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    Friday, July 31, 2009

    Opening Night in NYC

    Opening day was a ride, not without a few faggy meltdowns. Showed up at the theater, which I was really pleased with, people very nice, and then realized NONE of the sound worked. Sound cues, backup sound cues, nothing for an hour, and opening in 4 hours. CDs, which we burn on computer but tested on the most ancient CD player, wouldn't work. So we were really screwed. They got a cable for an ipod and then we happened to have the music on our iPhones, so now on top of a lighting plot that David was just learning hours before he now had to trigger the iPhone to play the music. Tonight we'll do sound on the laptop.

    I'm VERY happy with the first show - for some reason, my voice was in really good shape, we switched the song at the end, different song and in a different place, when I'm giving David the elephant ring, it doesn't make the final song so weirdly close to the end of the show without being a finale. That went over well. Really good crowd. Susan Alexander (big laughs) and Heather Gold and some CSers.

    Tonights show is the plumb spot, so we'll see. I get that NYC audiences are more about what's on the stage rather than how hot the audience is, moreso than SF audiences, or so it seemed to me. I'm a fucking authority on the subject, having done one show.

    Yesterday was in my opinion as much of a triumph for my husband (the real life San Diego David) than for me, a number of people from other shows were astounded at how good my lighting design was for David having done lights just hours before. But he downloaded the lighting plot and figured out how to do things like backlight me when I did flashbacks so I was in sillhouette, which worked well, but which horrifyingly leaves me TOTALLY seeing everyone in the audience.

    Anyway, I'm proud of myself, it still hasn't registered that I am performing in this massive MASSIVE city.

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    My Irene Cara/Fame tribute

    This song was cut from LHK but a little "Fame" moment when my boyfriend dumps me and a screw up a bazillionth audition. It's supposed to be funny. Only utube wouldn't let me upload just the audio, so I had to record video with the webcam which I've never really used b4.

    Hate the Title - love the concept

    I'm glad they incorporated biracial people outside the US - I lived in Europe for years and it is interesting to hear the different contexts.

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    News Anchor Fail

    I watch this at least once a day.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    From my childhood

    I TOTALLY remember this from childhood. Apparently aired in the Chicago area (or shittsville, MI where I was stuck) and I always wondered why David never heard of them since he's encyclopedic on all things childly.

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    LHK: How it Happened

    I’m at a popular karaoke bar in San Francisco—The Mint. Every few minutes, another person gets up, hoping in their heart-of-hearts that they will somehow have that “Susan Boyle moment” ... no one does. And yet, they come back again and again. There’s something simultaneously beautiful and tragic about that. Love is much the same way, we reach for the stars, yet often fall flat on our faces. There is no great love without risk of humiliation.

    I try to avoid karaoke because my mother was America’s first (non-Asian) karaoke hostess, and so I grew up in somewhat of a karaoke dynasty. The episode, “Christmas in Baltimore” (which had to be cut in this presentation of LHK to conform to the 90-minute festival format—LHK firmed, tightened, and toned—covers this history in greater detail.)

    When I first moved to San Francisco, I met a very interesting older man named Byron Bentley—unlike any gay man I’d ever met before. He had an enormous collection of snakes. We weren't best friends, but we worked together for a few years, and saw one another every few weeks there afterwards—but he had an enormous impact on my life. He met his partner in rural California during high school; they’d moved to SF in the 70s, were still together in their mid-40s, had always been monogamous, and still had sex constantly! This pretty much challenged every belief I ever had about relationships (particularly same-sex relationships) on so many levels; beliefs I didn’t even know I had. And, though, I didn’t necessarily want what they had, it certainly expanded what I thought was possible—not just in relationships, but in life. I thought I was protecting myself with my non-negotiables—my “lists” of what did and didn’t work for me—but instead of protecting myself, all I was doing was limiting my own dreams. When I finally confronted what I was doing—how I was quietly sabotaging the very things I longed for—only then, did things start to change, but something terrible happened first.

