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    My Writing Process Blog Tour

    Thank you to my fellow storyteller and writer Julie Threlkeld for asking me to take part in this Writing Round Robin Blog Tour Thingy™. To read Julie’s response to the Writing Round Robin Blog Tour Thingy™ and to check out her other work, click here. So, here we go…

    What am I working on?
    Good question! If bingeing on seasons one through three of Game of Thrones so that I’m caught up and the Internet can no longer ruin it for me is “work”, then that’s what I’m working on. During my downtime (a/k/a “As the HBO Go App’s Wheel Turns”), I’m tinkering on a few things.

    1) I adapted my memoir about me and My Jailed Deaf Dad into a solo show which I produced and performed a few months ago. I am giving it a tune up based on those shows. I’m re-thinking the ending mostly and trimming off the fat in other parts. Maybe I’ll enter it into a festival or keep taking it to colleges if they’ll have me.

    2) I’ve got a new solo show idea in mind about my love for David Lee Roth and how he became my spiritual advisor when I was a vulnerable teenager. I’m calling it “The Book of David” or “The Gospel of David” and the show will be like attending church service but with Diamond Dave as my lord and savior. I think it could be funny, charming and, believe it or not, insightful. We’ll see. I plan to enter it into the next SoloCom or another festival for new works.

    3) This summer, I’m taking a class on TV writing. I’ve got in mind a sitcom pilot but need to get some book learnin’ under my belt. I’ve never considered myself a writer and, even after banging out a memoir, still don’t. It’s not the thing that makes my motor hum the way producing and performing do. But without a script, I’ve got nothing to produce. Hence the class. It’s mostly for fun but I never thought I’d get a book deal from telling stories for fun in Ochi’s Lounge, so who knows?

    How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    Since my work is all autobiographical –blogging, solo shows, memoir– it is uniquely mine  by default. While our stories are universal, they come from our own experiences and points of view. I’d say my POV uses sarcasm and humor to counter some of the more brutal or sad stuff. Lately, thankfully, not much has been sad…just bizarre when it comes to living in NYC, having a comedian husband and a deaf dad in a Texas prison.

    Why do I write what I do?
    I was given a treasure trove of material to write with the family and life experience I got. I’d be a fool not to! Also, as a hearing kid in a deaf family, I was often serving as an interpreter and told what to say and how to say it. Having a mom who hated her private business being fodder for Deaf community gossip emphasized this even more. She gave me frequent warnings of not to tell anyone –even family– about stuff. Writing about my life with no boundaries or strict rules or fear is very liberating. The truth sets you free, yada, yada, yada. I’ve considered writing fiction but it’s a bit of an enigma to me. The endless possibilities overwhelm rather than excite me. And the fiction that I’ve thought about writing is all based on true events, so…yeah.

    How does my writing process work?
    By deadlines. Without deadlines I do not write. Once I have a deadline, I generally meet it. I took a playwriting class last summer during which I banged out my solo show. Since the show was based on my memoir, I wasn’t writing from scratch and it should be a cinch, right? But I had no deadline looming over me to say I need this script by X date. By signing up for the class, I was able to accomplish that goal. During the thick of writing my first draft of my memoir, I spent a lot of time cleaning house. Scrubbing, washing, dusting, organizing are all ways I free my mind to wander. There’s a lot of talking to myself, acting out, crying, yelling, laughing. Saying things out loud are important, especially if done in front of an audience. So I sign up for a lot of open mike type storytelling shows and work on my pieces that way as well.

    So that’s it for me. Thanks, Julie, for tagging me! Next up on the are these terrific people:

    DAVID DICKERSON is a writer, humorist, video blogger, teacher, editor, storyteller, and radio performer. I vividly remember the first time I met him in Ochi’s Lounge, the space I ran in the basement of Comix. That’s how instantaneously charming, smart as a whip and nicer than most he is. David’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Story Quarterly, The Gettysburg Review, and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. In 2009, he released his greeting card memoir, House of Cards, which is currently in development as a sitcom with USA. He is now working on his next book, a road trip/travel narrative tentatively titled Tomorrow Might Suck Less.

    JENNIFER TRESS is vibrant, intelligent, has the best laugh and is one fiercely driven lady.  She’s the author of the memoir You’re Not Pretty EnoughThough the book is a collection of funny, heartfelt stories, the title story refers to something her ex-husband said to her as the reason he was having an affair (which is why, ahem, he’s her ex-husband). She is also a speaker and the founder of the Project by the same name, which is aimed at building higher self-esteem by providing a forum and discussions around beauty norms and their impact on the individual.

    JENN DODD and I had the same high school drama teacher back in Texas exactly 10 years apart and now we both live in Queens. She writes more sketches and characters than anyone I know. Her solo show No Show: A One Woman Show won the Best of Studio Award at the “Out of the Loop” Fringe Festival last month and Jenn has been a finalist in the Andy Kaufmann Awards. She is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School, in the cast of the off-Broadway hit The Gong Show LIVE in which she plays multiple original characters, and is a member of The Final Edition Radio Hour. You can see her live every month at the The People’s Improv Theatre where she hosts the monthly character showcase Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blow Out.

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    Solo Shows & Storytelling

    The first time I saw the Oscar-winning movie Midnight Express was the summer I turned seven years old. The Academy Award-winning film was based on the memoir by a young American named Billy Hayes who was arrested in Turkey in 1970 during an attempt to smuggle hashish out of the country by taping it all over his body. His sentence of four years was, for various reasons, converted to a minimum of thirty years to life. For trying to smuggle pot. Crazy.

    Life in a Turkish prison is pretty horrific as you can imagine, and Mr. Hayes’ story left an indelible mark on my young, impressionable mind.  The movie is rated R for violence, a gay-lite prison sex scene (hubba, hubba), tons of nudity (including full frontal male, hubba, hubba, hubba), and a prison visit masturbation scene (hubb…oh…wait…this is heart-wrenching).

    Obviously, it was highly inappropriate for me to watch it. Yet I did…alone…dozens of times thanks to a summer spent at my deaf grandparents who had cable TV. This should serve as a testament to powerful storytelling that a seven-year-old kid would watch a long, quietly intense drama about a Turkish prison experience.

    midnightexpressLast week, I went to see Mr. Hayes in his solo show “Riding the Midnight Express”. It’s just him and a stool and a bottle of Poland Spring followed by a Q&A and book signing. He was generous of his time and gave us his all even though it was a light crowd on a Wednesday afternoon during  a snowstorm.

    He told the same story he wrote in his memoir — the memoir that Oliver Stone turned into a movie that won an Oscar. After winning, I’m sure plenty would think, “Hang up the hat, dude. You did it!”. Now, 40+ years later, Mr. Hayes is touring the world with a solo show.

    This is encouraging to me as someone who is worried that I’ve squeezed all the juice from the lemons life gave me.

    My memoir is almost two years old and even older to NYC alt comedy and storytelling audiences. Now, here I am on a train to Rochester to give a speech at RIT/NTID and am in the early stages of producing a solo show of me telling the same old story. Really? YUP!

    So the timing of seeing Mr. Hayes could not have been more perfect. There are billions of people in the world and all but several thousand of them have never heard of me, my book, my storytelling, nothing. Add to that, that I actually have a *message* of hope and societal change to share, why would I stop now?

