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Thursday, June 30, 2005

I punched a girl with braces

My latest article, about being the first woman captain of Dartmouth's boxing team, is up in the Writing section.

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folks from St. Jude

Yesterday on the 6 train, I sat across from what appeared to be a New York woman in her mid-thirties entertaining a visit from her loud, ill-attired suburban parents.

They were all discussing some fourth person (say, "other daughter") who likes Asti Spumante, which "mom" totally couldn't pronounce, and then "mom" went on to say that "other daughter" had at some point requested a mimosa, and mom's reply had been (imagine this really loud on the 6):

"A mimosa? That's not a drink, that's a tree we have outside the trailer!"


some sugar in my smoking?

Yesterday I bought a coffee from a street cart and it came in one of those cups with advertising printed on it (maybe the coffee carts consequently receive the cups for free?)

I have sometimes gotten cups that were a little weird, like one with a bright blue Colgate ad, but then again, I've also posted here about Freshdirect's peculiar but astute cross-marketing wherein, when you buy coffee, the bottom of the page says "Customers who bought this product also purchased: Half and Half, Crest Whitestrips."

This cup, however, was garishly bright yellow, pictured a happy face with a cigaratte coming out of its mouth, and was an ad for an online discount cigarette outlet. I don't want to walk around holding an ad for that! Even if it's run by Native Americans!

It took me a minute after buying the coffee to realize just what I was holding, and it seemed too frivolous to go back and request another cup. I mean, if I had been in an actual store, I would certainly have complained.

That, of course, is one of the benefits of Starbucks or other corporate leviathans -- if I don't like my drink at Starbucks, even if only because I ordered something made with, say, caramel, and I don't like caramel, I can go back up to the counter and tell them the drink is terrible, and they'll toss it out and make me a new one. Your risk is absorbed. And if I want my drink in an extra-big cup, or super-insulated in two cups, or half-skim with a Santaria blessing over it, they'll even hold back on the eye-rolling while complying.

The cigaratte cup, though ... how unappetizing! What's next? Maybe the pro-lifers could sponsor a bloody-fetus cup. How persuasive!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

new comedy clip! for you! to laugh! click me!

New comedy! This is from my Caroline's show, but if you weren't there, you haven't heard it. I've finally figured out how to edit sound in iMovie. Here you are:
French Women Don't Do Pilates

As far as I know, you shouldn't have to log into MySpace to hear this. Let me know if you have trouble.

Reminder: Next comedy show July 8 - make reservations now!

boxing article

My article about being the first woman captain of the boxing team has
just come out in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Maybe I'll scan and
post it.

"renegade" my ass

My Renegade Craft Fair post has generated enough comment (much of it in person, not on the blog) that I am thinking maybe I'll hold my own craft fair, involving actual crafts.

I think part of the problem with the RCF was that it cost at least $125 to rent a space, which would be prohibitive to someone who makes potholders in their spare time. Maybe I could find some dumpy little church meeting area and offer table space for $15 and we could all eat PB&J sandwiches together.

Incidentally, I make my own refrigerator magnets, often out of beans and interesting beer bottle caps.

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step off, bitches

Social networking sites are great, but I hear that if you're a guy (like my cowboy), you get a lot of (sometimes inexplicable) come-ons from hookers or webcam porn girls, and sometimes you just don't know which or what.

I'm thinking of cribbing some random photo of a guy and joining Friendster as him to see if I get a mailbox full of Skankmail. Kind of like gay guys who post to Craigslist personals as women to collect naked guy pictures.

(I suppose here is a fine place to link to a track -- called "Don't Believe Everything You Read on Craigslist" -- off my spoken word CD. There's a sound clip on CDBaby.)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

spelling, trivia, bad sex, yarmulkes

And now, the Jenisfamous official event schedule for the week:

Monday! The Williamsburg Spelling Bee! 7-9pm at Pete's Candy Store

Tuesday! Megan's Quiz Show, Throbbing Brains Onstage!

THURSDAY! Jen reads in "Bad Dates, Bad Sex," a literary event at Cornelia St. Cafe! 6-8pm, 29 Cornelia Street (West Village), $6 includes one drink. Jen will be reading the only known short story about a girl with a Jew fetish.
Through all this, I never had a desire to convert. I wanted to love Jewish men, consume them through sex, marry a man in a yarmulke. Just as I wouldn't have dated a convert, a fake Jew, I wouldn't have become one. I wanted Judaism from the outside.

Friday, July 8 - make comedy reservations now

Last night's show at New York Comedy Club went well. I should have an MP3 for my blog audience in the next few days ("layering is the lather-rinse-repeat of our generation!")

And now, the next show!
Jen at New York Comedy Club
Friday, July 8

8pm show, please arrive at 7:40pm for seating
$10 cover + 2 drink minimum

New York Comedy Club is located at 241 E 24th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Aves.

RESERVATIONS A MUST! (That means you, good sirs and madames!) Call 212-696-5233 and say you are making reservations for the July 8, 8pm show to see Jennifer Dziura.

oh, how I miss thee, purveyors of the fourth-grade reading level

Doing some research in my old hometown paper, I found this column by a columnist complaining that her editor won't let her use the word "schadenfreude" in the paper because "no one knows what it means."