    In 2003, Byron died very suddenly after an aneurysm—and my own life had changed so much as a result of knowing him that I basically had to start writing to get through that terrible grief. LHK is the result of that process—a series of extremely funny, and sometimes tragic episodes from my life, each set in a different city, each at different times. I have not a single answer to life’s great questions, but I did change my life by constantly putting myself in challenging (and often mortifying) situations, and my wish is that this “blind hope” that led me through these experiences might at least entertain an audience; if not leave them with a sense of hope about what more might be possible in their own lives.

    A version of LHK opened at a tiny theatre (as in, the size of a large restroom) with the notion that I'd just perform the show, work it out, and build and build. But I woke up (Christmas Eve 2005, I'll never forget it) blind in one eye, and had to start a two-year series of eye operations, eventually just making the situation worse—legally blind in that eye, and double-vision with both, which I still have. I had to close the show, and felt so incredibly defeated.
    I decided I'd work on the show while I was recovering—and my friend (another performer and now producer) Bruce Pachtman, put me in touch with W. Kamau Bell. I disagreed with all of his suggestions, but he was ultimately right, and that changed everything. Kamau comes from comedy but has a very specific, effective and individualized format for bringing out the best in a performance—yet, no two pieces of his direction look anything alike. The only similar thread is the powerful and impactful end results.

    There is also a community of artists he's attracted, free of the ass-kissing and clique-ishness I find in most arts communities—yes, it’s true, there are cities certainly more conducive to "making it big" than San Francisco, but I have never seen a community, overall, more focused on the craft rather than the "scene.” Cities around the world I've lived in are major characters in my pieces, and I hope audiences come away with more than just a story of a disturbed romance. LHK is about the intersection of the humiliation we must all risk if we hope to find love, and the tendency we have to “melodramatize” our pasts.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Love Humiliation & Karaoke - NYC Trailer

    Awesome breakdown of "The Wire"

    (first of all, how freakin hot is he? Survey says "MUY")

    I tried to get into "The Wire" from the beginning because it's set in Baltimore, the city I was born in and where my family still lives. I was horrified about being from there for years but now I'm immensely proud - a city with an intersection of southern and east coast culture. Then when my sister's house was used as a major location at the beginning of Season 2 - I started again. This show definitely takes a commitment - a bit more of a commitment than a novel actually. But it is so brilliant and so worth it. And yet I always struggle to break down an overview. Today, as I was browsing the full season on Amazon (that and online recipes ARE my porn) I spotted among several beautifully written reviews of the series, this really nice concise breakdown, written by Christopher Stensrud of Madison, WI.

    "Season 1 effectively examines the danger of being an individual in an organization, using Detective McNulty and a drug dealer (D. Barksdale/Larry Gilliard Jr.) who both struggle against the reins of their respective employers. This issue develops against the thrilling backdrop of the drug war and an investigation into druglord Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris).

    Season 2 shows the death of work in the post-industrial world, particularly the loss of blue collar jobs. This is shown through the port of Baltimore and its workers who start illegally importing items and dealing drugs to keep afloat.

    Season 3 artfully reveals why reforming these institutions never works. Again this issue is examined through both a cop (Major Colvin/Robert Wisdom) and the drug dealer Stringer. Specifically, Colvin makes his district a drug-free zone to combat other crime, while Stringer tries to go legitimate in addition to trying to eliminate violence from drug-fueled gang wars.

    Season 4 illuminates how kids fall through the cracks in schools, largely as a result of their hostile environment. The tagline, beautiful in its simplicity, for this season points to the political nature this story by sarcastically claiming that this country pursues a policy where "No corner [is] left behind".

