Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the pros and cons of sleep deprivation

Most times when I am sleep deprived, I get brilliant ideas. Who needs drugs when...? But then there are times like Sunday night when, after being up for I am pretty sure was about 20 hours (perhaps 22 as has been known to happen with me..but for a good reason..not so much this time), I was just tired, sensitive and ended up with a racing brain by the time I got into bed again. Within an hour, I was back out of bed and writing in my journal in the dark and then having a cry in the kitchen.

After that, ideas came.

4 Domino's Pizza napkins worth.

See, there is a gentleman who is looking to do a documentary on my father (woo hoo!) and would like my sister and I to come up with a basic outline. We'd been kinda struggling with this, but suddenly, after the stress writing and the cry, I had a burst of ideas and wrote them down. Later that day, talked to the sister and looks like we may have an outline soon for this guy.

Now if only I could get an outline together for my own show :p

I did test out new material at No Name this past Friday and got some decent response as well as some of that quiet like "um...isn't this a comedy show?" - talking about the comparison between "what are you?" and the Obama campaign quandry "Was he black enough?" might do that - so it was nice to get it up in front of a crowd, despite the fact that I had to use notes. I am looking to test out more of it soon an will keep you posted as to when.

In the meantime, hum good karma as I try to finish my claim for the latest extension of unemployment benefits...I would prefer to have a job, but until then...

Something that made me chuckle while on the phone with unemployment: as I went through a phone prompt menu, one of the statements made was: "You must be determined to be unemployed" I know what they mean, but...perhaps there is a way to reword that? or not...'cause it's funny...

Peace --Alex


Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh yeah, the politics are back...

The New York Post proved to me why I don't look at it very often. They published a cartoon which most likely was meant to merely be a play on the random chimp attack that occurred in Connecticut, and the "monkeys" in Congress. Instead, what people saw was a cartoon with two white cops having shot a monkey and remarking "Now someone else will have to write the stimulus package". Anyone who knows their black history knows that black people were compared to monkeys...and that we now have our first black president...and that he is the face of the stimulus package.

How the editors could not know that such a connection might be made - "post-racial" era, whatever - is just beyond me. It is the post and they could a) have decided to run with the controversy and hell, people are looking that cartoon up and b) be targeting that fringe audience of people who are angry that Obama got the top job or c) just be idiots. Personally, I think it is all of the above. Feel free to give them your opinion through the Color of Change.

And speaking of idiots...what the heck is up with Utah? I know some perfectly nice and tolerant Mormons, but sadly they have not been elected to political office, as has Senator Chris Buttars. The one good thing about Senator Buttars is that he actually spoke (spewed) his anti-gay views - gay people have no morals and are "the meanest buggers he's ever seen" - to a documentary film maker, thus we can call him out on such virulent remarks. He actually believes that homosexuals are the biggest threat to America "going down" that he knows of. Really? GAY PEOPLE? Not corrupt investment bankers? Not extreme deregulation and those who have taken advantage of it? Not biggoted buggers like yourself? I mean, even over the terrorists...GAY PEOPLE?!?! This man needs some serious help and perhaps a hug, if he believes gay folk are the biggest threat to the country. He obviously has not had enough love in his life, or ever enjoyed a good musical...or really considered that staffer who baked him a basket of muffins for his birthday. So what is he going to say when suddenly photos show up with him in drag at Rawhide during the Republican convention...In the meantime, you can say your piece, and offer a good therapist for him to get over this fear of "the gays" here at the Human Rights Campaign.

IN THE MEANTIME... It's time for SHAMELESS PLUGGING! Last night we had performance deux of In The Red Room. We had a great crowd and I'll tell ya, when you are working in an intimate space, good energy from the audience helps A LOT and boy howdy did we have it last night. I think we all kicked it up a notch and found our groove. It was a good night and if you want to catch this unique performance yourself, come on out to People Lounge for our final performance next Thursday 2/26.

Also TONIGHT I will testing out new material for Single What? Female at long last over at the 15th birthday of the No Name variety show. We will be at Otto's Shrunken Head and it will indeed be a good time. But get there early as the show starts at 7pm SHARP!


Peace --Alex

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Obama and I have in common today...

President Obama is in Denver. I am in New York. And we were both trying to get some money.

President Obama had to fight Congress. I had to fight all the people trying to call unemployment at the same time I was.

In the end, President Obama got the stimulus package, despite the GOP, and I finally got through to unemployment this morning, despite being on hold for nearly twenty minutes, spoke to an actual person and therefore got some held back funds, released! Woo Hoo for both of us!

I sign up at yet another temp agency tomorrow and perhaps I can get some work from it! (note to self: email schedule to the other temp agencies I am signed up with)


I may not have had the Happy Lites with me this past weekend, but I can assure you I did not need them. Endorphins cure all...endorphins and Guiness.