"I see it all the time in The New Yorker," she protests.

He replies: “That’s nice. Next time you write a piece for The New Yorker, use it. In the meantime, don’t.”

I am so glad I moved to New York.

p.s. When I wrote for the Pilot, they would've let me say "schadenfreude." I would've insisted it was the "teen perspective" these days.


headline: Canadians discover the 'muff

This week I had the pleasure of trying the Hearmuff, a fleecy hat or earmuff-style fleece headband with built-in speakers, for use with iPod or other music-playing device.

I met Alan, the Hearmuff founder, on a modeling site where he was looking for models and ended up hearing some of my comedy and eventually we ended up having a drink. I tried the red headbandy Hearmuff with my iPod Shuffle, and although there was no mirror, the sound quality was better than my earbuds, and I like to imagine I looked like a cute skibunny.

Here's one I'll bet he's heard before: Hey, if you designed a waterproof version for SCUBA enthusiasts, you could call it the MuffDiver.


make some clothespin people before you choke on your own hipness

I wanted to like the Renegade Craft Fair, but I didn't.

First of all, McCarren Park is a scorchingly hot, treeless hellplain marked by irregular patches of sickly grass. Also, there were no food or drink vendors anywhere in sight, and I did look before sun poisoning forced me back onto the L.

But the real issue: when I attend a craft fair, I want to buy inexpensive, kooky tchotkes from old ladies or dorky-but-hip-in-their-own-way girls who latch-hook or decoupage as a hobby, or to drown the pain of the Golden Girls no longer being in production.

I do not want to buy pricey, ultra-hip shirts and purses and hats made in small batches by DIY "designers" with their own logos and product lines and websites.

Oh, look, it's a felt purse with Rosie the Riveter on it. Oh, look, it's a stuffed tampon with a happy, feminist face on it. Oh, look -- it looks like Jane magazine threw up.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Amy Sedaris is coming to Brooklyn for a craft fair?

Look for me and Megan buying hand-crocheted pasties in the park!
The Renegade Craft Fair is coming to Brooklyn.

Renegade is an independent and unconventional craft fair embracing a D.I.Y aesthetic, which makes it less stodgy and more edgy than traditional arts and crafts festivals.

Brooklyn's fair will host about 150 vendors who will showcase and sell their one-of-a-kind handmade wares, including reconstructed clothing, comics, zines, jewelry, silkscreened gigposters, and more.

McCarren Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
10:30a-5p; $free
Continues SUNDAY


Dear Lindsay, maybe you should take a break and try college

"It's very weird in L.A. You'll go out and see someone that you dated and they'll be with an ex-girlfriend and then you'll run into the ex-girlfriend and you'll like a person who dated this other girl and then you want to leave and it's not fun and then someone writes about it and there's drama and everyone hates everyone and then you're all friends again. It's so much."
- Lindsay Lohan

maybe "dziura" across my clavicles?

I just saw a guy in my neighborhood with his last name (Morales) tattooed down his arm in boxy, ornate Gothic letters. The "m" was up on his shoulder and the "s" down on his wrist ... and it looked fantastic. Like something that would be pictured on the cover of a rap album, along with the enormous crucifix that would be hanging around his neck. (He must've left that at home).

mocking the defenseless

One of my guilty early morning pleasures is reading the sniping from the heartless bitches (a.k.a. fashion police, a.k.a. champions of a strange new modesty that has taken over Hollywood "culture") over at Go Fug Yourself.

But alas, since they have not updated their site since I last checked five hours ago, I direct you to my favorite post, a faux letter from Britney:
I have A LOT GOING ON. I am fighting the false tabloids and I am trying to help Kevin make an album although HE IS NO JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and I am NOT just talking about SINGING but you didn’t hear that from me. I am ALSO trying to create a warm and loving womb for my fetus, like I read in some book about babies and stuff, and I am ALSO trying to quit Red Bull because it’s bad for the baby AND I caught Kevin stealing money from my purse the other day and I am beginning to regret even marrying him because for one thing LOOK AT HIS PANTS.
Once upon a time, I won an award in humor writing, and with my exceedingly limited expertise, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these bitches have real talent. Bitches.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Throbbing Brains Onstage

Extraordinarily detail-minded blog readers who border on potential stalkers may have noticed a new link under "Friends" -- my friend Megan's quiz show, Throbbing Brains Onstage. Here's the info on what promises to be the most extraordinary new bar-based trivia event of the century:
Throbbing Brains Onstage, a fantasia quiz show that revives the thrill of the Fifties-era quiz shows that glorified eggheads and helped bring them out of their shells. Booty for winners includes a cash prize, a free drink, and the public performance of a hit song written for and about them and their triumph. Free to watch, $2 to get onstage and compete, 5-person limit for teams.

SOUTHPAW (directions)
June 28th at 8pm
Followed by the lava-hot Spunk Lads
Come by 7:30, tell the doorperson you're there for the Throbbing Brains Onstage Quiz Show and you can avoid a cover charge.

you never hear about consumer products companies testing eyeliner on wombats

My "natural" shaving cream says "no animal cruelty" below an icon indicating that the product is not tested on animals:

...except the one on my shaving cream doesn't have the helpful words around the edges, so instead it just looks like "No Bunnies Allowed!", as though the wombats of the third grade made a tree fort and are in a socially superior clique to the bunnies.