    I’m reminded of Mike Birbiglia, too. I saw him tell him tell his Sleepwalk with Me story many times as a long stand up comedy bit about ten years ago, give or take. It progressed to long form storytelling on This American Life and, most recently, a feature film.

    Like Mike, I have other stories to share and hope to not be telling the same story in 40 years, but even if I am? Fantastic. What a privilege it is to have people come out, spend their hard earned money and precious time to see me. Thank you, each and every one of you, who have given me that honor.

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    Classic NYC Week

    Highlights from my classic New York week in a nutshell:

    — Worked on “The Following” where I cheek-kissed Connie Nielsen about 20 times & ogled Kevin Bacon for 12 hours.

    — Ran 7 blocks through crowded streets in Queens & raced up 3 flights of stairs at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts to vote in the mayoral primary with only 30 seconds to spare before polls closed. It was as intense & stressful as any chase scene in a movie. I should’ve had German techno music playing in the background.

    — Finished my Playwriting I class with a 1st draft of my solo show script.

    — Invited to perform on the first ever Solo Comedy Festival #SoloCom at The Peoples Improv Theater with the script from ^.

    — Got into a screaming match with a cab driver.

    This week I’ll work on “The Good Wife”, hang with my protégé after school & accompany Christian Finnegan to his headlining gig in Virginia Beach. No screaming matches allowed.

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    Yappy Hour Script

    (Wo)Man’s Best Friend

    by

    Christian Finnegan & Kambri Crews

    Originally performed by Christian, Kambri and Paquita in front of a live audience on “Yappy Hour” at UCB Theater on 11/1/10. And, yes, Paquita performed this exactly as scripted. Remarkable little girl.

    ~~~~~~

    INT. ROOM
    SFX: Sexy music

    Kambri is laying on a bearskin rug, wearing a nightgown,
    pouring herself a glass of wine. She spritzes perfume on
    herself.Paquita Yappy Hour
    There is a knock at the door.

    KAMBRI
    Come in!
    Pause.
    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    I’ve been waiting for you.
    Come to me, Paquita. Come to me now!

    Paquita comes running in and leaps into Kambri’s arms.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    Oh, I’ve waited so long. Kiss me,
    you fool!

    Kambri and Paquita kiss passionately.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    No no stop! No need to rush. I want
    to savor every moment of this. Have
    some wine.

    Paquita drinks from Kambri’s wine glass.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    And can I offer you some…cheese?

    Paquita perks up.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    I knew you’d like that. But I’m
    going to make you earn it, baby.
    Let me take a look at you!

    Kambri gets Paquita to “go around” and “roll over” a few
    times, periodically feeding her cheese.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    The way you move, it’s so sexy.
    It’s like your some kind
    of…animal! Not like my husband,
    that pathetic little worm!
    But he’s out of town on business,
    which means we have the whole night
    to ourselves. Isn’t that wonderful,
    darling? High five!

    Kambri and Paquita high five.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    Enough with all these games. I want
    you. But I need to know you want me
    too! I need you to speak! Speak!
    Paquita barks.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    Oh, I can’t take all of this sexual
    tension. Take me! Ravage me! Let’s
    make our own gravy!!

    Paquita starts humping Kambri’s arm. Kambri begins writhing
    in sexual extasy.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    Yes! Yes! Give it to me, my little
    chorizo!

    CHRISTIAN (O.S.)
    Honey, I’m home!

    Christian enters, wearing his jacket and carrying a
    briefcase.

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    Great news! I was able to close the
    Mortensen deal, so I took an
    earlier flight…

    Christian stops, in shock. Paquita and Kambri continue their revelry, unaware.

    Paquita Yappy Hour 3

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    What…the…FUCK IS GOING ON
    HERE??

    Kambri snaps out of it and clutches Paquita to her chest.

    KAMBRI
    Christian? What are you doing home?
    I…um…
    CHRISTIAN
    What is the meaning of this? My wife?
    And my…BEST…FRIEND?

    KAMBRI
    Nothing! I mean, Paquita just came
    by to…I mean…

    CHRISTIAN
    I knew something was going on!
    After all I’ve done for you, this
    is how you thank me? By two-timing
    me with this little bitch?

    KAMBRI
    She’s twice the man you’ll ever be!
    Yeah, that’s right–Paquita is my
    lover. And she does things to me
    you could never dream of? Don’t
    you, Paquita honey?

    Kambri and Paquita kiss.

    CHRISTIAN
    Stop it! Stop it! I can’t take this
    anymore!

    KAMBRI
    Yeah, well what are you gonna do
    about it? Ha ha ha! What a loser!
    Right, Paquita?

    Kambri cackles while she and Paquita high five and kiss.

    CHRISTIAN
    I can’t take it…can’t take it…

    Christian slowly pulls out a gun (his hand). Kambri notices
    and is mortified.

    KAMBRIPaquita Yappy Hour 2
    Christian…? Where did you get
    that? What are you doing?

    CHRISTIAN
    I’m a loser, huh?

    KAMBRI
    Christian, don’t! DON’T!

    CHRISTIAN
    If I can’t have you, no one will!
    Die, you canine-loving whore!!!

    Christian points his finger at Kambri and “shoots” her
    repeatedly.

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    BANG! BANG! BANG!

    KAMBRI
    NO!!!

    Kambri writhes as if being shot.

    KAMBRI (CONT’D)
    (With her dying breath,)
    Unh…unh…Good dog, Paquita.
    Good…dog.
    Kambri dies.

    Pause.

    CHRISTIAN
    And you. You happy now, Paquita?
    Was it worth it? Ruining my life,
    just for a little bit of cheese?

    Christian dangles a baggy of cheese. Paquita runs over.

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    Look at you! Even now, it’s all you
    can think about! You were supposed
    to be my best friend! Well fine,
    eat up.

    Christian tosses her a morsel of cheese.

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    Consider it your last meal…bitch.
    Christian pulls out his “gun”, stoops down and…

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    BANG!

    Paquita plays dead. Christian keeps his gun on her for a few seconds, then looks away. Paquita gets up.

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    Oh, still alive, are you? BANG!
    BANG!

    Paquita again plays dead. Again, she eventually gets up.

    CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
    WHY WON’T YOU DIE?? BANG! BANG!
    BANG!

    Paquita dies in Kambri’s arms.

    THE END

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    Sign from Above

    Before I went to bed last night, I considered what I might do today. I thought of starting yoga or meditation, saying to Christian, “I need to clear my mind. I need an open heart and eyes to feel and see.”

    I privately, sheepishly declared to myself, “What is right for me? What should I be doing? I need a sign from above!”

    I woke to a peaceful, breezy cool day at the Rock House. I spent much of the day researching a new hobby and helping Christian chainsaw some trees. My only “chores” were to drop Christian off at the bus station and pick up a few things at the market. After I returned home, I was on the patio putting my seedlings to bed for the night. That’s when I heard a commotion in the woods behind the outbuilding. I quickly made sure the dogs were secure then wandered to where the sound was. It had been a heavy thump with some thrashing about of leaves followed by silence. If it were deer, I would have seen and/or heard them run away. That’s when I noticed five very large birds circling very low by our outbuilding.

