I recently saw the cover of some national magazine, the name of which escapes me, and it featured Tina Fey. Her skin looked plastic and wet. Her hair was perfect. Flawless. Her lips were pushed out and pouting and her glasses sat just a little low on her nose. She had a miniskirt on and heels and it looked like an amalgam of every hot teacher, secretary or businesswoman I’d ever seen. My first thought was, “holyshit she is hot”…
Then I looked closer and her left arm was handcuffed to the right arm of a cop. You couldn’t see his face, only his arm and maybe a bit of uniform was in frame. Then I began to wonder why this was necessary. Why do we need her to be as sexy as she is funny? Is the fact that she is one of the most gifted writers and comedians of our time not enough? I guess no one really wants another Rosanne Barr. I mean, as funny and challenging as Roasanne was (and she was very funny and challenged us in ways other comedians would not or could not do then), most of us couldn’t fantasize about fucking her in the copy room.
Are they doing this for us or because of us? Are they doing this so that we will more easily laugh when she makes light of something or someone that we care about? Or are they doing this because we have demanded that every woman on TV be an object of sexual desire?
A few weeks ago my friend mentioned that she had a friend that did improv and that without fail when she was onstage with dudes she was almost always sexualized. Then I witnessed it first hand on a couple of occasions. Don’t let me be misunderstood. I don’t think she, or anyone, should be ashamed of their sexuality and it’s not something we should hide from. Sex is funny. It’s awkward and weird and hilarious, and sometimes that is the natural and perfect place for an improv scene or a comedy sketch to go. I just wish that we could talk about how funny and smart Tina Fey is without the inevitable “… and dude, she’s so fucking hot.” that punctuates nearly every single conversation about her.
This will not, by any means, become an “I hate my room mate and here’s why…” Blog. My room mate is a nice guy, and I like him. He’s pretty respectful and very sweet and generally a pretty good room mate. But once in a while (see ASTRO GLIDER, an earlier post) he does something that just sort of… blows my mind.
This morning, while I was making breakfast he was in the living room talking with his girlfriend. I wasn’t eavesdropping, but I could easily hear their conversation. They were talking about his new job when he suddenly said, “Wait… i’m going to go plug in my hair straightener.” And then he jumped up and ran into the bathroom and came back. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and to see if really he had a hair straightener and sure enough… plugged into the wall was this.
I coughed a little laugh and moved it out of the sink so that I could wash my hands without being electrocuted. Then I went back into the kitchen. In the interim they had moved on to talking about the bar that he went to in a crappy suburb of Portland. He spoke incredulously toward the usual patrons of the bar. “Is that a mullet?”, he said in an exaggerated and painfully inaccurate southern drawl. The fact that he actually has a mullet seemed lost on him. I mean… the answer to the question, “Do you have a mullet?”, is Yes. Yes you do have a mullet. What did he think would happen if he, quite literally, cut the top and sides of his hair short, while leaving the back very long and then using a FLAT IRON to straighten it. If part of what I wore, or how I fixed my hair was openly and mockingly ironic to a certain class or group of people I wouldn’t go to where they hang out and be like, ‘What?… what’s yer problem doods?’
Additionally, I am by no means bummed on my room mate for his hair style. Or the way that he dresses. My good friend always says “you gotta do you man…” And he’s right, that’s the best way to be. But a little self awareness goes a long way.
I live with two roommates. One is a guy and one is a girl. They are super nice people and we all get along really well. Not long after the fella moved in, I rounded the corner into the bathroom that we all share and saw that he’d moved his shampoos and various shower accoutrement onto shelves next to the shower. That’s well and good. But something was… not quite right. A small, purple bottle sat beside the conditioner on the top shelf. It wasn’t nestled, or snugged up against anything. It wasn’t face down. It wasn’t hidden in any way, or shelved with what could be considered polite modesty. It was shamelessly and maybe with purpose facing up and declaring to the world it’s presence.
The label on the bottle said “ASTROGLIDE“.
Now… there I am staring at this personal lubricant in the bathroom that I shower in. The bathroom that I share with 2 other people. The ASTROGLIDE rests on wire shelves above my soap. My tooth brush. My floss. I am… concerned about this. I have spent several weeks trying to figure out some alternative use for ASTROGLIDE. Hair conditioning? Hair Styling? That’s actually about as far as I’ve gotten with my theories on alternative uses.
I’m certainly not against someone doing it, either with someone else, or by themselves or whatever you need to do. But really? Even if you do that in the shower that you share with two other persons, you may want to consider being slightly more discreet.
I am not looking forward to when the shower drain clogs again.
Last saturday I went to a new bar downtown. My friend and I went inside and were immediately caught up in this jet-stream like current of people that seemed to be entering from one side of the room, walking past the bar while making inappropriate eye contact with everyone there, then right out the back door. I stuck out my hand, grabbed the bar and got us some drinks before we were swept back out into the street. The river of people put our backs against the wall. Which was fine. We were having fun checking out all the saturday night shirts and the ironic facial hair when a stranger walked up to me.
He said he had seen me perform, I think at a Back Fence thing, and that he thought it was funny. He asked if I’d gone to some other story telling event and I said no. Then he started telling me about his idea for a storytelling night where people tell about how they lost their virginity. Of course, this must mean he has a weird story about losing his virginity. So I asked. And he told me the story of his lost virginity. How he lied about his age to a women in her mid 20′s that he worked with. How they had an affair that lasted for several months until her husband caught them doing it in the shower and said that he was going to shoot the kid. I was like, yeah I just lost mine in the back of a station wagon behind a church. It was awkward and unfulfilling.
I really like that this total stranger came up to me and after 45 seconds of conversation told me the ridiculous and amazing story of how he lost his virginity. I like the places and the people that this new work is leading me to. I seems to just keep getting better.
You know, I don’t like cynicism. It’s not a good quality to have generally. But, are you really telling me that people really need a 20 dollar “stainless steel” box to put their plastic grocery bags in? The funniest about this is that it tells you how many you can fit in it. Max 50 bags. What do you do after that? Throw the bags in the garbage? Buy another box? Recycle the bags? Hopefully the answer is in the manual cause I’m at a loss if it’s not.
At least that’s what I thought for a long time. I thought Seattle had a chip on it’s shoulder about being a “Big City” and that people there were dickish. That the coffee wasn’t as good or the beer wasn’t as good but was very much more expensive.
I thought it was a nice place to transfer trains on the way to Vancouver, but that’s about it.
Then I went up there to see Mark Siano and the Freedom Dancers ‘Soft Rock Kid’ at ACT. And… things changed. What I saw was an amazing display. They bedazzled my heart with stunningly well designed costumes, amazing dance routines to soft rock songs that lifted me right out of my chair and a dialogue that was so funny and well written it made me feel like a retarded monkey with a type writer. I felt like I was Jennifer Grey in dirty dancing, and Mark and all the freedom dancers were one giant Patrick Swayze lifting me up and into the sky, into hilarious heights I hadn’t been to before.
I could feel things changing. I could feel the perspective change. The distances and heights readjusting. What had been big got a little smaller and what could be became so much more. Boundaries blurred and doors opened. I hung out in Seattle the next too days making really good friends and having more fun that I thought possible. When I got home to my little room, in my little city I was happy to be home, but it was like when you kiss someone for the first time. It changes all the other kisses you’ve ever had. They get a little better or a little worse.
Thanks Seattle. I’m glad we are friends now. I will see you on April 2nd for Spin the Bottle.
Cake is for Late Nights