Or else the symbol could mean "Don't Shave Bunnies!"


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

there are logic classes that cover the difference between deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning

Star magazine has reported that Britney Spears may be having twins, based on evidence that 1) she is fat, and 2) she's been shopping in both the girls' and boys' departments.

First of all, this is the very same magazine that routinely publishes photos of Britney eating Doritos and guzzling Red Bull. Women get fat when they do that. Women get fat even when they don't. Pregnant celebrities ("baby bump," how cute) aren't exactly the model of what the human body was meant to do.

Second of all, if you were fantastically wealthy, you could buy as many baby clothes as you want and then get rid of all the ones that don't properly coordinate with your baby's gender.


let's not even get started with the "fish and chip" shop

In Ft. Greene today, I saw a truck drive by with lots of Spanish phraseology painted on it, and one English heading:


rehabilitation center

In between the "Christian Drugs" and the subsequent explanation was a big logo, leading one to think that perhaps the truck is delivering Christian drugs somewhere (whatever those might be).

Of course, the "drugs" versus "drug" grammar issue here is one frequently seen in the business signage of non-native English speakers who have not grasped that the "drug" in "drug rehab" is being used as an adjective, and thus does not mean only one drug, as opposed to many.

So we get the "Nails Salon" and the "Flowers Shop," each of which makes sense in its own way -- of course they paint all your nails, and sell you many flowers at once.


if vertical stripes are slimming, maybe they should try printing horizontal stripes on condoms

In Duane Reade today, I giggled like a schoolgirl upon seeing Lifestyles' new "vibe" condom, which is actually a small, square box containing one condom and one reusable vibrating ring.

The Lifestyles website currently features an animated intro about their new "pleasure" products, most of which look kind of lame -- condoms packaged with "warming massage oil" and the same softcore "pleasure-enhancing" products that have been sold in novelty stores for decades and have yet to revolutionize the sexual lives of Americans.

The site also features an online STD test, which I must say demonstrates a serious failure in thinking things through. All of the questions involve pretty serious signs of STDs (do you have a rash?), as though to imply that people who have no obvious symptoms are home free.

Incidentally, I have a comedy bit on my MySpace page about buying condoms at Duane Reade -- it's in the clip called...
Ribbed for Her Pleasure

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actual AP news item

June 22, 2005 | JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Police say a man who woke up with a serious headache walked 12 blocks to a hospital with a swollen lip and powder burns. Doctors discovered the problem. 47-year-old Wendell Coleman had a bullet lodged in his tongue.

Coleman told police that a woman stuck a gun barrel in his mouth during a dispute around 2:30 Tuesday morning and that he heard the gun go off.

Police say Coleman then went home to sleep.

What authorities did with the bullet wasn't clear last night.
Can't you just hear the supercilious tone dripping from this? I love news items written by frustrated fiction writers.

While Wendell Coleman comes out here sounding kind of retarded, I'll bet there's some kind of strong physiological reason he went home and went to sleep. Our bodies aren't really programmed to go to the emergency room, the emergency room being a fairly recent development in human evolution. Maybe when you get shot in the tongue, you have an irresistable urge to go to sleep for a very, very long time, so your body can heal itself around the bullet. At that point, you could walk around St. Marx Place and receive compliments on your body modifications.

Also, the woman who bought this gun deserves a refund.

who needs drugs?

I woke up terribly concerned that the Chock Full O' Nuts coffee stand at W 32nd and Broadway was not open -- at 9am on a weekday! I then told myself that it almost certainly was open, but that I was at the dream Chock Full O' Nuts stand, which has different hours. And then I went back to sleep, where I went in search of dream coffee.

it would be awesome if Shannen were googling herself and found this

It has been pointed out to me that, in my new front page photo, I look rather much like Shannen Doherty.

I have blogged about this phenomenon before, although at my college reunion I also had someone tell me I looked like Tori Amos with her hair straightened, which was a departure from the usual 90210 business.

cinematic commentary for the day

In the special features of the Fame DVD, there is a featurette about the Fame School now, with interviews of circa-2000 students and teachers. One of the people interviewed is, however, clearly the drama teacher from the movie, aged twenty years.

He was identified with both his real name and the character's name, which is certainly normal for an actor in a film, but then he kept saying things like "This movie has been great for our school," which was confusing, until I was finally able to put two and two together and realize that they had hired the real drama teacher at Fame School to play the drama teacher at Fame School (whereas they had not, say, hired the dance teacher to play the dance teacher) because ... he's an actor.

Brilliance. Hiring actors to play themselves in a film where actors also must be hired to play the non-actors ... there ought to be a term for this.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

cross-dressing Brits in leg warmers

I just re-watched the movie "Fame," and then discovered this review on IMDB:
Don't attempt street theatre in Aylesbury to this film's soundtrack
Author: Neonsamurai from London, England

Nobody ever takes responsibility for his or her own actions these days:

A kid jumps out of a window dressed as a superhero and breaks his leg; Blame the film ‘Superman'.

An 8-year-old girl steals a Ferrari and crashes it into Toys ‘R Us; Blame ‘The fast and the Furious'.

