Monica Nevi

Comedian

Staying Soft Is Hard

The title is a dick joke? This will be a good one.

As tempted as I am every time I sit down to write to just bombard you with blog posts of only dick jokes, this is about keeping a flaccid heart. In the very base of it aren’t we all just a bunch of dickheads running around pretending we know what we are doing?

Staying Soft With Myself 

I have not had the easiest time in my life being soft to the world. Just based on how many times people have said “I thought you were going to beat someone up when you first got on stage” I can tell maybe I don’t have the most inviting vibe. However, once you are in the circle, once you are one of my people, I am extremely soft. Which is potentially why it is so difficult to get into.

I have realized, over the last year and a half, the person I have always been the hardest to was myself. Just a real boner, trying to force myself to do things, deny myself things I really wanted or ridiculing myself for any lack of anything. Which is probably what has made my attempts to be soft more difficult.

Very important to note here that soft does not mean weak. It probably is the stronger, more powerful of the two. Like quicksand, it takes a little longer but eventually it takes everything. Being hard can only last so long before you have to go see a doctor. Once, I was able to accept that being soft was not being weak, in fact it took more from me than any tough-bitch bullshit I had pulled before, then I felt like it was a challenge that I wanted to beat. A very competitive, almost macho outlook on this topic, I know but baby steps.

I still have very little idea what I’m doing and how to really be soft with myself but I can tell you that I have made some very interesting changes and I can tell just that, changes. Last year I started writing letters to my friends and drawing them terrible pictures of whatever animals I thought they might be able to make out. It was like mail charades. I also decide to start listening to myself more and what I really wanted and not what other people kept telling me I wanted. Did you know they don’t know the answer to that? I spent a lot of time pushing things away and trying to control everything that was happening instead of accepting exactly what I wanted and what made me feel good and letting things happen.

I’m also impatient, turns out. This has been huge in the being soft to myself category. It’s tough to give and take time to actually be good to myself. As gross as it sounds, I have to love myself. So I have spent the last year constantly masturbating. Kidding, I need to love myself as a person. Even writing this now makes my insides roll their eyes a little bit still but the craziest thing that has ever happened to me happened this year… I have felt good FOR NO REASON. There have been a lot of personal changes this year but it has also been one of the more stressful times in my life, which prompted the changes, because I told myself I wasn’t going to let it make me hard again. I was going to keep my focus on staying soft, like a boy in junior high P.E. I was going to stay flaccid and easy to move. I wasn’t going to poke anyone else or have to hide myself in public. When my heart is erect, it is intentional, so I have to keep my flaccid heart to myself.

Many techniques have helped me with this, including meditation, writing and doing real weird energy shit but I am really enjoying making everything a dick joke the most.

Staying Soft With Other People

Most of life is super easy if there are no other people in it. Easy doesn’t mean good. Which makes staying soft to others the most difficult. Some times it seems like they are put there just to get you all riled up. Difficult to stay soft when there are so many pussies and buttholes running around. We have to do it anyway. Being hard hearted to others doesn’t help either of you.

Remember from earlier that we are all dickheads and no one knows what they are truly doing. That’s what I have learned, we are all just guessing and some of us are better at being confident about our guesses. We are not in control, someone can be a boner at anytime. The only thing we can control is ourselves and we all make mistakes, I know that for sure. They don’t know what they are doing either. Their isn’t a way to know what’s going to happen or how it will happen, we just know that it will happen, whatever it is. So be patient with them too right? Making a boner go away takes some specific thoughts but most importantly it takes a little time. Patience with other people is very crucial to staying soft and no one wants to help the person who is hard in the middle of everyone.

I am still having so much fun with this dick analogy but it may be making less and less sense.

The big thing with other people and staying soft to them is that they are OTHER people and really what they do has little to do with you. Making yourself hard over other people’s lifestyles is just a waste of everyone’s time that I have never really understood. I want you to be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do and love who or what you want to love, especially yourself. If we look at other people’s lives with softness then their differences don’t bother us as much. Example, it’s pride month and if you have a problem with same-sex relationships then that makes you hard, which seems to be the opposite of what you were trying to do.

I’m not sure this even says anything but I am so happy with how many dick jokes I was able to fit into one post. Don’t let the tough things in life make you hard, if it breaks your heart, try and let it break it open.

Stay soft my friends.

 

No Phone For 7 Days: A Life Experiment

Undoubtedly, my shitty attitude had been bringing on a flurry of rough life situations in April. All the things that could have gone wrong or just not gone were doing that, all at the same time. I don’t mean to be dramatic but sometimes when it rains it pours. So lately I had been feeling like the scene in Aladdin when they are trying to escape the Cave of Wonders on the Magic Carpet right before the cave closes around them.

Me=Aladdin/Abu/Carpet

Cave of Wonders=Life

I am a positive person, I have seen the movie, we slip out just in time with the lamp and everything wonderful in the end. However, there is a middle part, of learning, that you can’t know or control until it is happening. I am feeling much closer to exiting the cave now, fear not.

