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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Unchain My P.O. Box!

Ray Charles is getting a post office named after himself. I can hear the irate customers already (because what post office doesn't have irate customers?)
Customer: You couldn't find my package? What are you, blind?!

Postal Worker: Hit the road, Jack.

those "Free Stress Test!" guys could've just stayed at home on the computer

A post on Craigslist reads:
existential vacuum

Alright kids, I got a hole in me that sex drugs and rock and roll can't fill. First cult with a convincing pitch gets a new member. No Xtian.

who says "hound dog" anymore?

A museum in Vienna is letting naked people in free. The Museum of Sex in New York is currently doing an exhibit on objectifying the male body. If they let naked men in free... hmmn.

On a serious note, this article on Salon -- by a black woman author about white men defeminizing her -- is simply heartbreaking. She writes "You have to give racism its props; it's the only force proven to trump what a hound dog the average man is."

Salon provides such a weird panopoly of news and commentary -- it almost seems like it's half detailed, investigative articles about the Iraq War and Karl Rove, and half articles about nannies and internet dating.

Friday, July 29, 2005

comedians can be serious, although it really backfired that one time for Margaret Cho

In Tuesday's Times, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column (requires login) accusing the media of passivity in reporting about genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
More than two years have passed since the beginning of what Mr. Bush acknowledges is the first genocide of the 21st century, yet Mr. Bush barely manages to get the word "Darfur" out of his mouth. Still, it seems hypocritical of me to rage about Mr. Bush's negligence, when my own beloved institution - the American media - has been at least as passive as Mr. Bush.
He also wrote that genocide in Darfur hasn't even received as much coverage by the American media the Armenian genocide did in 1915.

So, I went googling and found DarfurGenocide.org, which takes donations and uses them for advocacy, saying that "aid can only do so much" (i.e., airlifting bags of rice into a war zone is obviously a very temporary form of assistance). It seems cynical to say that the best way for regular people to try to abate a genocide across the world is to hire PR people, but Res Publica, which runs the site, seems to be as successful as anyone -- they were behind getting Bush to declare Darfur a "genocide," and they're using PR to get Sudan advocates into the media.

I always speak cynically of an event that occurred annually at Dartmouth in which a number of Dartmouth students slept outside on the Green to show solidarity with the homeless (of which there are not that many in New Hampshire and Vermont, although there is certainly poverty and hunger; it's simply very cold, the area is sparsely populated, and housing is relatively cheap compared to food and other expenses). Anyway, the students would demonstrate solidarity with the homeless by sleeping on the Green in their L.L. Bean sleeping bags. I may be misremembering some details, but I remember feeling so much distaste in seeing this event; you could certainly help more people by sending the cash value of an LL Bean sleeping bag to any sort of social service organization (or simply donating the sleeping bag), and then going out for pizza. Your "demonstration" doesn't help anyone.

(I feel much the same way about, for instance, radical feminist performance art against Bush, which usually involves someone shaving off their pubic hair in combination with some "No More Bush!" rhetoric. I mean, if it has value for you, cool, but that's the purest form of preaching to the converted. Middle America is likely to find such an action extremely unpersuasive, even if it should somehow happen to be televised).

So, I feel a bit unfortunately similar about the act of blogging on behalf of Darfur, but I suppose that's why there's a donation button, so our online navel-gazing can have some effect outside of our navel regions. I donated and I think the site and organization are eminently worthy of support.

When you "check out" with your donation ("add Darfur to your shopping cart!"), you get an unfortunately worded receipt that says "Donation to Darfur Genocide." But don't let that stop you.

Stop a Genocide

I just want to be connected to Hyderabad

I purchased a rather embarassingly-titled book from a used book seller on Amazon. For purposes of this post, let's just call the book "How to Cure Your Back Pimples."

The book never arrived, probably because my post office never delivers packages to my house, so I have to pick them up at the post office, and I try to consolidate post office trips by waiting until I have other things to mail, and then I wait so long I miss packages.

So, I went to Amazon to report the nonarrival of my book, and was told that I need to contact the seller directly. I would really prefer to deal with an automated system, and/or customer service reps who just don't care about anything, or are in India, or both.

So I just sent off the email. "Hi, I'm Jen, the one who ordered 'How to Cure Your Back Pimples,' and I didn't receive it, and I really need it!"

Embarassing. I am embarassed by nearly everything.

more on this topic later, perhaps

You know, I'm pro-choice and all, but a male comedian's routine last week reminded me that I am a little creeped out (or at least turned off) by men who are too pro-choice. They're like "Oh my God, a pregnant woman is the most horrifying thing I can imagine! God forbid I EVER have to take responsibility for another person! Back, woman, back!"

Victorian pinup tarts

Molly Crabapple, illustrator of "Gibson Girls gone bad," has t-shirts for sale as well as hotpants. This is me wearing one of the shirts (also in Leonard Cohen's room at the Chelsea Hotel, as per previous posts). Those are my lips in the corner. Molly's web store is located here.

"It's like you're a zitty, chubby rock star." - Jessi Klein

Rachel Kramer Bussel has written for the Village Voice about the sex lives of comedians.

the one-liner of the day

With John Roberts on the Supreme Court, abortion might become illegal soon. I'm not worried, though -- there will still be alternatives, like the morning-after punch in the stomach.

we're molting, we're molting!!!

You know I clean my bathtub nearly every day? It seems everyone is exfoliating the fuck out of themselves. At one point, I think there were three people (including me) living here all using St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which contains crushed walnut shells as a "natural" means of scrubbing off all your unnecessary skin cells.

When did the top layer of our skin become unaccceptable?

