Monica Nevi

Comedian

My Project And Why It’s Important

This Saturday, November 18th will be the premiere of my short documentary series 80 For 80. This is a really important event for me and I feel that some people may be wondering why the project is important and relevant to me and also important and relevant in the current state of comedy and the country.

For Me

The project is a short video series of interviews with residents of King County over the age of 80. It is in the theme of a sports documentary and I had a wonderful time sitting down with each of the subjects. I am excited for you to see some of it. However, it should be known that this project was definitely for me. I have a couple obsessions that may border on unhealthy. In the past couple of years I have become pretty overwhelmed by thoughts of mortality in general and how to get the most out of your time here. I also tend to graze around the relationship between pain and comedy fairly consistently. Therefore the group of people who I felt like were honest enough and wise enough to tell us the truth about some of my questions and also be so painfully honest that it was funny was this group.

People in their 60s and sometimes 70s are still able and willing to sugarcoat things for us. Once you hit 80 there are zero fucks to be found. I had so many questions for people about their lives AFTER they had passed away. The project stemmed as a way to get this information before hand, for myself.

The other reason this project is really important to me is because I did it. I had the idea and told Ruben (the editor) about it and he encouraged me to apply for a grant to get it made. I did and we did. I learned so much about filming, had such amazing people helping me and even if it sucks, I can feel good about what we did. I am proud of that, although this has all been and will continue to be quite stressful.

For All Of Us

80 For 80 is important for all of us because buried within these hilarious comments and ridiculous stories is some real insight into what we should focus on and how we should treat each other and ourselves. Which are probably the two hardest things to master in the world. My philosophy with comedy and my podcast has always revolved around giving yourself a break to laugh and forget what stresses or pains you are having. That will happen too.

Even though there is some new sort of scandal most days it seems, a lot of the recent ones have been revolving around women in show business and how they are treated. I don’t really feel the need to tell a me too story because I think we can all assume some terrible things have happened. In light of all of these scandals however, I do feel very proud to have made a project like this on my own. At some point it becomes necessary for not only women in show business but anyone who is marginalized to just start trying to do things on their own. You can always say yes to yourself and if it’s something you believe in, you should do it. It may not be as easy or lucrative as having some big something buy it from you but it will feel better and you don’t have to watch anyone jerk off in a plant or whatever. The best way you can support anyone in art is to support their work. Go see people you like do stand up, support local artists, support the independent projects.

This is the part where I beg, I suppose. Please come support this project, it is something so different for me. I want it to be something even better and would love to do it again in other cities. Get your tickets now at monicanevi.com/80for80 and come see what no one else will get to see. Support me. If I’m being honest, I really need it. We are not 100% sure where the entire series will be released when it’s done but we will let you know when we know. But you can easily guarantee your opportunity to see what we have done by getting your tickets now. See an episode, behind the scenes footage and a Q and A session with myself, Ruben and other crew members.

How To Get Through A Long Drive

Traveling solo on that road trip you have always wanted to take? Moving cross-country with just as much of your stuff as you can fit in your car? Long drives can be intimidating but I’m here to give you some tips on how to get through them and what to expect as you go along. I drive a lot for my career, seemingly as a form of self-punishment so I have a lot of experience. This is based on an 18-hour drive but there are some elements marked that can be repeated if the drive exceeds that time.

Hour 1: Get an early start! Save up your podcasts for the week and/or an audiobook you have been meaning to listen to.

Hour 3: Switch to music. Listening to other people talk who aren’t there will result in you talking back to them eventually.

Hour 5: Sit in silence with your thoughts and connect with who you are inside on a deeper level.

Hour 6: Begin to question what exactly you did wrong to deserve to punish yourself like this.

Hour 7: Get the words to “It’s Windy” by The Association stuck in your head, even though you haven’t actually heard it in years but only the two lines that go

“Who’s tripping down the streets of the city?

Everyone knows it’s windy!”

You will later figure out those lines are not next to each other in the song and that is fine.

Hour 8: Fully embrace your self-hatred and genuinely question why anyone would love you or why you deserve anything good. Start reading the word ‘anal’ in front of all RV and trailer names.*

Hour 9: Music again.

Hour 10: Call someone in your phone! (Hands free, of course). Maybe someone you have been meaning to call just to catch up!*

Hour 11: Decide you should order some type of kitchen gadget, like a food processor on Amazon and do so.*

Hour 12: Everyone knows it’s windy!*

Hour 13: Lose complete control of your emotions. Are you crying? Is that road sign really that funny? You won’t be sure!

Hour 14: You will begin to accept your emotions and pain and relax into the realization that you have actually gone insane.

Hour 15: Curb hallucinations that may be setting in at this time by rapping  along to angry hip hop as loud as you can.*

Hour 17: You’re now in a fight with yourself. You have stopped talking.

Hour 18: You made it! That wasn’t that bad!

Now you can just enjoy the next 3 days at your destination trying to decipher what is reality and what isn’t.

There you go! This will help you get through that drive, you can do it!

*Repeatable step, if the trip takes longer than 18 hours.