What Happened To The Phone

On a Wednesday afternoon I was heading to meet a friend to watch the Spurs game at a bar in North Hollywood. There is a store I like nearby so, knowing I was going to have some drinks during the game, I took a Lyft to the store and planned to walk from there to the bar. Due to my constant adult-like behavior (sarcasm), my phone was almost all the way dead. When I got in the Lyft I asked to charge it and slipped it in the back pocket of the passengers seat to let it charge up. When we arrived at the destination, I got out of the car with my bag and went in the store. After 15 minutes of looking around and picking out what candles I wanted I reached in to grab my phone so I could get my credit card and it wasn’t there. I burst out laughing in the middle of this very small store. You have to understand that I was very much in a “of course this is happening” kind of downward spiral at this time. Nothing was going right for me, so of course I leave my phone in a Lyft, while completely sober on a Wednesday at 5pm.

I know where the phone is so we just have to figure out how to get it back. I pay and then walk to the bar to meet my friend. I tell him what happened and we use his phone to submit a lost phone form online. You see, it’s usually easy to get a lost item in a ride share by using the app on your phone to call the driver you just had. Seeing as it was, in fact, the phone that would have the app on it, that wasn’t really a possibility.

My phone causes me a lot of anxiety some times, it’s what I do work through, how I check on things I’m waiting for and how we all hear or don’t hear from the people we are missing. So there was a part of me that didn’t really care that it was gone. The other part knew I was leaving for Phoenix in a day and would be much better off having the phone before then.

That didn’t happen.

Living With No Phone

The process of getting it back was difficult and had to be done over e-mail. Turns out I should have just been sending them handwritten letters to speed things up. They quickly confirmed the driver still had it and we agreed to have him drop it off at the office in Downtown Los Angeles. Then I could pick it up, easy. Except the driver didn’t get back to them about that plan for 6 days. So there I go navigating the world in a phone-less pit of despair.

I do it anyway though, I head to Phoenix after looking up and writing down directions, like a fucking pioneer. Aside from the communication and social media pieces there are many things we use our phones for that we don’t even notice. I drove 7 hours listening to the radio, whatever would come up. There was an hour stretch of the driver where only two stations would come up and they were both Christian stations and one was in Spanish. Did you know there is both Christian rap AND Christian metal bands? Yeah, take your phone out of your life for a minute and see what you can learn.

I was hoping that some of the time off would help me sort through some of the struggles I have been having and help me slide the magic carpet out of the giant panther’s mouth before it closes on me. Turns out your problems are not in your phone, they are still right there in your head. The only difference is that now you can’t silence your feelings with music you actually like or podcasts full of dick jokes.

Phone Desert

I make it to Phoenix after having to stop at a Starbucks to use my computer to get completed directions to my friend’s house. It was a little ‘girls weekend’ with my roommate from college and another one of my best friends that I played basketball with. We are a good time separately and a wild combination. This only made me a little nervous as if I was to get separated from them… would I be able to make it home? Why don’t we just put that to the test the first night, get it out of the way. We end up at this club with some dudes we met at the pool, dancing on tables and misplacing fucks to give left and right. One of the trio is married and she headed home a little early, the other found someone to touch and I was just trying not to fall off the hydraulic table that moves up and down (only in Scottsdale are you allowed to potentially murder people with nightclub flair).

I once read in a book that your soulmate is the person that comes along in the most difficult time in your life to help you through it. This phone-less-empty-soul-desert seemed like it was definitely not that time and I was kind of staying away from people. Having no phone in cocaine powered Scottsdale, AZ and losing friends to the night every 10 minutes seemed like some kind of test from the Universe. The gentleman I ended up chatting with did have a variety box of chips in his car so I really thought, maybe the soulmate thing could be true. Turned out he had just stumbled over and no one at our table knew him. Not that I have ever really required the Carfax on someone I had been with before but still.

Somehow I channeled the navigational powers of my ancestors and remembered my friend’s address and the chip guy gave me a ride home. He only let me take two bags of chips and assured me they were not for kids he didn’t tell me he had. Although, it was nice to meet him and I was home without being murdered, I didn’t find a soulmate in the fog machine capitol of the world, thankfully.

Shady Aftermath

I go the rest of the weekend dancing very close to my friends as I do not want to get lost again and chance it. We all make it through alive and I am still getting texts from people I just gave my number to anyway because even though I told them I had no phone, they didn’t care. As I returned home through 8 hours of Coachella traffic, navigating with my brain and praising Jesus through 808 drum beats, I realize for a moment that nothing really happened. I had tried to just let things come as they do, trust that things are unfolding as they should and just let it all happen. I try to do that all the time now, actually. But as I returned to my apartment to find my e-mails still empty of the location of my phone I realized that even without it I still went, danced, stayed alive and had a great time with my friends as I would have anyway. There was still a twinge of stress in my heart as I would really hope to have my phone to go to Hawaii for 12 days and my flight was 2 days away. But what do you know? The day before I got an e-mail that said the phone was at the office and I could come pick it up and I did.

