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.
I left off
in 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-
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 it...it'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.
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+
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.
I'm so tired.
Of assessing female candidates by likeability.
If they are stoic they're too tough.
If they're effusive they're too emotional.
If they have high standards they're a bitch.
Low standards are uninspiring and unambitious.
Ambition is power-hungry.
Nice is too soft.
Tough is ball-busting.
Self-assured is bossy.
Deferential is weak.
Uncompromising makes you a cunt.
Concessions make you wishy-washy.
Optimism reduces you to a cheerleader.
Realism means you aren't hopeful enough.
Bad takes, bad takes. My job has enabled me to see high level executives close up for over 15 years. To work with them. To see how they present themselves to subordinates.
No one cares about a male executive's image. We haven't had to do damage repair for a male CEO because their new team viewed them as a cheerleader. Men don't give up time in stage because their colleagues consistently went over.
We rarely do female characters.
When they voice concerns they are bitchy and whiny. When the character is male they get applause; wow they know what we're going through...they have the balls to ask the tough questions...bravo.
Same words. Same writer. Me. Female. Different perceptions.
With so many women running for president I'm not sure I'm prepared for the onslaught of sexism. Every day. Unrelenting. Again.
Our heat is malfunctioning in a very strange way.
It's -27F, so one might expect some issues.
Our house is zoned per level. The basement has -no- radiators, and is about 50 degrees right now. To be expected. I have a space heater going to combat the chill.
The main level is about 65. It's set to 70 during the winter with infant; it's impossible to dress them warmly without running the risk of suffocating them. The radiators are doing their thing on that level.
The top level. The temp is set to 70. It is currently almost 80. The radiators keep cranking out heat even though they shouldn't be. It's not just heat rising, either. It's not just the hallway that's warm. The baby's room feels like the tropical exhibit at the zoo.
Something is stuck open somewhere. Better than stuck closed, I guess, but it's still not ideal. I'm too hot and it's -27 out.
My coffee maker is getting to be dirty in ways no amount of vinegar can touch.
But yet I don't want to replace it.
It's not even my coffee maker really, is it.
In college I was taking Swedish classes for my language requirement. They were all at night (the more obscure language classes always had evening options and were filled with working adults who were moving with their partners or taking work assignments overseas and the like).
I was not one of those, but a night class meant I could fill a day completely with credits--jam-packed--and have lighter or class-free days during the week so I could work full time. It was a little insane, but so it goes. I made most of who I would consider real college friends in that class. Some of them I'm still connected with in casually distant ways (via facebook and the like), and others I've lost touch with. Misha got married to his Swedish fiancee and moved to Sweden. Sten took a work assignment. Carol moved with her husband for his work. Kristia stayed around, got married to the guy she met while working in the library; whose house she had persuaded us to go to to watch Fruits Basket. Prairie got married after college and moved to England.
Class got out at maybe 8 or 9.
"Come hang out after class! We just got a new place!" I live on University at 700; walking distance (if you're into walking kind of a lot) from Folwell Hall. Prairie and Kristia are roommates and live maybe 5 blocks from me.
I go. We watch Monty Python.
"We should watch Kenneth Branaugh in Hamlet! He's so good."
I love him, we all do. But I have a paper that is due the next day. I'm taking something like 26 credits. (After 16 is free, so I load up.) It's insane. It's the end of the semester.
"Come on. We will give you coffee to take home with you."
Who doesn't want to make a few ill-advised decisions in college? I stay.
We watch Hamlet and I fall asleep. They hand me a paper bag with a drip coffee maker, oversized filters, coffee. I walk 5 blocks and make coffee in my apartment, falling asleep in between sips. My paper reads like...someone fell asleep between paragraphs and didn't quite have the wherewithal to join their thoughts together. Accurate.
It's the end of the semester. Kristia, Prairie... we don't see each other again in college. I start dating Derrick. We get a house. We get engaged. We get married. As I packed up my apartment to move to the house I had this vague sense of unease. The damned coffee maker. But by then I've lost touch. There's Facebook at the time, but no one is there. I don't have numbers. I only had classes; showing up in the same place.
And so my coffee maker is purloined. It's not expensive. I could replace it new for under $20. But it's now at least 15 years old. It's not clean. But it is a trooper.
And I'm afraid to replace it.
I sound like a doddering old lady; they just don't make things like they used to.
But they don't. We replaced our dishwasher after a critical break that would cost more to repair than replace. The new dishwasher doesn't wash nearly as well. We replaced our washer and dryer. Same story.
