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December 2007
Dirty Manhattan

Written by Susan Alexander

Watching movies has always been a great escape for me.  I especially love movies set in the Dirty Manhattan era like Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Midnight Cowboy and on the lighter side Tootsie.  Dirty Manhattan sounds like a new drink but to me is the 70’s – 80’s New York City where hookers, drugs, promiscuity and no consequence except for light STDs and maybe getting killed by your closeted gay one night stand. 

Tootsie is my all time favorite drag-queen comedy and made at the end of the Dirty Manhattan era (1982). The cast includes Dustin Hoffman as a struggling actor/waiter/acting coach in his late 30’s trying to get roles but has built a reputation of being too high maintenance.  He is helping an actress friend prepare for a new role in a popular soap opera and by a twist of fate he ends up getting the role as a female character on the soap.  Dustin does not make the most attractive woman but his soft Southern accent and mannerisms make him believable as a woman. Also, you start judging all the little outfits she/he wears and become engrossed in the movie.

My favorite scene in Tootsie is when he/she meets up with his/her agent Sydney Pollack (also the director of movie) at the Russian Tea Room. The main reason I wanted to go there was for this movie.  I finally went there for my birthday in November.  The food I ordered was delicious but the whole time I just wanted to know where the Tootsie scene was filmed.  As I’m leaving the restaurant, I found out where the scene was filmed which was my real birthday present.

Leaving the restaurant, I still wanted to get my drink on with my friends so we went to one other bar on a Wednesday night. For all those single ladies in the city, note the fact that weeknights are the prowling night for cheater husbands disguised as available single men. I like to think of them as cock-blockers of the men I should be talking to at the bar.

“Would you wear a fur coat if I bought you one?” Older married man testing me said.

“Listen, I only wear animals I eat.” Drunk single girl that’s me said. The smart single girl would have said, “I look better in diamonds.”

That is what happens when I talk to men my age or older at bars.  I am staying true to myself and only speaking to younger men who are single.

“Susan, do you know what the call women who date younger men?” Judging married friend said.

“Yeah, Lucky!” Happy single girl living in Dirty Manhattan said.

How to be a Good Massage Client

Written by Liz Grant

I’m on the verge of becoming a wildly famous comedian/former massage therapist.  And until I’m the former, I still have to massage people.  What follows could also be considered my massage resentment rant.  And I had to edit this down from 27 pages to two. 

If you have fur all over your entire body, shaving the night before does not help me out, Sasquatch.  It hurts like hell to massage stubble on your back and neck, ladies.  Seriously, men…please consider waxing, laser or evolution.  I had to massage a client with Vaseline last month and even with that layer of protection, my fingerprints are now just starting to return. 

Wash your bits.  Your front.  Your crack.  Your pits.  Your feet.  Bonus:  Scrape your tongue.  Before your massage, don’t eat a cheeseburger made with Limburger and ass. 

Don’t do exasperated, deliberate breathing to try to make yourself relax, it tenses me up and it’s very 1990’s.  I don’t mind if you moan now and then but please don’t start before I touch you.  When I ask you if there are any health conditions I need to know about, plantar warts and athlete’s foot and that lime scale stalagmite you call toe nail fungus are all conditions I need to know about.  I also need to know if your toes appear to be individuated but are actually fused together like a glazed bear claw donut only not that cute.  I also need to know about extra or missing toes.  This saves me a lot of confusion and fumbling and counting in the dark.  It also keeps me from thinking about Aquaman’s feet for the next 45 minutes. 

It would also be helpful if you tell me you’ve had a facelift so I don’t spent a lot of time looking for incision sites by candlelight.  Don’t pretend to relax.  I really dislike trying to pick up your neck only to find you prefer to hold it up yourself.  I will walk away and enjoy watching you trying to lower it slowly as though I might not notice.  I like to put the neck through a little range of motion, please don’t second guess me and range of motion it yourself.  I will let go and enjoy your impression of Stevie Wonder. 

Don’t talk the entire time.  I will be quiet and do my impression of a massage therapist who wants you to focus on relaxing.  Don’t tell me I can’t go too deep on you and then try to pretend I’m not going too deep on you because I can tell when it’s too much because I’ve been doing massage for eighteen friggen years and I can feel when your muscles are protecting themselves and you then remind me of the jackasses on Fear Factor who used to scream and yell “bring it on, let’s go, you ain’t seen nothin’ like me” and they were the first to slide off the wet car suspended above Long Beach Harbor.  That’s when I’d cackle manically. 

Don’t tell me that was a life changing, best massage in your entire life and then leave me a 5% tip because I have a list of those clients and I regularly send them seriously bad vibes.  I will also use them in my act. 

Inside the Head of Mary Van Note

Written and Performed by Mary Van Note

Inside the Head of Mary Van Note by Mary Van Note

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The Ballerinas

Written by Caitlin Gill

A bus rider in San Francisco will have some stories to tell you.  Many of horrors difficult to describe in vivid enough detail to make the listener understand what its really like to sit down and realize that bums who feast on orange Gatorade and discovered table garnish release vomit that will camouflage well with the cracked orange plastic seats, but not with your jeans.  My tale is not one of such woe, but of victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.  A tale of tides turning, of struggle giving way to freedom, a tale of getting to make fun of girls cuter than me. 