Moral of the Lost Phone Story

No matter how you are feeling now, no matter what you are waiting for or hoping is returned to you from your Lyft driver, it’s going to be okay. You’re going to make it to Phoenix and back, get your phone, go to Hawaii and fly out of the Cave of Wonders just in time. If you give yourself the chance to relax into it, you may just end up with a couple extra bag of chips.

This has been another installment of “Monica does something stupid and tries to make it more important than it is” brought to you by Amazon.

 

 

These Kids Are Badass [For Their Lives]

It’s been a couple weeks since these badass kids and many others who support them marched for their lives. Which is why I want to say something about it now, so that maybe we won’t wait until more of them are dead to be reminded.

I wasn’t able to march that day, although going to protests has become a hobby of mine in the last year and a half. I was on a bus from Spokane to Seattle trying to map out the decisions I had made to lead to that situation. As we picked up a couple passengers from the Wenatchee jail to take them home to Everett, there were these kids all over the country making so much noise. Making enough noise to make me go “oh shit.” These kids are badass. When I say kids, I mean it. 11-year olds out here giving better speeches than Toast Masters will ever teach you. They have been pushed to the edge and now they are pushing back. I personally think it’s great, if you do not agree with what they are saying that’s fine, this isn’t meant to be divisive, although pretty much all words are divisive right now. I do think that whoever you are or whatever you agree with, you should be well aware of how badass these kids are because they are in control now. Their cute signs that rhyme about how they are going to be able to vote soon are more than cute, that shit is real.

March For Your Life 

I was never this badass but in school we always enjoyed the idea of standing up for what was right. Nowhere near the levels of badassery these kids out here are working with but we liked pushing back. My junior and senior year in high school myself and a few friends never stood for the pledge of allegiance (yeah, we started that shit) because not everyone could get married. One full school assembly my entire class sat down during it and they made everyone do it again. The second time half of our class got up, but we didn’t. I know what you are thinking “what was that going to do?” nothing. “That is not a big enough group of people to do anything” sure wasn’t. “That’s disrespectful and I’m sure your teachers hated it” well… that’s debatable. What did happen though was that Washington state, where I am from, passed weed and gay marriage with flying rainbow colors as soon as we could vote. Then the whole country did it as well. So I’m not afraid of the noise these kids are making, I’m surrendering to their cause because a combination of my generation and theirs will be in charge real soon.

The older group of voters and politicians is dying and what is left is my generation, the ever-liberal millennial, these badass kids coming up and the parents who raised both of those groups to be how they are now. Us millennials, we really are lazy but maybe that has just been because we know we have little to offer compared to these little savage hearts. We mean well and we can get on board with stuff very easily.

March For Our Lives

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s not only their ability and willingness to organize and actually stand up against something at a young age but goodness they are fierce. They have had to experience going to a potential war zone everyday of their lives. When I was a kid (wasn’t that long ago, 10-year reunion this year) we had lock down drills, if someone came into the building with a gun we locked down. I was in two actual lockdowns that were from shootings near the school but not at the school and another that ended up being construction noise from nearby. Never once did they tell us what to do if someone ran into the room with a gun and I’m sure it never crossed their minds to explain to us what to do if the person sitting next to us opened fire. Cut to my work with kids only a few years later when once a month we went through each kind of lockdown drill as well as at least 15-minutes of explaining and then answering questions about what to do if someone is in the room with us with a gun, which ways to run and why that would ever happen. Those are the kids that are marching now, the ones who have had to think about that everyday of their education and the ones who will have to think about it everyday for the rest of their lives.

These are the kids that were subjected to the terror of a military grade assault rifle and will now cope with military grade PTSD, forever. We were always told we were safe at school, that was where we could feel protected and part of something, even if we didn’t have that feeling at home. The same place these kids have had to watch their friends get murdered next to them. When these teenagers are saying enough is enough,  they mean it. And somehow, after all of this, they are doing it with such grace and class, I’m just in awe.

If you need to know my particular stance on guns, it’s very simple: I don’t get it. To the very base level of it, I don’t understand it. I can’t wrap my head around wanting one because I don’t get the protection piece, the hunting piece, the military piece, it just doesn’t resonate with me to want to have that power or to kill anything. So, I don’t argue about it or think you need to change your opinion, I just literally have very little to contribute to the conversation because I can’t even get there. I’ll play a Big Buck Hunter if asked but that’s about it.

These kids out here asking for compromise, being very understanding and trying to move forward to start a dialogue about what we can do to make this better, not lashing out irrationally. This is the exact moment I stop calling them kids. These people are badass. Far more mature and in tune with what they are doing than anyone else in a public light right now. If you still are confused, I’m talking about the Emma Gonzalez, Sam Fuentes, Naomi Wadler and all the other  young activists that stood up at this march and others like it. And all these little badasses that will keep standing up from here on out.