A toddler tries to shoot the pope with a customised Walther WA 2000, loaded with mercury tipped bullets; Blame ‘Mrs Doubtfire'.

Yet when I get reported to the police for borrowing ladies clothing from a washing line, arresting officers actually laughed (that's right, laughed!) when I tried to blame ‘Fame', or more specifically ‘The Kids from Fame'. That's right, Thames Valley Police refused to allow ME the right to pass the responsibilities for MY actions onto the movie ‘Fame'.

This fat, ugly copper looks at me and says; `Errrr… I'm pretty sure ‘The Kids from Fame' didn't dress up in old ladies bloomers sir. And why have you got a bra on your head?' It's like living in a Nazi police state! One false accusation after another!

I give the film ‘Fame' a rating of 2 out of 10 when used as an alibi.

Monday, June 20, 2005

this is what happens when you copy the entire contents of an ex-boyfriend's iTunes

I'm listening to New Order and trying to catch up on all my mail. Sorry if I'm behind in getting back to you.

This Saturday, June 25 - my next comedy show

New York Comedy Club
Saturday June 25th

241 East 24th Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues

$10 plus 2 drink minimum.
Cash only for the $10 cover
No reservations - first come first serve.

If you'd like to come, can you please email me and let me know? Thanks!

large inflatable white man

Here are my pictures from the Puerto Rican Day festivities the weekend before last, both taken out my living room windows. The first photo shows the inflatable Home Depot handyman who was stationed outside my door, accompanied by Spanish-language slogans about paint and varnish. The second shows why it took fifteen minutes to walk one block to the subway.


from a friend in L.A.

Despite having extensively covered my Dartmouth reunion on this blog, this was too good not to post:
I miss some things about Hanover. What you said about the clean air reminded me of most of them. The mountains up there are much more solid and joyous than the earthquake-formed shit-piles out here. I realized out here that what I meant by "I love nature," when I said and meant it, was that "I love Eastern Deciduous Forests."


Sunday, June 19, 2005

back in New York

The New York Times costs $5.25 when purchased at the Hanover Inn!

I spent my last forty-five minutes at Dartmouth sitting on the Green on my '00 towel, stretching and reading the paper. It occurred to me that anyone watching might think I'm some kind of yoga-doing person, which I'm not; I'm just stretching because you're supposed to do that after you exercise. My reunion souvenir towel did prove immensely useful for this purpose, and the weather obediently turned to sunny and breezy for the afternoon. They always say to leave the party while you're having fun.

As pointed out by Cara as she was driving, there is a store near Andover, VT, called:

Over Andover Used Books


J Crew, meet Eddie Bauer

Yesterday I hiked with a friend and his dog around the periphery of the golf course, an hour and a half long journey that resulted in a bramble-burred dog and a deer sighting. When told this story, a classmate said that he had once seen a moose on the Green, a tale which others regarded as most probably apocryphal.

Last night we had our big class dinner on the (iceless) ice skating rink, at the bottom of empty bleachers that might seat thousands. I met and re-encountered some lovely people, and had maybe eight or nine of them tell me they had seen this website, and a handful more suggest that I should let them know when I perform in Boston, a city in which I've never actually been for more than five hours.

This morning, breakfast was served in the dining hall, which was packed, creating just the sort of socially awkward situation we hope will dissipate once we leave high school. In reality, though, we as adults are not necessarily better equipped to deal with cliques and bullying and such -- if a guy with whom you were standing on line at the bank suddenly grabbed your hat and refused to give it back, holding it above his head and out of your reach and taunting you, would you really have a better mechanism for dealing with it than when you were ten? You'd whine "Give it baa-acck," or you'd threaten to "tell," or you'd try to play it off and pretend you didn't care.

It's not that we're better equipped; it's merely that these things happen with less frequency (but more disquietude when they do occur).

I'd really like to find a Sunday Times around here.

I suppose I could've tried to eat more unlimited free reunion bacon this morning. It's the little victories.


Friday, June 17, 2005

the rain is drizzling and so is the chocolate

I'm at my five-year college reunion right now. It's been raining all day, and at the first break in the rain I took a run around Occum Pond, which I never did as an undergraduate. The air is so much cleaner here; perhaps I can expel from my lungs some of the New York diesel that has accumulated there.

As always, I am uncomfortable in crowds of strangers; that's why I tend to find myself on stages, where I have a clearly defined Thing to Accomplish.

I have an article coming out soon in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, about my being the first woman captain of the boxing team. This afternoon I ran into Alex, a fellow alumnus who was mentioned in the article -- specifically, the guy who beat the hell out of me. It was a fair fight, too; he was in my weight class, and I got thoroughly whomped.

In our class tent, they handed out souvenir towels and water bottles. Carrying mine back to my old co-ed house, I looked like I was somehow on my way to the pool. We had dinner in the class tent -- lots of free beer, pizza, and lasagna.

I stopped off in the alumni welcome center (free Dartmouth lint brushes in the lobby!), where an attendant tipped me off that the class of '94 had a chocolate fountain in their tent, so I crashed their party a bit and dipped peanut butter balls and banana slices into the chocolate drizzle. If anyone gets married and invites me, get a chocolate fountain. That's all you need for a memorable wedding.