It was my first day of work running an ice cream shop, and was I riding in on meticulously plotted bus route.    I was to become a manager that day, to begin my benevolent reign over my ice cream shucking minions.  I felt on top of the world, like nothing could bring me down.  Until... they came.  I looked out the window of the bus as it slowed to a stop, and saw, waiting to board, dozens of ballerinas, some sort of ballet team.  A flock?  A school? A pod?  A pride?  A business? (That’s what you call a group of ferrets… for example, “For Christmas, I would like a business of Panda ferrets”)  Whatever a horde of ballerinas would be called when they gather, that’s what was waiting to shatter my fragile illusion of confidence and worth.  They all stood managing to make confused and out-of-place look glamorous.  How is it that they could look totally adorable in a sweat suit while I look desperate and pathetic in the same outfit?  Is it that frosting stain?  Cause I tried to get it out, but Betty Crocker Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting actually leaves a stain on your soul, which becomes visible to others through any article of clothing with an elastic waistband, there was nothing I could do. 

They bottlenecked at the front of the bus, and as they clumsily stuffed their dollars down MUNI’s (nick-name for the San Francisco Bus System) gullet, I saw that they were all adorned with University of San Francisco keychain lanyards.   Great.  Ballerinas with a better degree than mine.  (Humboldt State Pride!!  Green and Gold!!   GO LUMBERJACKS!!)  They filled the bus to capacity.  As they packed in, they stared in innocent wonder at their transfers, and gazed at the many advertisements and public service announcements, showing visible concern for the battered old woman in that ad that tells you who to call if you’re old and being beaten on.  My leathered hide hadn’t shown such compassion in ages.  The rest of the passengers seemed content to let these swans invade our drainage ditch.   I heard coos about how adorable they all were from all those around me who had long ago succumbed to their own mediocrity, and no longer felt the pangs of failure around those who accomplish.  I am not one of these people, I’m in my late 20’s and still cant watch the Olympics without kicking myself for not sticking with that tumbling class when I was three.

I could feel my loose grasp on self-confidence slipping away as I considered my lack of graceful skills, my awkwardly stretched 6’1 frame.  The feet it takes to hold all this lank up seemed to be enough to make me an alien in their world.  I don’t think there is a size 13 ballet slipper.  I thought being surrounded by perfectly built, elegant and talented young women would be enough to steal all the glory of my new career in the world of ice cream sales.  I thought that there would be nothing that could restore my inner strength on this morning.  Until I heard a hasty “Gosh, I’m SO sorry!” I looked over to see a passenger rubbing his knee where it had been bumped by duffel stuffed with dance apparel.  I heard the same utterance and turned again to see a woman regain her footing after being knocked into by a waist high ballerina.  I realized that with every jerky motion of the bus, ballerinas were teetering off balance all around me.  Those who could reach clung to the sissy bars.  Others just hung on to the skeletal frames of their companions and made surprised mouth noises every time the bus moved.  Their fear became more tangible as we passed through the Western Addition, as these weren’t the same soft, kindly Richmond passengers they began their ride with.  Clouds started to part in my overcast mind. 

I was in my element here, these women I thought would have me sunk me anywhere could not navigate these waters.  I saw weaker member of their herd who was unable to reach the bars around her.  The weight of her Juicy Couture duffel threatened to take her under.  I offered her my seat, which she accepted with visible relief, but my offer was not entirely selfless.  I thrilled to rise among these otherwise perfect examples of grace and begin my dance.  I swayed in perfect harmony with my dance partner of steel and rubber.  The driver’s preferred braking strategy seemed to be the “60-0 mph in .04 seconds” method, and I stood steady and strong around ballerinas being tossed about by his sudden stops.  I moved with a polish earned from years of training and honing my urban public transportation skills.  The walrus had found her way to water, where her bulk and tusks (I couldn’t afford braces while I was young) couldn’t hold her back. 

I felt myself renew.  No one, not even a gaggle of ballerinas, could make me any less skilled as a MUNI rider.  I may not ever wear a leotard as well, but I knew I had the strength to become a worthy and fair leader in my new ice cream shop realm.  I thought that this turnaround was more than I could have hoped for, that this reversal would be the best part of this ride, until I looked down, and noticed that around a batch of ballerinas, my A-cups looked HUGE.  I was surrounded by humankind’s paragon of womanhood, and I felt both big titted and graceful.  From darkness comes light.  My first day of work went great.

That’s MUNI story for today.  I could tell you about some great games of “Hazardous fluid, or just pee?” or “Find the oldest dated trash!” or “Is that smell human, animal or food?” but that will have to wait.