    Bird of Prey Quill One or more must’ve attacked something. I was so glad I had made Paquita take cover. I’d read just yesterday about how Bald Eagles, which can be spotted all over these parts, can carry about 4 pounds. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try to lift her up and drop her from a height that could kill her. As I marveled at their cunning hunting skills and how low they were flying, this feather floated down to earth.

    As I picked it up, I laughed. “A quill?! So I should write?!”

    I did ask for a sign from above. Ask and you shall receive, regardless if you like the answer.

    The calamus, the hollow shaft of the feather that attaches it to the bird’s skin*, was still wet with a little bit of flesh around it as though it had been ripped out from the bird’s body. Creepy! Weird! COOL!

    It measures at 18 inches long (!!!) and is almost perfect except for a teensy, weensy missing nick at the top. As much as I love my little parakeet Dinah, her feathers aren’t nearly this fascinating. The dogs sniffed at it for a full five minutes, but if it moved, they jumped back as if they’d touched an electric wire.

    I never did meditate today. As for tomorrow? Tomorrow I’ll wash the dishes and craft a quill pen out of my feather.

    And write.

    ~Kambri
    *Yes, I did look that up and will quiz you on it later.

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    I Read it for the Articles, I Swear!

    Y’all. Mom found my Penthouse magazine while searching my office for paper!

    I flew Mom up to New York City so she could attend my book launch party. Not just any book…my first book. A memoir, you know, about my whole life. And the publishing process took four years. Having a publication date is a monumental event –much like a wedding or a birth– and I couldn’t NOT have Mom here to celebrate. It’s her life, too. Plus, I had a fun idea for her and I to perform a little something at my party*. It would make the event even more special for her and my guests.

    Mom arrived and we had a few days of tromping around New York City and rehearsing our surprise treat. I was also dragging her around Manhattan on not-so-fun errands in rainy weather with her achy knee and my split jeans. In the book, I divulged many things that Mom would probably prefer to keep in the closet with the other dusty skeletons. The time for her to accept that our laundry was about to be aired and for me to unleash my life to anonymous reviewers was drawing near.

    Shit was getting real. Mad real.Penthouse

    To distract us and work on something that had zilch to do with book stuff, I suggested she and I work on our new Ancestry.com project. Her face said it all: “GREAT IDEA!”

    She leapt up and said, “I’ll grab some paper.”

    Quicker than a wink, she was at my office printer.

    My printer.

    PRECISELY WHERE I’D HIDDEN MY PENTHOUSE! I thought that had been the perfect spot for it, but lo how wrong I was.

    “Why did I have a Penthouse?” you ask.

    For the articles, of course. Duh. Seriously! I swear! Well, one article in particular: a review for my book. It was a good review, too.

    So, why hide it then? Well, I know my mom better than most people and I knew –could lay my life on it– that she would take offense to it. Not because of the vaginas, boobs, penises and balls, silly, but because of the very first line:

    “Kambri Crews grew up dirt poor…”

    Whether you agree or disagree with that sentence, makes no difference. Mom disagrees with it and vehemently so. It’s one of those things that really gets under her skin in a hot second. It’s a pride thing. The same way I fight tooth and nail over small injustices. Justice is my thing. Pride is hers. SO…anyway…

    In the mere seconds it took her to fly off the couch into my office heading straight for the offending material, two choices flashed through my mind:

    Me & Mom

    1) Let Mom think I had a girly magazine hidden in my office and was possibly a closeted lesbian; or

    2) Show Mom the review and face the ensuing argument.

    I can’t have Mom thinking I like looking at nekkid girls! EEEEEWWW! So, I swallowed my fear and said, “Oh, hey, my Penthouse…did you see the review?”

    Instant relief swept across her face. I cringe and laugh out loud thinking of what must’ve gone through her mind in those brief moments.

    As predicted, she was offended. We hashed it out: There are finite lines in a girly magazine; ya gotta have a strong lede. We were poor to some people and had it good compared to others…it depends on perspective. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    At the end of the day, I wrote a book. It got reviewed in a major magazine. It was lauded. Let’s celebrate! And, boy, did we ever! We raised our glasses and laughed and hugged and smiled till our faces hurt.

    We’re done keeping secrets, she and I. If there’s anything writing a memoir taught me it is this:  While it might hurt to bare the truth, secrets will make you sick. They will corrode your love and trust until all that’s left is a rusty heap of worthless scrap.

    So, what did Mom think of the book? Don’t ask me, read her interview in Time Out New York!

    *Here’s the fun idea I had for my book party. Enjoy!

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    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    If you’re a Goodreads member, my publisher is hosting a giveaway of my memoir. It’s free to enter.

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    Burn Down the Ground by Kambri Crews

    Burn Down the Ground

    by Kambri Crews

    Giveaway ends January 10, 2012.

    See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

    Enter to win

     

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    Pre-Order My Memoir!

    Pre-order now and by the time you get it it will feel like getting lay-a-way out of hock. And isn’t that the best feeling in the world?

    Hardcover version:  Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir and the Kindle version: Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir

    Kambri

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    A Q&A with Jason Buhrmester

    As a teen, Jason Buhrmester created skateboard and punk rock zines with names like “Slappy” and “Mullethead Illustrated” as a way of escaping the confines of his small hometown in rustbelt Illinois. Today, the journalist, editor and novelist is adding screenwriter to his resume by transforming his book “Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery” into a film. It’s a fictionalized account of a real life robbery in which Led Zeppelin lost $203,000 in cash while on tour in 1973, just a month after Buhrmester was born.


    Your hometown of Kankakee, Illinois was rated the worst place to live by “The Places Rated Almanac”. Was it really that bad?
    I hated it the minute I was born. You couldn’t keep me there. If I could get to the train or get hold of a car –even illegally– I was going. I actually drove to Chicago at fourteen in a friend’s brother’s car. I felt like I was meant to born somewhere else. I never bought yearbook, went to prom, or joined a club. I thought, “Why make friends? You’re leaving here and never coming back. Don’t even bother meeting these people.”

    How did growing up in such an awful town influence you?
    I wanted to be connected to something outside of Kankakee. I had friends in Chicago who were into the same kind of punk rock music that I was. So every weekend I was there skateboarding, going to shows, and meeting girls.

    But I was a high school kid and there were times I had to be home. I think that’s what influenced my desire to get into journalism. I would buy mail order records from small punk rock bands. They would send it to me with a note and I’d write them back.  I was interviewing bands from the time I was 16 or 17. There was no publicist–it was me going up to them and asking if I could get an interview. I would write scene reports and record reviews for punk rock magazines and they’d send me the magazines. I was isolated but there were other people out there and I could reach them somehow.

    Why did you gravitate toward writing instead of forming your own band?
    It was really all I had to offer. I couldn’t draw. I could play guitar a little bit but there was no one in my town to form a band with and no one that was into the stuff I was. What could I do?  The only thing I had that I had any sort of natural ability was writing.

    You were a successful editor of Inked Magazine, so why quit to write a book?
    I remember being at a dinner and a guy said, “I just wrote a novel and it was optioned for a movie.” I was so angry with myself. Why hadn’t I done that? This guy was my age! I have connections, and I work with publicists and publishers. I wasted so much time playing fucking video games! It was like someone had beaten me to discovering America. I quit my job maybe three months after that and started writing. I was that pissed off about it.