It's efficiency. But really it's the LaCroix of appliances; things that have a whiff of what they're supposed to be like, but come up wholly unsatisfying. You want the 1970s agitator that scrubs the everloving crap (and literal crap) out of your clothes. You want the dishwasher that might etch your glass, but doesn't make you re-do your dishes for the flakes of food lingering.
And so I would replace a coffee maker for one that would break in a year, in five years.
It's not even my coffee maker.
Yesterday I put new flannel sheets on my bed and a new duvet cover on my down comforter. I wore a fleece lined zip up hoodie and wool socks to bed.
So it was a super bad sign when I woke up at 3 am shivering cold. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't, and when I got up to nurse the baby at around 4 I checked my temperature. 102.6. That's pretty high for an adult.
I'd felt it coming for weeks. Since the bout of household colds that I seemingly avoided. My ears hurt. Sometimes they would ring. It got bad this past weekend at my in-laws with the dry air. At 3 am I couldn't swallow, my throat was so sore. Ear infection drainage.
Derrick made me take ibuprofen and right now my temp is back down and I feel okay. Ibuprofen is nice to take again (you can't while pregnant).
I also had a horrible dream. Fever dreams are like that; vivid and strange. I stayed up until almost 6 in pain and thinking about the dream. Then, blessed ibuprofen.
I was going to post this to Facebook, but figured I'd mostly get responses that wouldn't make me happy (ie. Cherish every moment, they're only little once etc.):
Will Facebook exist in 30 years? Probably not but just in case, here is a status for my memories 30 years from now:
Dear Nadia. If you have a baby, I'm going to come over to see you. Every time you finally get her to sleep I'm going to wake her up to do totally unnecessary shit that you can't scold me for. "I just need to kiss her" "I just love her so much" "I'm just touching her head" "I just need to hold her" "I just need to change her diaper" ...
Of course, I will do this after I've called you at least twice in the night to wake you up and tell you about my dreams. Not at the times the baby is awake, mind.
It will be glorious.
Two years ago I opened an Etsy shop to sell the patterns I was making for felt ornaments/crafts.
This year I've made about $250, $90 of that in the last 30 days. The uptick is due to holidays, mostly, and a wider variety of patterns available.
It's not much, but it's not nothing, either. A few Christmas presents paid. I finished instructions for one (Holy Grail) busy book. That pattern is $10, so if I sell a few...or if it catches on....
I'm trying to finish my others, too. Flying Circus, Star Trek TOS, Firefly, Women of action.
I'm not going to get rich, here, but the income is passive and I've already made the patterns.
Then there was the book, now published....and the follow-up book. Which I sort of said yes to by virtue of asking for a sample deadline schedule. It would need to get started before Christmas, with my final due dates in May.
But it's a project. I need projects.
Then again, I also need free hands.
Originally written Friday. I still feel the same way except the baby sleeps less now and is fussy for no reason. But I got Target and grocery shopping done today AND wrote a script draft one-handed! Anyway:
Today is not such a good day. Yesterday was not so good. There are not so many good days right now?
When N gets home I spend time with her because she's missing mommy. Then the baby cries and I take the baby (I have a particular set of...skills...that D is unable to provide even if he wanted to.). Then I go back to N while D holds the baby, peacefully (the baby does not sleep during the day unless held. Thankfully this is not the case at night...did we get another shitty day sleeper? WE DID...so far...but I'll take that over a shitty night sleeper anytime).
So I am the one who is always "on". Always giving what one child needs. Normally this sort of stops at night and I get 3 hours of sleep and then another 3 hours, but alas. Last night N was sick. So it was all night. Tending to N in bed (while she slept fitfully) then getting up to feed the baby, then going back to N.
I cancelled the playdate we were going to have when she woke up with a fever (only 100, but 99-101 is the WHINY range. Not sick enough to be cuddly, too sick to be in a good mood). N won't stop touching her sister right when she's about to fall asleep. It's like torture. Then the baby gets fussier and fussier with less and less to console her. And she will not be put down. I'm wearing her right now and typing this using N's bunkbed as a standing desk. My dad came to play with N.
The details are boring. Everything is boring. D gave me a strange look last night after I put N to bed and scooped up the baby again to start the 2 hour period of cluster feeding (ugh) that she does. "Are you okay? You seem on edge."