Written by Bethany Van Delft

) Hey There, Just wanted to say thanks for the invite to your "Girls Night Out 'Cock'tail Sex Toy Party Pt.3 ". I still LOVE that name! It's soo clever. I really wish I could make it, last time was soo good and fun :-)! I have to get some stuff done so I won't be able to make it, but please don't take me off your list, I'd love to come one day when I don't have a good reason why I can't go. OMG, are you gonna have the same stripper?! He was soo good! It's soo hot when guys shave off their sideburns so it's smooth right up past their temples! Grooming is everything! So sexy! Oooo, I LOVED his big, black, banana hammock, all that bunched up, drapey fabric sure did flatter his man parts! And if you can just ask him for me where on earth he found scrunchy socks and soft toe high top Reeboks in 2007, my cousins in Iowa will be the happiest girls this Christmas :-)! So say hi to the demonstrator (or is it demonstratrix? LOL!). How HOT was the statement she made last time, wearing that fuzzy (pill-y? ball-y? is that a word? ;-)), pea-green twin set with her smooth-legged brown Lee Cords! That's right, sexy isn't on the outside, it's on the inside! Bravo! You go girl! Tell the girls I'll miss 'em and try not buy up all the butt plugs this time, ROTFLMAO! Oh, and don't worry about sending me the order from home form, I still have mine from last time, so you can hang onto that for some other poor sucker like me who has to do stuff and can't make it :-(. Have fun! Hope all your batteries are fresh, and the stripper doesn't come straight from work this time. I LOVE the smell of flame broiled whoppers soo much, but something about that with his curl booster made me a little NG! Thank GOD for the reggaeton, it totally kept my mind off of it! Talk soon! Kiss!

Not So Perfect 10

Written by Sandy Stec

Last week, I comfortably tried on and purchased a brand new pair of pants. They were a size 10.

At first, I was excited. It's been a long time since I've seen a "10" anywhere near my ass. But then I remembered: It was an Old Navy size 10. Which means it was really a size 24. Let me explain.

Old Navy is successful for two reasons: good prices, and denial. Most women, myself included, feel skinny at Old Navy. Because deep down, we know what size we really are. We know our range, we know what styles cater to our body type, and when something is too snug.

Yet, at Old Navy, everything fits. Not only does it fit- but it's too big. Suddenly, those size 14 pants become a slimming size 10....that cute blouse fits perfectly in a small....and you're practically "swimming" in that sized medium hoodie. As you look at yourself in the fitting room mirror, you realize you're not the woman you once were.

You're Samantha Jones.

You check out your behind in the mirror's reflection, and laugh. What can you say? You've got a great ass. You just never noticed it before.

And you're hair- it looks amazing! Why didn't you ever pay attention to how it perfectly compliments your skin tone, and frames your beautiful face?

Man, is there anything in this store that doesn't look great on you? Trouser pants, sexy striped work blouses, skin-tight turtlenecks, button-down cardigans, boot-cut jeans, A-line skirts and knee-high boots....girl, you're gonna have the men lining up! You'd better have some Saturday nights free, because you're gonna need them. Hell, you'll have to start booking a year in advance! Not that these guys will mind, though. You're well worth the wait- and they know it! Finally, you can cross off all the lame, immature, lack-of -ambition A-holes from your list, and date REAL MEN instead!

And then it hits you: why does this only happen when I'm at Old Navy?

I'm not talking about my self-esteem break through either. I'm talking about the fact that Old Navy makes all their clothes from one football field-sized piece of fabric. Don't believe me? Where else can get matching fleece pants, shirts, socks, purses, robes, car-seat covers and pillow-shams?

I still shop there, though. And truthfully, I don't want to pin myself down to a certain size. One- I refuse to let my self-worth and image be based on a number. And two- weight fluctuates. Women know this. There are certain things you can eat that will balloon you out to a monstrous Old Navy size small the next day, like soy sauce or a sheet cake.

I  wonder what Marilyn Monroe would have thought about this. She was a size 14 in her day. Nowadays, she'd have been an Old Navy size -6.

November 2007
Comedy and Dining Tour in San Francisco

Written by Susan Alexander

My heart, friends and taste buds were left in San Francisco when I moved back out to the East Coast a couple of years ago. The 5 Funny Females Weekend Comedy Marathon on November 16th and 17th at the Purple Onion SF is a great excuse to come back to town to see friends, drink and EAT. There are so many great restaurants in this city by the Bay but below are my favorites along with a review.

TURTLE TOWER in LIittle Saigon on Larkin Street
Dining among the trannies and crackheads is the highlight of my return trips back to SF. Turtle Tower is the freshest and best Vietcong food ever! I am addicted to #7 (Beef Noodle/Vegetable stir fry) along with the imperial rolls. When I lived in SF my manicurist took me to Turtle Tower and treated me to my first hit. Now I am an addict and will be there everyday when I am in SF. I secretly went to the one on Geary so the Turtle Tower staff wouldn't judge me for going there everyday when I'm in town. But the original Tower Tower on Larkin is the best and worth the wait for a table. I'm counting down the days until November 16th to get my fix.

CHA CHA CHA in Haight Asbury
Eat like a king and pay like a pauper, at Cha Cha Cha. The 'tapas' (little sharing plates) dishes are large enough for a meal by itself. The must have dish is the Cajun Shrimp with a spicy cream sauce. If you are out with friends order two of these dishes because everyone is going to fight over this dish. Surprisingly, you will not be fighting over the shrimp but rather the tasty sauce for dipping your bread.

My other favorites are the Jamaican Jerk Chicken and the Fried Calamari which are such big pieces that the calamari has to be on steroids. The most important part of the meal is the Sangria. Go here with a few friends and your bill will be like $20 per person and your belly will be full.