My tub is full of sand. And, presumably, skin.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

never, ever in a bathroom

Two alert readers have now sent in this item from the popular Overheard in New York blog:
Guy #1: She's the one that gave me a hummer in the bathroom. That one over there.
Guy #2: Doesn't she run that NY website? Jen something.
Guy #1: She's famous? Well I can assure you it's not because of her BJ skills.

--McNally Robinson, Prince Street
Now, when I first saw this, I knew it wasn't me because I am highly against any kind of sex in public bathrooms (as well as in a majority of privately-held bathrooms). Oh, and also because I've never been to McNally Robinson. Also, notably, the item began with "I Guarantee This Quote is False," which makes me wonder who thought of it, and why post it?

If I had just read this item on my own, I wouldn't really have been presumptuous enough to assume it was me, but then readers Sylvia and Fox put "jen" and "famous" together, so I went to the site and emailed creator Michael Malice, and he told me the item is really about Jen from Gothamist, which kind of brings the puppets singing "It's a Small World After All" to a sort of incestuous, full-circle kind of place, as I was not long ago featured in Gothamist regarding the spelling bee. In an article by Jen Carlson, but I think Michael Malice meant Jen Chung.

Too many Jens. And one of them is still at large, giving sub-par BJs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's so hot my eyelids are sweating

I sold three t-shirts last night at Chicks & Giggles. Very exciting! Pics coming soon.

If you sign up now for my mail list, you'll get all this stuff first. Update: I think I'm gonna call my newsletter "Premium Jen," like "Premium Blend," because that's kind of rhymey.

In trying to think what extra perks and pleasures I can offer to my (all very sexy) readers, I came up with:
  • downloadable comedy MP3s (put me on your iPod!) and new photos
  • first crack at the t-shirts (I have a limited edition of 36 and it seems like everyone wants the exact same scoop-neck girly one)
  • a top-secret report on my adventures in LA ... where I am selling my eggs to a wealthy gay man (really)

And ... here's the signup box again:

Join the jen is famous dot com mailing list for your city! Subscribers get access to secret comedy clips and posts.
Email:

At least you have an excuse to be lazy. And asthmatic.

From amNewYork, about yesterday: "New York became a 96 degree mixture of humdity and air pollution."

Charming. The article went on to talk about "dangerous levels of particle matter and ozone in the air, making even outdoor exercise unhealthy."

what is the exchange rate between cows and goats and, say, wombats?

This is at least pretending to be real. An African foreign minister has offered 40 goats and 20 cows to Bill Clinton for his daughter Chelsea's hand in marriage.

they Photoshopped out my "f**k the world" tattoo


This is my posterior, wearing Molly Crabapple hotshorts, in Leonard Cohen's room at the Chelsea Hotel.

Of course, you can choose to believe none of that, except the hotshorts part. It could be someone else's butt, and it could be anywhere. (Well, anywhere really well lit).

The hotshorts are available for sale on Molly's site. (No, not this particular pair). Photo by Surfinbird.

Update: The more I look at this photo, the more inhumanly airbrushed it looks. Personally, I love looking at those trashy tabloids that do a periodic "Stars with no makeup!" issue where you can see celebs with all their zits and wrinkles. So, I have no problem reporting here that, like most people, I have normal human skin texture (and an occasional freckle) on all parts of my body. Surfinbird is an amazing photographer (and Photoshop artist).

regarding actual cowboys, not my cowboy, who has the hat but is from Boston

I've got this stack of newspapers here from Saturday to today (although I never received Sunday's, as per my previously-blogged newspaper delivery problems), and there's an article about farmers in South Dakota protesting protective regulations on prarie dogs, which devour the vegetation the farmers need for grazing cattle, but which are protected because they are a food source for endangered ferrets. One rancher, Charles Kruse, said:
"I like ferrets, but I like people, too. It'd be like a bunch of cowboys coming to New York and saying 'Let's save the rats.'"
I actually have a comedy bit about the pet store near my house selling pigeons (basically flying rats) for $5. ("It'd be like if Bed Bath and Beyond started selling kitchen roaches.")

Germans do not have spelling bees (insert joke about how long they'd be up there spelling)

Julian, the photographer from Monday's spelling bee, has blogged about me in German. I fed the page into Google's translator to get this shaky English version.

As far as I can figure out, he has said I remind him of is this person, a writer who has created an online gallery of rejection letters she has received.

Julian also wondered about the relationship between the "bee" in "spelling bee" and the insect variety. No one had been able to properly explain it to him, which is unsurprising, as it's a quite obscure explanation. From Random House:
The sense of the word bee meaning 'a social gathering to perfom some task or engage in a contest' was coined right here in the good ol' U.S.A., and dates from the 18th century. The meaning emerged from the social nature of the insect, and came to be used more commonly than match for such activities.

Originally, there were spinning bees, husking bees, apple bees, and even raising bees for house raising. Bees involve a group of people in a community taking on a task that would be too hard to accomplish alone, or that is more pleasant to accomplish in the company of others. A friendly competitive atmosphere also helps work get done faster--who can nail the most planks on the barn roof? who can husk the largest number of ears of corn?--from which the competition we know of as a spelling bee emerged.

Update: My German friend Tilmann verifies the lack of spelling bees. "Nope," he writes, "after sixth grade, spelling and such no longer influence the grading process. You either have it or you don't -- most don't."

dating suicide bombers is dy-no-mite!

I did a (quite!) well-received set at the Chicks and Giggles all-female comedy show this evening.

I even have a recording of my set, which will make its way to being an exclusive MP3 download in the next few days -- sign up for my newsletter (like, in that annoying signup box located approximately everywhere on this site) to hear why I want to date a suicide bomber.... (Come now, I'm a comedian. I'm allowed to say that).