    Did you have a movie in mind then?
    Not really. I thought it would be fun to see what would happen. Even if it just sits in a drawer, I wrote a book. I wanted to see if I could finish it. I knew the idea was at least good, so why not?

    Did it get lonely after working in buzzing magazine offices for so long?
    I only have hobbies that seem to isolate me. I love playing guitar by myself. I love boxing; I can do that by myself. I love skateboarding; I do that by myself. I have no coach. There’s no team; there’s no uniform. Either I do it or I don’t do it. I think all my pursuits in life involve me sitting alone, so I don’t have to listen to somebody else. And when I’m writing, I’m sitting alone.

    How does your wife feel about that?
    She’s used to it–and she’s into her own things. We’re one of those couples who can be in two separate rooms of the apartment for a day and not talk. She’s used to the ebb and flow where I’ll be really panicked and work seven days a week and cancel any plans. You guys go have fun and have a picnic in the park. I’ll be at home trying the best I can. Then there’ll be a week where I finally crack and get cabin fever and am just going out drinking every night and not even looking at a computer.

    Writing the book must have been a true labor of love. How did you make the switch from journalist and editor to fiction writer?
    Several literary agents told me I had a great idea, but nobody would represent me until the book was finished. I guess the book companies learned if somebody gets a check based on an idea, they just fucking disappear. So it became my job to make enough money so I could focus on finishing it. I had the idea but didn’t have the time, so I switched to freelance writing. I’d save enough money so I didn’t have to worry about paying rent for three months. For two months I did nothing but work on my book. That was my 9 to 5 job. I’d get up, sit at the desk and try to write something.  When my bank account started going down again, I’d go out and hustle for freelance work and build my savings a bit.

    You must have had a pretty rad book tour?
    If you thought there’s no money in magazines, there is no money in books. Unless you’re a huge author, there is no book tour. In fact, there is no book launch party! The publishers don’t do anything for you. I saved some freelance checks and quickly realized that my meager little budget was bigger than theirs. I fell back on my punk rock DIY roots: “I’ll do this myself.” I did my own publicity, shot a book trailer to post on YouTube, set up readings, threw a launch party, everything. People are pretty receptive especially if you kick at their door.  It’s simple logic like weightlifting. Pick up the weight or don’t.

    The publisher would call me and say, “Hey, the book’s doing really well!” Yeah, because my wife and I were killing ourselves!

    How do you feel about reviews?
    I’ve interviewed a billion musicians and they bitch about the negative reviews but don’t complain abut the good reviews. My logic has always been that you can’t pick and choose. Either reviews have validity totally or they have no validity. Which is it? So I just didn’t care. A good review to me has about the same weight as a negative one which is none.  You just gotta do your thing.

    What if the movie flops?
    I’ll just write something else. I’m like a cockroach; I’ll just keep coming back.


    Kambri

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    A Review of Sorts

    Here’s a nice write-up by the lovely and talented Joanna Parson. In it she reviews her “Happy Hour Salon,” a show that features folks working on new works of all sorts. I read from a chapter I was writing for my memoir and she had lovely/funny things to say about my piece.

    Anyway, fun show. Check it out sometime.

    Kambri

  • All Blog Entries,  Writing

    Are Memoirs True? by Jerry Waxler

    For anyone who is writing or thinking of writing their memoir, here is a great essay. The whole site is an excellent resource as is NAMW.org.

    If 2 people disagree about a conversation yesterday, how can we agree about the details of a whole life? It’s an important puzzle for every memoir writer.

    Kambri

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    My Week at a Glance

    Tomorrow I’m having an after work powwow with my new editor. My original one was canned as part of corporate downsizing. Whatcha gonna do? It’s a pretty common occurrence in the industry, I guess. On the positive side, my new one is super stoked about working with me. I’ve heard friends’ nightmare tales of getting a new editor who completely hates the book, doesn’t jive well with them, etc. I should consider myself lucky. Another positive, I hadn’t gotten very far with my original editor since I was busy writing the first draft. I’m thisclose to having a solid working manuscript, only lacking a few more chapters.

    Wednesday is the doctor, meetings, meetings, meetings and a late evening tour of Comix to an author friend of mine who might have her book launch party there at my suggestion.

    Thursday is Carolyn Castiglia‘s one person show at Ars Nova. Baron Vaughn directed it and Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan of The Electric Company and Freestyle Love Supreme lends his beatboxing talents. Baron is on board to direct *my* one person show if and when I decide to move forward with that. I would probably adapt it from my book in some way so I’m waiting till I’m in the galley stage.

    Carolyn is a peach of a gal and going through some major life changes. I expect that to make her show all that much more intense and entertaining. Click here for ticketing details and maybe I’ll see you there.

    And Friday, of course, is the First Friday Roundup at Comix from 6:30 – 9:00 or later.

    So, that leaves tonight as the only quiet time available to write. I knew this week was going to be a doozy. I’m still trying to figure out a “better way” to squeeze in all the writing time I need while not letting my time with friends and the gym slip away. I got to hang out with a few of my favorite people at “The Family Hour” show in Ochi’s on Saturday night and was like a giddy little kid on a field trip. It’s been forever since I was on the show and got to be with friends just for fun. I read from Chapter Four: Wild Kingdom and was pleasantly surprised at how well it went. Readings aren’t always fun — especially when stacked up against some great story telling — but the audience responded to the parts I had *hoped* were funny. So, turns out all the stuff I wrote when I kept asking myself, “Why would anyone like this?” wasn’t half bad. That’s enough positive feedback to stoke the creative fire for a few more weeks! Being isolated in so many old memories for hours and hours on end sure will zap you of your confidence.*

    Kambri
    *And will also make you a stinky recluse.

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    A Petty Officer and a Gentleman

    Moving in to your horse’s barn because your trailer got repossessed is what some folks might call a low point. It was time for a drastic change, so my parents moved us to the big city of N. Richland Hills, TX.

    It was there — when I was 16 — I met a 22 year old Sailor. It was love at first sight. It was greatest four weeks of my life. The Petty Officer from Akron, Ohio, was shy, tan and muscular and drove a white Trans Am with a fake vent on its hood. Mom said he looked just like JFK, Jr. The movie Top Gun had just been released so when I first saw him covered in grease from working on an F-14 Tomcat I thought my uterus would crawl out of my vagina and snatch him whole and devour him like a hungry Venus flytrap from a Roger Corman flick.

    Read the rest at LoveDaddy.org.

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    Just Checking In

    Where the heck is everybody? No emails, no phone calls. The holiday was last week!

    Well, we accomplished every single thing on my sabbatical to do list and then some. The armoire and old TV are gone. A new flat screen is in our living room awaiting the arrival of a new media table. The exposed brick wall is happily staring back at us.
    By week’s end I should be at my two-thirds mark for my first draft. As expected, the sucker wasn’t banged out. The holidays beckoned and the armoire took up more time than we hoped. But lots of writing was done and my extra one-third mark is on pace.
    The then some is my all my tax stuff is already prepared and a couple of closets cleaned. I love to procrastinate from writing by doing really productive things that make me feel like I’m not procrastinating at all.  It could be worse, I guess. I could procrastinate with Guitar Hero or marathons of “What Not to Wear” but how about I just sit down and write?

