Sizeism During a Heat Wave

•07/01/2012 • Leave a Comment

Question for you – don’t think about it, just answer the first thing that pops in your head: do you judge heavier women that wear sleevelees tops?

I just read an article online about how women should feel confident enough to wear whatever they want, especially in summer when it’s hotter than hell out. I 100% agreed with the article but then I made the mistake of reading the comments section and you know what? People are mean. There were so many comments about how “fat ugly cows” should cover up. I even read one comment from some bitch saying that because she works out, she has earned the right to show her arms and that overweight people have not earned that right.

Since when were clothing styles an earned privelage? The whole thing makes me ill.

Full disclosure: I’ve never been skinny. I never remember a time when I was thin or could walk around in a bathing suit and not feel a bit embarrassed. I’ve been the same size since high school. My whole life I’ve struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin and with age, my self-esteem has risen and given me more courage to wear things that I never believed I was “allowed” to wear. For the most part, the last ten years I’ve been the biggest person in any of my circle of friends and that is something that is not easy, that I’ve had to come to terms with and accept and try to see the beauty in myself. Again with age, it’s gotten easier.

Last night, I went to the theater in a beautiful dress that looked amazing on me and guess what? It was sleeveless! It was 95 fucking degrees outside and I wore a sleeveless dress and I felt pretty damn good about it. Then to wake up this morning and read these comments from people saying they make fun of women who dare to show a little arm fat in the summer – how do you think that makes me feel? Do I deserve to be ridiculed because I’m not a size 6? Does anyone?

Why does our society believe that a size 6 woman is “better” than a size 16? What makes you better? You’re healthier? I get regular checkups and my doctor has given me a clean bill of health. Do you assume than any overweight person is unhealthy? Yes, I’m talking to you miss skinny little thing smoking that cigarette. Actually, one of my very good friends is a miss skinny little smoker and she couldn’t be nicer. Which is to say that we really need to stop judging people by how they look.

Which is not to say I don’t do the same thing. When I see a girl walking around in short shorts with her ass hanging out and a big belly spilling over the waistband, of course I judge and I’m wrong for that. You know what? If that girl has the confidence to wear something so slutty, I say go for it. If a 500 pound woman wants to wear a sleeveless top, whether it’s 100 degrees out or 70, I say go for it. Just like gay marriage, what one person wears or doesn’t wear has absolutely nothing to do with you.

This whole rant is based on the fact that I’m just tired of me being ashamed and other women and men being ashamed over something that is not shameful. We live in an incredibly sizeist society. We preach acceptance then ridicule people who don’t look like us.

So here it goes. I’m a size 16, have been since 9th grade. I’m n0t going to blame it on genes or makes excuses for it. I am what I am and want to love myself for it. And I’m gonna wear sleeveless clothes in summer if I want to. I’m gonna wear a bathing suit to the beach. And if you don’t like it, you can fuck off. 🙂

 

 

“If I can make it here…” 2 Years in NYC

•06/03/2012 • Leave a Comment

Holy cow! This past Wednesday, I celebrated my two year anniversary here in New York City. It’s impossible, utterly impossible, to describe how different my life is now than it was when I left Boston in 2010. Actually, in the past one year alone life has changed dramatically. It’s amazing what a promotion will do. When your life revolves around work, as it does now in New York – unlike it ever did in Boston, and your work escalates beyond what you could have imagined for yourself at 28/29, it’s hard to explain how you got to where you are at.

The past year has been something. While the first year in New York was difficult, the second year has been so chaotic and fast I haven’t even had the chance to decide if it’s been difficult. Between the traveling, the visits, the work, the fun times, the real sucky times, and the work again, I can’t believe I’m already starting on my third year here in the Big Apple.

After the first year, I had decided that even though I loved being here, I couldn’t imagine myself staying my whole life. After this second year, I’ve decided that trying to plan anything in the future is futile. 🙂 Do I like living in New York? Yes and no. Do you 100% like living where you are at? My guess is no.

 I put so much pressure on myself to make this New York thing work out and be all peaches and roses so as to not to have to second guess my decision to come when really that was very unfair of me to do to myself. I was meant to come here, doesn’t mean it has to be perfect. It doesn’t mean you have to pity me. If I’m proud of anything, it’s that I’m doing exactly what I choose to do. If I work hard and long, it’s because I choose to do so, not because anyone makes me.

So what is my hope for year 3? I already have a plan in place to move next Spring and get a dog (a plan that is going fairly well so far though with some setbacks). More so than that, my goal for year 3 in New York is to fashion my life more into what I choose it and want it to be, to go further with this notion of carving my own path, making my own decisions and creating the world I feel comfortable living in.

