Above, you’ll see your friend Kristina having one of many scripted/un-scripted onstage nervous breakdowns as part of the five part APACUNT panels.
Three cities in one week. This is how we do it. I got back to LA on Wednesday afternoon, only to do another show here last night for the Breaking the Bow Festival. Tonight I head to San Francisco for my cousin’s wedding and a talk a college class in Oakland on Tuesday. Somewhere between all this, I’m vowing to edit my short film for the Tavis Smiley blog, write some new stuff to perform at the LA Storytelling Festival next month, rework this old script for me and D’Lo to perform in November, write a City of LA grant, and maybe a few more if I can get my hands on them and not get sick… will that even be possible?
Well, one thing’s for sure! Staying busy sure does stave off the existential crisis shit.
In NYC I must say that my personal hygiene hit an all time low. I’d wake up each morning in my friend’s basement in total darkness (it was the bottom floor of her loft), hungover from the show and drinking the night before and each morning had to decide in a flurry: “Shower or eat?” The eating usually won. My gums would not stop bleeding every time I brushed my teeth. Pretty much everyone at the Festival and East Village knows what I look like without make-up… and I’m talking raccoon eyes, walk of shame at 4am– that kind of no-makeup. I ran out of underwear a few days before leaving and had to get creative (I won’t tell you how). By the end of my stay little fruit flies would float over my head (I forgot I had bought bananas the week before that had gone bad) in my friend’s loft. So I ate six bananas in two days (don’t ask what that does to one’s digestive track). All this, moving at a furiously paced New York minute, yanking pounds and pounds of crap around the East Village and back to Brooklyn at all hours of the night.
I began to feel my organs disintegrating into the rest of my body by the second day of performance. At our last show I was so exhausted, I almost passed out onstage but then channeled it into an amazing (or so I think) onstage nervous breakdown that wasn’t in our script. I hosted the Kong Magazine roll-out party in Brooklyn before I left town. I almost fell asleep in the corner of the bar by the end of the night and yet, we were done at 9pm.
My flight back to LA was in two legs. The first too cold, I shivered and held my own body in my arms for warmth, my muscles straining to heat themselves even inside my jacket. The second leg of the flight was too hot. I was sweating, arching my face towards that fan thing above your seat.
I had a few minutes this morning to reflect and rest and was struck in my inactivity with a strong sense of under-accomplishment. What is it about working so hard that all I can think about is how nice it would be to rest. And that when I get rest, I feel so unaccomplished that I need to work more? And harder?
I’ve decided to do the only thing that one can do when everything seems to be slipping out from under you– surf the chaos. Can’t fight it, can’t submit your fear to it. Just surf it, flow through it. And it’s working.
Reading the paper and all its agonizing news has actually become quite normal. And now, comes the task of having fun despite all circumstances.
Look at all the senior citizen things I am doing in this economy to stay busy and happy.
After my 3 hour sushi class at Santa Monica College (which is an excellent thing to do if you have the money or time, btw), I’ve been making sushi at home. And now, just as the teacher says, am never in the mood to go out to eat sushi. It’s not bad when I make them. Though it would probably help if I had a knife that cost more than 99cents because my rolls aren’t very elegant. My friend Bangbay came by this weekend and we rolled up tons of sushi (using raw salmon and tuna!) and ate it all, then wandered around the promenade in a food coma.
You can’t tell there is a recession. Because there is still a line of people buying crap at Anthropologie. I wanted to scream out to the people stocking up on $8 tea towels: “Have none of you heard of the 99 cents store?!”
Next week I’m doing an excerpt of my show in Las Vegas. The pay is absolutely terrible, but I need to get out of town and my friend Greg is coming and will also perform. Bangbay is coming too. We’re looking at it as a workcation. Our hotel room was only $21.80 a night(which includes the tax). I’m feeling generous and will be splurging for the room for the three of us (even if it may be missing a wall or has a chalk outline of a body on the floor).
Greg does this piece called “Spit” where he talks about men who have spit on him during sex and has people spit into a cup and drink it. It’s so gross.
I can’t think of a better travelling partner.
