

I respectfully put quarters in the meter, two of which it ate with no gratitude whatsoever, and skittered off into the night, sticking to darkness so no one could see the wild, crazed look in my eyes.

No one can see me this way.
photo courtesy of Failblog

I had no idea where anything on that campus was, and Queen Anne’s Hall sounded like it could be anywhere.

Side Note: They should name buildings on college campuses based on the way they look (i.e., “Yellow and Round Student Union Center” or “Atrocious Concrete Trapezoid Library” instead of “Queen Ann’s Ballyhall” or “Ezekiel R. Lurgenberger’s Howzit Lab” because I have no idea what these people would look like in building form, geographically and spatially speaking.

I stopped at the Student Union Center, and asked a guy, walking by himself because I’m afraid to speak in front of groups without a stage present, for directions, and he said “I don’t know but I can check on my laptop.” He then proceeded to open up the most gigantic laptop I’ve ever seen. I’m talking 80s cellphone translated into a computer. I think the brand was Voltron. It could have doubled as a car/house. That big!

He then couldn’t log in properly to see the campus map (even though the buttons are each small islands in their own right), but after he finally got all of his wires uncrossed, he gave me the vaguest advice I’ve ever heard. “It’s behind the library.” I clearly didn’t have time to get into it with this guy (as in “get a load of…” with requisite hitchhiker’s thumb point) and his giant port-a-puter so I shimmied away.

Needless to say, I ran up to every slightly bookish edifice in search of the library, and I found one! The Hornslater or Hornbaker or Horntooter or something fitting-sounding.

I then made a huge perimeter around the library to ensure that I didn’t miss a single possibuilding that could be Queen Anne’s Hall. I realized pretty quickly that my parking meter had since expired and I was only wearing one shoe (a cute exaggeration) but I trudged onward.

I just wish stuff would be clearly marked and easier to find sometimes.
photo courtesy of Failblog

I avoided groups and happy people because my espirit de corps had dissolved somewhere along the journey. I had no animal totem to beg for help and the idea of telling jokes now seemed blasphemous. But Night Hawk told me he could still squeeze me on if I just SHOWed UP. That was it. Vengeance could still be mine.

I desperately asked another girl for help and she claimed having no knowledge of this mystical place, Queen Anne’s Hall. Because I had no choice at this point, I then asked a sad couple having a serious talk, and one of them turned to me slowly and gave me a sad, serious answer.

“Do you know where the quad is?”

“Yes, of course,” I said (meaning no, absolutely not).

“Well, it’s across the quad, way over there,” he said, pointing into pitch darkness as far as the eye could see.

I wanted to kick him in the shin and yelp for justice, but I merely nodded wordlessly and plodded away. He apparently had bigger problems than I did.

I crossed many streets and rivers, and got to this famed quad. There was no one there except one other girl who was far away enough that I still felt like the main character. It was just me in the middle of a grassy space that was ideal for showing movies on a giant projector or having joyous, memorable times, and I had a moment of inner peace quickly followed by a moment of indigestion all capped with an angst and frustration chaser.

After some more circling, I got a call from Night Hawk. He informed me the show was really just about over.

“Where are you?” He asked hopefully.

“I don’t know,” I said realistically.

We finally established I was near the chapel, which let’s be honest, I could have used at that point. Asylum and salvation sounded good, real good.

I told Justin that “Hey, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.”

He said, “I’m sorry.”

Then I said, “No, I’m sorry!”

And then there was nothing left to say.

PART III: UTTER AND TOTAL FAILURE FTW

Then somehow I get back to my car, after a few near run-ins with cars and positive people…it was then 10:05pm, but it seemed like the year 2031. And a beautiful parking ticket sat on my hood as the final middle finger of the night.

The joke was on me.

Ultimately, even the law loses out…to the law.
photo courtesy of Failblog