Monkey kisses


My favorite threat for Nadia is "stop that or I'm going to turn you into a newt."

It's a toothless threat, but it breaks the pattern of the situation enough to get her to stop doing the thing, and then we have this exchange:

N: Mommy. You don't know HOW to turn me into a newt.
Me: Yes I do. I've done it before.
N: But I'm not a newt!
Me: Well. You got better.

Someday she'll understand why I find this so amusing.
Shirley Temple--whoa


I've been having a lot of heavy/weird dreams lately.

Last night I had a dream my sister was murdered. It was so real and vivid that I woke up panicking. As soon as was decent I texted her to make sure she had not, in fact, been murdered.

"Had a horrible dream you were murdered. You are still alive, yes?"
"...Yes, alive... I had a dream we went thrift store shopping!"
"Yours is much better...I have got to stop listening to murder podcasts before bed."
Family Guy--Accusing Monkey

The margins

Toni Morrison would explain that she wrote in the margins of life. Outside of raising kids and family, she'd write in the early mornings before everyone was awake; scrabbling together bits of minutes and words and stacking them into hours, days, sentences, novels.

I'm not doing anything so grand as Toni Morrison, but I've always been comfortable in the wee small hours. Mine aren't early mornings, they're late nights.

If I was stuck on a script, I could clunk along with it at work for hours, or I could crack open my head and let it pour out nearly-effortlessly at 2 am. It's just how I'm wired. Before kids I could then sleep in in the morning, take a nap after work, etc.

Alas. The night before last I got rolling on a script and Simone woke up at 12. After nursing her I didn't have the energy to start that engine going again, and I went to bed (only to be kept awake from 1-3:30, rendering me non-functional at work yesterday anyway...clunking heavily through plodding, meandering portions of script.

Last night I buckled down at 11:30ish and cranked out 40 pages of script. I have one section left, but it was 3 am again and I made myself go to bed.

Now I lost it. That flow. This last chunk is so tortured. I'm having to re-read everything to get into what was coming so easily in the late-night.

I wonder if there's any science to the brain being wired this way--I've never been able to wake up early to do a thing, I have to stay up late and finish a thing--or if it's just habit.

I will say, however, that the wee small hours of creativity are very incompatible with the business of wee small child-raising. 
Monkey kisses

(no subject)

Last week was MEA. Nadia had Thursday and Friday off school.

I checked her bag on Wednesday night and found two packs of cereal. I didn't think much of it. Maybe they had extra?

But it just occurred to me. Our school is a free breakfast AND lunch school. They sent home two days of cereal knowing that unless they did that, some kids wouldn't get to eat breakfast on the two days off.

Jesus fucking christ, America.
Monkey kisses

Garden report

This year in tomatoes (with tags, for the record):

Cherokee Purple--Comes early, prolific, great flavor, A+ would plant again. YES
Japanese Trefele--Comes late, ALL THE BUD END ROT, rots quickly when picked. NO
Black Krim--Later than CP, prone to cracking, great flavor though. YES

German Johnson--Super late, super tall. Didn't produce well for us. YES
Cosmonaut--Early red heirloom. Good flavor. YES

Pineapple--SO much bud end rot, but SUCH good flavor and VERY minimal seeds. YES
Mr. Stripey--Sunshiny fairly little orangish fruits. Good flavor. Still producing, though late to come on. YES

Indigo Rose--NO. Weird flavor, quick to rot. NO NO NO
Sweet 100--Put in a bad spot this year, so minimal production. So leggy, but the kids like the little popable tomatoes. YES I guess.
Black cherry--Low production this year but I love this. YES

Green Zebra--Not a great flavor/texture unless picked underripe. Will switch out for Berkley striped green. NO
Lemon Boy--One of my faves. Great, sweet fruit. Ours got huge this year. YES.

Last year, but remember:

It was a rough year for tomatoes, though. Long, cold, wet spring and then it got immediately hot with no rain. So lots of black spot, lots of bud end rot. I know the black spot is in the soil. If I knew what was good for me I'd take a year off of tomatoes but I CAAAAANT. 
Monkey kisses


We let Nadia watch the first Harry Potter movie (for the second time) tonight.

And it tickles me beyond reason that she calls Voldemort "the dustbuster". 
Monkey kisses

A loose 15

I wrote out a stand-up routine while the baby was sleeping on me and it's not a tight 10, it's a loose 15. 2100 words, roughly.

It dies here--there's nothing to be done with it and it definitely isn't outstandingly funny--but it feels like it has been properly exorcised from my brain and hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight NOT replaying things on my brain so they stick in the right order and so I don't forget the refinements.
Monkey kisses

Comedians of the World Part 2

I left off in Australia/New Zealand.

Australia/New Zealand
3. Nazeem Hussain -- B (Though I don't remember much about him. I think we had to stop early)
4. Cal Wilson -- A-

South Africa
1. Riaad Moosa -- A (Coincidentally, I tweeted that I was watching Comedians of the World and he instantly re-tweeted me. FAME.)
2. Tumi Morake -- A-
3. Loyiso Gola -- A-
4. Loyiso Madinga -- A (The better Loyiso!)

So...everyone from South Africa was pretty great, actually.

1. Atul Khatri -- This is where I stop grading because this was the first country where there was a serious cultural disconnect. On my lens of humor alone he'd get like...a C-. But the audience was CLEARLY enjoying's just that the references didn't connect and the humor was culturally not the same. Or so I thought, because....
2. Aditi Mittal -- A. Seriously funny. Maybe only women are actually funny? It sort of holds up globally so far.
3. Amit Tandon -- C+ Again, cultural disconnect.

1. Franco Escamilla -- A
2. Hugo El Cojo Feliz -- A+ Seriously funny.
3. Gaby Llanas -- B+

Mexico: VERY culturally similar humor-wise. Super recognizable tropes. In a good way.

1. Enissa Amani -- C+ Not my thing. Like...the less-strong parts of Iliza Schlessinger. So that girly-brand humor that just...doesn't work so much for me.

So far South Africa and Mexico are strongest for me humor-wise, though women are generally much stronger than men, and I'm enjoying queer humor more than straight humor. Maybe when you've seen a lot of standup, the rarer acts feel fresher? But I don't know. There's a way to tell an old joke and still be funny if you're good at it. Like...Gaby Llanas from Mexico SHOULD have been funnier, but her delivery wasn't super great.
Monkey kisses

Comedians of the World Part 1

We are working our way through Netflix's Comedians of the World. I have grades! I wish I had thought to do this with The Standups, too, but alas.

1. Neal Brennan -- A-
2. Chris D'Elia -- C- (I think I really just don't enjoy watching him.)
3. Nicole Byer -- B (Funny, but not my thing, exactly.)
4. Nick Swardson -- A

1. DeAnne Smith -- A-
2. Ivan Decker -- C (I remember nothing about it, though.)
3. Dave Merheje -- B
4. K. Trevor Wilson -- D (So very not my thing. This was the point where I turned to Derrick and said: "You know what? I think I'm just over straight white guy comedians.")

1. Joel Dommett -- C
2. Mae Martin -- B
3. Nish Kumar -- B+
4. Ellie Taylor -- B+

Australia/New Zealand
1. Urzila Carlson -- B
2. Joel Creasey -- A

And that's where we've left off. I was inspired to write it down because Joel Creasy was the first genuinely, consistently laugh-out-loud comedian of the bunch so far. Time will tell if there are others.

I love stand up samplers like this. It gives you a good chance to see a broad variety of things and discern whether something is objectively good but just not your thing, or if it's bad.