So there you go, two years in New York and I’m still kicking. It’s true what the song says: if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. You know what keeps me going when I’m dead tired from work or piss poor from spending too much? It’s the “anywhere” part. Right now, my life is in New York. Once I make it here, and I’m on my way, I’m really excited about where my “anywhere” could be.

Thanks for nothing Glee!

•05/23/2012 • Leave a Comment

Ugh, I’m done with this show.

Totally a rant coming on. Don’t read if you haven’t seen the finale of Glee from last night.

Yes, I care too much about my tv shows. I get too invested in fictional characters and I let their melodramatic fictional lives affect my mood and thinking for way longer than is normal or healthy. We all know that I have loved the show Glee. I’ve loved being introduced to music I would NEVER have listened to before, I’ve loved watching a show at times so silly that it just makes me giggle and smile. I’ve loved following these outcasted kids through a high school experience that was closer to my own than anything on the CW. And I definitely love anything with music (well, except Smash but that’s a different story). I’ve latched on to characters like Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel, Rachel for her ability to dream big and Kurt for his ability to overcome the toughest of situations.

For three years, I’ve invested time and money (and embarrassment – remember that whole T-Shirt Glee Live thing last summer?) into this show. Last night’s episode was a fucking slap in the face. Did anyone else feel like that was a series finale instead of a season finale? The one good thing to come out of it was Finn telling Rachel to go to New York. But there was no wrap-up of other characters. What’s going on with Mercedes and Sam?  How are Tina and Mike coping with being separated? What’s Puck gonna do?

Hell, what’s Kurt gonna do?! That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. The Glee creators made this character of Kurt Hummel and let us ride the tidal waves of emotion he goes through, made us fall in love with Chris Colfer (cause, like, who wouldn’t?), get us totally invested in a gay teenage love story, have Kurt come out triumphant in his NYADA auditon and then in two seconds, dash all of what he’s been working towards for three years and don’t even have the courtesy towards the character and the viewers to give us any kind of inkling that he will be ok or what he’s going to do. There’s a difference between a cliffhanger and not finishing the story. Nevermind that in this lauded relationship, Kurt and Blaine a) never kiss b) don’t even hang out together c) don’t even appear to be a couple on the show. Whether that’s FOX being bigoted, the creators dropping the ball on Klaine or the actors not being comfortable with showing an affectionate – or realistic – teenage relationship, I don’t know. But it irritates the hell out of me.

For three years, I’ve grown to love all of these characters on Glee. Last night, in 60 minutes, the show managed to shit on every one of them except for Rachel.

And next year! I hear rumors that the show is going to be one episode in New York, the next in Lima. If that’s the case, or maybe even if it isn’t, I’m done. To me, Glee ended last night. They should’ve ended the show and done a spin off with Kurt and Rachel in New York. Instead, we’ll only get to see glimpses of a thousand characters which will only result in viewers not caring a lick for any of them.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Glee and still enjoy watching past episodes or listening to the songs. But for the show itself, I’m done. I’m so disgusted by what they did to these characters that I don’t even care what next year is like.

End Rant. 🙂

Down the road

•02/12/2012 • Leave a Comment

Well folks, I’ve had a really difficult week. This weekend, I’ve used my time to a) rest and b) reflect. Last night, I found myself asking a question that, believe it or not, I have never, EVER thought about before:

Where will you be in 10 years?

I’m not a long-term goal person. I don’t usually look beyond the next handful of months. But for some reason this question popped into my head and it got me thinking. Now, the question is really two rolled into one. First, it asks what you think is going to happen to you which inevitably leads into the second, more crucial part of the question: what do you WANT to happen to you?

This is not a list of what I’m going to do in the next ten years, this is a snapshot of me at 39. 10 years ago, I was a freshmen in college, just learning how to survive away from home. How much has changed since then. How much will change 10 years from now?

So here we go. It’s almost scary to say these things out loud, to let people know where it is you want to be heading but I’m also not one to keep things in my head. Keep in mind, none of this is written in stone. 🙂

10 years from now, I will be approaching 40 years old and I see myself…

Professional:

  • Higher than I am now. Now, I’m a manager of a 4.5 person department within a department within yet another department. If I stay in my company, I want to be Director, which is currently one step up from where I’m at now but it’s a huge step.
  • Breaking the 6 figure barrier. In actuality, that’s a goal for 35.
  • Back to school in pursuit of a business/managerial degree, with an accent of international accounting
  • Recognizable, a name, on the list – however you want to say that.

Location:

  • New York City or London (ha!)