This morning I was in tears and he left for work with this expression on his face like: Please do not kill our children while I'm gone. I don't touch that mental space, not to worry. It's just the same thing over and over again; being a shell of a person, nothing to look forward to, nothing changing, nothing easy.
All this sounds alarming! It is and it isn't, you know? I know it's temporary. It seems to go on forever, but the baby will already be a month old on Monday. It is not forever. It's just so tough going through the tunnel to the other side.
People offer to help; my parents, my cousins, friends, etc. And that's all well and good, but they really need to lactate more...otherwise it's just easier for me to take care of all of it.
Nadia is curled beside me. I am awake.
She just howled in her sleep like a tiny wolf. ("Ow, ow, owoooooo!")
Then, minutes later, she wailed: "But I want to be Nadia!"
Last, conciliatory and gentle: "Oh yes, I do love that."
Later, distressed: "mommy!" Followed immediately by a playful, "Oh, there you are!"
Who knows what a three year old dreams.
Me: [Falls asleep for 10 minutes during a show D and I are watching.]
My body: "Wow, that was an awesome full night of sleep we just had!"
Yes, definitely enough. Yup yup.
For some reason day-me is ready to get this baby out. Night-me doesn't want it to happen at night.
I need to jump around more during the day.
The point of going to the State Fair--well, one of them--is to eat the new foods. And, in recent years, to sample the local wines (though I couldn't do that this year).
I ate things. Praise be to Zantac. (My stomach has been--and continues to be--an incredibly volatile and delicate balancing act between throwing up and taking enough Zantac and the Zantac wearing off earlier and earlier and too much Zantac giving me other digestive issues.)
What I ate, in no particular order. All of these things were basically shared 3-4 ways with the exception of some single serve stuff (cider pops, corn):
1. Bacon Tots: New food. Meh. Too much onion for me. I like onion normally, but I have a pregnancy aversion to strong onion/garlic flavors.
2. Smorgas sandwich: New food. Meh. The meatballs were tasty but chewier than any Swedish meatball has a right to be.
3. Pop-rocks french toast: New last year, but we hadn't tried it. French toast with pop rocks and whipped cream. This was *astoundingly* not too sweet. You also got a lot for your money. Of the first three items, all three adults declared this the favorite.
4. Deep-Fried Pickles: A classic. Pickle slices, deep fried. I love them. I skip any dressings or variation.
5. Maple cream nitro coffee: Too sweet for me. I think we had this last year, too, but we didn't remember.
6. Strawberry basil lemonade: New "food". Nicely tart. I got this mostly for Nadia the first time, but ended up going back for my own cup later in the day.
7. Cider pops: I had two of these throughout the day. They are frozen apple cider. They are the best thing at the fair on a hot day and I have them every year.
8. Heirloom tomato and corn BLT: New food. The flavors were good, but too much bread.
9. Blueberry rhubarb cobbler: New food. I found this totally inedible (too sweet and too liquidy). The others just thought it was unimpressive.
10. Cheese Curds: The classic. I didn't even want cheese curds at this point, but...you have to get cheese curds.
11. Fries: These were mostly for Nadia. IDK where she gets her love of fries--I HATED fries until I was an adult. These were super crispy, though, so I liked them.
12. Caramel Apple milkshake: Tradition from the dairy building. The caramel apple variety is GREAT though. Bonus: Licks of N's chocolate ice cream for drip control. I'm meh on just plain ice cream but...it's the dairy building!
13. Grilled peach: New Food. I chickened out on the goat cheese and honey variation in favor of the greek yogurt and crumble variation. I blame pregnancy and end-of-day eating. I've heard stellar things about the goat cheese version and our version was just okay. The crumble was "gluten free" and though a lot of places do gluten free stuff really well nowadays, this was just dry and tasteless and terrible.
14: Roasted corn on the Cob: My other always-eat at the fair. It's truly great. Simple. My ear was a liiiittle under-roasted this year, but I also passed up a REALLY roasted ear they were offering, so. My own decision.
15: Sweet Martha's Cookies: We always get a bucket of these to-go as we're leaving. This is also held over the head of my child to motivate her to keep moving when needed, and toward good behavior.
I might be missing something. I'd have to ask pointedthings
Oh hey. My Feminist Feltie book is coming out in September: http://a.co/d/31wrhmO
I am, as one could imagine, apprehensive about this. What if everyone thinks it sucks? Hey! Some of the creative direction ended up being decided editorially/by committee! What if people don't realize that and they think the stupider stuff was my idea.
I'm great at self-promotion, clearly.