Today I picked up my new Jenisfamous.com t-shirts and sold three at the show! Pics and purchasing info tomorrow -- I'm presently exhausted. The cowboy is also exhausted; I had to send him home to Brooklyn.

My CD is sold out at CDBaby. Um ... you could buy a t-shirt instead?

On the way home, I sat on the train next to a woman with a tattoo of a hand with its middle finger up, followed by the words "THE WORLD." A tattoo! And, fortunately, I had my camera. Also fortunately, she wasn't paying attention, because she could totally have kicked my ass.


Update: Comedian Shaun Eli has pointed out that the hand has FIVE REGULAR FINGERS AND NO THUMB!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

it's my special day! no, not THAT special day; that happened when I was thirteen.

Today was my special day at Oren's, which means that after purchasing twelve coffee beverages over some punch-card-weathering period of time, I finally get my thirteenth beverage free! So, of course, I ordered the most expensive beverage on the menu, a great big iced mocha.

When I first ordered it, the guy behind the counter (who probably makes 1.5 large iced mochas an hour in current coffee-shop exchange rates) may have been thinking I was yet another yuppie white girl who orders $4.75 coffee beverages, but when I surrendered my disintegrating punch card, I think he saw me for the system-gamer I really am.

Incidentally, I think it's kind of funny that, even though there are people for whom I would happily buy a coffee beverage for the slightest of reasons (my friend is broke or got broken up with; I'm on a date and it's my turn; my Mom is nice), I would NEVER give anyone my punch card. I don't care that its cash value is under five dollars, that fucker is MINE. I EARNED it. Through capitalism. Shut up.

I look so ... thirty.

In case you were wondering what the spelling bee looked like, here are some photos by Julian Voloj, who was shooting for The Brooklynite magazine. More of Julian's photos will soon be added to the Williamsburg Spelling Blog.





Related posts:
e-u-o-n-y-m
maybe a rumor, maybe not
bobby and I are, ephemerally, one square inch of major news media
well, i'll bet THOSE spelling bees don't have beer specials

Also see: German Public Radio, The Williamsburg Spelling Blog

I can't keep track of each fallen robin

I just did a photoshoot in the Chelsea Hotel, in the room (222) in which Leonard Cohen was famously serviced by Janis Joplin.

The room isn't visible in the photos at all, so you'll just have to trust me that I was there. The photographer I worked with today has lived there for eleven years, and periodically, European tourists knock on his door and ask to look around.

I'm off to do a show at Chicks & Giggles tonight! (8:30pm, Raga, E. 6th between 1st and A).

Monday, July 25, 2005

announcing: the Williamsburg Spelling Blog!

Ha! I did good! We all win! The world is a better place!

I've been co-running the Williamsburg Spelling Bee since 2004, and sometime in the last few months, I noticed that our venue, Pete's Candy Store, has free wireless internet. Sometime after that, I had the brilliant idea that I could blog about the spelling bee as it was happening. Then I realized that, being but one person, I could not both read the words to the spellers and blog about it. The idea finally hit its third trimester and developed into the Williamsburg Spelling Blog, in which guest bloggers (generally a previous bee winner) will do the blogging, in some cases blogging about what I am doing, which is weird, but does not evermuch disrupt my personal metaphysics.

Previous winner Megan Rudesill was this bee's guest blogger, and boy does she type fast. She blogged a sort of stream-of-consciousness play-by-play. Here's a cute excerpt:
Darn it, I missed Second Speller's name. He's a guy who is dressed for the beach in a light blue t-shirt, shorts, and brown flip-flops. Oops-- he just misspelled millennium. I hope I haven't just made the same mistake.
Oh, and possibly even cuter:
Betsey, number 5 must spell "cirrhosis." She has misspelled it, I feel so bad! But on the other hand, I guess she probably has never been close to someone suffering from it, which is awesome.
Next bee's live blogging will be done by this bee's winner, Jonathan Lill. I expect it will be somewhat less cute, but nevertheless entertaining.

At some point, I shall arrange for the blog to have a better URL than spellingblog.blogspot.com.

I was a short-story podcaster before there was such a thing (and I walked to school uphill, both ways!)

I've been audio-published on Monkeybicycle! They don't generally publish audio, but somehow we all made this work out.

I have previously posted about how Monkeybicycle gets me all hot and bothered; you can pre-order their print edition (which, incidentally, contains fiction from my ex-roommate Todd Zuniga) here.

how comedians pay the bills (in good weeks)

Today I had the best job I've ever had. My previous best job ever was back when I was art modeling, I had this artist who wanted to draw sleeping girls, so I got paid $15 an hour to nap (without moving).

Today I was supposed to be in a focus group about perfume -- $100 for two hours. I arrived a few minutes late and was afraid I wouldn't be let in and wouldn't get paid. It turns out, though, that the focus group needed exactly eight people, so they booked ten just to make sure they'd get the requisite eight. I was number nine (number ten never showed), so they told me I wasn't needed, but I was still getting paid, and that I'd need to wait around for half an hour or so for them to get the money worked out.

I sat in the waiting room, read the new New Yorker, had a cup of coffee, went to the ladies room and brushed my hair in a leisurely fashion, and eventually collected a $100 bill.

If only one could make a career of this sort of thing.

Perfume! It's ... awesome.

Incidentally, I was at a comedy open mic the other day, lugging around some work materials, and the surprised emcee asked me if I taught SAT classes, which I do. He said it was a surprising discovery "after seeing your website." Hmmn.

By the way -- if you're rich and have a tanned, polo-shirt-wearing, half-retarded kid, I can still get them into college. And you can buy me a pony.