 

 

The Upper Left

In between your moments spent weeping tears from all the disaster happening around us you may have noticed that I have completely my Upper Left Tour and am back in Los Angeles for now. Well, I’m flattered you took the time to notice that. People have had a lot of questions and I figure I should give a little recap of the good, the bad and the funny that was The Upper Left Tour.

The Good:

-I saw and worked in a ton of places I hadn’t worked before, a lot of small towns and fancy venues I hadn’t done yet and now I know how/where to get weed in all of them. I never saw myself in Nampa, ID or Pedelton, OR. Never did I consider I may be excited to go to places in Washington like Spokane or Richland but life throws you some interesting pitches sometimes and I have a known ability to get the bat on a curve ball.

-I got to work with some amazing people. Always nice to go back to the Northwest and work with some of my favorite comics but I also had the chance to work with some hotties that I hadn’t met before and I love watching monsters work. I got to open for Michael Ian Black and that was amazing. Matt Braunger was such a sweet guy to work with. At Bumbershoot I got to hang and work with Judah Freidlander, Brody Stevens, Joel Kim Booster, Todd Barry and Debra DiGiovanni and they all slayed so hard and were such nice people. Loved it and learned so much.

-Speaking of Bumbershoot, I got to do two festivals and I had a wonderful time at both. Festivals from time to time can be hard to deliver on. This year was great. Bumbershoot was fun and I love being a part of something so historically Seattle. I also had the opportunity to do the 208 Festival in Boise, ID. And that felt like a really fun summer camp where everyone was so nice, SO funny and we were treated very well with awesome shows.

-The hotels. My favorite part. I have enough shampoo, conditioner, lotion and hand soap to last me and all my roommates until next tour. Hotel sleep is a different experience that scientist should learn how to bottle. I only left one very important item in the hotel one time. I also had the tremendous experience of having a hotel room where the shower was in the middle of the room and not in the bathroom (check instagram @monicanevi for the proof).

-80 for 80. What a fun experience that I am so excited to see how it turns out and share it with you. I feel very proud of me and my team for being able to pull off a silly idea I had in the winter and actually execute and film it with grant money by the summer. It was a wonderful experience with great, hilarious and interesting people. I learned so much from producing, writing and performing as well as the intricacies of the jobs that my crew has done perfectly. It’s more than I could ever have asked from for just starting with a silly text that said “hey I have an idea.”

The Bad (Or Questionable):

-Poor Jean (that’s my car). My hot ass red Ford Focus out here all summer driving around crushing gas mileage and not smelling that bad for essentially having someone live inside of her. However, we had 3 oil changes in 3 months and are about to need another one. She has been worked hard this summer and I appreciate all that she has done for us.

-My computer. Although I am fingering her gently now, she is definitely on the way out. If anyone has suggestions on how to get a new computer when you really, really can’t afford one… let me know.

-Tired and lonely. Potentially the name for my next tour. The travel is fun to be in other places and I feel so lucky I get to do comedy in all these different parts of the country but the getting there sucks. Long drives and yourself being the only person to talk to most of the time. It gets real crazy in there.

-Hotels. I know I said it was good before and I’m a fan of always keeping something positive in mind but I did have a few really lonely hotel nights where I had been driving long days, performed multiple shows and that is the perfect combination to result in slim jims and tears while laying on a hotel room floor. It only happened twice but still. Would have had a third had there not been a shower and jacuzzi tub right in the middle of my room, thank you Phoenix Inn.

What’s Next:

-Honestly, there is quite a bit more work coming up as far as travel goes. This time more in and out of LA but I have been offered enough work that is would be silly not to take it. So first off I’m back in Seattle for a cool corporate gig and because of that I put together an awesome Renton show in Renton at Delancey’s on 3rd FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29th. Other awesome Renton comics and myself headlining as I have not headlined a show in Renton in a couple years and this will be a fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma. Get your tickets now! Here And/Or sign up for my e-mail list through this website to get a discount code.

-80 for 80 is currently in editing. This takes some time so be patient. It will be out this fall, so fear not. The date is flexible at this point as I want to make sure we have time to create exactly what we want to be able to present to you. However, there will be a big premiere event so keep your eyes out for that as well as sneak peaks and small clips in the mean time.

-Very exciting work going on with the HugLife Podcast, we have some huge announcements coming up in the next couple weeks that I couldn’t possibly be happier about. If you aren’t listening, please change that. It’s worth it, it’s fun and I am very proud of it. Check it out here.

Thank you to everyone who came out to shows and bought magnets and hugged me and sent tweets and messages and everything over the course of the tour. Literally, could not do it without you… need someone to be able to talk this nonsense at and I love you for that.

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Amazon Deleted My Positive Review

I have a little internal dispute with the fact people most often leave reviews and comments when they are upset about something and rarely take the time to say anything positive. I have been trying to positively review some of the things I think other people would like to use, especially if I really enjoy the company or creator.