    Kambri

    Four pounds lighter and ready for the New Year!
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    Sabbatical Update, Part II

    The Comix questions have subsided, though, I did end up going in on Friday after a day full of errands. I dropped off my holiday cards for my assistant to stamp and mail, took care of Greg Fitzsimmons’ and Patrice Oneal’s press itineraries, and answered some pressing emails.

    I got my passport renewed and dropped off my laptop which I’m picking up today. It had a virus on it which they eliminated before installing some protective firewall stuff and cleaned off all the unnecessary programs. All told, it cost $220. Pretty fair cost, in my opinion. I usually just buy a new version when I start to have trouble with my gadgets, so I’m pleased with myself for being frugal and taking care of what’s already mine.

    I only dropped off half the home videos I intended because the price I was quoted over the phone of $5 each, suddenly jumped to $20 each. Yikes! I left the longest recordings, mostly videos of plays I starred in years ago, the rest I can easily transfer to Mini DV here at home. I had just walked four avenues in an awful snow / sleet storm, was pouring down sweat and my feet were soaked and freezing due to the giant puddles on every corner. So when the guy told me the $15 price difference, I kind of had a melt down. It was funny watching him not know what to do or say to make me feel better. It wasn’t his fault, I told him, but I still wasn’t happy to have walked so far out of the way to HIS video store when there’s dozens more convenient places around the City. I knew that $5 price was too good to be true, but I had been quoted a similar price for a back room operation that runs out of a porn shop. I figured I’d go with the legit business and, well, it cost me.

    No takers on the armoire. How does anything get sold on Craig’s List? I keep hearing how easy it is but we didn’t get one single inquiry. It’s gorgeous and a bargain. I suppose we should wait till after the holidays. Or we can just hire some of the guys that loiter around Metropolitan Lumber looking for day labor to help us carry it down two flights so Salvation Army will pick it up. (S.A. will only pick up furniture two flights up or less.)

    I’ve gone to the gym three more times, so that’s six out of ten days I’ve put in a good work out. I’m down three pounds total. (There’s no goal number in mind, and I’m sure I’ll gain it back once I go back to work. I just find it interesting to see how conscious living / eating has such immediate results.) I indulged at a comedy industry party and had sugar and lots of wine, as expected. Other than that, I’ve stuck to no sugar and no alcohol. I’ve not eaten a lot of sugar since Christian lost his weight almost 3 years ago, so it hasn’t been hard, thankfully. I remember when we first “de-toxed” from sugar and it was maddening. Hard doesn’t define it. Sugar is evil.

    I’ve had a few days of non-writing thanks to the aforementioned errand running, Comix day and holiday party, but I’m still up 14,000 words. When I get home from today’s errands, I’ll pick up with Chapter Seven “You’re a Good Horse, Charlie Brown.” Now that I’m approaching chapters where the stories are ones I’ve told dozens of times and have much more impact on the story arc, I think the words will fly off my fingertips. We’ll see.

    Kambri
    Headed to Rockefeller Center again during the busiest season of the year. This laptop had better work for a long while!

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    Sabbatical Update

    Holiday cards are done. I’m still stuck answering Comix questions and taking care of press for upcoming comedians, but I hope that doesn’t continue.

    Laptop is being taken in tomorrow for general cleaning and repair.  I was able to take care of lots of the glitches and annoyances once I devoted an hour or two to it, but I’d still like the pros to wipe off a bunch of the crap I don’t need.
    The armoire is cleaned and all its contents removed and sorted into sell, donate and keep piles. It’s on Craig’s List if you’d like to buy it: http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/fuo/960556791.html
    Home videos sorted and are being taken in for transferring to DVD. A lot faster and less of a hassle than me transferring them to mini-DV as I had started to do. Mini-DVs just don’t hold that much compared to a VHS tape.

    I’ve gone to the gym three days in a row, haven’t had any sugar or alcohol in a few days now so am down two pounds. I’m sure that will change once I hit the holiday parties. I scrubbed the skin off my office. I’ve been here for nearly four years and hadn’t given it a thorough washing. It sparkles.
    Christian bought me a beautiful floor-length mirror for Christmas. Unfortunately I figured it out when I was at our mailbox place and they showed me the package.  Eek. Oops. Oh, well. He assembled it and it’s in my freshly cleaned office looking dazzling.
    Um, what else?  Oh, yeah, I’ve managed to churn out 6,000 more words.  Not shabby but far from my goal.

    Kambri
    Speaking of…back to the keyboards!

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    I’m on Sabbatical!

    Sort of. In my line of work, I can never really be on vacation or MIA. I’ll definitely try to pare down my emailing and what not because I haven’t taken a single vacation since Paris last Christmas. Sigh.

    There is lots to catch up on around the house like selling or donating my big armoire. It’s beautiful but I’ve had it for 8 years and it’s quite bulky by NYC apartment standards. Plus we really need a new TV. Sure, we want a new flat screen, but we actually need one. Our old tube TV is fading. A flat screen would look beautiful against our exposed brick wall that is nearly fully covered by my giant armoire. So, yeah, we’re looking forward to purging.

    I also need to renew my passport, finish writing out the 250 Comix holiday cards, drop of my laptop for repair, transfer some old home videos to DVD and stuff like that that simply haven’t gotten my attention due to the insanity that was 2008. I also went grocery shopping for the first time in about 5 months. I’m a pretty healthy eater by nature, but not when I’m out in restaurants. I definitely like my greasy bar food. I figure if I’m home for the next two weeks, I might as well try to re-calibrate my bad eating habits that have spiraled out of control lately. (This may come as a shock but pints of Ben & Jerry’s NY Super Fudge Chunk at midnight really aren’t necessary.)

    Finally, I’d really like to finish (or come very close to finishing) the first draft of my memoir. I’m one-third of the way through without much concentrated effort. I think if I can spend the next two weeks consistently writing for days in a row, I could bang that sucker out. I truly expect to at least get another one-third on paper. Any more than that would be amazing.

    It’s an awful lot to expect out of two weeks off, especially during the holidays.  But if I can get at least half of what I want done done, it will have been a success. To help me stay on track, I’m keeping a daily diary of everything from what I eat and drink, to how much time I’m writing, watching television (Thankfully Survivor & Dexter have ended. Knock out The Biggest Loser & How I Met Your Mother and we’re in business.), and on the internet.

    Kambri
    If only the cursed internet would break down for a few days. Do I really need to look up the ingredients in lip balm that make it “addictive” or famous comic book villains?  No. But tell that to me when I really am curious about the answers.

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    Three Quick Things

    Katrina Bowden from “30 Rock” is our special guest tonight at Comix for Freestyle Love Supreme’s special charity shows to raise money for the Video Voice Project. I’ll be at both shows so say hello if you come by.

    I’m filming a fun promo piece with Michelle Buteau where she’ll taste test three different key lime martinis made by our Comix bartenders and choose her favorite. The winner will be added to the specialy cocktail menu, too. I think it’s a fun way to promote comedians, the Comix staff and, of course, sell some booze. We’ll see how it turns out.