No, really.

also speaking of class markers, I actually saw a teenage girl in the "dame mas gasolina, papi" t-shirt about which I previously blogged

I've posted here numerous times about class in America; the Times' recent series on class tended to stick to quantifiable class markers among the people they profiled -- education, profession, access to health care.... But there was little note of the cultural cues we use to determine someone's class -- for instance, whether they had braces as a kid. (Young guy with bad teeth, in a suit? Usually also has the wrong shoes on with the suit).

Hanging out with some friends at the cowboy's house the other day, we were discussing favorite restaurants (or something), and it occurred to me that another big class marker -- and one of those points of urban snobbery -- is that upper-middle-class and urban people are supposed to know the phonetic systems of various foreign languages, even languages they do not speak. As in, a "cocina" is likely a Mexican restaurant, whereas a "cucina" is an Italian one, and we're all supposed to be able to pronounce "La Poule au Dents" in order to meet there, and we're all supposed to know enough Latin roots to sort of vaguely figure out what Romance-language restaurant names (and dishes, and occasionally band names -- Les Sans Culottes?) mean.

A high school friend from way down in the Carolinas (I forget which Carolina, but his family had a county named after them) told me about the county getting its first Mexican restaurant, and his grandmother mortifying him by ordering the fadge-itas.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Megan and I thought about wearing matching shirts and just saying we're fraternal twins; it would be better if one of us were Japanese

I am going to Coney Island today to gawk at the twins!*
XXXXX SUNDAY, JULY 24 XXXXX

Twins and Multiples Day

This will be the largest gathering of twins and multiples ever to convene in the Big Apple. Talent show, rides, group photo.

Astroland Amusement Park, Coney Island
noon-4; $6.
*(No, I am in no way ashamed of my lurid interest).

Update: There was a twin talent competition! Megan and I saw dancing child twins, singing child twins, step-dancing child twins, and thirty-year-old-woman twins who sang a really sappy song which might have been a romantic song and might have been a Jesus song; we couldn't tell. We ate ice cream cones and got back on the train. It was scorchingly hot and we are pale.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

dear friends, please consider committing hit-and-run accidents directly in front of the hospital

Publicist Shari Kurzrok needs a liver and she needs it now (it was reported yesterday that she needed it "preferably today"). Since she is a publicist, she sent out a press release. Yes, fine. When you're near death, you pull out all the stops ("there are no atheists in foxholes," etc.)

Shari's fiance put an ad in the Times yesterday, with Shari's picture (she's pretty), and a heartbreaking "We're supposed to get married in October. Please help Shari be there." Gawker is even covering the story in as neutral and non-snarky a way as possible.

The boyfriend's ad and the press release both end with a phone number and email address for "anyone wanting to help Shari with a liver transplant referral."

But ... this isn't a kidney, where you can donate one to your mother and still have one left for yourself. This women needs a complete liver. You only have one, and everybody needs theirs, and my understanding is that the donor organs that are available are already distributed via a sophisticated system that takes into consideration blood type, location, urgency of the need for an organ, seniority on the list, liklihood of success, etc. It's not like this hasn't been thought out.

So what on earth are the public entreaties asking us to do? Buy a liver on the black market and drop it off anonymously? Forge organ donor cards for recently-deceased emergency room patients? Kill someone less worthy (type A or O only!) so she can have their liver?

Update: She's been hanging on for ten days now, and has a website that finally explains what we're supposed to do on Shari's behalf. The site reminds us that Shari cannot accept a partial transplant from a living donor, but that "families who have experienced an immediate tragedy or have a loved one on life support can designate a liver to save Shari's life."

Finally, that makes more sense. And, of course -- if you are in such a situation and are willing to help, please call (877) 223-3386 or email: liverforalife@yahoo.com.

And, dear gosh, if you need an organ transplant, it certainly does help to be both adorable and employed in the public relations industry.

Friday, July 22, 2005

stare deep into my eyes ... you are getting sleepy ... and buying jenisfamous t-shirts

JenIsFamous t-shirts will be available soon. Actually funny ones, not ones that just have my name on them or something.

And here is a new picture by Aeric Meredith-Goujon...


this is the face of seriously fucking funny. maybe.
and if i am a total failure, maybe I could sell lipstick at the mall.

Helter Swelter

It is so hot you don't even realize how thirsty you are, until you die.

the shadow-boxing of pool sports

A copy of am New York reports that synchronized swimmers are upset that they are not taken seriously as athletes, and that the sport is divided into four events: solos, duets, teams of eight, and combination.

There's solo synchronized swimming? Synchronized to what?

bathroom reading and class in America (with footnotes)

Gawker today reported on the Reader's Digest 100th anniversary party that was peopled with twentysomethings and celebs -- people who wouldn't be caught wiping their asses with a Reader's Digest, despite the frequency with which the magazine ends up in bathrooms.

Growing up, I thought Reader's Digest must be a pretty intelligent, adult magazine. Sure, there were items in "That's Outrageous!" that didn't seem that outrageous -- "Public university spends tax dollars on a rape crisis center!" -- but my parents read it, and we didn't really have any other periodicals in the house.

Then, in high school, someone loaned me Paul Fussell's Class : A Guide Through the American Status System, in which I learned that Reader's Digest was tacky and lowbrow, and that, according to the quiz in back, I was -- not lower-middle class, but -- a "high prole."

Thank you, Paul, thank you, Reader's Digest, and thank you, American class system.

Incidentally, the mantra of the modern day liberal university* is something like "We are opposed to racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia, which all intersect, and when one of us is oppressed, we are all oppressed."

Except that no one ever seems to talk about class except as an add-on to discussing the more popular racism, sexism, and homophobia. The academy loves its Rigoberta Menchu (and any indigenous cultures on which they can project their own values), but actual American poor people are apparently too distasteful to discuss. Bisexuals who attend Ivy League universities can be oppressed, but people who shop at Wal-Mart apparently can't be.