A few months ago (I have been dealing with the emotional repercussions of this experience, so it has taken me a bit to write this) I was having some issues going the bathroom. My grandmother suggested I use a laxative, so I went to the Wal-mart and picked up the Equate Gentle Women’s Laxative and this review is the story of what happened and how surprisingly well it worked. Below is a screenshot of the top of their e-mail denying my support of the company and below that is the entire review.

This is the full thing so you can understand why I am disappointed Amazon didn’t accept this glowing review:

“If you are stressing about using a laxative choose this one as it will definitely eject any fear or concern right out of your asshole. This was a last resort for me personally as I had some ongoing issues with constipation that had become painful. I chose these specifically because I am a woman and like most things gentle. As I had learned in the past based on massages and watching children pet dogs, we all have a different definition of gentle.

The reason this product gets a 5 is because it did what it was supposed to do. The label said to expect some action 6-12 hours after it is taken. The next morning, about 10 hours after I took one of the 5mg pills, I had a movement that could be considered gentle only in how soft it was. Although, it was a little startling, I finally felt a little relief. I didn’t think everything was cleared out but I was very pleased something was happening. About 30 minutes later, I felt a little bit of a rush to the restroom to then expel what I can only describe as ass vomit. It was a lot but I did feel like I got all the stuff that was stuck in there out.

About an hour later I was on the phone on my bed and as I got off the phone I rolled onto my stomach. I promptly shit my pants while lying on my stomach in sweatpants, sans underwear. The math on how that happened is still a little bit shaky in my head but if you imagine stepping on a Capri Sun, shot out like a straw. After I audibly said “oh, that’s not good” I shuffled to the bathroom and had my first official shit to shower. I wore the sweatpants into the shower.

One more bout and I felt great, like everything had finally come out and the shame of shitting my pants without any underwear on was starting to hurt a little less. I couldn’t help but notice my abs killin it and think that the gentle may how been referring to the severity of the bulimia you might have if choosing to use these. Cost effective and ass effective. If you want to feel a little fear, need something to make you feel alive and also clean you out. This is the product. ”

I don’t want to give you the impression I am fighting with Amazon on Prime Day because I am not. I am fighting the war on positive reviews everyday. In fact I like Amazon and you should use this banner to check out those Amazon deals, if that’s what you’re into. Maybe all the scientific terms were too much for their review guidelines but I genuinely encourage you to write positive reviews for any products, podcasts or services you use and are happy with. They have a great impact on the success of the company so you can continue to have their services flow right through you.

Any direct questions about the quality of the laxatives are welcomed in the comments. I have 29 of the 30 pills left if anyone wants to try.

I Keep Dating People, Who Are Dating People.

I am a comedian. If you have seen my set, listened to my podcast or anything I have done, it’s fairly obvious I am not great at dating. In fact at some point now I say “I’m just not good at it” on stage. Most of that is my fault but I have come across this cycle where I date people who are dating people, and not on purpose. I’m confused by it, appalled at some points and now genuinely discouraged again. It’s complicated but maybe someone –anyone?- else has had this happen this too.

Life And Art

In the fall of last year I wrote a joke about having been “dating” or “talking” to someone who gets engaged during that time, which was and is true. The only part I exaggerated was that it has happened to me four separate times. At the time of me writing the joke, only one person got in engaged and one was seeing someone very seriously (like years) while we were “dating.”

“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” -Oscar Wilde

As a stand-up comic I like to talk about my life, things that have happened to me or things that I have witnessed. I don’t do political material because right now I enjoy not thinking about it for a moment. Also, I’m too stupid to really know what I am talking about. I want the audience to be able to relate to stuff I have been through or at least understand it. I think comedy is art… sometimes. Those times are when it really does imitate life.

I started telling the joke in October and since then I have either had this happen again or found out that while I was dating someone in the past they were with someone else – a total of 5 times now. My subconscious must have been so uncomfortable with the fact I wasn’t completely telling the truth on stage that it was like, we have to fix this.

What Is Happening?

In the past 2 years I have dated 2 people that got engaged during the time we were hanging out and 3 people who were soon moving in with a person they had been seeing more multiple years. Sure I want to blame it on an outside force and I am starting to think maybe this is all a simulation but here is no way that I am not at fault for some of this.

A lot of this may stem from the fact I am a pretty traditional person. I get jealous, I like monogamy but love is the scariest thing in the world, so I just stay away from relationships all together. I feel that if you are going to tell someone you love them and only want to be with them then you should do that. If those feelings change, you should also tell them. My issue with the fact this keeps happening is that they are lying to the other person more than they are lying to me.

I have watched someone I loved be with another person when they said they loved me and there are few pains greater. To know that I was, or could have been, the partial cause of someone else feeling like that, makes me sick to my stomach. Even though I am a badass-independent-strong mama-cool girl, I don’t like it when other people are hurt. Also, I am lied to in this scenario as well and I don’t like that at all.

Hopefully, this is a simulation and I am just someone’s Sims character and they saw me thinking about a person I had dated a year ago like “I should tell him that I did really care about him and I’m sorry and that he is the only person I had considered a relationship with in the past 7 years, yeah I should do that.” Cut to a day later when a friend of mine runs into him and confirms that he not only was with someone the whole time we were hanging out but they are moving in together. Cool, number 5. So whoever is in charge, made that happen so I wouldn’t embarrass myself. Good on you, I hope you win this game.