Dining at this restaurant was one of the reasons I moved to San Francisco for a few years. Cha Cha Cha is great night out with friends or a cheap date night. Try the original one in Haight which seems to have better food but the Mission one has a larger restaurant.

ARGUELLO SUPER MARKET next to Golden Gate Park
Turkey is king at Arguello. Vegetarians be warned. They have six Turkeys roasting every morning to produce the most tender and succulent sandwiches ever on the Dutch Crunch Roll. The white meat is tender and the dark meat is made to perfection. I spice it up with some jalapenos. The sandwich price is reasonable and worth the trek to this quaint little supermarket run by a great guy named Sal. So grab a sandwich and walk one block to Golden Gate park for your own picnic lunch.

GARY DANKO in Fisherman’s Wharf on North Point Street
Paradise comes in different forms, for me one of them has been dining at Gary Danko. I've been to French Laundry which is superb but too much of a hike out to Yountville. Gary Danko is conveniently located in SF and relative easy to get a reservation if you plan ahead. Even if you want to go last minute, go dine at the bar and you can impress your friends that you have been to Danko.

The strategy I suggest to get the best experience and fun at Gary Danko is to always go for the tasting menu and wine pairing . This means you have a variety of little dishes with a complimentary wine that the chef and sommelier (resident wine expert) has selected. Also, this will control the price which will be a total of about $200 (includes tip/taxes).

For a foodie like me, it's worth it a couple of times a year. Just do not go here with your cheap or anorexic friends (bulimics are okay) because they will ruin the experience. Only go here with true foodies who saved up their money and calories for the week.

Also, limit the amount of bread and spectacular home-made butter they serve or you will fill up to fast. Have a piece and hold out for the courses.

Now for red wine lovers, I always request my pairings to be with red wines. They try to persuade you not to but remember you are the paying customer. Of course, champagne is the exception. Bon Appetit!

Low-Rise Jeans Are Drafty in Back

Written by Erikka Innes

I have to admit that up until two days ago, I didn't see the appeal of low-rise jeans. Ninety-nine percent of the time when I see people walking around in them, they look HORRIBLE.

I see girls with ill-fitted jeans all the time. Muffin-top is NOT A FASHION STATEMENT. It means you need bigger pants. And if you aren't going to get bigger pants, it means you need a t-shirt that covers your muffin edges. I avoided buying any kind of low-rise jean because I was terrified of joining the ranks of girl-muffins.

Next, I didn't see the appeal because they're too small in front a lot of the time. I find myself looking at some low-rise jeans and thinking, does this really COUNT as covering your crotch? Why don't we just do a reverse of the assless chaps look if that's supposed to count as the material for covering my front area?! NEWS FLASH: If you have to SHAVE IN FRONT to wear the pants, they're NOT PANTS! The point of pants is to cover up your junk, not hang it out in the breeze.

My other problem with super low-rise jeans, has always been the price. I think super low-rise jeans should be extra cheap... like the IKEA of clothing right? Except instead of missing the backing like most IKEA furniture does, you're missing some important stuff around the front.

I also don't like super low-rise jeans because they make my butt stick out. Actually to be fair here, my friend Big Al pointed out that my butt makes my but stick out, but BESIDES THAT ISSUE.... what I meant is if I wear super low-rise jeans, I have butt cleavage. And I do mean cleavage. The jeans are fitted, sit low, and end up working like a butt push-up bra. Maybe I should sprinkle some glitter back there and make it into a look. I call it 'Glam Plumber'. Someone get Vogue on the phone.

At one point, the cool, fashionable thing to do with super low-rise jeans that offer a gander at the real estate in front and back was to wear a cute pair of panties and have them show. DUMBEST IDEA EVER. Look, if I want everyone to see the triangle of fabric in front and back called underpants, screw the jeans! Designer jeans are expensive. Underpants are like $5 a pop. If that look gets really big, I'm using it as an excuse to walk around in my favorite underpants. I can almost hear people thinking to themselves 'that's obscene' or 'that's inappropriate'. Why? If you put on a pair of pants that are so poorly fitted that they fail to cover anything, why waste your time with them in the first place?! Personally, I do hope the look comes back because I think I'd get a kick out of owning 'business underpants' for work events. Something in tweed maybe?
Anyway, after saying all of THAT, and doing all that complaining, I would like you to know that I have succumbed. I now own a pair of low-rise jeans. But not SUPER low-rise. These ones only create butt cleavage when I attempt to bend over to get something, or sit and forget to pull my shirt down in back.
They're a little drafty, but darn it, regular (NOT SUPER), properly fitted (NO MUFFIN TOP) low-rise jeans make me look like I'm kinda slim. I'm keeping them. And joining the ranks of low-rise jean wearers everywhere.

The Limits of Stand Up Comedy

Liz Grant

A goal of mine as a stand up is to get belly laughs from the audience and pants peeing would be ideal. However, I’m not sure I can ever make an audience laugh as hard as the king of all hysterical laughter, The Inappropriate Laughing Fit. The wave of laughter that occurs at the wrong time. The overpowering, sweaty palm, physically painful and socially ostracizing event. Your brain, body and conscience are saying “No. Stop it. Not now. Not okay. Pull it together”. All it takes is the wrong thought, glare from someone nearby or worst of all a snort to set you off again. It is a total betrayal of what we think we should know how to do by now; stay in control of ourselves. And it is a wonderful, endorphin releasing high at the same time. I have a portion on my website for people to tell their stories of Inappropriate Laughter. Since this is my blog, I’ll share with you a few of mine.

