Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Moth Story Slam

A few years ago I took Storytelling 101 at the Upright Citizens Brigade and fell in love with storytelling. Margot Leitman was my brilliant teacher and it was a phenomenal class filled with interesting people, each of whom had a multitude of wonderful stories--some mundane, others exciting, some heartbreaking, others heartwarming. After that class, I enrolled in Storytelling 201 and loved it just as much. Since then, I have been performing on storytelling shows around NYC and Boston and attending Moth Story Slams in hopes of being picked. Moth Story Slams are completely democratic—anyone can put his/her name in the hat and be picked for one of the 10 slots. Each storyteller gets about 6 minutes to share his/her story and the Slams are always packed with an eager audience. Storytellers share all types of stories, all connected to a theme (that can be checked online weeks before the event).

After 6 times attending the Moth and never being picked, I began to get discouraged. Was I cursed? Did I have storytelling bad luck?

Well, if there WAS a curse, last night I finally broke it (much like the amazing 2003-2004 Boston Red Sox).

The theme was “After Hours” and I had a bang-up story. My friend Leah and I waited in line for 45 minutes, managed to score two of the last seats in the house, and listened to the first half of the show. No sound of “Selena” ringing over the mic. Argh. Would the seventh time be the charm, or not? After intermission, we came back and after a few stories Leah had to leave for dinner plans. Of course, then I finally heard my name and got on stage. I told the story of when I was mugged on Newbury Street in my beloved hometown of Boston. My best friend Suzanne was with me on that fateful night (Thanskgiving Eve, 2006) and witnessed how it all went down. Totally ridiculous & hilarious and I was honored to share it with the Moth audience last night. I tied for first place with a fantastic storyteller named Steve who I’ve had the pleasure of watching before. We got the exact same score and the tie was broken in his favor because 2 out of the 3 judging teams had higher scores for him. So Steve goes onto the prestigious Moth Super Slam and I remain thrilled that I tied for first place and shared a story that I’m very proud of.

In case you missed it, here’s tape of another time when I told that story (taped in January 2011 at Mottley’s in Boston):

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bach Recap Coming!


I know I'm SUPER late on the Bachelor Recap. I'll get around to it this weekend and give you my thoughts on why Brad chose gorgeous blonde Emily over spitfire brunette Chantal. Here's a hint: Emily is blonde. Need I say more!? BOOM!

In the meantime, enjoy this sweet photo of a cute cat.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Women Tell All!

I didn’t get a chance to watch this season’s episode of “The Women Tell All” live on Monday because I was at a swanky theater benefit enjoying open bar, sick views of the Hudson River, steak, and a live performance by Joan Osbourne. That lady is cool as shit. Seriously. I know that you’re probably thinking that her single “What If God Was One Of Us” was overplayed (and should have used the subjunctive mood instead of past tense in the title), but I the rest of that album was dope. For real. I told her as much. Give it a listen sometime, dear readers.

But let’s get down to my belated viewing of “The Bachelor: The Women Tell All.” First off, Chris Harrison has let his hair get a bit shaggy. I’m digging the look, Chris. Speaking of hair changes, Ashley H. showed up to the reunion show as a brunette with bangs! Ashley H, I thought I knew you! The brown hair actually looks great on her (especially with her bright red lips) and she seems fantastically stable and happy. There’s buzz that she’s lined up to be the next Bachelorette and I think it would be a great choice. Mad love for my A Cup buddy, even if she’s gone over to the dark side (brunette).

But before we get down to biz with the Bachelor cast-offs from this season, we gotta check in with about 150 cast-offs from past seasons! Yes, “The Bachelor Pad” will be coming back this summer and I can’t wait. If you’re not familiar with “The Bachelor Pad” it’s a show where 12-15 rejects from old seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” live in a house and tan, hookup, and talk smack. It’s like a mini college experience, if college had involved lots of tanning (which it did for some, but not poolside). They show footage of reunions in NYC and LA, where these tools talk about the “Bachelor Family” and how it’s a great item to bond over in a relationship—that both parties went on TV looking for love and achieved D-list notoriety (if any modicum of celebrity at all). Personally, I’d rather bond over a similar sense of humor or shared interests with a potential mate, but that’s just me.