If you haven’t watched their speeches you should, it will make you question what the hell you have been doing your whole life. Sam Fuentes is my hero, she was a victim in the Parkland shooting, sustaining injuries and having shrapnel in her body. She spoke at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. and she performed this badass poem. A fierce poem, literally from someone who was in this shooting and half way through she throws up on stage, comments on it AND THEN FINISHES READING THE POEM. That’s the baddest fucking thing I have ever seen. I forget one word in a joke and give up on it.

In conclusion, no matter how you feel about the situation these kids deserve to be listened to, taken seriously and not forgotten. Most importantly if we don’t do that, it doesn’t really matter… these G.I. Jane, activist prodigy, keep going after vomiting on stage badasses are in control now. We are in the future, I think we have to deal with it.

This is Sam’s Speech, worth checking out.

Ching Chang Chong: AAA Membership

I have AAA Plus Membership. I think it is a necessity for people like myself, who do a lot of their traveling via car. I have used it quite a few times, for various easy fixes, mostly flat tires and haven’t thought too much about it until last week.

The AAA Plus Membership and Last Week

I’m not sure what exactly it was but last week was horribly unlucky for me. I tried to focus on the positives and keep moving but it just seemed every step I took forward there was an unlucky monster chasing me backwards. It started with the car.

Jean (the car) and I were heading back from Phoenix Saturday when, only about an hour and a half away from home, she just gave out. She broke down with what felt like running out of gas but sounded like some tube fell off. I get to the side of the freeway in San Bernardino and call up AAA. I have my AAA Plus Membership card with me, so I’m feeling okay. Not happy, but okay.

Infinite patience has been my mantra this year, so what better way to exercise that than in a situation like this? AAA seemed very helpful over the phone, I describe where I am on the freeway, tell him the next exit and say I’m on the northbound side of the roadway. He sounded confident, I felt confident, I didn’t have anywhere to be that night. Infinitely patient.

He said 40 minutes. An hour later, I’m still doing good even though I have been visited by one hopeful competing tow truck and a police officer just making sure I was alright. I receive a call from the driver and he says he is on the southbound side and cannot seem to find me. It takes him awhile to get all the way around to me on the northbound side but then we figure it out and that’s when it happens, I meet Arturo. In such a shitty situation, when I’m tired and trying so hard to maintain this patience, I have yet to realize that this will be the greatest thing to ever happen to me.

The Rest of the Week and My AAA Plus Membership

I equate this story to the caliber of The Sound and the Fury so we are skipping around in time, like Faulkner. After the events of Saturday, the best bad luck I have ever had and my hope and effort in not letting this get me down or spiral, I was visited by many more ghosts of bad luck present. I learned of three deaths of people I knew in one day, two friends were in the hospital after being struck by cars, two paychecks were less than I was told they would be and I had three minor miscommunications that led to scheduling issues. Not to mention the general life turmoil we deal with everyday, that has been a tad overwhelming for me lately.

As of this moment, I am still chalking it up to a very unlucky week. Although, I won’t say I let it get me down and I do think there were some great things that happened during that time as well. Just oddly unlucky for the overall week. This is all without the car because it ends up in the shop, getting her fuel pump fixed. However, the most important part and best thing that has ever happened to me, could have only happened had that bad luck been started by the break down of Jean and thus the necessity to use my AAA Plus Membership.

The Tow Truck and My AAA Plus Membership

I climb into the tow truck so Arturo can take me to the nearby auto shop that is AAA approved and had been ‘informed of the priority so you won’t have to wait in line.’ Arturo and I head over to this shop to get it all taken care of.

On the way Arturo mentions that with the AAA Plus Membership I can be towed up to 100 miles. I inform him I live 82 miles away and it might be easiest if we can just get it fixed up now since it was only 2:30 in the afternoon. He agrees and we head to the AAA approved auto shop about 12 minutes away. As we arrive it is very obvious that this shop is closed and may have never been open. Arturo is a bit confused but offers the long ride home again. I suggest we call the dispatcher and see what’s up.

Turns out the only other shop around closes in 30 minutes as well and what do you know? Arturo gets his wish and we have to get heading on our 2 hour drive back to my apartment where we then have to circle the block a few times to find parking, as you do in LA.

Although, it was an interesting ride filled with Drake that was playing out of a bluetooth speaker he hung from the laundry hook, I kept laughing at the situation before and after I was blessed with the best thing that has ever happened to me.

The Best Thing to Ever Happened to Me and My AAA Plus Membership

Arturo was a nice guy, he didn’t say anything creepy. We talked about music and why I was coming from Phoenix which led to my career and that chat lasted for quite awhile. He texted most of the drive while we talked about traffic and I wasn’t even mad. Infinite patience girl, infinite patience. Plus at this point I hadn’t even learned that the rest of this week would be showered with bad luck flavored sprinkles.

I always want to take away something positive and while the situation did make me laugh, it was probably more of a ‘I can’t believe this is happening, are you fucking kidding me’ type of laugh. It became extremely easy to take away a positive since the best thing that has ever happened to me happened during this unfortunate injury to Jean.