    Bringing this whole story full circle, Season 5 ties all of these problems together and argues that the media skews our perspective away from these important mattters to sensationalistic stories. This storyline revolves around a perceptive, noble editor (Gus/Clark Johnson)
    and one of his deceitful writers (Templeton/Thomas McCarthy) who is more concerned about Pullitzers than real news. This season ends by showing how these issues create a circle of explotation and victimhood, a point made by showing how these drug dealers, cops, addicts, and even modern day gunslingers get killed, retired, and reform only to have their places taken by the next victim and predator.

    Throughout the entire series The Wire pursues and achieves a level of quality, insight, and empathy never before reached in any television series or episode. It truly is the equivalent of a televised novel. It is the first Great American TV Show."

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Been missing this all week. . .

    People kept posting this French Evian commercial, but I was always in places where I couldn't watch it right then.

    Just watch this and don't ask questions

    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Levi Johnston: Palin Resigned Because Of Money

    When I'z sangle, this was how I loved my guyz - young & stupid & full of it. (sigh) I thought he was a moron till I saw him on Larry King and realized what a HOT moron he was.

    Palin Resigned Because Of Money

    Costco who knew?

    Isn't this adorable? And it flattens down to a flat bed. If only I didn't have boundaries about buying furniture the same place I buy rotisserie chicken. But just as I decided they took it away & I was left alone with my shame.

    The "Cotton Candy" Song from LHK

    Chantal Kreviazuk - Wayne (Music Video) [EMBEDDING PROHIBITED]

    For those that have asked about the Cotton Candy song from the show - here is the original song and music video - odd as I haven't seen this video ONCE since right when the huz and I met in 1999. Special shout out to Denean, who helped me write that piece.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    I was assaulted - 5:05pm

    had dropped off my husband from Trader Joes & the eye dr - stopped at Wells ATM on Golden Gate & Larkin and was heading back to the garage to return the carshare @ Polk Myrtle garage. Left on Leavenworth in middle lane, just past intersection of Eddy I saw in the left lane a car spot a parking spot and throw on the brakes. A black motorcycle riding way too close behind nearly hit him and started swearing at the driver of auto as I passed, later getting in left lane to turn left on Ellis. When I signaled and turned left onto Ellis I noticed same motorcycle was now behind me, so in my mind I'm thinking "OK very pissed off person is now behind me." Stayed in middle lane. Got the red light at Larkin, motorcycle behind me. Nothing weird. In next block signaled - switched to right lane preparing to turn and at this point motorcycle pulled alongside and guy screamed "what the f*ck do you think you're doing" - it was so startling I pretended not to hear and that's when he REACHED in the window and grabbed me - I grabbed his hand while I let the window roll up - that freaked him out and was only a block away from my garage and lights were green so I just bolted.

    My mind's racing - thinking what did I do? Why didn't he assault the guy that almost hit him before? Thinking I can't call 911 (moronic on reflection) cuz I don't have my headset on and i just got a $250 ticket for that when law changed. So I figure just get to the secured garage and stay locked in the car. Motorcycle follows me onto Myrtle (a weird side street so at that point I knew this is NO good) alongside as if to drive me off the street onto sidewalk and then he starts hitting my car WHILE ON MOTORCYCLE. While garage door goes up he hops off bike (just behind me now so I can't see plate) and tries to block me from getting in the garage - I start to just drive into him - not fast enough to really do anything and he moves alongside pounding front and side windshield really hard, like he's trying to break the glass. White male 46 grey hair black motorcycle jumpsuit, black helmet with square visor - I can't really see him) I'm confusing this with another garage that locks from inside so I figure once the gate closes he's stuck in there with me till the police come.

    Only this isn't that garage and he is following me literally kicking the drivers side of the car as I'm driving. I'm totally flustered and he's wailing on the passenger door just outside me so I can't figure out how I'd even get out of the car to kick his ass if that's the way I wanna go. WEIRDLY, instead being pissed off, I'm being some huge pussy trying to UNDERSTAND his MOTIVATION in doing this but he just keeps saying he'll kill me, so now I'm thinking maybe best NOT to get out of the car. I'm now trying to call 911 but the phone keeps saying disabled. (Thanks Apple - thanks to your shitty phone I may BE disabled in a few minutes.)