I was holding my umbrella while transferring chocolate-dipped morsels from the fountain to my plate, and I dripped chocolate on my umbrella, making it look like I had been through some Willy Wonka chocolate river fun ride of alumnitude.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I like names that sound like they could legitimately have a "The" in front of them

Favorite blog of the moment: Comedian Baron Vaughn, the guy who did "that AOL commercial." When I saw his picture, I said, oh, I've performed with that guy, but, even though I haven't seen any AOL commercials lately, now I'm not so sure. A recent entry:
A nice ass is a work of art. Asses come in all shapes and sizes. No two are the same and any person has their on ass aesthetic or "Assthetic" (I couldn't resist). A nice ass is like a fine creme brulette, a Cezanne, the Harry Potter series.

the redneck riviera

Last night I did a show at the new Comedy Village, formerly the Boston Comedy Club, where I was amused by Duncan Jay's discussion of his trip to my hometown of Virginia Beach, where "no swearing" signs (pictured at right) are posted on the oceanfront.

"That doesn't tell me I can't swear," said Duncan, "it tells me I can't use the top row of my keyboard while holding down the shift key." Ha.

My favorite moment from my own act last night was a little line I improvised after this one blond, muscular comedian told everyone he was a model, and later returned to his seat where he was sitting with his modelesque girlfriend. I did a little intro about how, when a model fucks a model, it's kind of like incest. Somewhere in there was the phrase "hot tan-on-tan action."

Too bad I don't think I'll ever have occasion to use that again.

dance party at Bally's

My urban rebounding instructor Jim Linehan is having a show tomorrow that I can't go to because I'm leaving for my college reunion, where my comedy tape is being shown in a class showcase, I have a steak dinner planned with my old college boyfriend, and I might go canoeing, because that's what people do in New Hampshire.

As previously expressed in this blog, "rebounding" is a fancy word for "jumping on little trampolines." I keep marveling to the cowboy about how absurd but wonderful this is.

Jim is a superstar who should have his own line of workout videos, but maybe I shouldn't have told you, because I already have to get to the gym an hour early to sign up for his extraordinarily popular class.

country-swing-rockabilly carbonated espresso in a former candy store now rated by Zagat's, after spelling

This past Monday after the spelling bee, I was hanging out at the bar with Matty Charles of Matty Charles & the Valentines.

Pete's Candy Store, which has a snazzily updated website with Matty right up and center, has a new drink menu, so I asked Matty for a Java Float but then felt kind of bad as he had to mix all these girly ingredients, including a Manhattan Special espresso soda, when I think he'd have preferred to be doing something more manly, like uncapping beers with his teeth.

I am a huge espresso aficionado, even more so than an alcohol aficionado, so I looked up the Manhattan Special site when I got home and discovered that, while the company has been making soda since 1895, they won't tell me where to buy any without filling out a form and awaiting a personal reply.

In any case, espresso soda - brilliant. Even comes in diet.

I bought MC & the V's album Land Beyond the Sea on iTunes and will likely review it later, although I've already seen them at Pete's, and they were lovely. Easily the sincerest thing in all of the hipsterdom that is Williamsburg.

this is how you say "Jen is famous" in Polish:

Jen jest slawna!

Thanks to Pawel for that.

Incidentally, I once knew how to sing "Happy Birthday" in Polish, but I learned it while working as a counselor at an arts summer camp, in a world music class, from a woman who was not at all Polish, so it may have been somewhat specious.

Monday, June 13, 2005

"try purging in the shower to block out the noise"

So, the Onion this week ran an Infographic which used a background image of a pro-anorexia site, with the name of the site mostly visible. So I googled "fragile innocence"...

This "pro-ana" site includes some tips on not eating, including (seriously):
  • Watch other people eat and smell their food (this can be bad if you're on the verge of a binge) and try to convince yourself afterwards that you were in fact that one eating and that you are full.
  • Watching people eat can also make you more determined. You'll feel stronger watching them give in to food. You're superior and don't want to grow disgustingly fat like them.
  • Listen to other people eat. It sounds so gross you'll lose your appetite.
  • If your craving is so strong that you can't resist, just take a bite, chew, and then spit it out. If you crave even more put what you spat out back in your mouth. You'll be so grossed out you won't want to eat anymore.
And now, the punch line (so to speak) -- this is my favorite:

You can train yourself to forget hunger by gently punching your stomach every time you get hungry because you'll hurt too bad to eat.

I feel the need to purge my brain.

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drink every time you are baffled by "Ulysses"

At the Jenny Vaudeville Show on Wednesday, I had promised "literary drinking games," but on further reflection, was unable to develop such a game that could be played in under ten minutes.

I did, however, do a "guess the author" game, where I read an excerpt from something, giving only the hint "playwright/novelist, now dead," and had people shout out guesses until someone got it right and won a prize.