Then it’s down to business and most of the ladies look good. All except for Melissa. Her blonde hair is flat and limp, her eyebrows remain overplucked and improperly arched, and her outfit reminds me of a gauze version of a getup I used to wear back in 1998. Worst of all, she’s slowly ruining the beautiful song “Melissa” (by Allman Bros) for me. Can we all agree that the song “Melissa” rules and the Bachelor contestant Melissa doesn’t rule? Thanks. I just like being in agreement with my imagined readers. Raichel and Melissa continue to squabble and yet insist that they aren’t squabbling. Whatever, ladies. You’re like a poor man’s Emily vs. Chantal match-up, only amongst the rejects.

Ashely S. is back and her hair looks fantastic. She’s still very emotional, but seems to be doing well.

But let’s get to the main event: Michell and her crocodile tears. Seriously—I haven’t seen fake-crying that bad since the last time I watched community theater! It’s as easy as putting your head down, breathing quickly, and heaving over to make everyone believe that you feel emotions! Who knew it was that simple!? Michelle’s eyes were almost 100% dry during this show, so I didn’t buy her sob story at all. She kept insisting that she was “there for the right reasons” (the battle cry of every Bachelorette who is a social pariah), but nobody doubted that. You’re just a jerk, Michelle. It’s not about your intentions. It’s about how you get along with others (or don’t). I don’t think that Jackie was being too aggressive when she was calling out Michelle’s creepy behavior and Jackie NEVER said anything about Michelle’s mothering skills, so don’t put words in her mouth. During the interview, Michelle kept banging the drum of “I care about my daughter! It was so hard to be away from my daughter!” If it’s SO hard to be away from her and you really care about her, then why didn’t you just stay in Utah and try dating there? Are there no men in Utah? No seriously, are they all Moron and want sister wives? I don’t know these things.

Bad news, loverpants. I must bid you adieu without completely finishing this recap. It's like the old saying goes, sometimes you only get to drink 3/4 of the soda before you have to stop. Right? That old saying is really well-known and touching.

I'm off to Boston! 3 shows this weekend! Rock & roll!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Watching The Bachelor tonight

Hey hey,

I'm a day late with my Bachelor update. Last night was "The Women Tell All" which is my favorite episode of each season. I heard that Michelle started crying-- here we go! I was at a swanky fundraiser enjoying steak & open bar, so I missed the live show. I'll check it out tonight. In the meantime, enjoy this walk down memory lane:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

South Africa Hat Trick

When we left off last time, Shawntel was going back to Chico and the remaining three ladies were packing for a trip to South Africa. Because nothing prepares you for what a REAL relationship will be like, quite like going on ridiculously far-flung trips with your would-be beloved.

The first date goes to Chantal and she looks super cute in her safari chic button-down and cut-off shorts. As my viewing buddy, comedian George Gordon put it, “Chantal’s got a badonka donk” and indeed she does. Brad is wearing a corny hat that doesn't COVER his limited vocabulary. Heyo! The two hop in an open jeep and see a bunch of animals. Brad does what existentialists would call, “creating your own omens” when he thinks that somehow seeing a lion (his favorite animal) while on a date with Chantal (specifically), has some sort of special meaning. OK Brad, if you decide that means something, then believing makes it so, I suppose. Brad and Chantal change clothes and eat dinner in the bush. I’m going to keep it clean and not make any tawdry bush jokes here, dear readers. You see how classy I am!? I’m so classy that I’m hosting a cocktail party on Thursday night. I’m a WASP, it’s what we do. But back to the bush. They eat dinner, then Brad breaks out a note about potential humps, which he refers as “from Chris Harrison” which I find creepy and bizarre. Why is Chris Harrison the one giving his blessing for these two lovebirds to be “intimate”? They decide to “forego their individual rooms” and hook it in a treehouse.