Some of the places I’ve had these fits include: my dear grandmother’s funeral, a Benedictine Monastery, a marriage counselor’s office (go ahead, judge me) and with my husband while watching a dramatic film during The SF Silent Film Festival. Since I have been a massage therapist for seventeen years, too many of these fits have occurred during appointments. What’s more horrifying, they have been solo.

I am there all by myself, convulsing and cracking as a party of one. Imagine a totally silent, sacred space for massage. As peaceful whale mating noises were coming from the sound system, I placed the palm of my hand on his low back to do a gentle traction stretch and he broke wind so loudly and violently that I jumped straight up a good three inches (I just reenacted it so I feel pretty confident about that height). Next is 45 minutes of me losing it and him never acknowledging it which would have kept me from losing it in the first place. If he said sorry or said sorry and laughed I wouldn’t have had to contort myself to keep the hysteria from being heard.

When I owned a massage center, I was training an employee on how to massage this client who had a specific condition. The client had to be convinced to let the new massage therapist work on him in the first place. He had been referred to me and insisted I work on him.

Amy was already in the room when I brought in a neck warmer to place over his neck. As I set it down, we both noticed the same thing at the same time. What appeared to be an enormous gray dust bunny captured under the neck warmer. Amy, being very discreet, used her two fingers to gently pluck the dust bunny off his upper back. Only to realize she was pulling his random tuft of gray back/neck hair. A noise came out of me that must have sounded like a compressed air hose. Amy shook her head like a displeased parent. Of course that made things worse. I left them room. I tried to pull it together. I came back in. The silence was so painful, I tried to hurt myself with a punishing pinch. I tried facing the time out corner, only to feel my shoulders convulse up and down with silent laughter. I tried to breathe deeply which became a laughter snort and I left the room again. I did this during the entire appointment. I can’t remember if I ever offered instruction. Eventually my laughter became contagious…to Amy. The client never came back.

I got in a laughing fit reading about a laughing fit. Apparently, in East Africa in 1962 a group of school girls were overcome with laughter that then struck the village and life shut down for a month as this laughter took over. It was in a scientific journal which was so serious I laughed so hard in my empty office tears rolled down my face. The thought of me laughing by myself was so absurd, I laughed harder.

Please tell me about your Inappropriate Laughter. I’m dying (with laughter) to know.

Tools to Live By

Written and Performed by Mary Van Note

Crack Nose Bleed

Written by Maria Ciampa

Last summer at a bachelorette party for one of my bestfriends, I got a nose bleed.

These are friends from high school, who I don't seevery often. We're all doing different things. One is a mom, a few are in grad school, some save the world. I do comedy. That's what they knew about me; that I did
comedy in Boston.

And that halfway through a party, I get a nose bleed .

I was immediately paranoid that they would think I wasa coke head. So paranoid, in fact, that I got awkward,which I was overly aware made it only seem more evident that I was in fact guilty of being a coke head.

All of which made me more jumpy and paranoid, kind of
like a coke head.

I've never done coke. Or crack or cocaine or whatever. I've never even been to a party where there has been coke. When people talk about it, I pretty much always assume they are joking. Haven't they seen Chris Rock
in New Jack City? That is some serious shit.

So I laughed very nervously. I tried not to bleed on my old friends. I asked someone for something to wipe my nose with, since we happened to be at the beach, with no tissues.

I had to use one of the joke t-shirts custom-made with a bad photo of the bride-to-be on it. And I had to tip my head back and get some ice from the sangria bucket and suck on it. And I just bled away while we all talked about what a lovely wedding it would be.

It's good to spend time on the beach with old friends who think you're on crack.

Once, Twice, Three Times an A-Hole

Written by Sandy Stec

As I walked into work this morning, I noticed my desk was covered with fake spiders. And cobwebs. And rubbery worms with fake tentacles. On top of my computer was a bucket of candy, along with a sign that said, "You've Been BOOed!"

I stood there silently and thought to myself, "What the f*ck am I supposed to do with this?"

Don't get me wrong- I appreciated the gesture. Very cute. Hardy-Har.

What I don't appreciate, though, is the fact that this is supposed to be reciprocated. So now I'm supposed to march down to Longs Drugs, buy a bunch of Halloween crap, and participate in a game I could give three shits about?

What's worse is when you hear people cheerfully talking about it in breakroom.

"Did you see who got BOOed yesterday?!?"

"I KNOW!!! Oh, I was thinking about BOO'ing so-and-so tommorow!"

People- please. Get a f*cking life!

Now, before you go calling me the Grinch Who Stold Innocence, I will explain my ho-hum logic:

1) It's not that I'm annoyed that people get excited about silly office games.

2) It's not that I don't enjoy holidays.

3) It's not that I'm anti-social.

4) And....it certainly isn't that I don't enjoy free candy at my desk. EVER.