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Obviously, there is a flaw in the people I am attracted to, how I am treating the relationship or just me as a person that is leading to these situations. If I think about it, after having been burned before, I do steer away from finding out the truth. I never ask if they are seeing someone else because I am usually not looking for something exclusive, so I don’t really care. I don’t want them to ask me that same question so I just don’t bring it up.

Note to self: When they don’t ask if you are seeing anyone else, they are seeing someone else.

In reality I am fine with them casually dating or hanging out with other people, I have a weird life, it doesn’t work for relationships. My issue is with them being in a serious relationship with intentions of ending up with that person and them not being aware that you are out here swinging your dick around.

Note to self: Dick swinging is not attractive.

My indifference has led me to gloss over a lot of things that in retrospect would have been strong indicators of what was going on. More than one of these cases had excused text messaging, where every time they would be texting or calling a certain person they would vigorously explain who it was. “Oh this is Sarah, she is my best friend, nothing is going on at all, we are just friends.” Even though I NEVER asked who it was or what was going on, I don’t explain my text messaged because I’m not hiding anything. I did have one person ask me why I wouldn’t check my texts in bed, was I hiding something? I just didn’t have any messages.

Note to self: When an unasked question is answered, it’s a lie.

I am upfront with the fact I am busy, I am out of town a lot and I’m kind of a bitch. I hope the other person is honest about their situation too. The only scenario I have found honesty in has still been real fucked up, someone who did get married, told me but then said they still wanted to date and it was okay in their situation… and I did that for awhile. Maybe because my standards of normal are so low and I don’t think anything can function or because it was the first person who had been moderately honest with me in years. People just want you to do what they want and will lie through their butts to get you to do it.

Alternative Dating Styles

As a result of my naturally traditional intuition I had previously viewed people in open relationships or poly-amorous relationships as ‘outsider’ and weird. After all of this, however, I have a much greater respect for that amount of communication and confidence in your relationship it would take to make that work. It’s not traditional, sure, but at this point traditional just means you are cheating on each other.

I have more than one married friend who has threesomes all the time and that works great for them. I know a few people that have an extra girlfriend or whatever and everyone is cool with it. I know a small amount of people who have had an open relationship work for them. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around how comfortable I would be in a situation like that but I respect it far more than I do anyone who has just started dating me even though they were going to propose soon to someone else.

The fact that is plural is insane.

The amount of security, love and communication it takes to talk to someone about what you are feeling instead of cheating on them is admirable. Pretending you are single and sleeping with someone DAYS before you propose to someone else, is not.

There are a few things I am saying:
1. This is a weird pattern and I don’t know how to fix it but maybe someone else has had this happen too.
2. This all may really be a simulation.
3. Stop judging people who have an alternative style of relationship, if it is working that’s better than half of us anyway.
4. The most important, if you do have someone who is on your same page, doesn’t cheat on you, treats you right and communicates. Enjoy them, have fun in those moments and cherish the fact you found something good. Because everyone is lying and it will come out eventually so you might as well have fun for a while.

The 5 Steps To A Viral Video

Whether it’s unintentional or well thought out the viral video is the pinnacle of internet success. Some of us are looking to create something we are proud of and have others really enjoy it so they share it with their friends, like you will with this article. Others are just hoping to have their phone out when someone falls in a fountain or gets dragged off a plane. We are going to focus on the intentional viral video part, since you can only cross your fingers so long that a girl gets punched in the face in the background of your SnapChat.

Here are the very easy steps to making a viral video*

Step 1: Conceptualize

Whatever it is you want this video to represent at the end have a clear vision of that when you start. What category is it going to fit in? What is the message you want to get out to people? Are you motivating, are you helping, are you instructing, are you showcasing something amazing or are you making people laugh/cry? This is intentionally viral so you must be intentional with your planning. Lay out and write down what you are going to do and be able to identify the parts that will make people want to share.

Step 2: Boobs And Cats

Now take the structure you just created and chop it up so you can fit in as many cats and boobs as possible. If you have the opportunity to film cats and boobs together, you are really helping yourself out. The more the better. Now, if your original structure was meant to be just a cat playing with boobs simply add more cats and boobs you don’t really need to rewrite too much.

Step 3: Add An Injury 

Since it is morally questionable and pretty dark to manufacture some sort of tragedy for your viral video, your next best bet is to have someone fall or hit their head. People love to watch other people get hurt. Usually this needs to be a minor injury that the audience will know the person is okay but some people are into wondering if the person made it. So cut from cats and boobs to a friend running into the door or falling off a table they should not have been standing on.

Step 4: Title And Share Relentlessly

This is key, share the video on all of your social media and post it directly to your friends’ pages. The title is what will draw them in so make it something that is intriguing and true to the video itself and catchy like “Man Falls On Kitties Playing With Titties” or something like that. Then message those same friends with the exact same link and ask them to either share it, like it or up vote it. This makes every single follower so annoyed that they have to watch it to know what is going on. There is nothing we like more than watching something that has been shared a ton and going “that wasn’t even that good.” That’s what makes it a viral video, it being divisive.