    Like a geekoid P*SSY I keep punching the iPhone trying to get the call to connect and THAT'S WHEN I realize the door is open and he's grabbing me - in obsessively locking the car doors I must have actually unlocked them but NO TIME for semantics - I'm staring at a big black helmet but all i could think to do was point the camera phone and say "smile for the cops p*ssy - they're on their way". (I'm so full of sh*t cuz I couldn't get 911 and I couldn't switch the iphone to camera mode - plus he was just this big helmet).

    Just then the garage door starts closing and he lets go of me to go run out of the garage - so now I'm chasing HIM - (like animals do instinctually - if he stopped and turned around again I'd've just run the other way out of instinct). He jumped on his cycle (I couldn't BELIEVE how quickly he started it and took off) and sped past me as I ducked under the garage door as it came down, took Myrtle to Larkin and went left right into traffic without stopping or yielding. The freakin iPhone wouldn't switch to camera mode from phone mode fast enough BUT since the phone freaked him out more than me I'm sure he thought I snapped pix - I couldn't look at his plate AND try to shoot and I thought a photo'd be more important so I missed his plate altogether like an a*shole - I saw California and plate was white. Motorcycle was all-black and BIG - Harley-esque.

    Then 911 said it wasn't an emergency if he was gone and then I called the wrong non emerg # - then called the carshare to report it. Amazingly no real damage to the car apart from the rearview mirror being bent in - not even a mar on the glass. He couldn't kick too hard because he was pinned in between me and the wall of the garage. Called my husband and since he told me not to leave till he got there I figured I'd just report it to the police or do it at home as there wasn't anything to really show them.

    SFPD I called @ 5:15p said they'd like to send someone to the garage and while waiting the bldg mgr of the bldg the garage is in asked what was wrong because he saw it on the video cameras. That's when I found out there is video of what happened, at least inside the garage. Maybe not TOO useful because he never took his helmet off and motorcycle wasn't really in line with the garage door. So cops come 5:25p and I relay this whole super WEIRD-ASS story to them and they say they'll put an APB for that description and call me if they see anything. I don't care so much at this point - but my testosterone level is through the roof and now that i know there's video I walk around a little and try to spot him.

    So apart from aging my nerve endings by about 20 years, I'm fine. Weird, weird weird.

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Arancini (Italian rice balls) + recipe

    There was a Facebook quiz about How Italian R U (I need THEM to tell me) and there was mention of riceballs, arancini (which my family mangled the pronounciation of like every word to sound more like "Don CHEEN") - hadn't had them since about 7 so I couldn't remember anything about how they were prepared. I remember the taste, the cheese, and seeing them in the freezer (they froze really well). My Italian friend from Amsterdam passed this receipe along to me - figuring out how to improv the fryer. But get my husband on a roll and he will figure out how to make it perfectly (he did a spectacular Mulligatawny a few years ago, first try, without EVER TASTING it beforehand).

    Ingredients -
    plain flour for dusting,
    2 eggs, beaten,
    breadcrumbs for coating,
    olive oil for deep frying -
    For the risotto: 1.5 liter vegetable stock, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 300 gr Arborio or other Italian risotto rise, 4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper-
    For the filling: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp finely chopped onion, 100 gr frozen peas, 2 tbsp water, 75gr mozzarella cheese, diced. Instructions - Make the risotto like any other risotto (just no butter), spread on a tray and leave to cool. Make the filling: Heat the olive oil in a small pan, add the onion and sweat until soft. Add the peas, water and some salt & pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for few minutes until peas are tender, leave to cool. Take a little risotto and form it into a ball (easier if you wet yuor hands with cold water), make an indentation in each ball and place a few peas and a couple of cubes of mozzarella in it.
    Dust each ball with a little flour, coat with the beaten egg and then coat in breadcrumbs. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan or in a deep fat fryer. Add the risotto balls a few at a timne and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot or cold. Enjoy!!