Personal:

  • Not married – not saying single, not saying with someone, just not married.
  • Proud, happy owner of Eagle, my dog.
  • Not a home owner, still renting but renting nicely
  • Still spending too much but have learned the lessons of youth and not going crazy with it
  • I think I’ll be the exact same weight I am now. It’s been 15 years since that’s changed, I don’t see it changing any time soon. I’m 100% ok with that.

Kids?:

That to me is the biggest question mark about 10 years from now. I have a few guesses and each one I can totally see happening.

  • No children, coming to terms with the idea that children are not for me.
  • Pregnancy scare that has convinced me that I want offspring
  • Pregnancy scare that has convinced me that I do not ever want offspring
  • Unplanned kid that I would love and spoil to smithereens
  • Starting to think about children – looking into adoption scenarios

Can anyone else answer this question for themselves? Or am I one of the few my age still on the fence about it? Curious…

__________

Reading over this, I have a much more clear idea of where I want to be professionally than I do in my personal life which makes sense cause that’s where I’m at right now.

Things that would surprise me:

  • Married with children , driving kids to soccer practice while the hubby goes to the office. That’s not a knock to any woman who does that, it’s just not something I’ve ever seen or wanted for myself
  • Well hell, married with children period.
  • Not working in accounting.
  • I grew up and got rid of all my elephants.
  • Staying exactly at the same spot I’m at now, in all areas.

__________

Which items are wants and which items are predictions? Not sure, a little of both on all of them I guess. It remains an interesting question and I’m sure if I sat down to answer it tomorrow I would come up with different things.

As I stare off into the near future that is my 30’s, I feel more compelled to start thinking this way though. Where am I going? What is it that I want to accomplish?

Something to ponder…

Blank Bowl/Gleefully Super

•01/25/2012 • Leave a Comment

Hey all! So last time the Pats made it to the Super Bowl, I wrote a piece of fan fiction for the occasion called Blank Bowl, written in the style of the show Strangers with Candy.

I have written a second piece, very much like the first, for this rematch coming up. It’s called Gleefully Super so I think you can guess what it is modeled after (don’t worry, you don’t have to like the show to like this story, I promise).

Anyway, it’s not quite ready to be posted yet so in the meantime, please enjoy a re-posting of Blank Bowl, in three Parts:

Blank Bowl XLII – Part One

 The following is a fictional episode of one of my favorite shows, Strangers with Candy. It is about the struggle fans of the New England Patriots have had to deal with all season. Go Pats!

On a crisp January afternoon, Jerri Blank walks through the halls of Flatpoint High. Plastered on the walls are big blue posters emblazoned with “Giants: Stomp on Patriotism!” and “Giants: Beat Goliath!” Jerri, having just learned to read, is confused. Spotting her friend, Jerri investigates.
 “Hey Orlando, whatchya doing?”
Orlando, dressed in a large shirt with the number 81 on the back, is covering the Giants graffiti with attractive posters reading “Unstoppable” and “Brady will not be matched.” He looks at Jerri with a mixture of shock and intrigue.
“Oh, hi Jerri. We’re just putting up these posters for the Super Bowl this weekend, in support of the New England Patriots.”
“What’s that?”
”It’s a football team, Jerri.”
”I know it’s a football team. I mean what does it do?”
“They play football, the greatest sport in America.”
Jerri laughs. ”You jungle-folk will go for anything. Tell me what this foothole is all about.”
“Football, Jerri. Well, a bunch of big guys dressed in very tight-fitting pants try to knock each other down while another guy tries to get the ball into the end zone.”
”I’d like to get your ball into my end zone.”
Orlando is taken aback.
”Excuse me?”
”Only if you say please.”
“The New England Patriots are going to be the first team to go 19-0 if they beat the New York Giants on Sunday.”
“19-0! Wow, that’s a lot of numbers. They must be real popular.”
“Not really, Jerri. Most of the school hates them and hates us for not hating them.”
Jerri recognizes the sentiment. ”Ah yes, the old hata-playa. No one likes the man on top.”
”That’s what she said.”
Pause. 
“Sorry, wrong show.” Orlando has obviously been watching The Office too much. He continues. “Anyway, Tammy is coming over to watch the game on Sunday, You should come too.”
”You know what Orlando? I think I will. I’m takin’ a liking to these colonial sportsmen. Their colors are much more pleasing than that other team that is also red, white and blue. Something about the Patriots makes me feel very…what’s the word?”
“Patriotic?”
“That’s the one. Better than feeling gigantic!”
Tammy Littlenut walks by, hoping to avoid the amorous gaze of Jerri Blank.
“Mm, that’s gotta be tight. Be sure Coppertop’s there on Sunday, Orlando. I’d love to tackle that fireball.”
“We’re watching football Jerri.”
”Monkey see, monkey do. I gotta go pee.”
  

