Sunday, December 31, 2006

Muppets Take the Middle East

They say death comes in threes.
James Brown.
Gerald Ford.
Saddam Hussein.

I made it back to New York. The holidays that involve my family are over. I missed James Brown at the Apollo.

I am very happy to be in New York. I will now go back to taking it for granted.

Since my return, Saddam Hussein has been killed by a Puppet government and the newspapers report George Bush having gone to sleep before it happened. I wonder if that asshole would have slept if a real Puppet were killing him. Like an actual Puppet. Like Burt or Janice.

In fact, I think we should all cut the shit and prop up a Muppet government in Iraq.
Kermit and Miss Piggy could fight about the fact that she wants to show her legs.
I'm sure they would kill Gonzo for looking like a Jew.
Everyone would have hands up their asses instead of heads, and we would be guaranteed at least one more musical number every couple of hours.

Can I absentee vote in Iraq since my country has conquered it?
I vote the Big Bird/Grover ticket.

I have very mixed feelings about the Trial and Death of Saddam Hussein. A few of my friends and bar patrons agree that silencing the man who had the information Saddam did was, to quote one person, "as dumb as shit."

I also think that it was pointless at its most benign and harmful at its worst. And I believe less in the death penalty now than ever.

I will be leaving for Texas in about 18 hours. I will be in New Braunfels/Austin/San Antonio, attempting to create a theater piece based on Border Politics and More of Our American Crap.

I think the timing is pretty alright.

Please check in for the latest from another part of the country that is Not New York.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 26th.

Christmas is over and things are open again. The Christians are done pretending they love each other and no one gave me bad socks or wrongly sized underwear. (Yet...:))

I found an Oasis in the Suburbs and it is called Panera Bread. There is wireless here and Vegetarian food (Sort of, they have bread). They have Soy Milk for the coffee and I can send emails without tickling the underside of the dinosaur my family calls a computer.

It's the day after Christmas and I already feel a major burden lifted. We don't do this again now for many many days. 364 of them. Well, I think it's closer to 363 now. Damn it.
This is fine by me considering the fact that the family is not supposed to be around each other for too long. (No. no court order, but I am working on it.)

My grandmother took to picking at her face and putting Nupercainal on it afterward. We sat in her kitchenless studio and watched the Everybody Loves Raymond Christmas episodes. Then Bad Santa, which Nana loved. She says she liked the little fat boy.

My mother appeared on the scene with a failed attempt at cooking a turkey under her belt, and some mashed potatoes and stuffing. We ate them with cranberry sauce and called it a wrap.

For the love of Christ, we called it a wrap.

They liked the hats I got them, danced for a while, and spoke in Russian accents. This is how they say I love you. Later they felt guilty for not having been better at everything. I think they meant from day one.

I told everyone to just take a Vicodin and be done with it.

"So this is the New Year. And I don't feel any different..."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Here's to another umbrella orgasm

I am terrible at the holidays.

I am the last minute shopper. I am the person who forgets that guy, oh shit, that guy. I like getting lost in Holiday movies that make me forget my own family. My family doesn't drink so there's no escape there. It is Christmas Eve and I still haven't hit the road or wrapped anything. I am in Brooklyn looking at the clothes on my floor. I am the only person they don't hate- until I get there, seven hours in and I'm one of the gang. Christmas is always a fight and a rumble, like Thanksgiving but with bad gifts and the pressure of having to fake it. Opening presents in front of my family is the equivalent of falsifying the enjoyment of sex. Worse, because you have to REALLY make them think you like it. This is the GREATEST Umbrella I have ever SEEN! Oh my God, WHERE did you get this bathrobe??!!

And every year I think of that line in the Christmas song by the Waitresses, "Merry Christmas, but I think I'll miss this one this year." But, it hasn't seemed to happen yet. Maybe next year.

Hey everyone. The Happiest of Happys. Be peaceful.

I might check in later in the week if I can get a signal or their dial up to work.

If ANYONE asks, I love the sweater with the Duck on it that Nana is going to give me. Love it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sappy Holiday Thoughts (abridged)

A Few Warm Things You Can Put Your Faith In, An Incomplete Holiday Composite For 2006 by Melissa Shaw and Friends

The amazing power of having a vagina (yours or someone else's, as long as you got one around you).