While in the tow truck, after we had gotten gas and some ‘munchies’ as Arturo put it, we were waiting at a stoplight. It was either the Universe or a god speaking to me, saying ‘hey, it’s going to be okay, maybe.’ As we sat at the light I look to my right and a homeless man walks up to the side of the truck and starts motioning for a drink. Unable to discern whether the man wanted a drink of water or wanted money for booze Arturo and I decided we would ignore him. As the man walked away we noticed he had on a denim jacket, with bellbottom jeans and long brown hair. He walked back to us again and did the same thing. I look at Arturo and we both shrug. Then, like a ray of light that restored my faith in the world, Arturo turns to me and with the innocence of a baby lamb he says “Ha! I don’t know what he wants but he looks like those funny guys from the 80s, you know Ching Chang Chong.”

All of a sudden a choir of joyful music erupted in my head! Holy shit! He totally thinks Cheech and Chong are called Ching Chang Chong. Sweet Universe, Jesus, Allah and Flying Spaghetti Monster thank you so much for this gift. I would gladly take another week of bad luck or maybe this week is just the start to a year of bad luck, I’m not sure, but it is worth it. To be given the sweet gift of having the words Ching Chang Chong fall on my ears in that exact moment, saved me. Every pinch of bad luck over the last week has been overcome by the sweet memory of Ching Chang Chong. Every time my stress level creeped closer to the edge, I became flooded with infinite patience because of Ching Chang Chong.

The world works in mysterious ways and I am eternally grateful for this gift.

 

Singles Awareness Day? We’re Aware…

All the single people, all the single people… stop worrying about us.

Dear Couples,

Don’t worry about your single friends on Valentine’s Day. There are a few things that could be going on and none of them will be fixed by you telling them they’ll be ok, be happy one day or that they can be the third on your date. They know you are interested in the single lifestyle and how they are doing, they know. Is being single better than being in a relationship? No. Is it better than being in YOUR relationship? Quite possibly. Yes, it gets lonely, please stop asking. Here are some possible reasons this person doesn’t have a Valentine:

  1. They don’t want one: I know this is hard to believe but some people don’t want a Valentine. Some people are happy being single, maybe they want to be on their own for once, order food and be lazy without another person judging them. Buy the candy they like instead of hoping someone else will remember and not judge them. Why let a date ruin your ability to wear sweatpants. Some people enjoy their alone time and I know I get hungry whether another person is there or not.
  2. They don’t believe in it: I know plenty of couples that don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because they don’t play into the idea you should be told when to treat your partner special, you can do that whenever you want. Or they don’t celebrate because they hate each other and they don’t want to break that streak. So it’s not so crazy that a single person wouldn’t feel pressure to partake in a ‘holiday’ that is based around buying stuff you don’t need.
  3. They are picky: This is a hard one for a lot of coupled people to understand but some single people have high standards. Maybe your friend is patiently waiting for the person that makes them want to celebrate Valentine’s Day to come into their life and they are well aware that person is not your boyfriend’s friend from work.

There could be plenty of other reasons that your friend you have deemed lonely does not want to participate in Valentine’s Day. Whatever their reason, I can guarantee you are not making it better by ‘trying to help.’

Dear Singles,

Don’t worry about your coupled friends. This is what I have recently come to understand about being single around couples. As the genius I am, last week I invited 6 couples to my own birthday party where I was alone, so I believe I am a seasoned extra wheel. This is what I have figured out, other people’s relationships have nothing to do with us!

What?

Yeah.

Just because you see someone else is in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have one too. A lot of times that makes us go “aw, I wish I was good enough for something like that.” Or whatever. When you could be thinking “oh thank goodness that exists.” I have been on this new ‘be happy for happy couples’ thing and I really like it. For a long time I looked at my parents and thought ‘these happy bitches, always having fun together, married for a long time, making my standards so high!’ But what I should have been thinking was ‘oh thank god, someone as weird as me can have that.’

It’s actually kind of fun being happy for other healthy couples. In reality, your own loneliness doesn’t get better if they don’t work out. That just affirms something in your head that tells you it’s not possible. So today I have been spending my time liking all their cute photos and sappy posts because I do actually want that to exist. You do too, even if it’s not for yourself.

Don’t let your coupled friends make you feel any pressure in being single anyway, there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing wrong with taking your time and being right. There is something so right with infinite patience and when you find that (it’s not easy) then something good will happen. Until then, have a Happy Secretly Eating a Fuck-Ton of Carbs Day!

Monica

I Have Been Doing Comedy For 7 Years

Hey.

So this is it, the seventh year of stand up is when you find your voice, when you know what you are doing. I agree with that as I seem to have found another voice in my head. So look out… I’m here to ruin that theory for everyone. I would like this year of my career to be about finding my mind, I seem to have lost.