What it is.....is that people in corporate settings are so depressed, so hum-drum, and so on autopilot, that the only time I ever see them express any emotion is when little moments like this happen. Had it not been Halloween time, had we not incorporated this silly game, I would have never seen those employees light up the way they did. It would have been another day in the break-room, with the same mid-morning conversation:

"Hey- how you doing?"

"Fine. How are you?"

"Oh, I'm good."

Completely pointless. Conversation, just for the sake of saying something when someone's in the room, is lame. I find it interesting that when I ask people how they're doing, they say, "Good." And then when I say, "No, really- how are doing?" they give me a completley different answer. Usually one filled with actual emotion and authenticity.

So...maybe that's why I don't "get into" these little company events. It's because at the end of the day, I don't really feel like I know any of these people. And I want to- I really do. But pretending we have some sort of bond while giggling over a bag of Skittles just seems ridiculous.

And, really, who am I kidding? Some of these people are plain out DORKS.

Minutes later, Marla, the morning show DJ, walked in.

"Sandy, you've been BOO'D!! Now YOU have to boo someone!!"

I looked at her eyes, filled with genuine excitement and anticipation, awaitng my response.

" Yeah..... that's not going to happen." I said.

"Sandy! I would have SO never BOO'D you if I knew you wouldn't BOO back!" She retorded.

And there she was. My "Boo-er." I felt bad, as I wanted to share in her enthusiam. But I just couldn't fake it.

"I'm sorry- I don't mean to be a jerk. I just can't get into stuff like this." I said.

"It's okay- you're just a grinch." She said back, smirking.

And you know what? She's probably right- as I learned many years ago that a "case of the a-holes" isn't seasonal.

Week of December 25, 2006
Holiday Cheer
Written by Susan Alexander

“Why do you have to drink every time I start talking?” My on/off/on again 22 year-old date asks me.

“I need to numb the pain that I’m dating someone who lives in his parents’ basement and excited to get the Xbox 360 for Christmas.” I said.

For the first time in awhile, I enjoy going dates during the holiday season with guys younger than you because you can take to see Santa and give them cookies. These younger guys seem excited to take you on dates that involve video games whether it’s the arcade or video poker at the newest slot-machine casinos in Philadelphia area. The thrill of winning and not losing money was great. I can see where the addiction comes from in gambling.

Tips for ladies who want to look cute going to the casino. I got these great new black boots with dominatrix type heels and my feet were killing me walking through the sea of slot machines. Then I noticed that 99% of the people at the casino were wearing orthopedics or sneakers.

My on/off/on again 22 year-old date and I happen to be the youngest people there that knew that MySpace is not just a place for Dateline to catch pedophiles.

After being on the road for a few months, it was nice to go on a date with someone who hadn’t just seen my comedy show so I can get more material from them. Even though my drinks were free with playing the game I am still counting it as a date.

This 22 year-old is such a good influence on me. He has taught me to shoot a gun and gamble. The next date will probably be a strip club and I will make sure it has all male strippers. I think I might just get him a lap dance and get in the spirit of the holidays.

Week of December 4, 2006
shopping, headlines, and etymology
Written by Samantha Chanse

i'm not very aware of All Things Shopping (i'm really not aware of many things, actually; my oceans of ignorance are vast and uncharted, but let's leave the mapping of my kingdoms of ignorance for another ramble, shall we?), but i really never knew that shopping the day after thanksgiving was A Thing that people in this country did; my family never spoke of it anyway (and the ocean of subject matter of which my family never spoke is also vast & uncharted, but again we'll save that for another time).

so when i first heard of this shopping-the-day-after-thanksgiving thing a few years ago–seeing front page photographs of people camped out at 4 in the morning in front of a wal-mart, waiting for the doors to open; the images of frenzied shoppers mobbing the gates, clawing at the hot new item (elmo? the newest version of playstation? i dunno), the remains of their shared humanity abandoned & forgotten in the parking lot–i did experience a level of shock. what the fuck? shopping season? people camp out over night in parking lots to get a discount on a doll? how many dolls do you have to buy to possibly make that experience worth it? and why do you want to buy the doll that every other kid in the country apparently is going to have, anyway? doesn't originality count for anything anymore?

but then i rebuked myself for criticizing, upon realizing that (1) i'm not only a jerk who rarely buys gifts for my closest friends and dear sisters, but (2) i'm a jerk with no family to speak of outside of parents and sisters and grandparents, and i don't have to purchase hella obligatory gifts for lots of little ones. so i guess a 40% discount is kind of important if you've got many crying little ones to consider.

but then, after thoroughly self-rebuking for judging the behavior of those who find themselves in situations starkly different from mine , i returned to my initial reaction of, "what the f**k?"

christ, someone get these kids a deck of playing cards or a set of colored pens or a cardboard box (the acute sense of disappointment experienced upon receiving such a christmas gift will build hella character), and let TMX elmo find his way into some soulless home elsewhere.

and there's something profoundly disturbing about considering the value of TMX elmo when the " shoppers mob malls for holiday discounts" headline shares the front page of the NYT with headlines announcing that this month has been the bloodiest in Iraq since 2003. and today, it's finally clear to more and more americans (as it's been to most of the rest of the world for some time now) that all the violence in Iraq is actually part of what's generally called a civil war.

