Found Footage

Hark! We’ve finally come upon the day before my tongue is released from captivity. Considering its two-week imprisonment behind bars, we can only surmise what lays in store for me, the well-meaning but restrained patron. Jacked up on a diet of revenge, pull ups, curls, and tats, the pink prince will break out in unfettered glory, perhaps disgusting and horrifying my surgeon and his nurse in the process with its size, ink-grained beliefs, and fury, but never apologizing, no, never that.

Do let’s have a quick multimedia meander down memory cul-de-sac, shall we?

I realized quite bemusedly to myself that I am going to miss this whole jaws wide shut saga of healing and hope, as trying as it could be at times. I became something of a misanthrope, only going out in public a requisite few times, once to a class that I just started taking, in which I used a doodle board to make a proper introduction of myself to everyone.

Within my own abode, I became something of self-proclaimed royalty with exacting standards and unrelenting habits. I would make faces at my mother if she dared to eat those most tempting and textured items known as solid foods around me. I would often wear a towel bib, and self-medicate standing up with a silver spoon. I would devour books in one or two days, going through an entire library stack, and fitting in a movie or TV episode here or there to keep myself dabbling in other worlds. Or alternately, I would read the newspaper to stay (internally) relevant. I forgot to check my work email (though I had promised myself) to the point where my boss had to text me to relay a message. I rather enjoyed the effort of the communique.

But I have also been turning quite sentimental, bawling behind my 3D glasses at Avatar and pining for my hospital bed and the consistent nurse pampering where drifting off to sleep is your most required calling.


  • the way soup dribbled onto clothing I had just washed or crusted on my chin with truly inhumane regard for my feelings
  • how brushing my teeth became more for show than anything practical (window washing)
  • the new fact acquired that poop seems to lose all its smelly qualities on a liquid diet (it needs to be documented) and the thoroughly unfortunate event of soiling my pants which occurred following a sad, sudden onset bout of diarrhea which persisted longer than was necessary (neither of these things will I miss, but an honest account is required)
  • how talking became secondary in any human interaction until I discovered tu-tu-tu-tu-tu could easily cover most of the emotional spectrum and then slightly later noted that I could be understood 200 percent better donning an efficacious British accent with hints of Africa in it
  • how parents acquire their old roles which you can quickly accept with a knee-jerk reaction as if you were hardly a grownup to ever begin with.
  • I may even have to spare a moment of nostalgia for my muscle spasms and mild bloody spittle.

    Here were some choice quotes from my caretakers during their time to shine, which they did most ably and with concerted, appreciated effort:

    Point/Counterpoint with the Parentals

    On Facebook (on two separate occasions)

    Mother: You’re on Facebook! That means you’re famous!

    Mother: I don’t have to register for Facebook to fill out this survey, do I? I don’t want my pretty photos all over the Internet.

    [Well, which is it, Mother?!]

    On Muscle Milk (on two separate occasions)

    Father: It’s Muscle Milk. It just sounds good.

    Mother: Muscle Milk. Nothing about that sound good.

    [Men and women for you, ladies and genteels!]

    Verdict: It’s no milkshake, but it’s not terrible.

    But, regardless of all the fun and the glamour I must put behind me and simply reflect back upon through treasured keepsakes such as a drool rag and antibiotic lip ointment, my building excitement for my first “outta jaws jail” meal of mashed potatoes and ravioli cut into teeny-tiny pieces is through the roof and to the moon. And that is one promise that is not fueled by pain meds.

    JAWS: The Liquid Fallout

    So, what do you know, JAW surgery went ahead and happened!!! I am severely behind in my updating because I didn’t realize that blogging might not be my highest priority after going UNDER THE KNIFE. But here is an attempt to quickly chronicle JAWS and the few days afterward.

    I had to give myself two antibacterial sponge wipe baths the night before the surge and the morning of it to scrub off any excess partycrashing dirt that happened to be on my person. It was weird because it resulted in me becoming a slightly sticky pod person. I guess hospitals enjoy admitting you in an about-to-be-birthed fetus state.

    Here is a quick as a lick (blatant lie) rundown of my time in the hospital. I got there on Wednesday at 5:55 a.m. to register, and they gave me a wristband so I was immediately part of the billable family. Seriously, they just scan you like you’re a grocery item in order to add meds and tests to your tally. Pretty sexy stuff.