    Meanwhile, the other thing I wrote, directed and starred in, aka The Fart Commercial, begins airing in NYC today. Fun! I can’t wait to see it at the gym while I’m on the treadmill. That’s the only time I see our commercials, without fail. I guess because it’s the only time where I’m on one channel for an hour with no remote control to click fast forward.

    Kambri

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    There Are Worse Things I Could Do

    I didn’t write much over the last few days but, even still, I’m excited about the changes I made for Chapter Three. It was a chapter that was going to be all back story about my mom and dad.

    Snooooooooze.

    Back story is important, of course, but I simply can’t write fluidly and excitedly about stuff for which I wasn’t present, let alone born. That said, though, I was obsessed with their romance. It seemed lifted from the pages of a screenplay. Finally, after reading and re-reading, staring and daydreaming, I realized why. It reminded me of something that was very tangible, real and exciting…

    Grease.

    They went together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong. Which when you think about it, doesn’t go together at all.

    Chapters Four and Five are humming along with no problems because they’re all about spiders and snakes. Now that’s something I know about.

    Kambri Chang chang changity chang shoo bop that’s not the way it should be!

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    Publisher’s Weekly Scan


    Publisher’s Weekly
    Originally uploaded by kambricrews

    My pal Rachel slipped me the actual issue of Publisher’s Weekly that reported my book sale.  Reading it made me squeal like a teen. Seeing it online was cool, but in print? Priceless.

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    Check out the 1st Annual Mini Hot Dog Eating Championship at Comix!

    Featuring Andres du Bouchet, Adira Amram & H. Alan Scott. Hosted by Christian Finnegan & Sean Crespo. Written and directed by Kambri Crews. Filmed and edited by Carol Hartsell.

    Kambri

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    Braggy McBragalot

    I have spent the last three days in near isolation trying to work through the basic overview of my book proposal. It sounded easy enough when I started out a few weeks ago: Deaf parents, lived in the woods, a couple of attempted murders and voila! You have yourself an “overview.” Yeah, right. My tone was all wrong. I’ve been working in PR too long and drafting too many pitches and proposals. The overview I had submitted to my agent (HEE HEE!!!) looked like a business plan. Booorrrinnng. Finally at 1:40 AM yesterday when I blogged, I had done it. I found the thread that pieced all the sections together and injected the tone I aimed for: no self pity, hints of crazy tales and some funny one liners. Now with THAT out of the way, I can re-do my Table of Contents and flesh out my chapter summaries.

    The whole process reminded me of when I started Ballyhoo Promotions. I simply COULD NOT move forward with trying to get clients until I had a website and I couldn’t build a website without first settling on a name. Christian likened it to the band who is always brainstorming names but never actually plays a song. I begged to differ and insisted on thinking longer and harder till finally settling on Ballyhoo. Once I got over that hurdle, I built a website in one day (not the current version online now), took on my first client and the rest is history.

    I wish I could say I found my M.O. for creative work but they’re so different. A company name is so specific and an overview is, well, an overview…a broad sweeping summary.

    Now I know that writing will be more difficult; there will surely be more writer’s block to plague me. But, whatever, I’m glad my hurdle was lept.

    I stayed sober, watched no television, went no where except for my morning coffee and stayed at my computer even when I was making no progress. Was the weather nice? I have no idea and went out too early in the morning to tell. I even kept the shades drawn so as not to be tempted.

    Kambri
    The mice say “Hi!” Oh, yes, did I forget to say they were back again tonight and one on my motherfu*king foot? No fear these two.

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    The McCaulay Culkin Tidbit Will Have to Wait

    Some day I’ll tell the story about the intimate McCauley Culkin gathering in Montreal where a very drunk writer for a very popular TV show was aggressively lunging after my butt. But today, I’ll just tell you some news I’ve kept from you: I officially have a literary agent.

    Kambri
    I’m super excited! But now I must write day and night.

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    How NOT to Write a Memoir

    The Glass Castle is a beautiful example of how to write the story of a life. Jay Mohr‘s Gasping for Airtime is not. In brief, the book is about his two years as a featured player on Saturday Night Live. Mohr breezes too quickly through anything that has the potential to be remotely interesting or meaty. He makes himself sound like a whiny, lazy, insecure, jealous kid impatient with his slow rise to fame. Hopefully he has matured since then — I am sure he has since he seems comfortable with exposing what a spoiled child he was while in NBC’s employ.

    What really turned me off to him was his nonchalant re-telling of how, on the rare occasion he made it on stage, he broke character and laughed out loud. Please. Don’t. It’s not that funny. Ever.

    He never really offers up any juicy dirt, preferring to be deferential and not burn any more bridges. Although I understand that reasoning (I do it here every day for free), it makes for a very dull read. The dude got paid to dish. Hell, even in my amateur and restricted essay I managed to disclose some very uncomfortable truths. The stories he does tell are rushed — some relegated to a mere paragraph or two — and not remotely funny or poignant or interesting. I would be curious to meet him and find out if he has more to share but was afraid of repercussions or if his booze- & pot-fueled, Klonopin-aided stupor clouded his memory.

    So who should read this book? The 20 or so people SNL hires for this next season. But if you still want to, it will only take you about 6 to 8 hours to read. Very simple, brief writing.

    Kambri
    There is my take on book five of my summer reading. Next up: Bonfire of the Vanities.

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    Where O’ Where Did September Go?

    This month has been the strangest. Simultaneously full of disappointing let-downs and stagnant non-creativity, I’ve been productive and lazy and frustrated and motivated. I’ve repaired certain things in my apartment while letting my tub still be persistently clogged. I gave up on a September Tex in the City event while fostering others. I’ve lost interest in writing and yet continue to post on this thing and write in my personal journal. The boring list goes on and on. I am completely uninspired by anything right now. I can’t imagine how it is that I began Pilates a week ago yesterday and have done it every day since. I feel like I breathe easier. I take in more oxygen and it feels cleaner. Is this expected of those who partake in Pilates or is this September air? Strange thing this . . . how you say . . . exercise. Could this new amount of oxygen be depleting the angst that drives my creativity bus? Not that I need high drama, but peace and tranquility is dull. I require activities; projects and events.

    Meanwhile, while trying to replace my Palm on Ebay, I’ve won fancy schmancy Scrabble and Monopoly games. I have yet to bid on a Palm. This Ebay is the devil. Stay tuned to see if I win a leather chair, stainless steel trash can, cashmere/silk v-neck sweater and an alarm clock that wipes my ass, nose, mouth and belly (it is very hi-tech).

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    Blogiversary

    Today marks the one year anniversary of this right here blog. Technically, I was “blogging” (God, I hate that word) long before today, but it was more of a calendar of my upcoming performances, events, promotions, etc. without much exploitative exposition. I, however, no longer act, model or promote, so it’s all about me and Tex in the City.

    Looking back on my very early entries, I’m so obviously afraid of offending Someone. (Note: “Someone” is defined as a person with a direct genealogical connection to my father.) Since, however, they collectively mean as much to me as my discarded toenail clippings, I have been slowly throwing discretion by the wayside. After all, Daddy Dearest is the blackest of the black sheep of any family and was such long before he was thrown in the clink. (He is nearing completion of the first year of his 20-year jail sentence hosted by the austere Texas Department of Criminal Justice.) I happen to have an exorbitantly large sum of his genetic code pulsing through my system. Love him, love me. Spurn him, spurn me.

