Saturday, July 27, 2013

My sweet baby niece is auditioning for The Voice right now

My sweet baby niece -- who is 15-years-old now, by the way -- is auditioning for The Voice today in NYC. Every time I think about this, I start to cry a little bit. I cannot even imagine doing such a thing when I was 15. I know times are different; I was 15 23 years ago, after all. Still.

I guess my first audition was in college. I was trying out for a role in Bye, Bye Birdie. I wanted to play Mae Peterson, Albert Peterson's overbearing mother. When I tried out, I played Mrs. Peterson in a similar fashion to how Mike Myers played Linda Richman. I didn't get that part, but I did get myself a speaking part in the chorus. My line was, "...or Roger and Phyllis?" I was disappointed, but got over it quickly and had a blast.

I've auditioned for a few comedy-related things since then, and I can say with surety that if I never audition for anything again, it will be too soon. I hate it. The anxious build-up, the nerve-racking performance, the sick-making over-analysis of everything that happened, and the terrible let-down. I know there are people made of tougher stuff who can handle that scene with ease. I am not one of those people.

Maya is so excited about her audition; it's practically all she's spoken to me about lately. And that's fine, of course. I tried to share with her the reality of auditioning (especially the cattle-call-like auditions that these TeeVee shows hold) without extinguishing her flame. She was extremely sanguine about it, and was confident that if she didn't make it this time, she'd make it another time and everything would be fine.

I'm so proud of her for approaching this with so much hopefulness and without fear. That's really the ticket there. She's fearless! I don't know how she's turned so fearless, especially with me as her aunt. I'm always the one calling after her, "Be careful!"

What I should be calling after her is, "Don't be too careful!" Because I have to admit that I've been too careful. I've missed opportunities and experiences because I was too careful, too afraid. And I'm not regretful of that. But I sure am glad that Maya's not missing a thing.

God I love that kid. So much.

She got to audition for some producers, but didn't make it to the next level. When I got the news, I couldn't stop crying. It wasn't so much that I was disappointed she didn't make it more than I was sad that she had to endure the pain. That pain of rejection is so powerful and I have felt it so acutely and I'm just so sad that she has to feel it. That part where you don't want your sweet baby niece to ever have any pain is an impossible wish. I'm so proud of her for trying though. And I hope this experience doesn't make her stop trying. I wish I had her verve and vigor when I was her age. I'm so, so, so incredibly proud.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The only answer: I must be some kind of prostitute

I'm pretty mad about this Rush-Limbaugh-calling-Sandra-Fluke-a-slut-because-she-wants-her-health-plan-to-cover-birth-control thing.

Medical insurance is a complicated issue and I don't think anyone can argue that the system in the US is broken, broken, broken.  It's helpful to know that medical coverage became tied to employment during the wage freezes of World War II.  Because employers couldn't raise wages above their competitors, and because so many people were away fighting the war, qualified workers were scarce and benefits became a tool to lure 'em in.  Now health coverage is linked to employment, nearly intrinsically, in our minds.

Rush Limbaugh makes his living saying obnoxious things (and I might add, making uninformed arguments) and getting people to react to him.  We should not be surprised when he does this; it is his job.  He is very good at it.

But when he suggests that a fully grown woman who wants her health plan to cover birth control must be a slut or a prostitute, it really got to me. Then he said, "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

I have been using some manner of birth control for nearly two decades.  I was using birth control for YEARS before I was even sexually active -- to treat an actual medical condition.  Thankfully, it worked and I stopped having terrible, terrible -- and I mean terrible -- lady-business-related problems.  That was a miracle by itself.

Thankfully, I've never been employed by a Catholic company, and so my birth control has been covered by my health plan.  But people shouldn't have to make ANY medical decision based on the opinions of their employers.  Birth control is but one of untold thousands of legitimate health care costs.  Not using birth control can cause many other health care costs, not the least of which is the birth of a live human.  The part where we're even talking about this in 2012 just boggles my mind.

If Rush would like to watch woman using birth control, he need only turn his head around and keep his eyes open.  We are everywhere.  We are using birth control all the time.

But Rush wants videos.  Should we make some?  Let's do this!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mixed feelings re: 9/11

The entire mediascape is brimming with messages about remembrances of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

I have a variety of feelings and opinions about all this, and I kind of don't know how to sort through them.

On the actual day, I was a mess with the tears and fear.  Unlike so many of my friends, I didn't know a single person who died, so I wasn't personally affected, but I, like the rest of the country, was bereft.