    Then they sent my mom and me to another waiting area, where a nurse promptly fetched me and assigned me to a pre-op area. I got to change into these trendy hawt matron-white legwarmers, some practical peuce sock slippers (with chic non-slip treading), and this huge purple gown with a Bair Paws logo. If you attached tubing through it, it continually pumps warm air into it so that you look like a happy, purple pillow person. I also had to sign some consent forms including one where the hospital is not liable for me falling on my face if I tried to get out of bed without asking for assistance. Charming!

    The belle of the surgery ball in my purple gown with my plus one (Mother dearest)!

    My mom was really all about documenting this life event.

    Then they set up my IV, and the anesthesiologist came by to brief me on his role and how the whole dealio would go down. He was super friendly, and my mom was impressed by his happy-go-lucky nature. It is a hospital, for the love of pete’s sakes! Why hasn’t it broken his spirit yet?

    My dad actually works at the hospital where I had my procedure so he changed into his scrubs and was just lingering around the edges watching to make sure everything was going smoothly. All his co-workers were ribbing his anxious pacing. As if it was a really hands-on version of Take Your Daughter to Work Day!

    They told me after they put the first round of anesthesia in my system, that it would feel like I just had three martinis. Which was sad because instead of feeling pleasantly woozy, I just about immediately passed out (Lightweight Linda ovah heah!). But I do remember being wheeled into the OR, but then tuning out once the exciting part started. My dad watched some of the surgery though. Lucky duck. Who falls asleep with her mouth open at a party starring me?! I do.

    Next thing I know, I’m awake and looking at my parents. And I’m like “OK! When is the show is going to start!?! I have hot seats right up near the front!” And they’re like, “Uhhh. You’re done.”

    Here is me with a jaw wrap around my head. It is nice and cold, but I couldn’t feel the bottom of my face anyway. That’s what you get when you sever nerves, people!

    “Nonsense,” I woozily contest. “I have barely arrived!” (This is all mumbled because my jaw is banded shut.)

    Then these nice nurses come and take care of me in the post-op area, which I have to stay in until they can move me to a room in the ICU (intensive care unit, or insanely chichi unit…you’ll see why!)

    I am quite a fan of my IV fluids, and my mom is really hitting it off with the nurses. She is a pretty great conversationalist when it comes to making the other people feel interesting and captivating.

    But the best new development after I woke up was that I had a catheter in my nether regions! That’s right. No worries about getting up to pee, because I was getting drained from the inside. Apparently I peed a lot during the surgery. I KNOW. Talk about embarrassing yourself in front of the cool kids (I mean everyone with med school and dental school and nursing degrees.) They’ll never invite me back!

    Here are some prelim writings I made in post-op since I couldn’t really talk.

    The last line indeed says, “Morphine la la la.”

    This is me with my surgeon in shining armor! He had five hours to do the procedure and he finished in 2.5! Overachiever! Well, actually he had another assistant surgeon helping him who was left-handed and he’s right-handed so they had me ambidextrously covered.

    Post-op ward quickly led to pampering. Hellloooo nurses! Anything I wanted, anything at all was within my beck and call! The best thing about all the nurses was that each one was a new kind of nice. I didn’t realize there were so many different subtleties to being nice, but there are! I felt bad because I couldn’t really say “Thank you” properly with my jaws all banded together so I tried my best to have grateful eyes.

    Nothing brightens the world like a fat-lipped smile!

    No more pics, paparazzo! TMZ, take mercy.

    Seeing my reflection for the first time, I am introspective.

    My first attempt at water! Cheers! Much of it ended up on the towel! 

    I also got to wear these things that wrapped around my legs like blood pressure cuffs and every so often, they tightened around my gams to keep them non-crampy. Eventually, six hours later, a spot opened up for me in the ICU! I know! So exclusive, but the bouncers knew I was legit.

    The ICU had a huge TV plus I was hooked up to a morphine drip which I could get any time I wanted just by pressing a yellow button. My parents decided I could spend the night in the hospital by myself because I’m a big girl. Plus I wasn’t very exciting just lying there, mumbling, gurgling, and getting my vitals checked constantly.

    I remember having a hard time deciding what to watch on TV because I finished the book I brought with me but I finally settled on “Friends.” Say what you want about the show but it is easy to process when doped up, and I can appreciate that. The laugh track was a gentle emotional coach pointing out convenient moments for me to coo at the screen.