In other news, my friend Candi taught me how to use my sewing machine. And now I’m going to spit out felt dolls like nobody’s business.
By the way, that volcano in Alaska finally erupted. We were scared it would blow when we were there.
I woke up, slightly hungover from a lot of late night celebrating to a slew of text messages this morning. They include:
“Pinch me.” “Good morning. No, last night was not a dream. It really is a new day for America.” “Good morning to a new page in American history!” “Yes we can (crap in our pants)”
I was surprised how early John McCain conceded but he so got his ass handed to him.
Last night, en route to the parties, I was in Soo-Jin’s car thinking we had at least another hour to go before any kind of concession. But the swing states have spoken. I now have faith in Florida, Ohio and Nevada like never before. I take back anything I said four years ago (and in the last year) about people from those states being inbred. They really have proved the world otherwise.
I was stunned how extraordinarily classy McCain was about his loss. His concession speech was probably the first time in all these months I’ve actually been able to listen to him for more than two minutes and feel no creepiness emanating from him.
I was screaming in the car ride as McCain was giving his speech: “We need to get out of this car! We need to watch Obama’s victory speech!”
We paid $20 to park Soo-Jin’s car in Hollywood to go to the “No on 8″ party at the Music Box. Last night was like Happy New Year except Tuesday and a week night. The place was at capacity and we were in line outside trying to get in. Cars were honking victoriously. People jumping and screaming in the street (mostly me).
I was screaming at the security people keeping the line at the Music Box: “Please let us in! There is history happening in a bit! I can’t tell my kids that when Obama gave his speech that I was stuck in a line outside the Music Box!”
We decided to go to the restaurant next door which was a very good option. They had TVs, beers and seats. It was amazing to sit there with people who were also so awed by the moment. I was a wee bit out of control in my enthusiasm (as I’d been a bit inebriated since 6pm– taking sake shots with each state that went blue) but so was everyone else. We were screaming in that bar. Toasting! Crying! I even kissed a couple people (in a non-romantic way)! And when Obama gave that speech there wasn’t an unawed faced in the crowd.
I finally got to watch McCain’s speech just now on Youtube. On the radio, you couldn’t see how Sarah Palin was crying in the back. Part of me is going to miss that crazy unqualified would be VP… but not enough to ever want to see her or her politics near my country again. May she rest in peace along Dan Quayle in the annals of political humor history.
I think it’s odd to see disappointed Republicans who remind me of left wingers of 2000 and 2004. They are now the downtrodden. They are the ones who are depressed. They are suddenly “the oppressed” the “unheard.” They talk of doom and gloom the way we did when Bush was elected, then re-elected.
Maybe they will be the ones to start making bad performance art. They are kind of off to a good start with all their “anti-Obama” art. They seriously should consider taking a survey class in post modern agit-prop theater art.
Later that night, I was at a burrito stand in Echo Park. Cars were still honking and hipsters were screaming in the streets about the high speed train to San Francisco that we will build. One guy was so wasted that he screamed into a police car at a red light, “WE DID IT!! OBAMA!!”
It was amazing, then sobering again when two homeless people came by begging for money and booze. They could have cared less who was elected.
This morning, I was in bed wondering: Holy shit, what am I going to do for a living now that cynicism has been eradicated from this planet? It’s like I have to look at my role as an artist in a whole new way. It’s no longer through the POV of the reactive and helpless American, but instead, from a place where an impossible victory was had. It’s like we’ve been freed by some awful prison sentence. Finally our utopia has arrived.
Oh, but wait….
Prop 8 passed. Some church that I don’t belong to (and one very large church in Utah that I definitely don’t belong to) has decided how half the state should define marriage. Ah yes, I remember that old familiar cynicism because it’s coming back to me.
Yesterday I worked for three hours at a polling place in Brentwood to remind voters “No on 8.” It was amazing how many people took the day off of work to volunteer. There was even an exchange student from Chile there who is going home in a few months but didn’t want to see the proposition pass and was spending the ENTIRE day electioneering at the polls.