_______________________________________________________________________

”In nineteen hundred and seventy-two, the Miami Dolphins scored more than you.” Chuck Noblet, Flatpoint High’s resident history, science, driver’s ed teacher and biblical scholar is teaching the students who are still awake about NFL history. Above the blackboard a sign reads: “Patriots Fans Will Fail This Class.” Noblet is obviously a hard-core Giants fan, down to his tie depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the Jesus-like frame of Eli Manning. “And so it was that for 35 years, no football team could match the splendor that was/is the undefeated Miami Dolphins. A curse be upon the team that dares rival them.”
The bell rings
“Class dismissed.”
Jerri heads for the door, proudly showing off her Tom Brady jersey which she has adorned with spikes and squirrel claws. The look is interesting.
“Jerri, I…need a word.”
”Vagina”
“No, Jerri, I need to speak with you. Your attire is inappropriate for the academic setting. Remove this heretical jersey or you will fail.”
Jerri is flummoxed. “You’re wearing Giants apparel, why can’t I support my team? I mean, look the attention I’m getting!”
”I’ll put this as plainly as I know how. The Patriots suck and I will not have their jersey worn in my class.”
“But Mr. Noblet, if I don’t support the New England Patriots, how will I relate to my friends? I’ll be the laughing stock of Flatpoint High.”
”You already are.”
”motherfu…”
“And besides,” Noblet explains, “don’t you know who the Patriots are? They’re cheaters, Jerri. They’re nothing but a bunch of low-down, dirty ape-men who mercilessly conquer any team that stands in their way. They rule the night, feasting on  the innocent young of their enemies and worshiping all that is unholy in the name of Satan, commonly referred to as Bill Belichick. They besmirch the good reputation of football.”
Jerri looks horrified. ”Oh my land!”
“If you care about the fate of our country’s corrupted sports, you will NOT root for the New England Patriots.”
”But, if I don’t root for the Patriots, who do I root for?”
”This is America, Jerri. It doesn’t matter who you root for, but who you root against. You must pledge your non-loyalty and hate the Patriots. We’re counting on you, Jerri.”
And with that, Noblet pushes Jerri out of the classroom and locks the door. Alone, Jerri expresses her feelings the only way she knows how: to say them out loud.
”Conflicted.”
 

_____________________________________________________________________________

In a frenzied state, Jerri rips off her claw-encrusted #12 jersey and jams it into a trash can.
“Jerri, what are you doing!”
”Orlando!”
Orlando has caught her in the act. Jerri cannot take the pressure of his hurt gaze.
”Look it. I like you but liking you and liking the Patriots is making the rest of the school not like me and I don’t know if I like that. Know what I’m saying, baby?”
Jerri starts to rub Orlando’s ears, as if to calm him down.
“Don’t take it the wrong way, Orlando. I’m just saying that I am sacrificing my undying support of the Patriots to be better liked by everyone else. You understand, right?”
“What about Tom Brady?”
Jerri lashes out.
 
”Fuck Tom Brady and fuck the Patriots!”
Orlando is hurt. 
“I don’t even know you anymore, Jerri Blank. Or should I say Jerri Blank who supports the Giants?”
Orlando runs away, leaving Jerri alone yet again. Having already been conflicted, she states her new emotions.
“Confused.”  

______________________________________________________________________ 

In the Teacher’s Lounge, Chuck Noblet is having a private, eh, conversation with the art teacher, Geoffrey Jellineck. Neither one has very many clothes on.
“Geoffrey, you stand there. Now, let’s do play #1281.”
”In Between Catch?” Jellineck is always game for that one.
“That’s the one.”
Jellineck gets excited. Noblet sets the scene.
“Okay, you to be Tom Brady.”
”Naturally,” Jellineck offers.
“And I’ll be Randy Moss. Now you come toward me and…”
“You want to be Randy Moss?”
Noblet backtracks.
“Oh I, uh, didn’t mean…Do you think I could pull it off?” Chuck asks hesitantly.
“No.”
”Okay then, I’ll be Wes Welker. Now, you come at me from behind.”

 
In the deserted Teacher’s Lounge, Geoffrey Jellineck is delicately explaining something to Chuck Noblet. Both have shed most of their clothes, save for socks and an ankle bracelet.
“Okay Chuck, my turn. Let’s do play #69: The Two-Headed Weasel. You be the sneaky Eric Mangini and I’ll be the incorrigible Billy Belichick. And go.”
”Prepare to go down, Belicheat.”
 