    Then, in the middle of the night, I was moved to another, ramped-down ICU because they needed my other room for more important cases (i.e., not just gurgling chipmunks). I loved being wheeled around the hospital in my bed in the middle of the night because I felt like I was on an adventure!

    The next room I was in was not as gussied up as the first one. It was a minimalist version of the first room. The TV was tiny, but I didn’t care. Still inherently watchable. Also I had an actual bathroom instead of a chamberpot (though my catheter was still in).

    After several more hours the next day getting waited on jaw and foot, the surgeon visited me one more time the next day, and I was allowed to go home!

    Here are some pictures from my second day after surgery plus a video so you can hear my voice (it sounds like I have an African accent sometimes. It’s intriguing.)

    I call it The Nutty Professor shoot. You can decide for yourself why I am calling it that.




    Here is what a typical meal looks like for me. Yes, you’re right, it does look like Nickelodeon slime. Very astute.

    Here is the sound and look of my new voice.

    Tomorrow I will write about how my tongue is a prisoner in my own mouth and all the excitement and intrigue that results from that. You can’t even lick a stamp for yelping out loud!

    Getting Bent(zen) 2009-Style

    So the Bentzen Ball was affirmatively one of the most incredible comedy events that I have ever witnessed, let alone in which I’ve participated. My brain is still coming down from the life high, and side effects include wandering mind, stars in eyes, and severe daydreaming.

    I helped put together a wrap up post for the comedy site, the Apiary, over here.

    Here are some highlights off the top of my head:

    -Performing with all my local buddies (some who don’t even live here no more!) at the opening night HR-57 showcase. Plus Reggie Watts showed up and did a set. Uhhh-mazing.

    -Hosting at the theater in the round (one side of the audience can see your butt!) on a show with people who are seriously my heroes, or just being at shows watching my heroes (not to be confused with Heroes, the TV show).

    -Champagne and cupcake reception with little cups of fake diamonds here and there.

    -Performing in the Bohemian Caverns, which are actually a set of caves. Plus there was a hip hop party gradually getting louder upstairs and a rap video being filmed outside.

    -Visiting with wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and then performing for some surprised lunch eaters in a cafeteria shortly after.

    -Being in the presence of nothing but comics and sincerious comedy fans for four days straight.

    -The dancing I witnessed at an afterparty.

    But also here are some nothin’ but ‘Net tidbits that do justice to it better than I could:

    DCist Bentzen Ball Postest with the Mostest (I linked to my photo. How gauche.)

    Morgan Murphy Photo Blog (I am in the corner of a photo if you put on your magnifying glasses!)

    Brightest Young Things All-Access Photo Recap

    Washington Post article on the Brightest Young Things (search #bentzenball)

    Laziness peaked!

    Please Pay Me With Cold Hard (c)Asheville

    Of course, I am totally joking. There is nothing cold or hard about Asheville, North Carolina. It is a hippie oasis in the mountains founded by the hemp-based versions of Lewis and Clark, and propagated by butterflies and inner children. I got to go to this magnificent wonderland for the 3rd annual Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival the weekend before last and I was suffering from separation anxiety (or something) up until now, hence the delay on this travelogue.

    And what a time was had! The crowds were mahvelous, dahling, and the comics and people were some of the nicest I’ve come into contact with, no jokes. There was even a post-show storytelling open mic one of the nights I was there where people rehashed road giggles and other career cataclysms.

    I have put together some pictures to show you, gentle reader, some of the things I saw and experiences I had, mostly food-related, let’s be honest. So let’s circle around back to the beginning and tell this story in a linear fashion, which is the opposite of how my mind works. So we’ll see how it flows, or doesn’t. 

    A motley crew of jokester Boyfie, as well as superb comic talents Andy Haynes (NYC is his home) and Grant Lyon (based out of San Fran, y’all) all headed down there on a Friday morning bright and early. I somehow didn’t expect to run into any traffic on the close to eight hour drive. Ha! Also, may I add, ha!

    We hit traffic before we were even out of Virginia, which is always a much bigger state than I remember it as being. The skies were in tandem with our moods when that happened. Especially because my show was at 7 p.m. and we were already behind schedule.

    As you can see, people got out of their cars to see what was going on.

    Some people even went up onto the embankments on the side of the highway to explore, pee, and/or eat questionable berries.

    I chose to spend my time productively so I drew faces on my knees.