My bright moment was when I managed to fenagle a couple of potential “Yes” voters to “Nos.” They were these women who were a little one the shortbus side. You know, wearing their ID’s and bus passes on those clear plastic necklace thingies, lobotomy scars, and wearing sweatshirts and scrub pants even though they clearly didn’t work in a hospital.
The scenario played like this….
KW: Hi, vote no on 8.
Shortbus women: Which one is this?
KW: This is the one that would eliminate marriage rights for all.
Shortbus: (confused) So I believe marriage should be for a man and a woman. Is this the one it is?
KW: Yes, this one is for equal rights and the right to marry for all. (Then I start nodding obligingly like I totally get them.)
Other volunteer: Yes, see, Arnold Schwartzenegger endorses No on 8. A no vote is about marriage equality and equality for all.
(women seem obviously confused by what the word “equality” means)
Shortbus: So if I vote “no” that would mean I am for or against gay marriage?
KW: Yes, a “no” vote would support marriage equality. (I hand her a flier as if it will help her in the booth to meet her objective.)
Shortbus: Oh! Ok! (She starts nodding to her friend. Looking at flier. They walk off.)
(We act calm as volunteers and start screaming at how we just manipulated the mentally challenged as soon as they are out of earshot.)
Hey, listen! I didn’t lie to them! I just told them what was up. That a NO vote would support equality. Which is all it is.
There was an occasional hostile voter who would grumble or shoot a bad look as soon as they saw us. But it was nowhere near as hostile as how I thought electioneering would be. I imagined getting into shouting matches with old people. But nothing close to that ever happened.
One woman said, “I’m voting against this! But if there is anyone who has an issue with gays sees this they won’t vote no! You just totally screwed yourselves!” and stormed off.
We were pretty confused by her too..
I had a tough moment with one woman who said, “It’s not that I’m against gays or anything but my church told me that if gays are allowed to marry, then our church would have to marry them. And we don’t want to be sued and lose our tax exempt status for having to refuse to marry gays. I have to vote ‘yes’ to protect my church.”
Of course, what she had been told by her church is a huge point of misinformation about Prop 8. Churches cannot be forced to marry gay couples (and why would a gay couple want to be married in a church that hates them?) and the government does not have a role in changing how churches run. But Churches have told this and other lies to get their congregations to vote YES.
Sheep and Mentally Challenged people– these are the voters who favor crappy propositions.
I learned from our volunteer captain that propositions get on the ballot when enough petition signatures are gathered. This is not how it happens in other states. The proposition system is great and problematic this way. The perks– anyone can get a proposition on the ballot. The bummer— anyone can get a proposition on the ballot. This is why so often, we have very strange propositions on the ballots.
There was this one proposition about requiring roomier chickens cages that passed. I actually looked at the voting grids and it looks like everyone in California cities voted in favor of it while the rural farm parts voted against it. It’s kind of like Prop 8, people who aren’t affected by gay marriage deciding the fate of gay couples. Except it seems that people who don’t own chickens care more about having room for chickens than they do about actual human beings and just want the equal right to marry who they love.
It was warming to see a lot of older folks, folks who were straight and had no immediate stake in gay marriage say things like: “Absolutely! Without question!”
Some people were so passionately supportive: “I can’t believe this fucking thing is even on the ballot? Who cares if gay people get to marry? It’s none of my business!”
One great funny moment last night was the Mayor came by to the “No on 8″ party. I was inebriated, but my friend was more so. And as I stood at the side of the stage so the mayor could come through, she threw her drunk ass on me and we both fell on the floor.
I was screaming as she was on top of me, “Get up! Get up! The mayor is trying to get through.”
And next thing you know, Mayor Villaraigosa is hovering over the two of us on the floor holding his hand out to us, getting us up off the ground asking, “Are you ok?!”
By the way, our mayor is really freaking handsome.
It strikes my friend and her wife that we are talking to the mayor and they start screaming! Then I start screaming, “Sorry! We’re drunk! And you are the mayor! And I voted for you!”
I took a picture of him with my friends who just got married and was screaming to him: “Mayor! They just got married this weekend and we want to keep it that way!”
He is a good guy and gave a great speech that we would not let this fight end here.