Step 5: Constantly Check View Numbers

You are going to want to post it separately on Facebook and Youtube as they have different view counting systems. When people ask you how many views it has, always go with the Facebook number as it will absolutely be higher. Check back on the views every 10 minutes for the rest of the day. When you start getting a lot of views make posts sharing the video again that say things like “almost to 1 million” or almost “more than that Adele video.” What ever gets people riled up to watch it again. The numbers are what make it viral, so always check them.

If you follow these steps you will be 100% guaranteed** to have a viral video on your hands. Remember to think about what people are going to want to SHARE. That’s the biggest thing to keep in mind. Some viewers are great and align with exactly what you want them to and then there are the majority of people who need something they can comprehend and that’s where the viral videos flourish.

In my experience, I really have fun and feel fulfilled when I make my monthly Mellowing Out with Monica meditation videos but people enjoyed watching my perform stand up after smoking weed a little bit more. All of which is on my YouTube channel you can subscribe to here.

Whatever you gathered from this article I know for a fact that I am not wrong.

*I have never had a video go viral and am using an aggregated source of information on videos that I have seen go viral.

**This number is based solely on the actual kitty-boob-fall video described the steps.

 

 


Why Angela Bassett Should Replace Amy Schumer As Barbie

If you hadn’t heard, they are making a new Barbie movie which comedian and sexy soft bodied comedian Amy Schumer was set to play the title role. I am always down for the idea to have a woman with a more relatable body type to show young women. Yeah Amy, your body isn’t brave, it’s relatable. I like Schumer a lot, even after the fame and say what you want about me personally but I liked the Leather Special more than her last HBO special and ‘Mostly Sex Stuff’ is one of my top 5 favorite comedy specials. I have watched almost all of the comedy, ever.

Regardless of how we feel about Amy Schumer she has backed out of the film for what seems to be a better role in a different movie. Now we have to find a new Barbie and I have seen some other ideas being thrown around about who that should be so I wanted to throw in my 2 Angela Bassett cents.

What Barbie Is To Me

I think this is an important question to ask yourself when you are tackling the hard hitting issue of who you think would be a better pick to portray Barbie. Did she symbolize what you wanted to be? Did you idolize the idea of an impossibly tiny waist, huge tits and blonde hair? Or were you like me and for years Barbie and Skipper had to take their camping van into the garage because they always brought way too much food that they didn’t eat and it would get all over?

For me Barbie eventually turned into only naked in the bathtub with Ken and a convertible car and they literally never wore clothes. Which I like to think is really what happened next. What I am saying is that what Barbie meant to each of us, will vary. I played with Barbie and I was more self-conscious about my body because of Cheryl Miller than Barbie.

Age

I like to take things literally and if we are talking about Barbie now, she would be at least 58, as she was ‘born’ of March 9th, 1959. Mind you she was born a 19 year old blonde girl but whatever. Angela Bassett is 58 years old right now.

Fame

Barbie is famous as fuck yo. She is the original Kardashian and she got to come in her own box to get that fame. So I feel like the real-life Barbie should be seasoned in taking fame gracefully. Angela Bassett has been in the spotlight for years, manages to have had a successful marriage since 1997 and has two kids while still working and maintaining fame. That’s an admirable fame story.

Looks

This is where we might be divided, I know the original body is unrealistic and we were going to go with Carb Barbie this time but a 58 year old women who can’t bring those guns into a school zone is a body image I want to have on my wall. As a former athlete with a Bachelors in Sports and Exercise Science and a Masters in Judging People On Instagram this is what is hot now. We are no longer chasing the tiny waist, big boobs thing. We want to be able to eat a balanced, healthy meal and be on the squat team. Angela Bassett’s body is amazing, she got the booty we are all looking for and she just walks around like her body isn’t magic, handing out boners left and right.

Also, the little white girls are going to be just fine, they see themselves enough as it is. Barbie has always been someone we convinced ourselves we should try to be like. Beautiful, home-maker, sweet lady. Well Angela Bassett seems to be all of those things and more. I wake up everyday hoping that somehow I have become Angela Bassett.

Angela Bassett Barbie Has Seen Some Shit

This is the most important part to my suggestion, I want my Barbie to have seen some shit. Personally, I have always felt that being drown in a bathtub everyday and getting terrible haircuts that never grew back just wasn’t a real enough struggle for me to relate to my Barbie. Angela Bassett Barbie has seen most of the things that shape our nation, meaning she can help you navigate through what is coming next.

She was Rosa Parks. She knows Malcom X. She mothered the Jacksons. She met some boys in the hood. She exhaled after lighting her husbands car on fire and then she got her groove back. Not to mention being an important part in a spelling bee before she was Coretta Scott King. You try making time for all that.

All I’m saying is if we are moving in this progressive direction of someone we should be looking up to, she’s the one. She is a time tested, beautiful, strong mother and wife who supports charities and has maintained an outstanding career and classy demeanor through all of it.