    Both knees! My book remained unread as of this point. I actually didn’t read it at all the entire weekend. Make of that what you will. I felt rude not participating in the group rage. 

    The best part of being stuck in traffic, and I think our entire carpool group can attest to this, is the incident that occurred. A car in the lane next to us (it was a two-lane highway), for unknown reasons, pulled onto the side lane to perhaps wait out the traffic and make a gratefulness list. Her car ended up blocking other cars that were trying to cut ahead to the nearest exit from zipping down the emergency lane.

    But, in fact, this is America and ain’t no one gonna get away with that kind of tomfoolery! One car in particular pulled behind hers and started honking in a purely aggressive way. After this failed to provide any kind of a useful outcome, an angry harpie-shrew (and this is actually a magnanimous term for what she was) of a woman gets out of her car and starts yelling, shrieking, and gesturing at the woman in the car who wouldn’t move.

    She uttered such choice phrases as “Why are you blocking this lane?! Are you a state trooper?! Well, are you?!” and “My baby needs to use a bathroom. She is sick and she needs to throw up [Side Note: she probably got sick from eating some of those berries]. MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. Are you a state trooper?!” Apparently, the only people who deserved respect in this woman’s life were state troopers. As a final piece de resistance, she flashed this other poor woman (maybe she had a tattoo of a state trooper on her chest? I wasn’t lucky enough to find out.) who had no reaction other than to start crying and moving her car, which I suppose is actually the mother and a half of all reactions. Then someone told the aggressive screamer to calm down from another car and, completely staying in character, Medusa screeched, “Excuse me? Are you a state trooper?!”

    Shortly after that, the traffic started moving for the first time, but the driver in the car in front of us had fallen asleep like an ironic Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ house because the timing was “just right.” We had to honk a couple times to rouse him and then he did that number where you wake up completely disoriented so his only option was to amp the gas and speed ahead as if he was being tailed by nightmare-born bandit goblins. About a minute later, traffic stopped moving again. Oh, the suspense! Several hours later, we rolled up in front of the Festival theater in Asheville about fifteen minutes after the show I was on had started.

    Here is the green room for the artists. There was a mountain of cookies as well as a keg and other earthly delights. I was too nervous to think about cookies right away, but I stored a mental link to them away in my favorites.

    The show ended up being a great time, and people were so nice both during and after the show. I was a bit too out of it to really process that it had happened and was over, but I was glad I had made it there in time with only minor mental travel trauma.

    Here is the tabletop of the restaurant where Boyfie and I ate a late dinner that night. This is a Hindu God! I was as surprised to see him there as he was to see me, and I felt somewhat presumptuous eating food off of his face, but we reached a spiritual and cosmic understanding. When in Rome?

    The next morning, we went into downtown Asheville to explore. We parked the car under this scenic overpass. Art and creativity were in visual and auditory abundance all over the place, and their examples delighted my senses, including my sixth one.

    We ate brunch at this swoonworthy restaurant called Rosetta’s Kitchen. Look at this adorable basin for filling water! I would have gone there just for the water. We tried several dishes including Tempalo Wings, a vegan version of Buffalo wings. Gobble gobble!

    There was also a back area to the restaurant that was open-air and gave a nice view onto the street. Pretty lamps! I am neither a food nor ambiance reviewer. I was there and it was delightful. The only stars I will mention were the ones in my eyes.

    Next we took a stroll to do some window shopping. We stopped at a used bookstore, and I came across this gem below, The Water Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby.

    Sometimes a water baby can still be a land baby. (Just an excuse to show you guys the my favorite recent Internet photo find.)

    Here is another example of visual fun. A book tree! I would definitely plant some of these in my back yard if I could. Speaking of gardens, I wandered by a garden shop with a beautiful little yard of its own.

    Here is the view onto the street. It was all too much for me in the high, heartwarming levels of small-town cute.

    Here was another place we stopped by, which was having a monthly open-air folk art market outside, but then the space inside was the location of regular open mics. Judging by the chair set up, they were a regularly occurring event with an audience! How revolutionary!

    Here was the metaphysical ceiling lamp at Izzy’s Coffee Den, a delightful beanery. 

    There was also a bear and a disco ball (as seen below) at the Mellow Mushroom where we had a delicious pizza dinner. One of our pizzas was called “Magical Mystery Tour” and it had pesto, button mushrooms, Portabello mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese, and jalapeños. It was yumazing.