*I once tried to be a women's studies major at Dartmouth, then went back to the more satisfyingly logical rigor of the philosophy department. Hey, guess what? Turns out that linear thinking doesn't oppress women! Or anyone. Except dumb people.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

jenisfamous one-liner of the evening!

If you stop midway through rimming someone, would you be doing a half-assed job?
Update: A fellow comedian read this and wrote back, "I love this joke as much as I love rimming (a lot)."

if I ever have an internet fan club...

I was looking up domain names again (halfassedjob.com is not available, but GoDaddy helpfully suggested besthalfassedjob.com, myhalfassedjob.com, halfassedjobcentral.com, and officialhalfassedjob.com as alternatives), and noticed that a number of nations' domain extensions (like halfassedjob.ca, for a Canadian half-assed job) are available.

One of these extensions is .jp, for Japan. And -- I almost can't believe I'm the first person to go here, but for the low, low price of $99.95, you could own:
famousin.jp
Famous in Japan! Famous in Japan!!!

Incidentally, I was once dating a Chinese guy whose last name was "To," and I got very excited once it hit me that the nation of Tonga sells that .to extension, allowing him to purchase (for instance, if his name were Victor):
victor.to
Unfortunately, the nation of Dziura has not offered the .dziura domain to the general public.

Gawker didn't comment on this today

The cover of the NY Post today was a photo of Jude Law's nanny/mistress, looking a bit fat but like a normal, rather sunny blonde girl, with the headline "Hey Jude, what were you thinking," the subheading "nanny ain't no movie star," and the very mean photo caption "Daisy Wagner tries to strike a sexy pose."

Beeatches.

Maybe all this just means that Sienna Miller has a miserable personality, or just that Jude Law is a garden-variety asshole, or that maybe Daisy is a charming conversationalist and/or head-giver.

Update: Gawker wrote about it after I did.

American Apparel wants to dress you in unhemmed sacks of jersey

As previously mentioned on the blog, I'm making Jenisfamous t-shirts. American Apparel told me I didn't qualify for a wholesale account, but screw them -- I bought a bunch of t-shirts on the street in East Harlem, retail, for less than AA wants wholesale. I think the "MADE IN JORDAN" tags add a little extra style.

I actually went into an American Apparel store and tried a couple things on yesterday -- like a terrycloth "romper" and a "one-piece halter" and even a "matte jersey unitard." What does a grown woman need with a unitard? I don't know, but I saw something else (a bathing suit) that looked nice, so I grabbed some crazy shit to try on while I was in the dressing room. And, guess what? All of it looks like ass.

Maybe it's my own personal deficiencies -- sure, go for the cheap insults -- but I think AA is perpetuating a particularly vicious brand of women-must-look-like-we-say.

Their prevailing aesthetic (most of the photos on their website look much more normal than the ads they run in New York) is sort of greasy, ethnically ambuiguous junkie-chic. As in, you're supposed to be extremely thin and tanned -- but without caring how you look, or having to tan. Like, see we look great, even though we are unwashed, which means we look this great naturally. Even if you wash yourself, you will look like ass in a terrycloth romper, because anyone over seven pretty much does.

Extra fun -- here is the bathing suit that looks like ass (even on the model).

If you click the plus-sign "click for detail" button, you get what is apparently a close-up of the fabric -- over the model's belly bump! Hideous!

This suit is so poorly designed it looks like it came from some FIT freshman intro class. Just two more years to an associate degree, honey!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

the dirtiest movie ever made, "blow by blow"

The Aristocrats opens July 29.

Radar magazine has listed (alphabetically) all the unsavory sex acts detailed in the movie, as in:
Bicycle, ridden by grandmother while urinating on family

Dried Semen, chipped off mother’s desk by father

Flattened Penis, used by father to beat children
Et cetera.

Incidentally, I signed up for a free trial copy of Radar, and they sent me a bill before sending me the actual magazine, which is a bit like cooking someone dinner, but then trying to coerce them into sex before letting them eat.

snark, snark, snark

A certain sex columnist wrote to a number of us womyn and requested "some short, sexy, chatty quotes about your favorite sex toy" for an upcoming column. And, because I simply cannot give a straight answer to anything (see previous blog post in which I registered for my college reunion as "Jennifer Skywalker, maiden name Dziura"), I offered up the following panoply of responses:
"My favorite sex toy is your mom!"

"I have a blowup doll of Bob Hope. Is that wrong?"

"My favorite sex toy is just old-fashioned wooden clothespins used as nipple clamps. Not many people can say they are using sex toys that have been in their family for generations! If you use the old-fashioned ones that don't have springs, you can even feel vaguely colonial."

what do you MEAN, Little Italy is in Chinatown?

I was reading Gothamist's paean to cool things in Queens, and I am reminded of asshole things I used to say when I had just moved to New York, including, once, to a Greek girl:
"I've never even seen a Greek restaurant."
She looked at me like I had said "New York has a ... a what? ... a subway?? Where?"

I went on to explain that I had been to many diners that appeared to be run by Greek people (usually a good clue is when there are lovingly labeled pictures of little "Athena" and "Spiros" behind the register), but that they were not Greek restaurants, per se.

To be fair, I was living in East Harlem and working in Midtown, and that is not a commute that runs through Astoria.

Another favorite from those new-to-the-city days:
"Um, where's a subway around here?"
"Which one?"
(despondently) "Oh... I don't know. Any subway."
I have also spoken to a number of people who, upon moving to New York, were completely baffled by the presence of large numbers of black people who are native Spanish speakers. There just aren't that many Dominicans in, say, Utah.

speaking of trashy NYPost headlines...

This guy is rather obsessively blogging about the NY Post's "Meet Market" dating column.

I was in this column, once.