The amazing power of a vagina when it is mad.

Ashleigh Beyer's colon.

That if your friends have stuck it out with you for this long, they probably will continue to.

There will always be something new. Never ever worry about it.

Life is a lot of things, times, and places. They never replicate, even if they seem to.

Consumer Reports.

The other person sounded way dumber than you did.

Someone will always be able to fix your computer.

Where there is laughter, there is hope.

That lists like these will always get a little sentimental.

That friends who really love you will give you thoughtful presents like boxes of glue for Hanukkah.

T9 on text messaging will recognize "of" before "me", for some reason.

Nothing is irreparable.

Ok, now who was it that promised they would post bail if I ended up killing my family this year?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

HWY Rachel

Thank you to everyone who came out to the HWY Rachel benefit last night.
Today I realized that Katherine Hepburn Place is on 49th street. She got a raw deal.
So did I, I was stuck in holiday traffic for hours.
The Upper East Side can be rough on the Wednesday before Christmas.

Rachel Hyman hated the fact that she won Shakespeare-in-a-Box last night, so if anyone is interested in coming by the Burp Castle and being in my production of Taming of the Shrew staring Tim Kreider, please be my guest.

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, art, and money to HWY Rachel.
And came and drank with me.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Embarrassed That I Like

So, if you have been with me for a while you might know about "The Things I Am Embarrassed I Hate" series.
St. Mark's Bookstore is on the list, flax seed, and New York City Bicycle Riders (except Rachel Hyman who rides in the middle of the road. Which I like).

But now, I would like to talk a little about the things I Am Embarrassed I Like.

Top of the list.

Global Warming.

Yes friends, I am down right embarrassed that I have been walking around saying "wow it's beautiful," when I know that it is a by-product of POISON I am enjoying.

What I really should be saying is, wow, it sure is POISONOUS out today. Doesn't this nice warm air feel simply POISONOUS today?

I am a Bona Fide Jackass. I feel like enjoying the weather we're having is exactly why mouse traps work. Sure, the cheese is there, but for a really bad reason.

Second Thing.
Being outraged by the behavior of Muslim Men. I have to be honest, when I hear men in our country going off about stoning, I get really wet. I don't really even like most men, their opinions, or their agendas, but I'll tell you I get really excited when I hear people focusing in on the FUCKING FACT THAT WOMEN ARE DYING FOR NO FUCKING REASON. Ahem.
I am angry. I am so angry, and what makes me even more angry is that It's looked down on in Liberal Circles TO be angry.
It is spoken of as INTOLERANCE. But I am supposed to tolerate people raping vaginas for sport. For revenge. Well, fuck that. I really like thinking that the way Muslim Men treat women is appalling. (Phixit, I thank you for bringing this up yesterday.)

I like, that maybe, I am not alone behind the Liberal smoke screen of Political Correctness, (which could sometimes also be called, Fear- to- Speak- Out- For- Fear- of- Being -Called- a- Racist).

Here's the deal, Michael Richards is an idiot. So, are men who justify raping women. Period.

I am also embarrassed that I like the singer, Pink.

Here's hoping for a sunny and mild tomorrow.

At the End of the World, I do believe we will all be playing Croquet.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I was just thinking about all of the possible first lines for break-up letters that would correspond to the relationships I have had. Please feel free to add your own.

First. The Ones to Me.

(These are NOT in Chronological order. )

Dear Melissa,
You have finally driven me insane.

Dear Melissa,
I have to break up with you because my mother hates you and knows now, that you are Jewish.

Dear Melissa,
You have always known I was gay.

Dear Melissa,
I'm still not quite sure how you can't appreciate a Sno-Globe.

Ok, Now Ones to Them.

Dear Waxes Too-Poetic,
Yes, I do think it's strange that you lie about being from Iowa. I do.

Dear Affair With Married Man,
I am so sorry I called your wife and said those awful things about you and your penis. I hope you get to keep the house.

Dear Trash Picker Weirdo,
Thank you for ruining my Birthday. And I told you, I DID NOT want you to bring those doughnuts.