Alternative Answers

Maybe you disagree with me so here are some other options I have thought of that I don’t think would be as good as Angela Bassett but could be considered.

  • Charo
  • Betty White
  • Rihanna
  • Jane Seymour
  • Laverne Cox
  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Leslie Jones

Or we could just take the story in a more literal direction and see what really happened to Barbie and put Courtney Love in there.

Just something to think about.

I Am Me Because Of The Strong Women In My Life

It wasn’t only International Women’s Day that prompted this. It could also have been the spam comment I got from “BoycottBitches.com” but I have just been thinking on the strong women in my life and how lucky I am. I have a weird, fun, sometimes stressful and financially unrewarding life that I wouldn’t trade for the literal control of the world. The only reason I have been able to achieve anything, set myself up for any success or sit in this coffee shop in Louisville waiting for my shows this weekend is because of the strong women in my life.

It is silly and unfortunate that I feel I have to wait until something prompts me to write a post of this nature. Although, I spend a lot of my energy writing jokes, making videos and producing a podcast that highlights the good parts of people and life, some times I feel like I should tone it back. That’s silly. I am so sick of hearing about everything we hate and how mean we are and how we kill each other. I want to talk about good stuff, lest we forget it exists. This is a series of short descriptions of the strong women in my life, how they changed me and to the men who helped create an environment for us to thrive. If you have women in your life like this, I hope you take the time to appreciate them and reflect on these things. If you do not have strong women in your life or you don’t respect them, I feel sorry for you and the personal development that you have deprived yourself of.

Mother Figures And Grandmothers

I am more than aware that I am blessed to have not only an amazing mother but 3 awesome grandmothers and various other women in my family that had me learning what it was like to be strong and independent since day one. People frequently ask me how I got the courage to start stand-up, quit my job, travel alone, move away from home, etc. The honest truth is it never crossed my mind that it was some kind of courageous moves. I wanted to be true to myself and I had people that always told me I could do whatever I wanted and supported me in doing so. So I did. Why was I able to do that? I watched women my whole life do things they weren’t “supposed to do.”

My grandma Shirley got a business degree back when we were barely allowed to talk and ran her own business in Idaho her whole life, while raising two daughters. She even kept the newspaper clipping from when a drunk customer “slugged her in the face.” How fucking bad ass is that?

My grandma Karen is the literal funniest person I have ever met and completely unintentionally. She worked as a hair stylist and dental hygienist while my grandfather was a school teacher. Raised two of the weirdest yet most respectful and caring men in the world. To this day she is ahead of the curve on social issues, supports me in my involvement in women’s rights issues and texts me the most hilarious supportive messages when I am at a women’s march or some other protest.

My grandma Barbara has the exceptional story of changing her life in the most impressive of ways. From working in Vegas to making the difficult decision of having her daughters live with their father to becoming a faith-driven, Texas living lady and loving mother. That’s strength and an admirable commitment to yourself and what makes you happy. She never gave up on her family or herself. She starting taking computer classes and GED courses at age 80.

My sweet Pam, if you have ever read any of my stuff, seen my stand-up or talked to me, you are aware I love my mother. The example she inadvertently set for me by moving away from rural Idaho -because she knew people weren’t being treated right there- becoming a boss lady in her field, surviving as a single mother and ultimately showing me to my face what it is like to continue to be productive and successful in your work field while having a great, healthy and equally supportive marriage. Well, it’s a lot to live up to but I like a challenge.

Basically, I have seen these women, right in front of me, my whole life do all these things, they weren’t supposed to, at times they weren’t supposed to and be so successful and great at it. With that in mind, the real question is, why wouldn’t I have made all these decisions when my whole life I haven’t just been told I can do anything, I have been shown.

 

Women In Work And Basketball

Basketball and the relationships I formed while playing saved my life over and over again. I got to be shown examples of strong young adult women, working hard, doing what they love and achieving goals, coaches teammates and fans alike. There is something about having the people you look up to you, affirm that you’re capable, that sticks with you forever.

I had a coach in college that would refer to getting shots up as “getting better.” “There was no court around so I couldn’t go get better” she once told me about playing overseas in Ireland. We were going to have an individual workout with a player who was going to training camp for a WNBA team and she said “how long are we going to work out for?” My coach responded “it depends on how much better you want to get” BOOM! That is so far stuck in my head that every time I am tired before a show or don’t want to work on writing or am afraid to send e-mails or network I just have this voice in my head saying “it just depends on how much better you want to get.”

People talk shit about all the things I do, so I am used to it. Women’s basketball is or isn’t this, women aren’t as funny… blah blah blah. It’s old, it’s played out, it’s unoriginal. I have literally spent so much of my life watching young women, from different backgrounds and countries, develop as strong, independent people that there is nothing you can say about what I do that can take any pride or love I have for it away. I have watched teammates graduate, get great jobs that give back to the community, own their own businesses, become bosses at huge companies, start beautiful families and get married to people they love that support them, all because we wanted to play a sport that boys were supposed to play. Basketball and the support system it formed for me got me through all of school, got me a degree and got me the mindset and non-com support I still have. I love all those women, their husbands and wives and their children for being so great. If you can’t acknowledge how great sport, STEM and art programs can be for a young woman, the program isn’t the problem, it’s the way you view us.