It was from Beckett's "Molloy," and someone (Ari) guessed after about a paragraph, winning a copy of The Soft Room, by Karen Heuler, who was also in attendance.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

you missed JIGSAWLON and I'll bet whatever you were doing wasn't nearly as good, unless it involved sex with celebrities

JIGSAWLON last night was an occasion marked by
  • my getting there before anyone else and hanging out with proprietor benjones on his couch, drinking wine
  • browsing through a zombie comic book called LOVE EATS BRAINS
  • really wanting to buy a robot painting
  • other people arriving, and me teaching this guy how to box after we started talking about Muhammad Ali in "When We Were Kings," and I explained what a right cross was and why it was awesome
  • me spilling wine on my shirt
  • ben giving me some club soda and me going into the bathroom and taking the shirt off and trying to get the wine out
  • ben giving me one of his shirts to wear
  • ben suggesting that if the club soda didn't work, I could try white wine, and that he had some in his fridge
  • me getting the white wine from the fridge and commenting that it was sort of like I was his girlfriend, since I was wearing his big, half buttoned man-shirt and going through his fridge
  • me breaking the cork off in the bottle of wine and proclaiming myself the worst girlfriend ever
  • some older British gay guys coming in to look at the art, and leaving before my reading
  • us saying "bollocks!" a lot after they left
  • my demanding an opening act
  • ben pulling out a tiny guitar and performing a song about how amazing it is to take a shower
  • ben giving me a megaphone to talk into, and me being surprised that megaphones use an electric charge
  • my commenting to the cool girl in the Superman shirt that I thought megaphones were just simple machines, like levers and pulleys
  • me sitting on the steps and starting my reading by explaining to the rapt little crowd of strangers sitting on the floor that I was wearing ben's shirt, but I totally didn't sleep with him
  • me reading "Headless," a comic monologue from my CD, and people laughing many more times than normal, and me wondering if my comic timing had improved or if people were just drunk
  • somebody buying my CD
  • me moving back down to the couch and testing out some new jokes
  • me talking about my adventures posting fake ads to Craigslist, and then me ending up reading from "Don't Believe Everything on Craigslist," also on my CD
  • leaving Jigsaw, and chatting with the guy who bought my CD; I asked what he did, and he said "What don't I do?" and since he was clearly gay, I said "Eat pussy?" and he was like "You are so right!" and we agreed on this point and high-fived
  • it turned out that he actually ran some kind of construction company in Jersey, which is the least gay occupation ever
  • however, he also runs a hot sauce company
  • benjones bought me some dumplings
  • and we ate our dumplings on a bench, under the streetlights, and I was drunk and happy
The end.

Friday, June 10, 2005

intermittently x-rated spoken word this Saturday night at JIGSAWLON

Tomorrow (Saturday) at the Jigsaw Gallery is the JIGSAWLON, a salon-style open mic and performance night, and ... my CD release party!

I will be the featured reader at this installment of JIGSAWLON, and my CD will be for sale.

(If you'd like to preview my CD, you can hear sound clips on CDBaby or by searching for "jennifer dziura" on iTunes).



Jigsaw Gallery


Jen's CD Release Party at JIGSAWLON
Jigsaw Gallery, 526 E 11th St (between A & B)

JIGSAWLON - show and tell for grown-ups

sign up @ 7:30, show @ 8
$3 suggested donation

This JIGSAWLON will begin with an open mic ("stories, films, puppets, music, science, whatever you want to share; poetry only at the discretion of the host"), and then featured performer Jennifer Dziura will perform selections from her spoken word CD, available for sale at Jigsaw Gallery.

If you buy the CD, Jen will totally autograph it. Or autograph your man-boob or something.

my silver lining is fucking METALLIC

I received a rejection notice from American Short Fiction. It was, however, a nice rejection notice, with a handwritten note that said "I really liked this story, but I'm afraid the editor didn't feel it was a good fit for us. I'm sure it will find a good home somewhere!"

Thursday, June 9, 2005


A big public thank-you to Joshua Grosvent, future Jenny Vaudeville performer, for this flyer!

The next Jenny Vaudeville Show is Wednesday, July 13, 10pm, Pete's Candy Store.

click to enlarge

like a "peccadillo", except with annexing other people's provinces

Today's Word of the Day is:

peccavi (pe-KAH-vee) noun

An admission of guilt or sin.

[From Latin peccavi (I have sinned), from peccare (to err).]

The story goes that in 1843, after annexing the Indian province of Sind, British General Sir Charles Napier sent home a one word telegram, "Peccavi," implying "I have Sind." Although apocryphal, it's still a great story.

Oh, those Brits. Colonialists, sure, but what punners.


mea culpa

For anyone who ever plans on attending the Spelling Bee or the Jenny Vaudeville Show, Pete's Candy Store is located at:

709 Lorimer St.

Directions to Pete's: Take the L train to the second stop in Brooklyn, Lorimer. Exit at the head of the train, and walk along Lorimer in the direction of the BQE. Pete's is 1.5 blocks past the BQE, on your left. 709 Lorimer Street, between Frost and Richardson Streets. (718) 302-3770.

I apologize to all who, due to my error, have labored under the misconception that it was elsewhere.

This hairshirt is itchy.

spontaneous advertising

I once ordered a bookshelf from, and I just got this email from them regarding a "Night Owl" sale -- 10% off from 8pm to midnight only. What, does Kmart need some cash right away? Does it need to buy drugs?

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Wednesday, June 8, 2005

the big show is tonight!