Dear Black Belt Starbucks Manager,
I think you were very rude to say I was stalking you.

My Doppelganger is 70 and has a thick New York accent

Today, in Staples, I was making color copies of Loteria Cards.
Loteria Cards, for those of you out of the Mexican Bingo loop, are very colorful and have pictures of Frogs, Women in Boats, and Spiders and such. Folkloric and kitchy, they are both set up to be played as a game, the instructions of which I have never read, or to be used for divining. Very a kin to Tarot Cards.
(I am very curious to know what getting a Boot or a Water Basin would mean for my future, but have not, as of yet, met a Lotertia Reader.)
They are also marked with the Spanish name for what the pictures are.
Shrimp= El Camaron
Pear= La Pera
Guy Holding a Bottle, Dancing with Holes in his Pants= El Borracho
(Not Making a MasterCard Joke Here= Priceless.)

So, after Yoga, after getting coffee and reading an article about a recent harassment of Yoko Ono, I was inspired to get down to the work I have to do for my Benefit*.

I'm photcopying cards and yucking up a storm with the cashiers, when along comes a woman who is absolutely furious. Pretty much about everything. It seems that it was ridiculous that she was waiting in line, that it was ridiculous no one was helping her, and that it was ridiculous to expect her to know how to use a copier. She was clearly in a panic and the technology was way above her head.

I laughed to myself.

Good Morning!

70 year old Cranky New Yorker Woman is to Copy Machines as 26 year old Melissa is to _____________.


You have three guesses and the first two do not count.

Simple time ratio, no?

I wish I could live inside the Loteria Cards. If I did the Daytime would be El Gorrito e La Rosa and the Nighttimes always La Estrella e La Luna. There is not one technical reference to be found in the deck.
The closest we got here is a Bell and a Ladder.
And Me and the Doppelganger got a hold on how those babies work, don't we Doppel?

Mi Corazon,

*Benefit for HWY Rachel, Tuesday December 19th. Doors at 6:30. 154 Christopher Street Buzzer 2B, NY, NY.
Come get a massage, some wine, and a Tarot Card reading!! (Regular. Not Loteria, sorry. But maybe someday I'll find out what a Boot means and tell you.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

How TO and NOT TO treat a New York City Bartender

A Short List:

Do assume that your bartender knows exactly what raison d'etre is.
Do Not assume that your degree is higher than the bartender's.
Do wait patiently for the bartender to make eye contact with you before placing your drink order.
Do Not bang your glass, beckon them over with your fingers, or call them by name if they are doing anything else other than standing still.
Do tip on every drink.
Do Not think that once per visit is enough.
Do flirt for free drinks.
Do Not assume that you will get one.
Do engage in conversation, but be aware enough to realize when the bartender is no longer interested in talking to you about Yams or your Mother's trip to Bethesda.
Do become a regular.
Do Not forget your responsibilities as a regular.
Do leave when the bartender politely asks you to.
Do Not force the bartender to impolitely ask you to.
Do Not yell at the bartender when she is on the phone with the owner.
Do Not scream, "I am giving your bar business," at anytime. Your twelve dollars, are not THAT important.
Do bring presents.
Do Not fall in love with the bartender.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

There are people in Canada who wish I were dead

If you know me at all you might figure I am terrible with technology.
If you know me well you know that I am frightful at it.

There are people in Canada who know things about me you never will.

Sit in front of me in my apartment, tell me that the wireless is out and the PC I use has worms, and I wouldn't say cry but...

The following reaction would be a far cry from fun. Jesus on the Cross was fun. Telling me I have to download something is a massacre.

I wouldn't have a Blog if it wasn't for Sarah Glidden.

But never the less, I was on the phone, with Canada, for far too long, talking to people whose accents I would have taken for "put on" if I didn't know any better.
Talking about wireless, routers, and about 467 things I will never understand.

There is a woman, who I'm sure has a Voodoo Doll, vaugue in shape, because unless she checks Myspace she has no idea what I look like. And this Voodoo Doll says Dumb Loud American and is aimed at my weakest points. It probably looks like a man because she kept calling me sir, and I'm sure there are pins in my hands so I will never ever be able to call back.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tell Tail Sign

I am in, by far and large, the only profession where someone can tell you that your tailbone hurts because of all the Truth you have been Telling.
And mean it.