    There were lots of street musicians playing all over downtown Asheville. There was a banjo band setting up right outside the pizza place when we were leaving.

    Here is a creepy Indian marionette doll at a rest stop that I saw on the drive back. It served as a warning to me, but I’m still not sure what the warning was for exactly. It put me on edge though. I hope you are not similarly affected, but it might be inevitable. Who would stop at a rest stop and decide this to be a must-buy item? More likely an impulse purchase if you’re feeling like starring in a real-life horror flick, I suppose.

    In conclusion, Asheville, North Carolina is a wonderful and magical place. It’s not a matter of if you go, it’s a matter of when. The food is delicious and nutritious; the people are welcoming and warm; and the arts scene is off the charts. Rum tum tiddly tooba!

    Two Weddings and a Funnel

    I. My Inner Child Uses an Indoor Voice at All Times

    My sister (who was visiting) and I got the chance to hang out with some little kids yesterday afternoon (the grandkids of some close family friends).

    Woweee zowee, does that do wonders for your skin! And I mean the skin of your aura.

    (I am always almost thinking about auras because there is this place near my work that specializes in free aura readings, and they always promote them with a smiley face.

    How can you say no to a free aura reading being advertised with a smiley face?! I don’t know, but somehow I have managed to successfully do it for multiple days and months in the past years. Anyhoo.)

    Back to the little kids. Jeepies bleepies if those lil’ tweeps don’t know how to squeeze all the fun out of the day like it was a juice orange begging for validation.

    What frenzied fun didn’t our ragtag group take part in?!

    We toured their neighborhood on bikes; almost met their neighbor who turned out not to be home; played hide-and-go-seek; played the Eye Spy + 20 Questions game; ate cookies; were denied further cookies by the parental units; ate orange wedges to compensate; talked about our interests and ages (apparently being anywhere near over 21 means you’re “way adults”; hid a fake spider in various, strategic locations; checked the TV just as a matter of course; toured the house; looked at family vacation albums at flipbook speed; climbed a tree and/or watched a tree being climbed; basically, anything and everything that somehow goes out of fashion when you hit puberty, but should technically never go out of fashion ever.

    The best/worst part is I reverted to my pre-pubescent self in which I didn’t feel cool enough to hang out with those free spirits. My sister did most of the talking, including for any and all negotiations of “what should we do next?” Twenty years and nothing has changed!

    II. Wedding the Palate

    I also went to two Hindu weddings this weekend.

    One took place in a botanical garden and one took place in a sculpture garden!

    All I took pictures of though was the sculpture garden one.

    The first wedding was at the American Visionary Art Museum in that secret wink-nod of a city, Baltimore. That place continues to ply me with its charming wares. The entire grounds around the museum were fancyfree, whimsy pajama-pants slamtastic.

    Here’s the wedding set up in the sculpture garden.

    The couple fed each other organic, fair trade chocolate during this one step where they’re supposed to feed each other. Hey people! How brown can we get?!

    The ceiling of the sculpture garden had murals and spiritual verses on it for musing and pondering.

    There was also a giant frog prince in attendance at the wedding!

    The wooden castle outside the sculpture garden!

    The view from the wooden castle! A wooden giraffe is indeed in view!

    Dainty flowers charmin’ it up at the foot of the wooden castle!

    Iddy-biddy kewpie birdies sittin’ on the ledge…

    …of a tree pot!

    I love fountains where the water is implied facial spittle.

    Bling bling tree!

    Bling bling museum!

    Guitar (hero) bird!

    Guitar (hero) bird’s nest!

    Guitar (hero) bird’s egg!

    Oh, and at the second wedding, apparently the priestess yelled “Please focus!” at the bride because apparently, she wasn’t concentrating enough.

    Hey, Holy Lady, that’s my friend you’re talking about! And she happens to be getting married so yeah, maybe she has some stuff on her mind!

    III. Thirst-Quenching Conclusion

    To conclude, I now fill my water bottle at home using a funnel. Because the water cooler spout is all futzy. It spits all over the place like an overdramatic but mediocre storyteller so you have to harness its enthusiasm with a more open-minded, wider scope of reference distilled into a logic tunnel of thought.

    And yes, the fact that we have a water cooler in our house does up the quality of our banter. Something about them just brings out one’s inner conversational bard.

    There. And now the blog title finally makes sense.