The first time I got interviewed, the reporter added an exclamation point to everything I said, which made me sound unnecessarily bubbly, so I insisted on writing up my own "She Said" followup and emailing it in so I'd have proof that any exclamation points later added were not mine.


Previous blog post -- I am a "hipster hottie"

this post contains Too Much Information and cannot possibly be explained as work-related

Someone on Craigslist is offering $100 for a woman to kick him in the nuts:
100 dollar challenge - m4w - 24

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reply to: anon-84965750@craigslist.org
Date: 2005-07-17, 12:05AM EDT


Hello ladies,
I spoke recently with a friend of mine and we had a debate about whether it would hurt or not to get kicked in the nuts barefoot by a woman. I honestly don't think it would, so I am presenting a challenge to any woman in the New Jersey area between the ages of 18-35, must be under 200lbs and at least somewhat attractive. I am 24 years old, 5'11, brown hair, brown eyes, tan 164lbs. Alright heres the challenge....if you kick me and I fall down, you get 100 dollars plus a free dinner at a restaurant of your choice, if I don't fall down you still get a free dinner if you're cute. :) Let me know if you are interested. Ciao!
The problem with this, as I see it, is that the guy will be *standing*, and I don't think I could kick a guy in the balls that hard if he's upright (since he'd probably be taller than me). If he were laying down with his legs spread, it's a different story.

So I think this guy just has a kick-me-in-the-nuts fetish (not unheard of -- feel free to take a moment and google this from work) and doesn't want to admit it, or prefers the kicking to seem "surprising," or just wants a bargain -- if he doesn't fall down, he doesn't have to pay. I've gotten (possibly apocryphal) offers to make $150 an hour doing this.

Incidentally, some women who have been hit in an ovary like to say "imagine getting whacked in the balls!" when describing the experience.

After discussing the feeling of getting whacked in the balls with a couple of men, I have to conclude that the two sensations, while both acute, do not seem very similar at all. Men have been describing a nauseating, spreading-through-the-body feeling, whereas getting whacked in an ovary is a very sharp pain, like a knife in the kidney might be, for instance.

Happy Birthday to My Mom!

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday!

I am sorry I moved to New York instead of staying back home and starting up that phone sex line we always talked about!

xoxo
Jen

I am reminded of a college girl who had her personal website at suckmybig.org til she sold out to a porn site

I received an email from domain registrar GoDaddy, offering .NAME domain names for the low, low price of $5.95 (GoDaddy offers .COM domains for $8.95). I looked up a few prospects:

www.heybabywhatsyour.name

...is available! However, I wasn't so lucky with:

www.bitchsaymy.name

Someone already has that! They haven't put up a website yet, though. I was hoping I could go there to hire an escort who doesn't mind being slapped around.

a dog of a pony show

A reporter covered a story about a man's death from having sex with a horse. She received appreciative letters from readers for telling the story straight, refraining from using phrases like "horsing around."

targeted marketing

I searched walmart.com for a "beach umbrella," and the site took me directly to Bette Midler's "Broken Blossoms" album, presumably because she was once in "Beaches."

Maybe next time I search Freshdirect for "tomato sauce," it can try to sell me a copy of "Beetlejuice," since Winona Ryder was once in "Fried Green Tomatoes."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I am embarassed by everything that isn't nailed down

I recently read Wendy Shalit's "A Return to Modesty," which had been on my reading list for years. Among (many) other points, Shalit mentions that "young girls are embarassed by everything," and that most women retain some of this into adulthood and are more easily embarassed than men.

This is certainly true for me. If seeing a comedy on a date, for instance, I don't want any bathroom jokes. Not one! Mortifying!

Today I was terribly embarassed when buying a brioche in a little cafe. There were bread loaves hanging in baskets behind the counter, and I asked about a particular item, and the girl said:

"Oh, that's just a decoration."

Again, mortifying.

party like it's 1999!

Rupert Murdoch has purchased MySpace for $580 million!

It's a free service that hosts really big files (for free) and seemingly makes its money by running ads for dating services and diet pills.

It's like the bubble all over again!

Fairy Princess Name

Updates! I have updated the Photos section of the site with a few new things, and I also have a new comedy clip for you....

Again, if you have trouble with the MySpace link, try just reloading the page:
Fairy Princess Name

I just want my NYTimes, even if Chomsky hates it

I moved to New York totally broke and had this vague idea that I might get a paper route, but I couldn't even imagine how newspaper delivery might work in New York, where people live in apartment buildings and the deliveryperson wouldn't have a key.

Now, after attempting to subscribe to the New York Times for the past several months, I can tell you that paper delivery simply does not work in New York, unless you are upper-crusty and have a doorman.

I'd say I receive one out of four papers delivered to my building, and then I have to call the Times, which happily gives me a credit and doesn't solve the problem at all.

I just want to read the damn paper. I was in LA this past Saturday and really wanted the Times, which was for sale in the LA airport -- but in a horrible, West Coast, much-abbreviated version without the local news and various other apparently-expendable sections.

I would like an unexpurgated, non-stolen paper. Please. Jesus.

size 9 misogyny

I've decided I don't hate myself enough to walk around in high heels on a regular basis, which means I have a collection of size 8.5 and size 9 high heels (and vicious, pointy flats) that I don't really need. Is there a charity that wants this sort of thing? Like "Habitat for Humanity," but "Footwear for Sluts"?

Ever see those women on the subway who are carrying their high heels (often in a precious pink Victoria's Secret bag) and wearing flip-flops to work, and they've totally messed up their feet? I want to start a campaign of pointing and laughing at them, so as to encourage everyone else to wear healthier shoes.