According to my Yoga Teacher. My ass hurt today because my bones are changing, because my life is changing, because I am changing.
What do you think of that? My ass- moving like a Weather vane.

Best part. I totally believe her. Oh, I'll make fun of it 'til the day I die, that's not gonna stop me, but only cause I want to buy it.

This is the kind of outlook I'm into these days. Or maybe I always have been.

I like thinking that my Palm Itches because I'm gonna get money, my foot hurts because I'm supposed to kick someone in the shins, my period is late because of metaphysical changes in my soul or too little salt or -my favorite- 'stress.' (It's a hell of a lot better than thinking you're pregnant, I'll tell you.)

Never underestimate the power of superstition mating with denial to produce a positive thinking delusional mutant Polyanna with Saint Candles and a Yoga Mat.

Life is a hell of a lot more tolerable if you think your car died so you would learn how to love a train ride.

Before I start sounding like Chicken Soup for the Soul, let's get back to my ass.

See, I was never into this Yoga thing until relatively recently.
I tried it as an undergrad and I was usually too hung over to go to class or I was too competitive to clear my head.

She fell down. HA! I didn't fall down.

And then I would fall down.

(Quick lesson in Karma number one.)

I tried a few times later in life, and really, I just spent every Asana thinking about getting out of class, how badly I wanted to drink that night, and how the poses sure were funny. Do I have to grab my nose?

But now I'm learning that my tailbone is challenging me and I'm like:
My tailbone.

(Ashleigh Beyer deserves a nod of thanks for some of this.)

The "Truth," my Yoga Teacher was talking about, was my show; On How To Dress Your Children the Day You Are Going to Pretend That They have Polio.
She sees it as a "Transformative Experience," and she just looked at me when I told her I was concerned about the flesh just under my lower back. You know, 'cause I like to sit there sometimes.

But, she closed her eyes and said "Of course. Of course, Melissa. It's all that letting go and moving through you've been doing. Especially with everything having to do with your family and the show. You know that."

I know that.

Well, I've always said it. And now my Yoga Teacher backs me up. My family really does give me a pain in the ass.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Catch and Release

Back up to my Alma Martyr today. Yes, On Metro North. Yes, I figured out how (once I asked everyone who worked there. Sure.) Yes, sadly, for the last time.

I'm starting to feel like I go to school at Sadie Lou again, though. Apparently, that is her nick name. Apparently, my Grad School is Post Menopausal.

This time, I am picking up my car (to you the reader I am writing from the Library where my pass words still work, where people do me the favor of recognizing me and ignoring.( Oh, and to catch you up I had my car towed to good old Sarh Lawrence to be fixed by my Step Dad who came down, twice, from New England to work on it. Thank God he's unemployed, and not drinking.) ).

On my way to Grand Central, on the 4,5,6, I had the pleasure of listening to a woman get into a fight with her Imaginary Friend. No, I have no reason to make anything up:

"Yes! I'm getting up!"

She is blonde and wearing Sunglasses. She gets up for her Imaginary Friend. And gives her the seat.

"You NEVER listen. Never Ever."

She looks down. Other people start politely giving them their space. It seems private. It seems personal.

"Well, I am. I am twenty years older than you are!"

Ok, I'm pegging this woman for 4o. 40 years old. Which means that her imaginary friend was born when this woman was 20, a Junior in college let's say. I think then, it is safe to say, that the Imaginary Friend is now a Junior in College. Possibly failing Statistics. And more than likely has lame posters on her walls. Belushi in the sweater. The Choose Life Monolouge from Trainspotting.

I do say her because I think, more often than not, people think of imaginary friends as being male or animals-which default as male.

This Imaginary Friend, I suspect is named Delilah and plays the piano very well.

I wonder if their fight started because Augusto Pinochet died. I imagine that it did.
There's a lot to say.

In honor of Augusto Pinochet's death, today I purchaed a catch and release mouse trap. This way everyone gets out alive.

You hear me, Henry?