Today, I keep crying thinking of all the people who died -- and all the people who love the people who died who have to make it through every single day without them. 

And I'm balancing that with feeling really disappointed in our leaders and how our country has changed in the last 10 years. 

I was really uncomfortable with the blind jingoism that directly followed the attack.  The people who waved the flag around all the goddamned time -- and couldn't follow the rules for displaying it -- burned my ass in a big way (and they still do, especially the flags that tucked into the car doors that waved as you drove and got filthy and tattered in short order).  And the erosion of civil liberties -- especially for people who aren't white -- enrages me (Dave Eggers' Zeitoun contains but one example of what I'm talking about).  And the part where my tax dollars are funding multiple wars that are killing thousands of our soldiers and untold thousands of innocent victims in theater makes me so sad that I have to pretend it's not happening so I can keep going on (we were attacked by exactly 0 Iraqis and 0 Afghanis, but we just can't seem to disengage in wars with "insurgents" in those countries).

This is a hard situation.  I have to hand it to Hilary Price, who totally nailed it today.  So many mixed emotions.  What can we do but howl?

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Investing in the future

At this point in my life, I'm embarrassed to say (and yet not too embarrassed to reveal) that I no longer know how many times I've soiled my pants.  These incidents have become too numerous to count.

It started in 1991 when I was a girl of 15 shitting my pants on Easter.  I think it was the au gratin potatoes that did it, but who cares?  The only soundtrack to this day in history was the uproarious laughter of my cousins.  This streak (pun intended) continues to this very day wherein I shit my pants not 14 feet from the toilet in my own house (yes, Scott got out the measuring tape to get exact metrics on this).

The details, while hilarious, are not really appropriate for a public forum.  Suffice it to say that no one was more surprised that I was shitting my pants than yours truly.  Except maybe Scott, who was only a few feet away.  When I realized what happened, I turned around, mortified, to see old Count Scottula gazing at me with a mixture of shock and awe.  And by awe I mean horror.

Usually these kinds of incidents are preceded by a frantic retreat to our home.  A scurrying, if you will.  A race against time.  Not this time.  I was just mild-manneredly minding my own business, enjoying a game of online Scrabble, without the vaguest of inklings of what was to come when, KAPOW.

Friends, I am going to purchase stock in Depends forthwith.  For the future.  I may as well make money on this malady.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

'I'll be taking care of you tonight'

Scott and I had dinner at Side Street Cafe last night.  It was really tasty and we had a great time.  We had the lighter fare meals so we'd have room for dessert.  Oh, dessert, you are the best part of a meal!

But the best dessert was that our server responded to, "Thank you," with, "You're welcome."

I'm afraid I'm turning curmudgeonly and I'm not sure I mind.  I'm sick to fucking death of these young people and their, "Not a problem," in response to, "Thank you."

My thanking you is a sign that I'm trying to exhibit polite gratitude for your services.  It doesn't suggest or indicate in the slightest that there was or has been a problem. The only problem in this situation is that the person saying, "Not a problem," is a total fucking moron.

Everyone should follow our server's lead here.  He's a shining example.  So shining, that I had to tell him how much I appreciated it, kind of like a nutjob.

I have to admit that I'll tolerate a, "No problem."  Something about, "Not a problem," hurts me somewhere inside.

On a related note, remember when the server used to come to your table and say, "My name is Amber and I'll be your server tonight?"  Somehow that turned into, "My name is Amber and I'll be taking care of you tonight."

Taking care of me?  Really?  What are you going to change my fucking diaper?

Who will tell the young people?  Certainly not me.  No one even reads blogs anymore.

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Hi, remember me?

What's happening?
Well, as you know, The Count and I were joined together in unholy matrimony, just like we said we would be. It was so amazing and powerful to be surrounded by our friend and family who love us. Look at some pictures, would you?
All these people at work who I hardly know can't stop asking me about how married life is treating me. "How's married life?" "How's married life treatin' ya?" "How's the old ball-and-chain?"
No one has actually said the ball-and-chain one. I just exaggerated for effect. Is that wrong?
Married life is exactly like our life before we got married, only now we have to remember to put on rings and call each other husband/wife/spouse.
Redbook promised that getting married would make us feel closer, but I don't think it has. We were already inseperable! Of course, Redbook promised this a long time ago. My elderly aunt who used to give me a subscription to Redbook for Christmas no longer provides me the luxury, so I have no idea what they're saying these days.
(As an aside, the lack of Redbook in my life also means I have no idea what disease I have that my doctor doesn't know about. Somehow I'm managing just fine.)
I find what has brought us closer is dealing with my family. I love those nutjobs, but they sure drive me -- nay, us -- to drink. Only water, so we're not hurting ourselves. We are more hydrated than we've ever been.
And happy. God, are we ever happy. And surrounded by love. We're the luckiest two people this world has ever seen.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Executive decision made; alert the media

People keep asking me if I'm going to change my name after Scott and I get hitched. I've really labored over this decision.