RANDOM BLOG INTRUDER: oh shit, no she didn't; she just had to go there. and we were all having such a good time hating on American shoppers and laughing at the absurdity of TMX elmo. what a downer.

ME: i wasn't trying to be an upper, Random Blog Intruder. i apologize for nothing.

RANDOM BLOG INTRUDER: well you should; this site's supposed to be about comedy, asshole. you've just gone and ruined it.

ME: well some of the most hilarious comedy comes from some of the most agonizing bits of reality; deal with it.

RANDOM BLOG INTRUDER: whatever. i'm gonna go start my OWN website somewhere else, where i'll blog about DICK JOKES and CHICKS, putting my THINLY-VEILED MISOGYNY & HOMOPHOBIA to good use.

ME: fine, you go do that.

RANDOM BLOG INTRUDER: do you really want to leave it on this note?

ME: of course not. how about we leave it on the second, less commonly known, definition of the word "paraphernalia"?

RANDOM BLOG INTRUDER: "paraphernalia"? you mean, the noun which means equipment, apparatus, or furnishing used in or necessary for a particular activity, as in the example a skier's paraphernalia?

ME: quite. the second definition is a married woman's personal property exclusive of her dowry, according to common law. or, put another way, the personal articles, apart from dower, reserved by law to a married woman.

RANDOM BLOG INTRUDER: really? they let women own personal property outside of her dowry?


isn't it?

for more, please visit http://www.whiskeyandacigarette.org

Week of November 15, 2006
Atlanta was a Blast!
Written by Erikka Innes

Getting there was ok. I couldn't fly Southwest and instead I had to fly Frontier. I would have been okay with it, except they made a HUGE FUSS about the fact that they paint an animal on the tail of the damn plane.

The guy would come over the mic while we were waiting for the flight and go."Look everybody, Andy is painted on the tail of the plane, he's painted there! See look!" I half expected to hear "Do you see, Andy is crying, because we are polluting the hell out of the environment to take you on this plane ride.”

Isn't that cute? Oh and look over there at that plane! It's Percy, the endanged crested shelduck. Percy is crying because even though there are only 50 mature shelducks in the world total, we accidentally sucked slightly more than half of them through the jet engines last weekend!"

The name of their frequent flyer special over-privileged club for Privileged people bugged me too. It was called the Ascent and Summit club, which was kind of retarded. OKAY ALREADY, YOU'RE ABOVE THE REST OF US OR CLIMBING UP TO A PLACE WHERE YOU'RE ABOVE THE REST OF US. CAN WE BOARD THE PLANE NOW?!

On the plane ride, we played who has the oldest penny? If you have the oldest penny, you get an adult beverage. Someone had a penny from 1912. I really REALLY hope that person just showed the penny and didn't hand it over, because a 1912 penny is worth a hell of a lot more than a frickin soda.

When I landed I met up with the other performers... and the host of the tour, Susan Alexander, gave me a Hot Topics pirate t-shirt. I am thrilled, because I have now received pirate shirts from 3 different cities and in different states... making my pirate t-shirt collection a 'national' collection. If I can just get a pirate shirt from some other country I'll have an 'international' pirate t-shirt collection.

Anyhow, this tour's over for me now.... I'm sad about it, I had a great time. Oh fun fact in closing-- I learned this weekend that I can recognize the song 'Final Countdown' from 2 notes being hummed.

Week of October 16, 2006
Roadside Assistance…To My Heart
Written by Sandy Stec

A few days ago, my car crapped out on me. And while there really is no "convenient" time for a battery to die, it seemed rather ironic that it was at 12:30am on a work-night, awkwardly forcing my co-worker to drive me home. Of course, he "offered"....but you know the tone:

(sigh) "Well...I....I guess I could drive you home." (another sigh.)

Oh, and by "home" I meant my mother's house. It was too late for Triple A, and I needed to somehow get to work the next morning. So, if you do the math:

No Car + Staying Overnight at Parent's House = Mom Driving Me to Work.

And that, my friend, is an isosceles triangle of LAME.

I worried all day about calling Triple A. It was one of those " 'It couldn’t get any worse' case scenarios." I kept wondering when some 300-pound, swastika-sporting bald guy would show up at my work with a crowbar and an eye-patch. You know...leather chaps, tattooed knuckles, and a dangling cross from his right ear. Creepy, right?

Then....it happened. At 4:15pm on a Friday afternoon, all of my fears were confirmed: FALSE.

It started with the first phone call. Phone-rep lady said "He should be there in about 45 minutes." So, I decided to chill for a while- catch up on e-mails, go to Starbucks, etc. Not even 15 minutes later my phone rings:

"Is this Sandy?"


"Hi Sandy. This is Triple A Roadside Assistance. Were outside your building."

I was speechless. Timely AND nice? What are the chances?

I guided him into the lower-level parking lot and watched as the roof of his truck barely made it through. Sure, he was blasting Spanish rap and smelled like weed. But you know what? I didn't care. I just wanted my car to be okay.

I was rather surprised when he stepped out of the truck. He was about 5'10, clean-shaven, and had a bitching outfit with reflectors! He said it was "work clothes." Yeah- whatever! I looked at his nametag. In bright, bold lettering, it read:


I chuckled, but didnt dare refer to Napoleon Dynamite.