The Jenny Vaudeville Show/
The People's Democratic Republic of Your Mom

Wednesday June 8, 2005
Pete's Candy Store
209 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg

An audience-participation variety show of comedy, sensationalism, ventriloquism, literature, and geekery interspersed with literary quizzes and trivia contests, allowing audience members to compete for prizes. Can you spell backwards? In Pig Latin? Do you like burlesque conjoined twin heavy metal invisible musical card tricks? Come to The People's Democratic Republic of Your Mom.


when they say "art space," they mean it

Last night, I walked into the Comedy vs. Poetry show at Galapagos while Carolyn Castiglia was rapping in Dutch. I only narrowly escaped after Regie Cabaco ended the show with a Kathleen Turner-morphing-into-Tina-Turner impression.

"The only good thing about Citizen Kane is that it will put you to sleep faster than any film"

Here's a fun game... First, look up the most popular and critically-acclaimed books, movies, and music on Amazon. Click on "Customer Reviews," and sort them by "Lowest Rating First." Hilarity ensues! It's the Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game!
From a review for "Casablanca": "I'm pretty sure I will enjoy it a lot more when Warner Bros finally gets around to releasing the colorized version, the way this movie needs to be seen - the world is not black and white, why should our movies be?"

I think this is what they mean by "white privilege"

So, in Texas, a bunch of rednecks in pickups station themselves at the US/Mexico border to keep unarmed itinerant fruit-pickers from crossing, but up North, we let white men with bloody chainsaws cross into the US with no problems?

Do we, as a people, think Canadians simply lack a capacity for crime? Or is this some sick opposite of "driving while black"? Like, if you're white, you can drive around with a necklace made of severed heads, and no one will arrest you until they're absolutely certain the heads were severed nonconsensually?

Monday, June 6, 2005

and I owe this moment of fame to ... the gout

This appeared in Virginia's Daily Press newspaper on Monday, May 30.



From comedian Keith Robinson: You know white athletes must be having trouble when there are spelling bees on ESPN.

the world of "urban" comedy

When I hear the word "urban," as in "urban models," I kind of think of tough women with nose rings. Women who don't wear floral prints. Women who didn't come in on a train from Jersey.

With modeling casting calls, I have often had to read between the lines. A call might go out for women with an "urban look." Somewhere down in paragraph three, the phrase "apple bottom" would tip me off that I need not apply.

The word "urban" is often -- but not always, of course -- used to mean "black," fairly exclusively. This can be perplexing. What if you are of, say, Bengali descent, born and raised in Queens? What if you are black and from rural Pennsylvania? Does Laffapalooza want you?


Saturday, June 4, 2005

joke-e-oke (pronounced like "karaoke," except with a look of disgust on your face)

A Wired article from back in March announced the arrival of Joke-e-oke, wheretin participants get up on stage and read famous comedians' jokes off a television screen, accompanied by a built-in laugh track.

The best part -- a screen also includes prompts for the audience to heckle, with such original lines as "Don't quit your day job!"

And now, the "ha" heard 'round the world.

Friday, June 3, 2005

new postcards are coming!

Some nice graphic designers in India made this happen.

All that blank space can hold a label with the details for my next show.

How exciting!

I also have VHS tapes coming, to send to comedy shows and agents.

Introducing Jenny Vaudeville and Her Traveling Troupe of Monkey Men

Due to complaints, confusion, and the general chaos of postmodernity, I have changed the name of The People's Democratic Republic of Your Mom to The Jenny Vaudeville Show.

I know, The People's Democratic Republic of Your Mom hasn't even happened yet.

But this way, I get to be Jenny Vaudeville. I mean, I am Jenny Vaudeville. Don't stare, I was born that way!

The Jenny Vaudeville Show now has its own page on my website.

June 8 shall be fantastic! This first one is being chaotically billed as "The Jenny Vaudeville Show/The People's Democratic Republic of Your Mom."

Come! (Cumming? Oh, Apple Store).

this actually appeared in the Apple Store's e-newsletter

Made on a Mac
Alan Cumming
Saturday, June 25, at 7 p.m.

Meet award-winning actor Alan Cumming, who will discuss how he used iWork and other applications to create and market his new fragrance, "Cumming."

blog readers, meet Carolyn. Carolyn, meet blog readers.

I did a show last month with comic Carolyn Castiglia, and have since discovered that, in college, I dated one of her friends from high school, even though I went to college in New Hampshire and she and the friend are from Oswego, New York and went to SUNY Fredonia.

And then I see that she's performing in the Poetry vs. Comedy variety show next Tuesday at 10pm at Galapagos in Williamsburg (how's that for stringing prepositional phrases?), which is the show run by Reggie Cabaco, who was the very first person to buy my CD, and whom I ran into this past Monday at the Galapagos burlesque show, where he told me he loved the CD and wished I had a cock. And then I introduced him to my mother, who was sitting next to me, and he said "Your daughter is very talented."

Furthermore, at the comedy show Carolyn and I did together, she mentioned Donut Connection at 116th and Lexington -- not a terribly popular hipster hangout, nor generally mentioned in travelers' guides. Turns out she lives a block and a half down the street, in East Harlem.

So, Carolyn gets her own blog post. Meet Carolyn Castiglia, Undiscovered Superstar.

That's Carolyn on the left, me on the right, and Ophira Eisenberg in the middle.