Incidentally, did you know Dr. Scholl's now makes high heels? They're all open-toed sandal-type heels, and they're freaking brilliant. Last summer, they had some with big, fat rhinestone buckles on them. I want to be their company spokesperson.

journalism

Oh, the Daily News. For those of you who don't follow celebrity tripe, actor Jude Law has cheated on his fiancee Sienna Miller, and they've apparently broken up. The Daily News' headline? Hey Jude, you made it bad.

On a related note, a couple of weeks ago the New York Press dismissed the New York Post by simply reminding us all that, after Yassir Arafat's death, the Post's headline under a picture of the mourning Sula Arafat was "The Arafat lady sings."

forget the bibliography -- no one remembers authorship of anything

From Maureen, author of Lesbia the Fiery, which, as it turns out, she doesn't remember writing:
You do realize that the Jen is Famous masthead is a complete headtrip, don't you? From left to right you go from "Look at me! I'm dressed in salmon! I got this shirt from Land's End. Go, Middle America!" to "I ahm zo naked. And zo . . . French, perhaps? I is vhatever you vant."
Similarly, I recently spoke to Carlos, a guy I went on one date with once and who has gone down in history (using a very ephemeral view of history) in one of my jokes. I'm introducing this bit about tanning salons, and I offhandedly comment that "a Mexican guy I once dated said I had skin the color of ... aspirin."

Carlos thought it was hilarious that he had made it into a comedy club act, but wrote back:
You do realize that you made that comment, not me, right? I specifically remember making some crack about someone's skin color, then you cleverly rebounded with the aspirin (or was it some type of bread?) joke.
As I remember it, it was Carlos, who also said my skin could be chalked up (ooh, chalked, do I sense a pun coming on?) as -- rather than the pleasant-sounding "milky white" -- the color of "salt" or "cocaine."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lesbia the Fiery

Back in college, I was a lesbian for about a year (it just didn't stick). Anyway, one day I was having some trouble with women, and my friend-from-high-school Maureen wrote me a fairy tale to cheer me up. I found it on my hard drive recently, and decided to share it with you:
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Jen who was the kickboxing champion of her kingdom. Thus she became princess. She bested all the other Amazons of Jen-land, and became raised above them as supreme and benevolent dictator, and scantily clad serving girls served her vegetarian cooking and helped her practice her kickboxing.

That is, until the horrible day that all of Jen-land remembers in infamy. Seeing Princess Jen's amazing boxing skill, her scantily clad serving girls, and kick ass haircut, the evil and pathetic wizard, Jean Claude Van Damme, became insanely jealous. Still, he knew he could not beat Jen in any honest way, as she could kick his effeminate ass from here to Kalamazoo.

So, he lamented (in a dorky Dutch accent) to his trusted and equally lame sidekick, Squelch the Banana Slug...click to read more...
Incidentally, Maureen is now a rather well-regarded poet. She is selling a beautiful little chapbook on her site for just $3.

turning off gays

Today's cover story on Salon is titled "Turning off Gays," about the ex-gay movement's attempt to "cure" homosexuality.

Personally, I don't think it's that hard to turn off gays. For instance:
  • talk at great length about what a difficult labor and delivery you had

  • wear white jeans, Keds, and a banana clip in a non-ironic way

  • complain about your period

  • show them footage of George Herbert Walker and Barbara Bush fucking

  • ...while Nancy Reagan stands at the bedside reminding us to "Just Say No!"
See? Not hard at all. Literally.

Update: The cowboy does not think this is funny, even after I explained that I meant "turn off" as in the opposite of "turn on," like in the sexy-arousal way.

the 360 degree laughter-safety check

Speaking of the baby-mugging comedy clip ... the thing I love most about that bit is the audience response that got caught on tape. After "mugged a baby - can you believe it?", I go on to say:
I have never seen a clearer case of the wrong age group for the crime. It's like date-raping a Vietnam veteran.
And then there's a little chuckle somewhere, and silence, and silence, and then ... laughter.

You just know that that was the two seconds during which everyone had to look around for Vietnam veterans before they could laugh.

t-shirt!

I posted last night that I was looking for someone to design a t-shirt. I actually have a specific design in mind, but I woke up this morning to an emailed t-shirt design from one Mr. Ocean Alexander, whose music you can listen to here. I love my little starburst:


"Mugging babies" is a reference to a comedy routine I was using after, a couple months ago, a man in Central Park mugged a baby. Well, not exactly; he was mugging the baby's mother, and decided he could be more threatening by pointing the gun at the baby. Anyway, I got some mileage out of it (you can listen on my MySpace page).

Thank you, Central Park baby mugger!

outside Grand Central during morning rush hour, I have received free coffee, yogurt shakes, and antacids (not at the same time)

Last night on Ludlow Street, some women with very shiny legs gave me a free razor.

They were walking kind of like they were done for the night, and their shiny legs were tired, but one of them saw me and said, in a manner both aggressive and bored, "Want a free razor?"

This thing weighs half a pound! It has shiny metal racing stripes. I can't wait to remove all my socially unacceptable body hair!

what would you pay for a hipster tour?

Tonight I abortedly attempted to go to a Dartmouth alums-in-entertainment event that was rained out and moved an excessively long distance to an Upper West Side Irish pub.

Upper West Side Irish pubs are not exactly my scene.

I lack the social energy to deal with an Upper West Side Irish pub full of mostly strangers.

And, of course, getting to the Irish pub required (you guessed it!) a walk through the rain, this selfsame rain that rendered the original party location unacceptable.

My night was markedly improved, however, by seeing my friend's band, Volcano, perform the entire Fleetwood Mac "Rumors" album at Arlene's Grocery. I must admit, I have a strong lurid interest, and the presence of twins in a band makes me at least 100% more likely to attend. (This would also be the case if the band contained midgets).