In the deserted and steamy Teacher’s Lounge, Chuck Noblet and Geoffrey Jellineck are spooning. There are no clothes left.
“I want to go again,” Jellineck whines.
“Jesus, Geoffrey, I’m all balled out.”
”Come on, Chuck. One more football fantasy? It will be inspirational for my art.”
”Fine, but I’m choosing the play. Let’s see,” Noblet thinks aloud. “Got it. Play #500,000 to 19: Punishment and Payback.”
“Great! I’ve got the paddle!”
“I’ll get the jockstraps.”
Jellineck reaches out his chiseled arm to the birthday-suited Noblet.
“Be careful Chuck. No one can find out our secret.”
Chuck wraps a towel around his players and leaves the lounge. A student hastily rushes by, frightened of his virtually naked teacher.
”No running!”

Blank Bowl XLII – Part Two

The following is a fictional episode of one of my favorite shows, Strangers with Candy. It is about the struggle fans of the New England Patriots have had to deal with all season. Go Pats!

Later that night.

“Ah Stinky, what should I do? Do I stay true to my feelings and go along with Patriots or do I give in to my dark and shallow yearning for acceptance and popularity?”
Stinky looks at her, giving her the type of silence that only a pet skunk can.

“What do you know of being unpopular? Everybody loves skunks. Why, walking down the street you get so much attention! People are always pointing and shouting ‘skunk!’ in excitement over seeing you.”

Stinky does not respond.

“If only I could be as popular as you. Well, goodnight Stinky. Goodnight ashes of mother, father, and first pet turtle Shelly.”

With that, Jerri drifts off to slumberland, loudly snoring away the complications of the day. But her rest is not to be peaceful. Voices fill her ears, floating heads swim by her eyes.

“You will fail,” sneers Noblet’s head

“Patriots Suck! Patriots Suck!”
”I don’t even know you anymore, Jerri.”

The endless parade of unattached heads and snickering sounds becomes unbearable.If only Jerri would be visited in her dreams by someone who could show her the way. It is a plot device that works in so many stories.

“Je-e-e-r-r-r-i-i-i B-l-l-l-l-a-a-a-n-n-n-k-k-k-k”

The ghostly sound startles Jerri and she thinks she wakes up. Actually, she is still dreaming. Otherwise, what happens here would be incredibly creepy, if not completely impossible. Nevertheless, she answers the call.

“Hello? Who’s there?”
”Jerri Blank, you have lost your way.”
”Who’s that? Who’s talking? What kind of crazy pretend-reality is this?”

“Jerri Blank, you have lost your way. Your friends have guided you to the right path, the righteous path. You were once a Patriot fan. Now you have descended to the lowly level of any other team’s fan.”

“Oh my dear Lord, is it really you? Are you…Tom Brady?”

“Yes. Yes I am the Tom Brady, #12, quarterback to the undefeated New England Patriots, 2007 NFL MVP. Can you not tell my person by my handsome face and rockin’ body?”

“Well, that is a pretty recognizable butt chin you got going on there. Tom…”
”Please, call me Mr. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who was also the 2007 NFL MVP. It shows respect.”
”Right. Mr. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who was also the 2007 NFL MVP, I am conflicted.  See, I wants to roots for you but peer pressure is telling me not to. What do I do?”
”Jerri, listen to the dream apparition of me. You must block out those people who say that I and my team will not win the Super Bowl or do not deserve to be there. You must listen to what’s in your heart. And I think we both know what is in there.”

“Best guess would be some veins that are blocked by fat or scar tissue. That’s it! I should listen to my scar tissue! But what is that telling me? I can’t hear it over the screaming.”

“Ugh, your head is thicker than my right lineman.”
”Is that the way it’s leaning these days?” Jerri suggestively asks as she splays her legs wide. Mr. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who was also the 2007 NFL MVP chokes back a bit of vomit before continuing.

“Jerri, listen to me! Being a sports fan isn’t about rooting against something. It is about rooting for something. Support the team that is better, not the one that will make you look better.”

“Support the team that is better. Wow, I never thought of it that way. Thank you, Mr. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who was also the 2007 NFL something something.”

“Hey, no problem kid.”

As he starts to fade away, Jerri brings him back. “Excuse me, sir. May I just say that you have the hottest ass in the National Football League?”
Brady smirks, “I know.” And with that, he vanishes.

Jerri wakes, for realsies, with a start.

“Damn, that was a good dream. I would totally hit that.”

So would we, Jerri. So would we.

______________________________________________________________

It is time for the annual Super Bowl Assembly in which Flatpoint High gathers to cheer their favorite team on to victory. The school gymnasium has just been filled to the brim with shouting students and uncomfortable looking teachers. No teachers are more awkward looking than Mr. Noblet and Mr. Jellineck, who both decided to mask their football loyalties in the colors of the rainbow.