    Friday, July 3, 2009

    U Can't Kill the Baby

    I was walking home from a client meeting today - which happened to be in the same bldg I had my last corporate job in 9 years ago. And it happened to be rush hour on a holiday weekend - I just walked back to the Tenderloin instead of dealing with the bus. The light was blinding, shadows were long, so much scaffolding. And I suddenly had a big blast of terror. I cannot believe this show, this thing I couldn't even describe to anyone for years, then couldn't find a place to perform it. It's going to New York!!

    I was - or I thought I was - perfectly happy with this great consulting gig for these fantastic clients, its never been about what I make, but about how much I'm valued, and I am really valued at what I do. (And my freakin fantastic marriage (who the hell ever saw that coming - if there was ever a trainwreck it was my dating life in the 80s. . . and all the 90s till 1999).) I stopped performing years ago because singing was just boring and I felt there were people around me that NEEDED to be up there performing and for whatever reason I just wasn't one of them. Not that I wasn't good enough, but that I didn't need it and they did.

    Then my freakin psychic tells me in 04 that no matter what I think I need my soul has needs to do this thing with stories and music that I thought I didn't even care about anymore. But now I've shit out this baby and - I can't kill it. But it does really terrify me sometimes. To have this THING made up of all my pain & personal shit out there, external to me, like a kid. It's like when I got married - it was like I was watching a movie of me doing something I could never actually do in life.

    All I can say is, I'm really lucky this is happening in San Francisco. From the music industry to my blow through standup to solo performance, there has been such a great team of people whos hands I have passed through. Thanks to Bruce, Kamau, dear gentle Martha, mama Leslie, and all the rest (like they used to say on Gilligan's Island) as well as the hugely unlikely degree of separation that made all that possible, Sia Amma.

    I tape my performances to see what works and doesn't (I don't watch most of them, cuz it's just too agonizing, but I always watch the end of the tape, that's the only time I get to see the audience - where people sat, their body language coming and going.

    It's a great thing, but it scares me to care so much about something. I don't think that has ever happened to me before. Or maybe the post op meds from my eye surgery are just makin me all Lifetime Channel.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Why I really see psychics

    I've had some pretty amazing predictions come from psychics, most recently Jo Madrid. When I was really frustratedly single, hearing how elatedly married I'd be, when I was at death's door, hearing I'd ultimately make some tough decisions but be fine. I can't even say I believed most of the things when I heard them, particularly because they seemed to me to be "unrealistically oprimistic". But then I started to wonder how these things could ever be possible if even I couldn't bring myself to believe in them. I initially thought "of course they'll make it sound great - they want my money." But then she said as all ethical psychics do that they don't continue to do readings unless you have a new area of life to look at. In a sense the drug dealer was telling me to pace myself. So I started committing to at least believing they were possible.

    I actually don't go to my psychic for the great news, as it has also been the source of some difficult illuminations. And I am trained enough to know how psychics see things, so certain things (timing for one since timing in the psychic world is basically something that we create - I go into it more in my show) aren't so accurate.

    I go to a psychic to see myself without the limits and cravings of my ego. To her I am just a soul, with certain things set out to do, to manifest, to suffer, to actualize. My ego wants to be adored and pitied and validated and not too challenged. The soul doesn't give a f*ck about any of that. That ability to be seen free of your ego is a gift and it's changed my life more than any other experience I know.

    And its not just the reading itself - it's the vibration of the person's voice (my psychic works almost exclusively by phone since clients all over the world). I make my own recordings of our conversations cuz my iPod records so beautifully, and I often replay old readings before I go to bed at night. Its not the information, but the vibration before I go into the subconscious world. This morning I woke up with a creative idea i've been trying to string together for years. I've sensed it but couldn't quite grasp is consciously. I am very excited and will post more about this later.