I have also been blessed with some female bosses that were a blaring example of believing in yourself, carrying yourself as a professional and performing at the level that you know you deserve to be at relentlessly until someone finally acknowledges it. People tell comics all the time to “be undeniable” but I learned that years ago from my lady bosses that just kept pushing until they could not be denied.

The Men That Support Women

You don’t have to call yourself a “male feminist” just fucking show up.

Also, you can just say feminist, if you want.

I am picky about the men in my life and how they treat women. The comics I associate with and the friends I have are guys that have shown that they treat women right. It’s easy to keep them around when they treat you right. My friends know I am strong, know I am capable and definitely pick me in the top 3 for any team sport game. They are extremely intelligent men that value a woman who is smart and independent, and good on my friends for cashing in on the noble move of being a kept man. I have always seen my parents marriage as equal, supportive and always pushing each other to be better in work, in life and golf/marathoning. My grandfathers were just as great about their wives being as strong and independent as they were. Which is a testament to the fact it’s not a “different time” it’s just human decency to treat women and minorities with the respect they deserve as humans.

I know that men are great allies, supporters and advocates for women because I see it everyday when they treat us with respect. The headliners that take me on the road as much as the guys, giving me that same chance. The bosses I had that saw my work for what it was and gave me promotions based on that and not who it was coming from. My friends that love, respect and treat their wives like the strong beautiful women they are. I delight in seeing men just be humans and treat us as such. There are few things more fun, more attractive or more hopeful then dudes treating ladies like humans. It’s pretty awesome.

All in all, stop worrying about the idea of what women’s rights means on a huge level, think about you mom and your daughter and niece and your sister and your grandmother and your best friend and they are being treated, how decisions effect them and how you are treating them. Reflect on their strength and their story and how it has made you a better person.

If none of these things are true for you, if you just minimize and marginalize women enough that this made you mad, I feel sorry for you. Sorry you clicked on this looking for something to be mad about, sorry if my praise of the women in my life has made you upset about your own. But if it does, please “boycott bitches” that would actually make this way easier.

 

Death is the Question: Tribute to Grandpa

You could have been following me for less than a month and figure out that I don’t do well with grief and loss. I have been working on it for years but it is still not a smooth ride. This last Saturday my grandfather passed away, just days before his 90th birthday. It’s when he was supposed to go and he had been struggling for awhile. It was one of those situations where there is a bit of relief after they leave, as it is apparent they were suffering. However, my own issues with grief, loss and my tendency to take on other people’s stress always leaves me with more questions than answers.

My Grandpa

Of all lives to live and times to go he did it right. From Idaho, married 5 times that we know of and used one of those marriages to create the most perfect lady in the whole world (my mom). Dude worked hard his whole life, they couldn’t get him to stop working until he was in his 80s. He loved hard too, obviously by the amount of wives but he was just a charming good guy and women loved him all the way up to the nurses taking care of him at the end. He had a bunch of kids, like enough to where I can’t even really tell who is who’s sibling but they are/were all very sweet people, that cared too much sometimes but in the most genuine ways, just good people.

He was an Army veteran, beer drinking, good time. When me and the other grandchildren came along it was like he was built to be a grandpa, like he was waiting his whole life for it. Why else would you say shit like “he’s like a fart in a skillet?” That’s not a dad thing, that’s a grandpa thing. He was just grumpy enough where you knew he was 100% genuine all the time. He would sacrifice anything for people he cared about. He received a purple heart from his time at war and had the gnarly scars to prove it. When I was little I would sit on his lap and punch him in the stomach, you know, cause I was a fun kid. After 4-5 punches every time he would show everyone his belly with the biggest knife scars all the way across them and say “you’re so strong! look what you did!” What a fun time, with a fun guy. Also, for the record, I am pretty strong.

Most importantly, even the concerns you might have for an old man from rural Idaho were not an issue. I’m sure he internalize some shit you wouldn’t want to hear, just based on some of the hate being spewed by others around him but I don’t really think he cared. I had never known him when he could hear very well, which meant he was also loud as fuck when he would talk. I remember my high school graduation party when one of my many basketball coaches walked in with her partner at the time and my grandpa was sitting in the recliner – where he also slept – and as they passed through the room into the backyard he yelled “are those two a little funny?” This of course being his way of asking if they were lesbians but when we said yes he was just kind of like “okay, just checking.” It was only mildly embarrassing but I can’t help but think it could have been much worse.

My grandfather knew what he loved and didn’t pay much attention to the things that didn’t fit that. Which is an outlook that many of us work really hard to obtain and he mastered it. He was a real ‘live and let live’ kind of guy, a real hard worker and a real caring gentleman. He did it right, lived right and died right.

The Questions

His simple yet impressive life resume is what seems to be leaving me with so many questions and ill feelings after someone passes. I just wish after someone passed you could sit with them and go over everything and see how they felt about it. I suppose they don’t feel about it, because they are dead.