“Chuck, they’re going to find out. We’re doomed!”
”Get a grip, Geoffrey. We’re in Giants’ colors, plus some. These people will never know.”
”I can’t keep this secret much long…”
”Shhh, Principal Blackman is about to speak.”

All attention turns to the podium where Principal Blackman has taken position. Jellineck wipes his sweaty brow with his multi-colored handkerchief as a booming voice fills the room.

“Students of Flatpoint High. We have gathered today to pay tribute and show support to the one team that can lead us to victory, the one team that is different from all the rest. Their quarterback is a strong quarterback, with family legacy to live up to. Eli Manning and the New York Giants will march in that parade known as the Super Bowl and he will bring freedom to the masses, long suppressed by the domination of these so-called Patriots.”

Wild cheering ensues.

“Dynasty my ass, these guys don’t know the first thing about what it takes to be champions – except for those three years that they won the championship. And they did go undefeated in the regular season. They have a lot of weapons; those wide receivers, the running game. Their offense is pretty good. And you gotta hand it to that defense, having so many veteran players. Furthermore, you really can’t say enough about Tom Brady, probably the best quarterback to play the game. Reminds me of Montana (player, not state). Hall of Famer right there. Of course, it all starts with the head coach. Belichick is quite the genius, I must say. The way he cuts his hoo…”
”Um, Principal Blackman? Aren’t we supporting the New York Giants?” Coach Wolf interjected, fearing the principal was going off message.

“Uh, what? Hmm? Oh right. Yes, of course. The New York Giants. Go team!”
The pep band starts up the Flatpoint High fight song and the students start to cheer. Suddenly, a sound like a screeching car horn, nails running down a chalkboard, and a dying cat combined and then thrown under a jackhammer pierces the vibrant air.
”I got something to say!”

Jerri Blank, clad in what can only be described as a football costume made for an 80 year old, has taken to the podium. The crowd is quickly silenced, save for a smattering of uncontrolled laughter from the faculty and student body at Jerri’s hideously tight football stretch pants. Her #12 jersey is, unfortunately, not large enough to cover hips big enough to deliver a baby or two.

“You all are a bunch of rubes. Look at ya. You’re wearing the colors of America yet rooting for the team trying to bring America down. What gives? Why do you think they are called the Patriots? America’s team, people. If you really want something to root against, how about a down-and-out team who six weeks ago couldn’t put together a winning strategy except for out on the road? Root against the football team that can’t even have their own stadium but have to share it with the stinkin’ Jets.”
A shout is heard from the crowd. “I hate the Jets!”

“Well, guess who else hates the Jets,” Jerri replies. “That’s right, the New England Patriots. The Jets are lower than the stinkin’ Ravens.”
”I hate the Ravens.”

Numerous shouts from the crowd can now be heard. A sampling:
”I hate the Colts.”
”Well, I thoroughly dislike the Chargers.”
”Oh, the Chargers aren’t that bad. Not like the Steelers.”

“Oh yeah, the Steelers suck.”

“Don’t forget the Eagles.”
”Cowboys!”
”Green Bay Sucks!”
”Bad things be brought upon the Bills.”
”Ditto that for the Dolphins.”

Jerri, sensing she is winning over the crowd, continues. “See? There is only one place where you can legitimately hate all of these teams. It ain’t in New York. It’s New England. When you’re part of the best, all the rest don’t count for squat. Now, whattya say? Let’s go Pats! Woooo!”
At this, the crowd goes wild. Energized, the crowd leaps to their feet in celebration. Two guys pick up Jerri and parade her around the crowd on their shoulders. Ecstatic with joy for Jerri’s revelation, Geoffrey Jellineck, bedazzled in a tight fighting rainbow shirt takes to the podium

 

Blank Bowl XLII – Wrap Up

 

 The following is a fictional episode of one of my favorite shows, Strangers with Candy. It is about the struggle fans of the New England Patriots have had to deal with all season. Go Pats!

Jellineck gathered courage to speak.

“And I too have something to say. As Jerri has outed herself to you all, so shall I! I am a Patriots fan! I have been a Patriots fan many times. Most recently, I have been a fan with Chuck Noblet, occasionally many times in one night and in many different ways. We even have a playbook. I’m a Pats fan and proud of it! What about you, Chuck? Chuck?”
The door to the gymnasium slams shut. Jellineck sees the unmistakable black floor marks of cowboy boots.

“Chuck flees again,” Jellineck moans. The crowd continues to go wild as Geoffrey Jellineck slowly comes down from the podium.

________________________________________________________________

Super Bowl Sunday at Orlando’s house. Tammy Littlenut and Jerri have joined Orlando to watch the big game.

“Hey Brady, nice package!” Jerri is clearly enjoying herself.