    So, offend away, I will. So what if they don’t like my potty mouth or party girl lifestyle, I didn’t try to kill anyone, did I? (Scroll down for answer.)

     

     

    Answer: No.

    Come on, did you really have to scroll down to know the answer?

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    Silly Putty Tits

    When a woman gets breast implants, her tits become novelty items. She takes them to parties and whips them out like they’re the Deluxe Edition of Yahtzee. As a partygoer you want to partake in the game playing by poking them and squeezing them and thumping them like melons at a fruit stand because they’re a new, weird version of an old toy.

    But are they too much like Silly Putty? Oh sure, Silly Putty is fun at first, because, what the hell IS it really and just what do you DO with it? But then once you realize it’s just synthetic rubber, it loses it’s appeal and you’re left wondering what’s so great about it? Because, when you get down to it, there isn’t anything exciting about Silly Putty. After you’ve transferred a comic book image or two, stretched it and molded it, and slammed it with a hammer to see it retain it’s shape, well, there’s just no fun left. It’s just silicone and boric acid masquerading as a real toy, except real toys don’t require an FAQ’s page or anesthesia.

    And despite the semi-transparent gold glitter dice, flocked dice tray, and leatherette dice cup, original Yahtzee is played by the same rules as the Deluxe Edition. The only thing different is how much you paid for the game.

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    Apr 22, 2003

    Alan Greenspan is having prostate surgery today. Why is this news? Why not just say a “surgical procedure”? The only prostate I find myself daydreaming about (because that’s all I think of all day—a man’s prostate), isn’t on Wall Street. Frankly, I resent the media implanting the mental image of his engorged gland into my brain. There’s not a lot of room up there and I would rather not have it cluttered with nonsense like that. I need to save room for things like the coffin birth phenomenon, if I can eat that chicken in my fridge without getting food poisoning, and most importantly, who is the next contestant booted off Survivor!

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    Apr 16, 2003

    Spring time is a time for renewal. It’s a reminder that the cycle of life never stops. Fresh blossoms and green life sprout all around me. The birds and the bees comingle to spread new life. And, believe it or not, I’m buying into it. I’m smitten. And, dare I say it? I think I’m in…LOVE! All I can think of is him. I want to lick him and taste his warm, salty skin. Mmm…so hot and tasty. And, his smell? Oh, his smell drives me mad and lingers long after he’s gone reminding me of our fleeting moment together.

    Some people might say he’s no good for me, but I don’t care. I love him still. I might even love him because he’s bad for me. I don’t care about that either. I just know that I enjoy him and I don’t want to share him with anyone. He’s mine, all mine, and you can’t have any of him.

    Who is he? Click here for the answer. Isn’t he delicious?

    I haven’t had McDonald’s in at least 8 months. Today at lunch I went on a binge and, obviously, I don’t regret a single moment of it. Outrageously satisfying. I just might do it again some day.

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    Apr 10, 2003

    The phones in our office are equipped with an interoffice buzzer system. This means one touch dialing will produce an ear piercing BEEEEEEE BOOOOOOO that demands immediate attention before it will BEEEEEEE BOOOOOOO at you again. Several of these demanding signals in a row are enough to drive a girl (me) mad. I am petitioning to have the BEEEEEEE BOOOOOOO changed with a less aggravating, more happy summons. Perhaps positive affirmations that rotate on a regular basis. For my phone, I will have:

    – Have you lost weight?
    – Damn you’re fine!
    – You’re smart, talented, funny & sexy and dammit people like you!

    and the obvious:

    – You deserve a raise!

    I think I’m onto something here.

    High Anxiety
    My heart’s not big enough for these butterflies. They make me want to run and run till I can’t remember the reason I started running in the first place. Run so far that nobody knows who I am or from whence I came. Run so my heart bursts open and lets these butterflies free because they hurt. They hurt bad.

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    Who’s in Charge Here?

    Walking home in the slushy, dirty water with wind and sleet beating against my face, I passed a shrub — it’s branches heavy with snow. From somewhere inside the bush, came the noisy chatter of some 20 birds. I pictured one certain lead ave getting a severe talking to by its flock:

    “You dipsh*t! Had to big a big shot and wouldn’t stop to ask for directions. I bet we’re still in Canada! Or, worse, in Alaska! What about the weather report? I suppose you forgot to look at that before you had us fly 1,000 miles for what? For this?! THIS?? Wait till the Aviary hears about this! They’ll take your wings for sure…Idiot.”

    Scene
    Trenches in the Iraqi Desert. Soldiers in full fatigues with weapons drawn are crouching in an effort to avoid being detected by the enemy. Suddenly the digital sound of Hava Nagila breaks the silence and is followed by a soldier loudly whispering, “Hey, wassup? Actually, now’s a bad time. Can I call you back?” Crossfire ensues.
    End Scene

    Lesson: Turn off your cell phone ringers, people, or you could get your head shot off. Fair warning.

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    Cookies & Macrame

    Once, in the slums of Houston when I was tiny and very young, the neighborhood kids were playing with a fun toy found by the railroad tracks. It was basically a giant “pillow”; thick material filled with air that cushioned the freight in the rail cars. Some older boys hauled it over to our apartment complex with a genius idea. The first kid in line would sit on one end of the pillow and the second kid would then run and jump on the opposite end sending the sitting duck sailing through the air.

    Great waves of laughter cut through the afternoon smog and wound their way into our kitchen where I was surely baking cookies or weaving macramé with my mother. My interest was piqued, the lure of the adventure was too great, so I abandoned my activities and wandered outside to see what I was missing.

    Once I saw the boisterous escapades that were unfolding without me, I immediately wanted to join the group; to be part of the fun.

    “Please let me do it!” I begged to my much older brother. He got a look on his face that at the tender age of four I was unable to translate, but at the bitter hardened age of 31.5 I recognize as evil subterfuge. “Sure! Let her do it,” he agreed, as he shot a devious glance to the biggest corn-fed Texan boy that side of Mississippi. And, with that, I placed my tiny little bottom on the big stolen pillow and let my feet dangle in anticipation as that hulking corn-fed beast bounded towards me as fast as his feet would carry him.

    The butterflies were big at first, as was my smile, but the rest was a blur of blue sky and rapidly approaching grass. Things went black for a split second before I saw stars and the sidewalk an inch from my face. I couldn’t breathe since the force of my land had squeezed all air out of my miniature frame.

    Still, somehow I managed to find the breath to run away from the peals of howling and shrieking, mocking laughter that trailed further and further behind me. I didn’t want the adventure anymore. I wanted to be back with the cookies and macramé and Love. Just like today.

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    Feb 19, 2003

    It seems Frosty the Snowman has had troubles finding work since his self titled smash hit. The fact that he’s put on a few pounds may have something to do with it and so, wallowing in self-pity, the once jolly happy soul has turned to the old 40 ounce for solace. I’ll avoid the obvious frosty mug references out of respect. Click on the pic ——->

    Frosty, I feel your pain.