But anyway, Prop 8 passed. I’m still in denial. I haven’t moved the “No on 8″ sign off my balcony.
Here I am on my lazy Sunday at the beach with crazy frizzed hair.
So I went from being lonely and bored out of my mind in Miami to doing the work I’ve been paid to come out here for, and at like, breakneck speed.
And yay, this is what I do as a solo artist!
I’m teaching guest workshops all over Miami this week. And also doing the round of press interviews.
Oddly enough, Miami seems to be the town for a lot of firsts in my career. I was interviewed on a radio show just last night. Not just any radio show– a bilingual sports radio show! Yes… a SPORTS SHOW!!! I always thought Bill O’Reilly would put me on the air before a sports show. I sure was nervous that they wouldn’t “get” me, and that it would be scary frat-like (the show was sponsored by Cheetahs Strip club!), but the two sportscaster guys were super sweethearts and totally listened to me. I did alright!
So for my sports show interview, I put on my best “alpha male” face, tucked a rolled up sock into my panties, and interviewed with my best “brazen broad” persona.
* Used the “F” word at least five times. (The “F word” being “feminist”) * Talked about sports. (huh?!) * Talked so dirty that I made both sportscaster guys blush. * Said one thing that they had to “dump” because it wasn’t appropriate for the air (Ironically, the phrase they “dumped” was “poopoo peepee.”). * When I ran out of material, I would comment on the homo erotic tension between the two guys. * Snuck in some third wave feminist commentary about performing gender within the PUA community. * Screamed the name of my Korean Pick Up artist, dictated his exploits over the airwaves and demanded he call me at the station (he didn’t btw :<). * Declared National Dry Hump Day on Jan 16. * Declared the end to the use of the word “minorities” and instead a push for the word “majorities.”
This is all so weird, being so, dare I say… “mainstream.” I feel like I’ve crawled out of a cave of women’s studies and now I am interacting, a lifetime later, with the rest of the world. I just hope my show doesn’t disappoint. I still feel like my references may be too obscure for a comedy audience. But they don’t think so which is how I ended up at this joint.
Oh well, embrace and enjoy the ride.
I also might be on TV here later this week. Yay!
**** Here are some other pictures for my mother who likes to look at pictures of food on the road…
Here is the Cuban omelette sandwich I ate today.
And here is the Banana Cheese Omelette I had yesterday. Ew. Didn’t like it much.
So. As you can imagine from my recent postings, and even from my one earlier today. There’s a lot going on in my head. And a lot of changes ahead.
My friend’s mom took him to see a Chinese fortune teller yesterday. And basically the fortune teller told him everything from who he was going to marry and when he was going to marry and whether he was on the right career path or not. The fortune teller talked for an hour and a half while my friend’s mom interpreted.
It was like all laid out in stone! Clean cut. Clear as day! Here is your life and how to live it!
My friend told me this and I found myself screaming… “DAMMIT! I want to see a Chinese fortune teller too!”
I would totally go see a Chinese fortune teller now. Someone to tell me everything that will happen in my life. Someone to make my decisions for me because I am so confused. Sprinkle some pounded up deer antlers and make it better. I’d love to schedule a session with a Chinese fortune teller.
Except, one big thing stands in my way…
I was talking to Clam Lynch, my dear friend and self-made, self-help master about how for the first time in my life I feel like I am in the market for a psychic or spiritual guru. That if the best and smartest astrologist could tell me what to do… I’d totally listen and pay a hard earned $20. I just want some “expert” to help me figure out this next phase in my life.
He’s like, “Why don’t you want to see a therapist?”
I said, “I hate therapists! I need someone with magic powers!”
And then we both paused and then I said it again….
“I want to see someone with magical powers!”
Then I dug my face into my hands and started laughing. Slow, painful laughs.
Am I really talking this crazy now?
Am I really so lost about what comes next in my life that I’m ready to track down Harry Potter to point me towards the next step in my career?
“Yes. I said it, Clam. I want someone to help me who has magic powers.”
So this is what I need right now.
1. Someone who understands Chinese fluently and can take me to the best Chinese fortune teller in Los Angeles and tell me what he/she says about my future.