At this time last year, closer to the beginning of February, my aunt passed away. I wrote a post about it then but my site crashed so we don’t have it. In short she had a much different life, drug addiction and abusive relationships with bad people. She wasn’t a bad person though, she was actually a very caring person. I have so many questions for her. I just have become overly concerned with the idea of mortality in the past few years, possibly a symptom of this sweet, sweet anxiety disorder.

Hard to feel relieved when anyone has passed without having any solid answers but specifically answers about how they felt. I don’t take issue with there being an afterlife or not, I also don’t have an answer for it either. I envy people who do but it’s not as concerning to me as what happens when you are here and how you feel. I have very religious friends who find purpose in everything they do because it is for a higher power. I also have people in my life who know 100% there is no god and therefore they have no questions. I am equally jealous of both people. That gives them answers. ‘I know everything I am doing is for the right reason for my higher power’ or ‘we live, we die, that’s it, nothing more.’ But death only leaves me with more questions and it’s absolutely because 50% of what I worry about is just if I am doing a good enough job, working hard enough, ever going to be happy or if my family and friends are proud of me. All reasons to be doing it but at the moment without answers.

With all the overarching issues we are facing I go back and forth each day trying to keep myself grounded and pay attention to myself while also being a global citizen. You know what? That’s pretty fucking hard. I care greatly about my family and friends and spend time worrying about them. I, unfortunately, moderately keep up with the dumpster fire that is this country’s politics but in reality I ate a can of beans and top ramen for breakfast and I have been sleeping on a top sheet that is too small to tuck into the bed instead of the fitted sheet for over a month. And what’s more interesting is that I am fine with it.

I just hope that my grandfather is half as happy and as proud about what he did as I am of him and what he created. Those are the questions I want answers too. I think he does and I think he knew how much EVERYONE loved him, he was a cocky fella, so he had to.

In conclusion, there is no conclusion.

Cheap Last Minute Valentine Gift Ideas

Aside from comedy and basketball, my passion truly lies in helping other people. That is why I compiled this list of last minute Valentine’s gift ideas that will leave you with a very happy partner, a full wallet and jealous friends because they didn’t think of these. Unless they also read this but then you just have super cool friends and that is exciting as well. This list is full of last minute ideas that twist the norms, push the boundaries and always end in sex. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

1. Chocolate Box Without Chocolate – Don’t buy a new one. Find an empty one, maybe from years ago. Take the wrappers and the gross cherry ones you never ate out of it and put something in there that they actually like. How jacked would you be if you opened a chocolate box, expected an assortment of chocolates containing only 3-5 types that you will actually eat, and inside was just as many tacos or chicken nuggets as the love of your life (clearly) could fit inside? So jacked. Done.

2. Real Love Coupons – This is a classic move, for those of us that are poor at planning. Make a little coupon booklet that your partner can turn in for sweet things like 1 back rub or a hug or something else dumb. NO. We take it to the next level, give them some coupons they will be excited to use. My suggestions include: “1 use of ‘no’ when I say ‘we need to talk.'” “1 excused absence from a family gathering you don’t want to go to.” “1 excused night where you get to get too drunk and no matter how much you throw up or cry I still have to help you nurse your hangover the next day,” or “butt stuff.” You know, real value.

3. Actual Stuffed Animal – Again, don’t buy a new one. If you have the supplies for this don’t even leave the house. Find a stuffed animal of theirs, moderately loved, maybe one you purchased in a past point of weakness. Cut open the back of the squishy friend at the seam, pull out some stuffing, insert some weed, mushrooms, cocaine or mini booze bottles (whatever your partner prefers), do a terrible stitching job so they can open it easily later. Finally, have the best night/into the morning you have ever had.

4. Whore-made Card – Get a little crafty, don’t be afraid to use some crayons for once. Make a classic folded card, write something very sweet on the front “Happy Valentine’s Day to the Love of My Life.” Beautiful. Now on the inside draw (or print and paste) a picture of some real freaky shit they would be into. Maybe something you haven’t done in awhile, putting stuff in places they usually aren’t allowed to go, draw an extra person in there with you, whatever will get them going. The key here is that you are showing that you listen, you know what they like, you want to fulfill their dreams at least in a 2-dimensional fashion.

5. Sacrifice Your Body – Although all of these should end with nudity, this one is when you just let the cat out of the bag (pun intended) right away. Light a few candles, be completely naked just hanging out of the couch when they walk in the door. Ideally, there is some soft sexy music, the candle light flickers across the Twister mat you have laid out on the ground. There won’t be any questions on this one. They know what’s up.

There you go my friends, don’t get caught in the same pattern as every other unhappy couple, who forces themselves to get whatever they think they are supposed to get. Take your Valentine’s game up a notch, show you care as long as it is something you can accomplish the day of. You can pick one or all of these options and still have a successful evening of passion and possibly drug induced love.

I hope your day is now filled with love. 🙂

Image result for valentine's day gift baskets

OR JUST ORDER SOME FREAKY STUFF FROM AMAZON. They have some real intense stuff on there.

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