My publisher contacted me wondering if I wanted to do another follow-up book/s; maybe working in a larger scale or one explicitly for a younger audience.
I don't know what I'd make. I'm kind of creatively tapped out on feminist projects that are required to be sanitized for family friendliness.
But...hell... I'll probably say yes just to have a project. It's nice to have a Big Project.
I started having groin muscle pain after my runs, now. This was true for pregnancy number 1, too, though I don't remember when it started.
I can't remember how or if I fixed it, though, so I consulted doctor Google. I ended up in a Runner's World article about running while pregnant. It was much more encouraging than I expected.
The pain is normal, and cutting back to half speed and distance is normal too. Because of the work your body is already doing, you end up at the same fitness level with half the exercise.
So says Runner's World, anyway. And I'm inclined to believe them. ;)
I love stand-up comedy. There's something magical about seeing a really great, tightly-crafted, solidly written set. I also loved the spontaneous comedy I'd see on shows like @Midnight; which showcased all the mental agility that goes into *funny*. I'd like to think that it makes me better at my job, but really it's just pleasurable and relaxing.
So I watch a lot of stand-up. It's not for everyone.
Here are things I've watched lately with grades!
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife: B+
This grade should probably be higher, and Ali Wong is SUPER funny, but I'd also kinda-sorta heard a lot of the material before in different ways from different comics and articles. Ali Wong has great, intense delivery.
Content: Being a wife and mother and subverting roles and expectations therein. Personal comedy.
Cameron Esposito: Rape Jokes: A
I have loved Cameron Esposito since her appearance on @Midnight and then I sought out every thing she's ever done because she has such masterful use of her physical self in comedy; her voice modulation is great. So. I'm a bit partial. I saw her at the airport once and left her the hell alone because I'm Minnesotan and that's how we do. Anyway, this special is not on Netflix (it streams for free on her website and she asks for a donation to RAINN).
Content: Navigating the world/society as a woman. MeToo. LGBTQ+. Current events. PC Culture. Rape jokes. (It gets powerful.)
Tig Notaro: Happy to be Here: A-
I love Tig Notaro's delivery. She's so dry and understated. It's brilliant. This special is NOT her cancer jokes special (which is more...whoa). There's an extended bit at the end with a fun payoff, but it gets a bit dull for me in the meantime.
Content: LGBTQ+. Quirkiness. Marriage and kids. Gender.
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous: B
I like John Mulaney, but TBH I'm a bit burnt out on straight white male comics and John Mulaney definitely has a typical schtick. I'm struggling to remember anything of note, but I remember being left with a favorable, pleasant impression?
Content: Progressivism. Personal comedy. Situational comedy.
Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld: C-
Seinfeld is not my thing, I guess. *shrug* Even with fresh stuff mixed in with old stuff (this special is kind of like a retrospective mixed with new material), it all feels really dated. It's the TYPE of comedy. It's very 90s. Which was great and fresh at the time, but comedy just doesn't keep, y'know?
Content: Observational comedy. Personal comedy.
Donald Glover: Weirdo: A-
Donald Glover I know from his writing on 30 Rock--which puts him in a very specific sort of comedic quirkiness basket that I really enjoy. This was a bit divergent from that style and was more straight-up situational/personal comedy, but his delivery is really great.
Content: Situational and personal comedy. Current events. Race/racism.
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives: A
I didn't know what to expect going into this; I'd followed Hari Kondabolu on Twitter b/c he's smart and funny (and people, oddly, keep saying "If you like Kumail Nanjiani [--which oh yes, I do so much--] you'll like Hari Kondabolu"). I don't really get the comparisons, but this comedy special sort of meanders between super funny anecdotes and spitfire progressivism. I'm here for it.
Content: Race/racism. Progressivism. Current events. Immigrant experience.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King: C+
This probably merits a slightly higher score except for three things: 1. It starts off with a very tired "it's such a bummer to be married now foreeeevvveeeerrrr" trope joke. Blech. Wrong way to start with me. Dear guys who feel this way: your wives probably don't think it's so great to be married to you either. 2. It feels rough/unpolished--which makes sense b/c Hasan Minhaj is pretty young. 3. It feels like a keynote speech at an event! A particularly GOOD keynote speech, actually--wavering between joke and serious life point, joke and serious life point...but in a way that feels...very keynote speechy.
It did get better after the initial misstep, and had some high points, but it needed some tightening.
Content: Race/racism. Immigrant experience. Situational/personal comedy.