I watched as Pedro went to work. He popped the hood and checked out my battery and alternator. He revved the engine and did "meter readings" for my car. He got right to work, and I appreciated that.

Meanwhile, I was blabbing away. I don't even know what I was talking about; but most of it revolved around my recent car frustrations and how 'Hondas aren't supposed to be this much of a pain in the ass.'

Pedro smiled, and kept working.

I complained a little more about how I was now embarrassed that I got wasted the night before.

"I mean, what are you supposed to do when your bosses buy rounds on the house?" I asked defensively.

Pedro kept working.

"And is it hot enough today? JESUS! Nothings worse than being hung-over in the heat! And can you believe my MOM had to drive me to work?!"

Pedro looked up at me with patient eyes.

"You know...I kind of like to keep it professional," he said.

And there it was: somebody telling me to shut the hell up.

Man I dug that. It takes real guts to let a complete stranger know they've crossed the line. I guess I never thought I'd be that stranger.

"Well, it looks like your battery's just about dead," He said as he showed me the configurations. I, of course, freaked out again.

"What does that mean? Can I still drive my car today? Where do I get a new battery? Are they expensive? And when am I going to get a raise?" I knew he couldn't answer that last one, but I thought I'd try.

Once again...Pedro reassured me.

"Well, if you want, I can install one for you right here, on the spot."

I felt enlightened. "Really? Are you serious?"

"Yeah. I got the details for your car when you called, and brought a battery just in case."

I was about ready to cream my pants. I couldn't fathom how convenient this was. I couldn't comprehend how patient Pedro had been. And, I couldn't believe I made a big deal out of NOTHING.

I returned 10 minutes later with cash from the ATM. Pedro showed me my newly installed battery and left my car running while I filled out paperwork.

"Don't tell me you work at the radio station upstairs?" He asked.

"Yep...I'm the midday girl." I said.

"No way!" He responded as he showed me how Mix 106.5 was one of his presets. "I'm totally going to listen to you now!"

And for the first time that day, Pedro actually smiled; reassuring me that everything was going to be okay.

It had been years since I felt as relaxed around a man as I was in that moment.

It will be millenniums before I come to terms that it was the Triple A guy.

Week of October 2nd
"Random Things That Amuse Me Vol. 1"
Written by Erikka Innes

1. On a weekend trip, the English guy in our group was asked why his room full of people was not up and ready to go by the appointed time. He said 'yes, well you see we've had a minor issue with oversleeping, which is about the most English way to say 'whoops!’ I've ever heard. If it would've been someone from California who got asked they would've just said 'Dude, sorry.'

2. My mom's best friend took her on vacation. They went to a water park where the guide was trying to gouge everyone for extra money on the rides and activities. He told the bus 'If you want to swim with the dolphins, that's an extra $125.' My mom raised her hand and said 'Tell the dolphins it's $150 if they want to swim with me.' Apparently the bus was delighted, and the guide not so much.

3. The phrase 'Evil Possum with a Liberal Arts Degree' makes me giggle.

4. I would really like to be able to purchase a book entitled 'Swimming the English Channel for Dummies' except economy of words is best when writing a technical or how-to type book. So the only potential title for a book like this would be 'Swimming the English Channel'.

5. One of my friends likes to say the whole point of life is to live it in such a way that you have the best stories to tell at the old folks' home. I always thought the point of life was to think ahead far enough to develop a sensible retirement plan so that you could avoid being in an old folks home altogether. My friend thinks I likely won't have any good stories anyway.

6. It is possible to make a drink that tastes EXACTLY like a floor cleaner and grapefruits using nothing but cheap vodka, aloe juice, a Pyrex mixing cup and an airborne tablet. You can make it just like Windex by adding blue food coloring.

7. It is possible to make a drink that is almost but not entirely. Undrinkable by combining 1 shot of gin and 1 shot of Tabasco sauce.

Week of September 18th
Written by Susan Alexander

“Do you know what they call women who date men 7 years younger then they are?” asked my barely legal guy.
“Lucky?” I said.
“They call the women Cougars. So I guess that makes me a cub.” He said.

I have been called many names through my life and will be called more, but now I am under this Cougar label. The fact is that I like to date guys who are fun and do not have wives.

It’s not like I am cruising around high school football games for young boys or raising a stepchild and marrying them like Woody Allen.

Ironic is not just an Alanis Morrisette song but what is happening to me dating this younger guy. I worked in the video game industry for a few years and never really played video games. Now, I am learning to work a controller/joystick to play the latest Xbox games with my cub. We even went to this arcade for adults and kids called Dave and Busters which actually was one of the best dates I ever had. Here I am playing House of Dead and other shooter games which seem to be my preference because of control issues.

So what if he does not know the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, he has only been the legal drinking age for one year. Most of the men I dated that knew the different types of wine were mostly sexually confused anyway. What I do miss dating guys my age is that they usually have their own apartments and not living in their parent’s basement. On the positive side, the cub has his own entrance to his room and his parents make killer coffee in the morning.

My new outlook is that I am embracing my new label as a Cougar and will become a responsible example. So ladies, don’t worry about me taking your husbands but watch out for your sons.


Check back each week to read a new blog from the rotation of stand-up comedians on the 5 Funny Females Tour.

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