The man and I hit the Dance Flurry this weekend and essentially danced for 2 days straight. For those who are not Flurry alum, I'll give you an idea of a day at the Flurry:

*started with contra (a type of folk dance...lots of spinning...do not drink and contra)
*moved on to Vintage - Victorian and Ragtime type stuff. Nice waltzing and some tango :)
*had lunch at a creperie called Ravenous...soooooooooooo good.
*moved on to swing. It ended up being a lot of lesson I did not need, but got some good dancing in with a guy who goes by Rat, and then...
*moved on to Indian/Afghani/Bollywood dancing. Very fun and silly, particularly with the teacher who did not "want to be too far away from you!" and wanted us to be this "big ball of people" that followed her as she ran around the room and we followed her choreography as best we could.
*after Bollywood, it was time for a dinner break at Mrs. London's - some of the best pastry and French style sandwiches you will ever have.
*Then there was some Rock n' Roll contra (a killer band!)
*Listened to an Irish music jam
*1978 Disco Line Dancing...yes, we did the Saturday Night Fever Dance
*Finished the night with Zydeco with CJ Chenier and his band. It...was...awesome. I am pretty sure I snuck in on Zyedeco at some point earlier in the day and may have missed listing some other event I hit, but you get the overall jist of things here.

I so wish I'd had my camera (it died a couple of weeks ago) as I would have taken a picture that would have represented just how serious Flurry goers are. Picture a balding gentleman, mildly paunchy, just below average height, in his 50's in a yellow polo shirt, khaki shorts and knee braces. We're not talking ace bandages here, or some foam sleeve, we are talking knee braces with hinges that make him look Borg. And he was out there groovin' to the Zydeco with whichever partner he could find. As I said, these people are serious.

We stayed with our friends Chris and Stacey in their lovely house, ate the fabulous food Chris cooked, and had some great conversation...okay, Chris Stacey and Jeff had great conversation; or rather more of it, as I couldn't talk...as much. Things are improving, but still have to stop every once in a while and pull out the conversation pad. And sometimes you have to realize the limits of writing speed...I think I managed not to hurt myself this weekend, but still say all the prayers as I see the doctor this afternoon :)

Yesterday, we drove back down to the city (thank you Stacey for letting us borrow your car!) and we got smacked back into reality as Jeff dropped me at The Network for my shift and he went to his old apartment to try to fix his old roomie's computer.

All right, time to get to the sit-ups and other exercise as I will NOT be dancing for hours today...

AND...DO NOT FORGET...as I have to remember myself...got lines to go over :p...COME SEE IN THE RED ROOM at People Lounge THIS THURSDAY and check out some of my NEW MATERIAL for Single What? Female at No Name and a Bag O' Chips at Otto's Shrunken Head (it's FREE!!!)


Peace --Alex

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love in the Time of Economic Hoo Ha

Yes, despite the fact that millions of people have lost their jobs and the economy is the worst its been, Valentine's Day is still on.

And I gotta say, Hallmark Holiday that it may be, I'm still all for it. I am all about spreading the love and man, if we ever needed some love it is right now, so people, think of your loved ones and those you don't even know and put out the love vibe today *mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....loooooooooooove.....mmmmmmmmmmmmmm*

Put out special vibes for the those who were lost and lost loved ones in last night's Buffalo crash. Just awful business.

And send a little extra love to our president today if you can, as well, he's trying to get us all some jobs, keep arts and education funding in the stimulus and good lord, what is with the Secretary of Commerce Position? Let alone just trying to get a few decent people who actually pay their taxes for their cabinet? (oh, I just gave myself the nasty reminder that I have to get my taxes together and after all the 1099's I'm gonna have to PAY for the first time in years...with what, I don't know but I will figure it out)

IN THE MEANTIME...In The Red Room/ Every Woman Dances for Someone opened last night at People Lounge. We had a packed...lounge (so if you plan on coming, make a reservation as there ain't a lot of space!), and despite the various distractions of performing in a bar/lounge, things went well and we got good reaction. There are only two more performances so come on out!

And speaking of limited performances, I will indeed be testing out NEW MATERIAL from Single What? Female, Friday February 20th at No Name and A Bag O' Chips at Otto's Shrunken Head. It will be a great night as host Eric Vetter has a fierce group lined up, and again, I FINALLY have NEW MATERIAL for the show. Progress may be slow with me, but it's happening at long damn last.

And speaking of slow progress, the vocal therapist says things are indeed progressing and next Tuesday she may actually LOOK at the chords again and hopefully give me good news. After nearly reversing weeks of progress with one dinner party, I worked at, you know, not talking, resting the voice, taking it easy at rehearsal and so far so good. It does not hurt that as I sit at my friend Nicole's desk - I am covering for her today as she heads up to Boston to take her mom see John Edward's Crossing Over (Nicole is a GOOD daughter) - that this is a quiet office and I think I have spoken all of 8 words today. It's reception without answering the phones...and there is access to Rock Band. No one has played it yet...might be saved for guests...but gosh darnit that fake drum kit is calling me...

This blog has been brought to you by the vitamin D. Nothing like unemployment. nodes, a lost temp gig and the having to turn down a PAYING and FABULOUS singing gig to throw you over the edge into Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you are presently unemployed and have been for some time, and do NOT live in a sunny, warm paradise, vitamin D, exercise and perhaps a Happy Lite are good things. Just when I thought being a half Scandinavian New Englander was enough...

I do hope you all have a lovely V-day, and weekend, that you get to sleep in Monday and hopefully I'll see at least some of you at In The Red Room or No Name :):):)

And as I listen to a song called "Just get out there and Dance", makes me think of my weekend...where I may have to wear a sign that reads, "Don't talk to me. Just DANCE!"


Peace --Alex