“Jerri, please stop licking the TV screen. My mom will get angry.”
”I can’t help it, Orlando. This channel is picking up some amazing shots of #12. Orlando, thanks for inviting me. I’ve learned that it is wrong to go back on your friends just because everyone else is telling you what your friends are telling you is wrong. From now on, I’ll follow anything you say.”

“Jerri, please stop licking the TV.”
”Mmm, butt shots.”

The End.

Epilogue:
The Patriots went on to win that Super Bowl and it was all thanks to Jerri Blank and her strength to be different in a crowd.

Well, actually it was due to the awesomeness that is the New England Patriots. But it’s a good story anyway.

Epilogue II:

Except that the Patriots didn’t win Super Bowl XLII, causing all of New England to go into a deep, deep depression. Jerri Blank’s response was inappropriate at best:

“17-14! That’s Hi-LAR-ious!”

 

Darren Criss in “How to Succeed”: “Mediocrity is not a mortal sin”

•01/07/2012 • Leave a Comment

Two warnings:

A) DO NOT READ THIS if you are seeing Darren Criss in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and don’t want to be spoiled. I’m not holding back

B) Yes, I’m a fangirl but no, this is not going to be a bunch of me flailing about.  There will not be gushing so stay if you were worried about that or leave if you don’t want to hear anything but.

Ok, on to my review:

In the world of musical theater, a performance from an actor can usually be divided into three areas: dancing, singing and acting. Performers that can do all three are called “triple threats” and truthfully there are only a handful of actors in each generation that can be called that (Sutton Foster is one for example).  We’re lucky to get actors that can do two of these areas excellent and the third decent. Mostly, we get actors that can do a little of all three, never truly excelling at any.

How did Mr. Criss do? Honestly, putting my fangirl aside, I didn’t think he was all that good.

Dancing: Excellent

He’s a damn good dancer. He can do more than move, he can actually dance. He has form and poise, energy and sharpness. When he danced with the “professional” ensemble dancers, he blended right in as if he’s been doing this his whole life, as if two weeks of rehearsal was a week and a half more than he needed to learn this challenging, strenuous choreography. He was a joy to watch when dancing. The highlight being, of course, “Brotherhood of Man” – the exuberant 11 o’clock number that brought the house down. He lead the company in that number and was the Darren we’ve come to know and love from Glee. A sincere bravo! on the dancing.

Singing: Not Good

I know right? Of all things, you’d think the singing would be the area that Darren Criss would be the best at. I mean, I listen to his songs (Glee and otherwise) all the time. I love his voice, he has a good, powerful strong voice. But not in How to Succeed. Not at all actually. I don’t know if it’s in the wrong key or it’s written in a way that makes projection difficult (though did Matthew Broderick have an issue with that? Honestly, did Dan Radcliffe?) or if maybe his excellent dancing takes away from the air he needs to sing these songs. I don’t know what it is but his voice was not strong, he kept shifting from chest to head voice, his power notes weren’t quite there and it sounded like he struggled through many of the numbers. Broadway schedules are killer on the voice but we’re only 5 shows into his run, what is he going to sound like in two weeks? I refuse to believe that Glee fixes his voice that much on those tracks, I’ve watched videos of Darren’s live performances and he sounds great. And maybe it was an off night (though based on some other reviews, I’m thinking maybe not). I do have a rule in musical theater – no matter what, you have to be able to sing the part. I’m sorry Darren but I just don’t think you can sing this part. I won’t go so far as to say he doesn’t have a Broadway voice but I won’t dismiss that idea either.

Acting: BAD

Oh my God, it was bad. At first, his eye-rolling and cute little smirk were endearing but by the end of the show, I kind of wanted to smack him. His Pierpont Finch had no character so it was very hard to root for him to succeed in anything. He wasn’t mischevious, conniving, sweet, a guy who gets lucky breaks or anything else. His Finch just went through the story.  I’m not saying he was a dead log on stage, he wasn’t. But he wasn’t a character, he was a cut-out. Ouch, that was harsh. I don’t think Darren is a bad actor. I think he either wasn’t given the chance to make his own Finch or wasn’t told how to play him. There were moments that were great. Darren has very good comedic timing and good facial expressions. But it felt like he was trying to hard without knowing what he wanted to accomplish.
Also, he was mouthing the words of the other actors, one of those things that doesn’t bug you until you notice it and then you can’t NOT notice it. Seriously dude, I love you but stop doing that.