How It Started

People ask me this question all the time, which I actually don’t mind. I have an answer for this and I can show my work:

I loved watching stand up as a youth —–> Started writing jokes for fun during my freshman and sophomore years in college —–> Couldn’t play basketball anymore ——> Watched one open mic at Laughs in Kirkland —–> The next week I do my first open mic —–> 7 years later I write this blog.

The Stories

I figure you don’t want to hear all the crap about what I am proud of and the people I enjoy working with and all the good stuff, as that is not what comedy is about. Comedy is about complaining. Well too bad, I’m going to tell you some good stuff anyway and you’re going to like it. Here are the nominees for best story in each of these categories I have arbitrarily made up:

The Best Thing That Has Happened

  • I have traveled all over the country, almost every part of it, doing comedy and getting paid to do it. For the most part I have broken even and that’s pretty good for traveling.
  • Comedy has allowed me to meet people I never would have otherwise, develop relationships I couldn’t have imagined and even hang out with Canadians.
  • Stand up has given me opportunities to branch out into other amazing forms of comedy and create my own projects, podcasts and other stupid things I am deeply proud of. Huglifepodcast.com
  • I have had the wonderful honor to work with people I have watched on TV for years and for the most part decide that they are pretty nice and hard-working people, just like the rest of us.

The Worst Thing That Has Happened

  • I once asked if two people sitting at a table were mother and son and of course they were married. Then I spent the rest of the set making excuses for why that wasn’t as offensive as it definitely was.
  • I have performed and even hung out in a number of moose, eagles and elks lodges. The drinks are very cheap but so are the inappropriate comments.
  • I have slept everywhere imaginable, from cars to couches to tile floors and deflating air mattresses. Sometimes with cute dogs or cats to cuddle with.
  • I once used someone else’s dirty towel for an entire week because that was my only option.
  • A very small cowboy decided to put his hand in between my legs at a bar thus unleashing a beast inside of me that got me carried out of said bar by security, almost started a fight and honestly quite nearly got that mini cowboy killed. I have the poorly healed part of a tattoo to prove it.

The Craziest Thing That Has Happened

  • While closing out a very fun show in the Northwest a gentleman seemed to be answering his phone in the front row and talking to someone. The third time it happened I asked to see his phone, like a teacher asking for your attention would. He quickly pulled away trying to hide his phone behind himself only to reveal it was a child’s water-maze play toy that he had been answering the whole time.
  • A woman in Deer Lodge, Montana invited us back to her house to go in her bathtub, which she had pictures of on her phone. It was a lovely tub but we did decline… mostly because she had pictures of it on her phone which eluded to this not being her first time and I like to feel special.
  • I have since vowed not to drive during the winter time but in October of this year we nearly died in the snow, in a Prius, in Southern Utah… Which seems to be the saddest of all potential obituaries.
  • I once ended up after a show at a castle next to a state capitol building with the oldest man in history. He may have haunted said castle. Then we woke up in a different larger home on the water. A part of my soul may still be walking around those places.

Overall the last 7 years have been super easy, stress-free and full of love and functional relationships.

No, they have been full of sarcasm. I have loved mostly every moment of what I do, I feel lucky everyday that I get to do comedy for a living. I am excited to continue this journey and see the changes this year brings. Year 7 is the one when you start edging toward not compromising what you want for what you CAN do just because you can. Also, I am writing this blog from an apartment I share with two grown men, one of which is loudly having sex in the room next to me… so things HAVE to change.

Feel free to let me know which of the nominees in each category YOU think get the award!

 

YOUR [SMART]Goals for 2018

Normally, when I post articles here I am sure to remind you that I don’t know what I’m talking about and these are just my ideas. However, this is much different because I have read upwards of six books since the last time I posted, so I’m much smarter now and goal setting is something I’m obsessive about.

I already have made an extensive list with detailed interim steps for my own goals this year and each morning I write a list of intentions. So, since I love it so much, I went ahead and wrote your goals for this year for you. I’m proud of you for choosing so wisely.

SMART GOALS

First, we’ll quickly discuss what SMART goals are and how I interpret them. If you look it up people will tell you that a SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable or Action Oriented, Realistic or Relevant and Time-Bound. The answers will depend on which fucking adult worksheet you have looked up. This is a fine way to set goals if you have trouble thinking of things other than “my goal is to stop being a piece of shit.” For this, I have my own definition of SMART goals and since I wrote your goals for you, taking a quick glance over them might be a good idea.

S = Sexy

Your goals should be attractive. To you specifically. No one is excited to work hard for a goal they think they have to do to better themselves for other people. Everyone wants to be sexy for no reason, so think about the outcome of the outcome. “I work out everyday to maintain quality health”…. AND LOOK SEXY AS FUCK. “I budget my finances each month so I can afford special things I want” … LIKE VACATIONS ON SEXY BEACHES OR MASSAGES.

M=Manageable

Successful people know what is important to achieving their goals and how to delegate everything else. Make sure you set goals that you can focus on and stop worrying about other people’s bullshit and opinions. If you want it and you can manage focusing on it, you got it.