The Coney Island of the Mind vs. Foucault's Pendulum Celebrity Deathmatch!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Umberto Eco are both doing readings in New York this evening in different places at the same time! This is the very definition of poor urban planning!

For those interested, Ferlinghetti is at Gotham Book Mart, 16 E. 46th St between 5th and Madison from 6-8pm, and Eco is at Rizzoli Bookstore, 31 W. 57th St. between 5th and 6th, from 5:30-7:30.

Now that I think about it, I suppose you could take a cab and hit them both.

who needs sidewalks or front porches? not i, said the fly

The latest article in the Times' series on class -- about the "class" of high-income people who regularly relocate to soulless suburbs where they must drive SUVs to their soulless country clubs -- is kind of horrifying. Not explicitly so, but sort of subtly, creepingly so. We need Arthur Miller back so he can write plays about the emptiness of their lives.


From McSweeney's

Thursday, June 2, 2005

i am part of some inner circle, somehow, somewhere

I was just invited to compete in the Galapagozanga Amateur Burlesque Competition, despite the fact that I am not, in fact, a burlesque dancer.

I mean, I could do a literary reading in pasties. Maybe I could turn pages with my tits.

I did not just say that on my blog. Pretend to ignore, pretend to ignore!

from my friend Maureen, regarding my appearance in a salon window ad

"Somewhat startled by the image of your giant head ballooning out of
the window of a East 14th Street beauty salon. I'm not sure whether
you're aware of it, but apparently a large, poster-size photo of you
has been chosen by this particular salon to be placed in their window
to lure people having bad hair days toward a brighter, sleeker future.
You're dressed in red and looking up at the camera and giving that "O,
alack, I am but a poor lost ingenue, tho' my hair is undoubtedly
fabulous!" look."

and now we all know that "trouvaille" means "windfall"

From the AP:
Eighth-grader Anurag Kashyap of California became the U.S. spelling champ Thursday, beating 272 other spellers in a tough two days of competition. Anurag, 13, of Poway clinched "appoggiatura," a melodic tone, to take home some $30,000 in prizes.
And now, an online spelling quiz, courtesy of Megan: Could you win the National Spelling Bee?

The quiz isn't particularly difficult (can't go making MSN readers feel stupid...), although the last word has come up in the Williamsburg Spelling Bee before.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

handball, school lunch, having just broken the water pitcher: today's ontological blog post

I am reading Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude; thus far, the protagonist is still in the fifth grade. I especially enjoyed this passage:
Fifth grade was fourth grade with something wrong. Nothing changed outright. Instead it teetered. You'd pushed futility at Public School 38 so long by then you expected the building itself would be embarassed and quit. The ones who couldn't read still couldn't, the teachers were teaching the same thing for the fifth time now and refusing to meet your eyes, some kids had been left back twice and were the size of janitors. The place was a cage for growing, nothing else. School lunch turned out to be the five-year plan, the going concern. You couldn't be left back from fish sticks and sloppy joes. You'd retain at the least two thousand half-pint containers of vitamin D-enriched chocolate milk....

You met zones everywhere. The schoolyard was neighborhoods: black, black girl, Puerto Rican, basketball, handball, left behind.
That last little taxonomy of schoolyard cliques reminded me of the classification of animals in an ancient Chinese encyclopedia, as quoted in the beginning of Foucault's The Order of Things (my senior seminar in philosophy was on Foucault).

I went looking for the Foucault passage to include it here, and realized I had forgotten that Foucault had been quoting Borges, which therefore makes the Chinese encyclopedia almost certainly fictional, although there is some debate. Here is the passage from The Order of Things:
This book first arose out of a passage in Borges, out of the laughter that shattered, as I read the passage, all the familiar landmarks of my thought - our thought, the thought that bears the stamp of our age and our geography - breaking up all the ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the wild profusion of existing things, and continuing long afterwards to disturb and threaten with collapse our age-old distinction between the Same and the Other. This passage quotes a `certain Chinese encyclopedia’ in which it is written that `animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies’. In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that.
Also from the article quoted above was a passage from George Lackoff which offers some insight on Borges' inclusion of the fabricated Chinese taxonomy:
Borges of course, deals with the fantastic. These not only are not natural human cateogires — they could not be natural human categories. But part of what makes this passage art, rather than mere fantasy, is that it comes close to the impression a Western reader gets when reading descriptions of nonwestern languages and cultures. The fact is that people around the world categorize things in ways that both boggle the Western mind and stump Western linguists and anthropologists.
Lethem's schoolyard taxonomy, I think, comes close to the impression an adult gets when dealing with the long-forgotten vagaries of childhood socialization (or, "the stark impossibility of being nine").

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I am in love with my new shoes, and, by extension, with Steve Madden.

I have been on the hunt for the perfect pair of 4-inch heels, as in the advanced age of my mid-twenties, I find myself basically unable to walk in closed-toed pumps.

I am now happily four inches taller and quite sparkly. My birthday is nowhere near, but I am hoping my fairy godmother will send the dark blue ones my way, so I can have the complete collection. (Size 9, fairy godmother, size 9!)

That is all; I will now return to my regularly scheduled marginally intellectual lifestyle.


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