Ok, this is all getting very harsh and I’m starting to feel bad about it. I’m not going to take back what I said above but I will say that we have to keep something in mind. Darren started full rehearsal for this show two weeks before his opening night. Dan Radcliffe rehearsed for a year. Darren is only getting three weeks to do this show, Dan Radcliffe got a year to develop his character. Darren unfortunately does not have the luxury to grow into this part. J. Pierpont Finch is one of the most demanding male lead roles in musical theater because it calls for a triple threat. You have to sing, you have to dance, you have to charm the socks off the entire place and you have to make an audience care about a character that gets many good fortunes from doing very, very little. Finch is a jackass. The actor playing him needs to make us love him. That takes time to develop and Darren wasn’t afforded that.

Now let’s call a spade a spade. Why do you think there is a 40ft billboard of Darren Criss in Times Square right now? Why did they change the marquee and put his name in lights above the theater? He’s only in this show for 3 weeks! It was done because Darren is being taken for a test drive. Can he fill seats? Can he create buzz? Can he moderately lead a company of actors? Can he play nice with the Broadway brass? If these questions result in yes answers, Criss is going to be back on Broadway in his own show – as soon as Glee is over.

And that’s where, if you take a step back, this whole thing actually sucks for us. We’re being sold an expensive bottle of water that was actually taken from the sink in the kitchen to see if there’s a demand for gourmet water. If there is a demand, maybe down the road a year or two we get a really nice drink. If there isn’t, well at least we got to see that cute smile and that gelled hair in person instead of through our television screen.

So maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe it doesn’t matter that he can’t really sing the role or he hasn’t taken ownership of J Pierpont Finch.  It might be good enough that he was extremely enjoyable to watch – as Darren – and that I smiled throughout the entire 3 hour show. That his eyes sparkled in the lights or that I got to see how insanely big his hands are (like my God he has big hands!). We got to see him sweat up a storm, dance in tight pants, dance like a dream, smile so much we melted in our seats and walked away with a pretty damn good Playbill.

But I wasn’t blown away. And when you expect to be blown away and told you will be blown away, you’re left a little more dejected when that doesn’t happen.

Aw look how cute he is. Ok, never mind everything I just said.

ETA: I also want to say that I’m incredibly envious of and proud for Darren Criss. To star in a Broadway show, with your name literally in lights, is a thrill I would give pretty much anything for and he got to do it. Good for him.

2011: The Year That Was

•12/31/2011 • 1 Comment

Only a few hours left in 2011 so it is a good time to reflect on this crazy year. It was a year of ups and downs, really amazing times and truly difficult times. My first full calendar year in New York City! So here are the highlights, not many of the lowlights and the things that truly stand out:

  • Alyssa and Jason got married! It was a really lovely day, I’m so honored that I got to be a little part of it.
  • I got promoted to Accounting Manager, thus losing most of the confidence I had in what I do for a living every day. 🙂 But I did gain a bigger paycheck, a cooler title, and a hell of a lot more responsibility.
  • Killed my first cockroach.
  • Went through my first hurricane.
  • Attended my first Broadway opening night at Lysistrata Jones
  • Attended my LAST midnight movie – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt2
  • Tried absynthe for the first time
  • Smoked my last cigarette (very sad)
  • Saw a lot of shows: Book of Mormon, Anything Goes, Sister Act, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Baby It’s You, That Championship Season, Catch Me If You Can, Billy Elliot, Seminar, Jerusalem, Wicked, Follies, Hugh Jackman, Private Lives, Lysistrata Jones, Company, Close Up Space, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, American Idiot and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying4 TIMES!
  • Saw Scissor Sisters live at the Grammercy Theater
  • Danced two people away from Chris Colfer!!!
  • Went to the Glee Concert on 24 hour notice
  • Traveled to D.C. a few times, Boston a few times and Cape Cod a whole bunch of times.
  • Went to the New York Arts Show in February
  • My grandfather passed away in August
  • Spent most of January sick as a dog.
  • Spent most of the rest of the year wanting to get a dog.
  • Bought a guitar
  • Came in first in the pumpkin contest at work, second in the costume contest
  • Went to the Broadway.com awards where I was around so many Broadway people it blew my mind.
  • Won employee of the month
  • Made some new friends and managed to keep the ones I already had…I think 🙂
  • Got a new couch
  • Drank way too much but had fun doing it
  • Spent way way too much
  • Got an iPhone that I’m now addicted to
  • Got back onto my happy pills, to the relief of everyone around me.
  • Kept so busy that I don’t know how it’s already going to be 2012.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things and I’m omitting some of the more unpleasant aspects of the year. Seems like this one was a trying year for a lot of us. However, it’s been my experience that the odd numbered years are usually the most tumultuous. So if you got through 2011 and it was hard, I bet you 2012 will be a whole lot better.

Except that I’ll be that much closer to 30…but that’s a problem for 2013. 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!