Leslie Jones: Problem Child: C+
Leslie Jones (of Ghostbusters and SNL), I've found out...just isn't my thing in terms of delivery style for stand-up. I don't particularly like intensive audience-work because--though it's clear the audience is enjoying the discomfort of it--I don't personally like that sort of discomfort on display. She's great at what she does...but it's just not my thing.
Content: Personal comedy.
[The Standups] Joe List: C
This is totally unmemorable to me. So ... C, I guess? I think he talked about his own awkwardness and romantic history. I don't know. You see why I'm getting burnt out on straight white guys doing comedy. I mean, I remember being amused at times?
Content: Personal comedy.
[The Standups] Aparna Nancherla: B+
Aparna Nanchaerla was another hilarious comic on @midnight. I love her awkwardness. Her set dragged a bit toward the end for me, though, when she went into visual aids. I thought it could have been punched up a bit. Like it's 96% there and just needs a bit of umph. And I don't love emoji-based humor (though this was a category on @midnight and she was great at that so...it stands to reason she would play in that space).
Content: Observational comedy. Awkwardness. Family. Visual aids.
[The Standups] Gina Yashere: B+
British, black, gay woman doing on-point current event comedy? Yeah, I'm here for that. Unfortunately I can't remember a specific stand-out moment so the grade was lowered. Enjoyable, though.
Content: LGBTQ+. Current events.
[The Standups] Rachel Feinstein: B+
Great delivery but kinda done in the Amy Schumer/Iliza Shlesinger mold of "this is what young women are doing and here is our relationship with our parents" mold of comedy. So her set was solid party-girl kinda stuff.
Content: Family. Situational comedy.
[The Standups] Kyle Kinane: A-
I enjoy Kyle Kinane way more than I feel I should. But he's consistently subversive and progressive in a nice way. This set was mostly about the weirdness of the KKK and eating at ethnic restaurants which feels...particularly timely. His delivery is kinda shouty-white-dude, though.
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette: A+
Go watch this right now. I cried. Is a comedy special supposed to make you cry? I don't know. The delivery is so...so good. She's so low-key and dryly funny; dropping little bits of charming humor and then taking big huge swings at big huge issues and it's just SO on fire and gutting and born from a place of deep pain and recovery. It builds off of itself in a lot of nice ways and callbacks. The last ~12 minutes I cried. Not because I was sad, but because it was so "fuck yes". I could not imagine a smarter, better-crafted piece than that last few minutes. It's a fucking powerhouse piece.
Content: Feminism/patriarchy. LGBTQ+. Gender. Comedy. Observational comedy.
Kids say cute things. I was telling a friend about how N called "whirlpools" "whirlpuddles" and he laughed and told me I should be sure to write that down so I don't forget that she once did it.
So here are a couple of things.
For a long time, Smokey the cat was "Mosey". This was particularly amusing since she started off saying it correctly and somehow it morphed in her mind and she latched onto it. She has since reverted to the correct way.
Whirlpools are whirlpuddles.
Potholes are Popholes (not inaccurate).
Penis is "peanuts" (I struggle: Do I, as a parent, responsibly correct this to the proper terminology...or leave it be because it's too damned funny?)
Netflix is Netflakes. We have adopted this as a family, wholecloth.
She has a lot of the little kid shorthand, too, but those aren't mispronunciations as such. Vagina is 'gina, disaster is "a-zaster"
Derrick is sick, yet again. He went to lay down while I was in the final stages of getting Nadia ready for bed last night. He collapsed wrong-ways on the bed, face-down and legs dangling over the side.
"Where's daddy?" she asked.
"He's not feeling good so he went to lay down."
"I better go check on him," she said with a heavy sigh.
She wandered into our bedroom in footie pajamas and put her hand on his leg. She starts stroking and patting it gently: "Are you okay, daddy?"
"I'll be okay, sweetie, I just don't feel very good."
She ascends the covers onto our bed and kneels beside him. She starts rubbing his back with her tiny still-my-baby hand.
In her soothing-est little mouse-voice: "You'll be okay, daddy. It's okay. You'll be okay. It's alright. You're okay...you're okay."
And then my heart exploded. The end.
I've been here since Saturday.
I've gotten 12.5 hours of sleep over 5 nights.
That is...not a lot.
It's amazing how your body needs certain things to function properly.
It's always cold backstage, but it's not so bad.
Until you have multiple nights of no sleep. Then your body fails to regulate itself properly and you shiver and shiver.
I may never be warm again.