A=Artistic

Be creative. All the time. Just because you haven’t been calling yourself an artist up until now doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your goals and what you spend your successes on. Get weird, it makes everything so much better.

R=Realistic

I keep this one on here to define what realistic is. You’re reality is different than mine, so whatever you see feasible and able to fit in yours, is real. Optimism and reality are not separate things, it’s your reality so make it the best you can. No matter what you choose to focus on, make it perfect and when someone says ‘oh, come on be realistic’ simply reply ‘I am, fuck you.’

T=Trust

This is the hardest one mostly because we have gotten locked in the idea we shouldn’t trust anyone and that authenticity is dead. That’s not the case. The very first person you should trust is yourself and that’s what this is about. Trust that what you choose to focus on as a goal is what you truly want for yourself. Trust that all the hard work you are doing works. Trust your heart. Trust that you deserve and will attain these goal.

Here Are Your 2018 Goals

Unconditional Gratitude

You are grateful for everything you have and are given. Every step you take this year, no matter how tiny, is worth viewing through wonderment. It is wonderful that you got a new job, it is also wonderful that someone delivers a paper to your door and wonderful that people liked your Instagram post. Every little part is amazing. This is part of being present in the moment, as you appreciate what is happening you are aware of it completely. Valuing things, people and showing appreciation is a very attractive quality.

“I list things that I am grateful for at the same time everyday in 2018”

Eliminate Comparisons

Other people are going to disagree with your choices or judge you but that is based in fear and actually has nothing to do with you. In that same vein you don’t judge other people for what they are choosing to do. It’s a waste of time and energy on both sides. Your happiness and your goals are the only thing you are concerned with and anyone who is comparing themselves to anything else is simply afraid to let themselves be happy.

“I am happy and excited about my life in 2018”

Bravery

The opposite of fear. Fear, worry and guilt are the most useless wastes of time ever. You poison yourself with stress worrying and fearing things that are never going to happen or be as bad as you think. You poison yourself feeling guilty over things you cannot change, that have already happened.

You are brave, fearless and confident. People talk about confidence being the best thing in the world, something they admire. Confident people have no concept of fear or worry. They are not threatened by the unknown because they know it is limitless, it can be as good as possibly imagined.

“I am brave and embrace the vast possibilities of the unknown in 2018”

Growth

This is how you know you are alive. Just by setting these goals and examining what you want to improve on, is growth. There isn’t really a right or wrong anything, there are just different answers. Through loss of loved ones and my work this year I have come to understand that there is no stopping growth, otherwise you are dead. Therefore, you pick the direction you want to grow in and just keep walking that way. Do whatever you want because you want to, it will always be a growing experience.

“I am constantly learning and growing from every experience I have in 2018”

Love

Love yourself. It becomes reflected in how you love other people when you can love yourself. Love yourself enough to enjoy what makes you happy. Love yourself enough to spend time with the people you want to. Love yourself enough to go out and achieve your goals. Love yourself enough to allow your top priority to be feeling good. Love yourself enough to find happiness in circumstances other people find insanity. Love yourself enough to radiate love and draw other wonderful people to you. Love yourself enough to come to Monica Nevi’s shows and allow yourself to laugh.

“I love myself and the people in my life so much that we go to Monica Nevi’s shows whenever possible in 2018”

I think those are great goals for every person, they are written in the present tense because you are already accepting that they are real right now, they are a part of how you work this year. No matter how 2017 was for you it is behind us now, you are free from whatever it did to you. 2018 is now and so are you! Remember that these are your goals and not mine so don’t expect me to be any nicer to you than I already am.

Author’s Notes: Having a positive outlook on the year does not mean there will not be difficulty and pain at some times, it simply means you can work through it easier. Feel your emotions, all of them but also know you can have everything that you want and you deserve it.

 

[Life]Vomit

I have spent 27 years consciously walking this planet, hunting and gathering information and experiences that might help me do a better job. Nothing seems to resonate with me more than the experiences I have when I throw up. Life lessons and profound moments have come to me while vomiting. I vividly remember why I shouldn’t eat chocolate cake or tequila (especially together).

Tuesday, in the middle of the night, I found myself leaned over with my hands on my knees in a park I used to play in as a child, vomiting onto the ground behind the bathroom building. Would it be cooler to tell you that I had been partying with some wild strangers on a weeknight and got a little too crazy? Probably. You know what isn’t cool? Lying.

What Happened

I was alone and sober on a Tuesday night after I did two pretty mediocre shows, watched karaoke, started to cry in a bar and decided I should go home. Not cool, but honest. Why was I throwing up then? I had one drink but in the last two weeks I have had a very difficult time eating pretty much anything. Feeling confident and distracted hanging out with Cameron we went to Dick’s burgers and I had two regular cheeseburgers. I could get them down on my way to a bar where a friend was working to watch karaoke instead of going home and being alone. All of this seemed like a good plan.