I love the idea of having a family name. Even though we don't plan to make one, that really appeals to me. But I don't like the idea of changing my name.

"Why not change your name? It's your father's name, not your name," said a moron to me. I have to differ on this. Sure, it's my father's name, but it's been my name for my whole life and that counts for something. Also, the historic significance of taking a husband's name having to do with the transference of property from father to husband really rankles me. Scott will not own me. He has already won me, but that's separate.

I've toyed with the idea of hyphenating my name secretly on my private documents (license, tax forms, social security card, etc.) and keeping it the same for work and comedy. That seems like a pain.

Ultimately, I've decided to stay Jennifer Myszkowski. It's my name. And I haven't worn it out.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Godless heathenism + Easter = springtime Thanksgiving

I've been a godless heathen for about 15 years. One thing that's kind of blowing my mind right now is how many people celebrate Easter - and assume I do too. I really feel assailed by it.

And even though it's not my holiday, I still have to attend an Easter dinner with my family.

What to do?

This morning I was reading through Facebook and spied a post by my pal Bill Bradley wherein he declared his gratitude for the people and good things in his life. And I thought, "That's the ticket!"

Starting today, I am now thinking of Easter as springtime Thanksgiving. Here are a few things I'm grateful for this springtime Thanksgiving:

  • The Count - We met five years ago in May. He's the best thing that's ever happened to me and I'm so glad we're getting hitched in June.

  • My family - Sometimes they drive me up a wall, but I love them and am grateful to have them.

  • Scott's family - One of the benefits of marrying my one true love is that his family gets to be my family too. When I was having my girlhood imaginations of in-laws, I couldn't have imagined people so lovely, loving and kind.

  • Our friends - We've assembled such a lovely group of people to love and love us. We are uncommonly blessed.

  • That everything is going to work out just fine - I had a minor meltdown a couple days ago over the wedding planning, but I know everything is going to work out just fine and that no matter what happens at our wedding, we're going to leave it married and that's the whole point.

  • Health - I've written extensively on this blog about plantar fasciitis. I've been over it for a couple years now and I can walk for fun and fitness again like I used to. Not being in near-constant pain has been such a glorious, glorious gift.

  • My job - I had two goals when I took my corporate-America job nearly five years ago: 1) save for retirement and 2) buy a house. I started saving for our golden years immediately upon hire. Two years in, we bought our house. It's a huge bonus that I love my job and my colleagues so much. It hardly even feels like work most days.

  • Our house, in particular, our newly renovated kitchen - Cooking food in a space intended for that purpose is so much better than the situation we had here before. I nearly forgot how much I love getting my bake on. We're living the good life!

Happy springtime Thanksgiving to all!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Giant man-feet strike again

Scott and I will be joined together in unholy matrimony on June 4, 2011. We finally finished the list and sent out save-the-date notices and all that crapola. Good god almighty.

The other day I was hanging out with my five-year-old cousin Jacob. He plopped down on the floor next to me and shouted, "It looks like you're wearing boys' shoes!" I replied, "That's because I am wearing boys' shoes."

I decided that I am not going to wear men's shoes to my wedding. Or sneakers. These are what I wear on a daily basis in order to fit both my giant man-feet and my orthotics. So I've commissioned a pair of shoes from Daphne Board. She's made a mock-up pair of shoes, which I've tried on, and soon she'll be making the real thing, in bright red, for the big day.

I'm doing this in high style.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where does the time go?

Hello, friends. Times have been tricky lately, which makes it hard to have time for such luxuries as blogging. But I have a little video of some comedy I performed on Thursday, which you may find enjoyable. Or you may not. Your call.

I wrote the jokes about Scott's step-father a little while ago, but this is only the third time I've performed them. The joke needs to be re-ordered a bit for a little more punch, but I like it and am confident that it's a keeper. And the "Jennifer Juniper" joke was a brand-new add-on I wrote that very morning. Basically what you're getting here is hot off the presses.

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