Emily is up next and apparently she and Chantal went safari shopping together, as her shirt is just like Chantal’s from yesterday. Emily and Brad ride an elephant, watch baby elephants bathe, and eat snacks. I found their segment wholly forgettable. Then they eat dinner and, despite the misleading promos for this episode, Emily DOES opt to visit the fantasy suite with Brad. In the words of the wonderful, pixie-like gay dude who lived downstairs from me during my freshman year of college, “Awww sookie sookie now.”

Ashley’s date is last and, unfortunately for her, least. They spend the day enjoying a beautiful view while drinking, but conversation is stilted somewhat. Brad seems to want every woman to expressly say that she will drop her life, move to Austin, and work around him. I truly think that Ashley *would* do that, but she doesn’t verbalize it well. When he asks her about where she’d want to live, she talks about warm weather and family. I don’t think she grasped the gravity of that question—that Brad was basically asking if she would move to Austin, specifically. Dude should have just outright asked, if that’s what he wanted to know. He seems to think that her career as a dentist will limit her willingness to relocate, which makes me bananas because Ashley is being punished for being career-oriented and driven. Meanwhile, executive assistant Chantal and party planner Emily are never grilled about their ambitions. It’s all very retrograde, but I’m kidding myself to expect anything remotely progressive from a reality TV dating show. OK, I’ll get off my soap box now.

Things go from bad to worse over a candle lit (and bug-filled) dinner, where Ashley shoots for a new record in the use of the word “like.” Yes, I have officially become my father. Brad and Ashley talk in circles, with her adjusting her hair and repeating “like” while managing to say nothing, and Brad looking dumb behind the eyes while saying he has a hard time expressing himself. Painful. They hit up the fantasy suite, though, because nothing erases a night of strained conversation quite like an awkward hump, am I right? (No.)

Time for a rose ceremony at sunset. The three ladies line up with the sunset directly in their eyes--ouch. Emily’s dress is fantastic. Chantal’s hair looks great. And as a predictor of what’s to come, Ashley doesn’t look so great. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s white women in near-flesh-tone dresses or any clothing that’s tan/beige/flesh tone. It’s not doing anybody any favors, white women. Brad walks down to the ceremony and assumes the position to dole out the roses, but instead he asks Ashley if they can talk. I wonder if Ashley knew that this would be her walk out, at that moment. She probably did. I must say: for how thick Brad seems, and the fact that this is his second go-round on the Bachelor, he’s actually quite sensitive to how the women feel. He explains that he didn’t want to put Ashley through a formal rose ceremony and have her only figure out that she’s going home by not hearing her name. He’d rather talk to her about it. Maybe I’m a sucker (yes), but I was really impressed by that. Ashley handles it remarkably well. Of course she’s upset, but she’s smart enough to get out of there quickly.

So it’s down to a blonde vs. brunette match-up—I love it! Emily’s sweet platinum perfection versus Chantal’s gorgeous chocolate locks. It’s like a good hair-off, and the prize is a dumb guy with a sick body.

Next week is my favorite episode of the season, “The Women Tell All” and we’re going to hear from crazypants Michelle; brawlin’ and self-destructing duo Melissa and Raichel (remember them? Melissa is pretty… pretty BUSTED (Boom! Thanks to the 6th grade boy who wrote that joke for me) and Raichel doesn’t know what “obstruct” means); Chico chica Shawntel; Madison the overrated vampire; Sporty Spice look-alike Alli and more. Aww snap I’m ready for drama drama! I have a feeling a whole lotta ladies are going to be insisting that they were misunderstood and misrepresented—bring it on! In the words of Jason Aldean, this episode is “my kind of party” am I right!? What, no country music fans amongst my legions of readers!? Get with it!