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    Feb 17, 2003

    In the few years of my young life, before we moved to the shed, my family and I lived in the polluted, sweltering Mecca that is Houston. It was there that I passed the days looting burned out apartments for charred Barbie dolls and their various accoutrement, dreaming of being Evel Knievel (or at least his sexy sidekick), having sleepovers with older boys, and wasting my Latch-Key-Kid hours by soaking in American culture with my face mere inches from the television screen.

    Although not much has changed, these days I buy my Barbie supplies, thankyouverymuch. It was also there that I had my first crush on a real live boy. His name was Dallas and he wore a Fonzie t-shirt and curled his upper lip when he spoke, much like Elvis or Billy Idol. He was cool, and he was mine. We had all the passion that five year old kids possess. On Valentine’s Day 1977 (hereinafter referred to as “Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve So It Can Get Stabbed Through Its Aorta and Bleed to Death Day”), we went on a field trip to a local fire house to meet firemen and play with their hoses. I drew Dallas a special something to commemorate the momentous day. That’s when he stopped coming round. I know I’m no Picasso, but come on!

    **At 5 or 31.5, I still give too much too soon and am left in the lurch. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve So It Can Get Stabbed Through Its Aorta and Bleed to Death Day 1977 was just the beginning. And so it is, that I do not celebrate love on February 14th or any other day.

    **For the record, I did pee on the floor that day. That could have turned him off. I don’t know. You’d have to ask Dallas.

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    Feb 10, 2003

    Bob and I went to Zanzibar on Friday for drinks and mingling with Jane and Ari and some other New York City bloggers. We showed up an hour after the festivities began and decided to have a drink and a bite to eat away from the crowd. Neither of us were quite ready to dive in to full party mode with a bunch of virtual strangers, especially without food in our bellies. It wasn’t long before a non-blog guy approached us. He had noticed name tags and wanted the scoop.

    Him: “So, I’m with a group over there and I’m not part of your party or anything. I just wanted to know how you ladies know everyone?”
    Me: “Oh, well, you’ve heard of the Amish, right? Well, we all used to be Amish but have since rejected the religion and culture and have formed a support group. You know, a network so we can lean on each other in times of need since our families are naturally not happy with us. But, tonight’s just for fun.”

    He was a bit skeptical at first, but then I convinced him to scan the crowd and admit that, yes, we all “looked” Amish. Then he believed me. Bob and I couldn’t keep the straight face on for long and finally confessed our true purpose: to sell Amway.

    I watched Confessions of a Dangerous Mind last night, and I must say it was refreshing to see lots of gratuitous shots of Sam Rockwell’s bare butt as Chuck Barris and no female nudity, unwarranted or otherwise, whatsoever. Wow! What’s next? Equal pay for equal work? Oh, silly, that’s just Crazy talking.

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    What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

    This best selling author (someone who should have a firm grasp on the English language) called at least 25 freaking hundred times yesterday regarding his book deal contract with 25 million gazillion questions. The best of which was:

    Best Selling Author: What is “i-t-s”?
    Answer: Uh, it’s “its”. You know, possessive form of the pronoun it. Used in a sentence: Let’s cut your head open by its diameter.

    Okay, class, today’s puzzle. I received a postcard from UPS noting that they could not deliver a package due to “Company or Person Unknown”.

    Quesion: What’s wrong with this situation?
    Answer: I RECEIVED the postcard.

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    I’m Worried About My Dirty Pillows

    I’m meeting some fellow girl bloggers out for a drink. I feel like I’m going on a blind date. I hope they’re not setting me up like Carrie where I’ll be the butt of some sick joke. I can hear mom now, “They’re all gonna laugh at you. They’re all gonna laugh at you!

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    Arctic Chill? Global Warming?

    To anyone traveling to Manhattan from Queens via the N Train, this post is for you. When facing the front of the train, look out the window on your right just before you round the corner approaching the Queensboro Plaza stop. If you do, you will see in a virtually empty lot of grey gravel, a penguin. Yes, a penguin. It’s about four feet high and I suspect it is made of wood. If anyone else has seen this anomaly, please let me know. Otherwise, I fear I may be hallucinating.

    Gawd, I’m going to stab my ears with a Q-tip!
    Marc called during one of those ridiculously loud personal phone conversations I’m forced to suffer through.
    Me: You hear her?
    Marc: Yeah.
    Me: Isn’t that ridiculous?
    Marc: Yeah. Okay I’m gonna go.
    Me: No. Let’s listen to her conversation.
    Marc: I don’t want to.
    Me: Neither do I.
    Marc: You’re getting paid!
    Me: Bye.

    Blog Obsession
    I am reading an inordinate amount of blogs these days. It is so easy to get sucked into the vortex of someone else’s life. My favorites will be listed under “Links” found on the left side of this page. The latest addiction…uh, I mean addition…is “A Girl Named Bob”. It seems everyone and their brother links to her page, so why shouldn’t I? The fact is, she’s a great read. The best part is she lives in my neighborhood (Astoria), so many of her exploits involve locales within a short walk from my apartment.

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    Sep 7, 2002

    Bloggers are having a party. We can all meet in person. Hmmm…not sure I’m into that. Especially after yesterday’s post. I’ve often wondered if I would recognize someone on the NYC streets as a fellow blogger and if I would approach them. It’s not as though they’re R.M. They’re just like me.

    Parallel thought: Together, Marc and I have worked with, partied with, chatted with or been in the same room with countless numbers of “celebrities” some big, some small, on the rise or on the fall. Rarely is there any true diva-type behavior. But gossip columns and websites thrive on the hopes that they’ll catch one of them on a terrifically bad day. More and more websites offer up message boards where users can submit their very own “celebrity encounter” story which increases the possibility of garnering some good dish. The thing is, celebrities are similar to my girl blogger (“GB”). We humans can create an idea of what we think a person might be like based on the media to which we are exposed. GB puts out a few months’ worth of entries and suddenly I think I know her. A bubble that is surely capable of bursting. So when Super Star is cranky and late for a meeting, Joe Schmoe is gonna be let down that Super Star didn’t have time for an autograph. Such is life.

    Imagine the disappointment when Bloggers meet each other and discover that none of us are what we had hoped. We all suck in some fashion. Some just do it better than others.

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    Sep 7, 2002

    I have become obsessed with a random, anonymous girl’s blog. One day I read every entry including all archives start to finish in one sitting and now I check it about a gazillion times daily waiting, hoping there will be a new entry. Hoping and waiting. Waiting and hoping. All day. Refresh, refresh, refresh. Nothing. Sick.

    I mention this because this girl is seems so cute, funny, smart. I like her self-degrading humor and honesty. I think I want to be her friend. I envision us as Carrie and Samantha. (Of course she’s the sexy ho and I’m the cute level-headed one–not flawless, but forgiveable.) We have tons of money and shoes. We share laughs and drinks but never men. This is how I imagine it.

    Well, the other day, this faceless, nameless girl provided a link for her photo. I thought twice about checking it out and then followed it anyway. Needless to say, she was nothing like my mental picture. She had been 100% accurate in describing herself, so I wasn’t too surprised. It just left me a little disappointed. It’s akin to watching a movie after having read the book. There’s just no substitute for the imagination.

    I will still read her blog. I’m still rooting for her to find her man. I’m just not as curious anymore. The mystery has gone and now I’ll be out scouring the web for a younger, sleeker model to replace her. Back to the blogging board.