In the middle of a song I get this rush of all the anxiety and stress I had been dealing with, maybe triggered by a man with a beautiful voice singing Sara Bareilles, maybe not. I start to get choked up in this public place and quickly head to the bathroom to pull myself together. I cry for a little bit in the bathroom stall but am able to shove it back down. As I’m standing there, getting it together, I get this horrible knotted feeling in my stomach, like there is a big brick that needs to come out. Not in the ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY I’M GOING TO BLOW’ type of sense but in the ‘this thing is coming out if I have to do it myself’ kind of way. Maybe going home isn’t such a bad idea. I pack my things up and start walking up the hill to my car.

On the way back to the car I am actively looking for a place to secretly release this beast in my stomach. Trash cans are too public, there are other people using the area behind most buildings for various things, the park near by has a fountain but I peed in that once during college so I already felt like I had marked my territory. I’m just going to start driving back to my parents’ house and find something on the way. Obviously, I wasn’t super keen on the idea of coming home to my parents in the middle of the night and drawing all the attention with my vomiting. Knowing the Renton area as well as I do, I knew this particular park wasn’t too far off the freeway, was very dark and in the middle of some houses, not on a main road. Target acquired.

As I pull up to the park, I leave the car in front of the locked gate to the parking lot. I think I turn off the lights but I do not. I get out step over the gate and walk to this covered corner on the back side of the bathroom building that I know is there because we used to play kick-the-can at this park at night all the time. There I am, bent over like a linebacker, with my boots spread far enough apart to stay out of the splash zone and my hood is rigged up to play the part of someone holding my hair back. Ejection has commenced.

After cheeseburger #1 has made its way to the ground, I thought to myself “of course this is happening.” I didn’t realize what I meant at the time. While facing my insides on the ground of a park my uncle used to take me and my cousin to, I thought I had hit that wall of stress and anxiety, frustration and sadness where you can’t do anything but laugh and you seem to have accepted that you aren’t good enough and bad things just happen to you. As cheeseburger #2 was exiting the same place I use to try and convince people I am good enough I just had a flurry of all the work I had been trying to do for things that could potentially fall flat on their face. But not me, I couldn’t fall flat on my face because I would land in my own vomit.

This hiding spot is still solid and even though I left the headlights on, no one finds me.

How Does This End

At this point, I feel like everything has gotten out but I stay in the position, staring at the blended insides of my body, feeling empty in most ways possible. Looking down, hoping the Universe has spelled something out for me here. I find nothing and walk away, wiping my finger on a fence post I used to challenge my friends to jump over, and get back in the car. I make it home, very confused and disoriented. I wash my hands, brush my teeth and go to bed. I stare at the ceiling wondering if because I am what I am, am I destined to be tortured for my whole life or if I should just not eat Dick’s anymore.

I wake up at 5 am and get sick again, almost passing out and then again at 11 am. Maybe I am just sick and I have read too far into this… just adding more questions of inadequacy over how I am approaching all of this mentally. I’m not sure if it was when I was in the park or on the bathroom floor in a modified yoga pose hoping not to pass out but I finally had the thought ‘I think I should make some changes to the way I am thinking about things.’ I would say there was clarity in those moments but I was teetering between knowing I wasn’t having any positivity with myself at all and feeling resentment toward those who have a privileged enough life to have never cried onto their own vomit in the middle of the night. Wracking my brain for all the things I had used before to value myself during tough times of stress while also wondering if I just Will Byers style flushed a demogorgon into the world.

Why Does This Matter

“Monica, what the fuck are you talking about?”

Stress is poison and I have been literally poisoning myself with my thoughts on and off for years. You probably have too. I fight all the time to stay positive but when you get sucked down the other way you don’t realize it. So when I thought to myself “of course this is happening to me” it wasn’t because I deserve to be in pain, it was because I thought myself into that situation. Of course I’m vomiting up all the poison I have been putting my body through in this park where I once coached a summer camp. Of course this is happening because my attempts to ‘take care of myself’ were only going through the motions so I didn’t look as sad to other people. I let my mind bring me all the way down when I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing and I am confidently positive about all the things I am doing. I totally forgot! I have always had a hard time letting myself feel good about anything, even though I know how to do that.

After the burger and/or pain purge I felt a little bit renewed. Every once in awhile you have to remind yourself that you are good, great and wonderful. People know that about you and your hard work in life and on yourself is worth it. Also, trust yourself. I think that is the biggest source of anguish for me, I let these negative feelings pull me away from what I know is true and good and what I believe in. All of which have been tested time and time again and I am always right.

I read an entire book the next day. I have never done that. It was only 70 pages but clearly some changes have been made. I have spent years knowing what I should be doing for myself and how I should be utilizing those tool but just not doing it. It’s only been two days but maybe sometimes it just takes throwing up in a park in the middle of the night to shake it out of you. Or maybe… just maybe… you shouldn’t eat cheeseburgers from a 1,000 year old stand on a 2 day empty stomach. Give it whatever meaning you want.

I also updated my calendar. 🙂

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.

 

 

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