I have this idea that I'm going to start a tour company, and out of town guests can pay me and my tour guides to show them around to hip little underground places and fun things to do (um, I hope you like spelling) that are not in the damn Zagat guide and do not involve tall, pointy, famous buildings.

I did take my mom to a burlesque show when she was here (and also introduced her to falafel!), and watching the World Famous *BOB* (at right) twirl tassels from her nipples worked better for both of us than a trip to the Met.

need t-shirt designer

I need someone to design me a t-shirt in exchange for ... um ... everlasting fame on this website, and ... free alcohol at my next comedy show. And a pony. Wait, I'm out of ponies. Shit. Need more ponies.

Need a t-shirt designer for real. Ponies, less for real. Email me?

business ethics

The Times ran an article today about how Costco manages to offer fantastically low prices while paying its employees far better wages than Wal-Mart. This part made me snicker:
But not everyone is happy with Costco's business strategy. Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco's customers but to its workers as well.

Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."
I am reminded of an interview with Noam Chomsky in a recent issue of The Sun, in which Chomsky said something no one never does -- that corporations shouldn't have the right to exist without the continued consent of the populace, and that, more specifically, it is completely insane that the SEC legally prohibits corporations from doing decent things for their own sake; if an action does not have a clear profit motive, even if it is a normal, human thing to do, it is explicitly unlawful for a corporation to do it, because it is the legal duty of a corporation to maximize returns for its shareholders.

The exception to this is, of course, when a company can claim that doing the decent thing is good PR, in which case it is acceptable and even encouraged. But look at how the code of behavior we mandate for a corporation is the mirror image of what we expect of individuals (that you, as an individual, should always do the right thing, regardless of what others think).

Imagine if we raised children to only do the right thing when it makes them look good. Only share toys when adults are watching; otherwise, steal as many toys from other children as possible, especially from the children with leukemia.

Wall Street is protesting health care for Costco employees. Oh no, the sky is falling!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

$6.95 worth of joy and fast-talking women

I get an email every time someone buys my CD, which is kind of cool. Anyway, CDBaby is down to only two or three left, so if you want one, now might be a good time.

From Headless, a comic monologue about my roommate receiving a free dildo at work (sound clips on CDBaby):
And this, my friends, is the world we live in, our milieu, the zeitgeist of our own making, a world in which human evolution has progressed from paper plates to disposable penises. A culture that abandoned the hunt for the farm and then retreated to the modern kitchen and the frozen dinner, and in which the stoves we invented (when cooking over fire became passe), now are used to produce replicants of the male member, faux phalluses, rubber obelisks that don't make a mess and which possess the heretofore unimagined benefit of adhering to smooth surfaces, something men never traditionally offered.

new photos

Last week I did a photoshoot with photographer Aeric Meredith-Goujon (recently in Jane magazine, interestingly enough), and he's been kind enough to send me a couple of sneak-preview photos....




That's his cat, a Russian Blue named Maruschka.

Update: My mom really likes the first one, and thinks the second one has too much makeup.

warning: explicit content

This is so hott!

No, really. Click it. Really.

Who are you, my old high school classmate?

I recently put this poll on the front page of the site, and the poll allows people to leave comments after they vote. Someone -- I wish I knew who -- left the following:

Been enjoying Jen's work since she wrote "A Ruby of a New Marquee now Graces Cox."

Cox was our high school. At Cox, I ran a class newspaper. A girl named Ruby ran her car into the school's marquee and it had to be replaced. She was terribly, terribly embarassed. She had a sister named Grace; I don't remember if she was in the car or otherwise involved.

So, when I reported on the incident in the paper, I didn't mention her name (since she was so embarassed). I simply reported, "A Ruby of a New Marquee now Graces Cox."

mayhem

On the plane to LA, I sat next to this guy Richie who looked exactly like some kind of indie filmmaker. Turned out he was a graphic designer (close enough), and after chatting for fully an hour, he mentioned that the friends he'd been visiting in New York had been to this crazy spelling bee.... Small world. Or, incestuous social circles. Or, great publicity job, Jen! It's all in how you look at it.

So, Richie was a wealth of knowledge and wit, and happened to ask if I knew the legal definition of the term "mayhem." Like most people, I had just assumed it meant something like "madness and chaos." Actually, however (and I verified this just now), the word has to do with causing people the loss of their arms and legs.

Specifically: "the crime of willfully injuring a person so as to diminish his or her capacity for self-defense. Cutting off an arm or leg would thus be mayhem, while such a battery as cutting off an ear would not." (Incidentally, if you look up "definition of mayhem," you discover that there's a band called exactly that).

I found this especially funny, as I am a member of a models-and-photographers online community called ... Model Mayhem.

It would be beyond awesome if this were, in fact, a website for amputee models.

Model mayhem? Imagine a social networking site called "bikini maiming," or "fashion deformity."

it's a blog; I suppose I could link to things

For some really bizarre sketch comedy, check out The Iliads. I enjoyed the "pretty good massage." (Oh Jesus, Jesus, six Jesuses and two Gods!") These guys are coming down from Toronto and I may be kind of showing them around.

I've been checking out some of the blogs of people who've commented on this site; given my spate of Mariah-posting, I especially enjoyed the trashy celeb news at Goldenfiddle.

I've been asked to be a guest on the podcast show New York Minute, where I will wax informational about the comedy scene in New York.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I will spend my return flight making fun of Jessica Simpson in my head, and possibly to my seatmate

Note to passengers with no shame: Everyone else leaves their trashy magazines behind on the plane. If you leave the plane last, you can take them all. I passed up an Allure before I realized this, but then I nabbed an Elle.

Note the city of Los Angeles: just because you put palm trees in front of it doesn't make it anything other than a strip mall.

a few notes on/from LA

The terminal at JFK had CNN-sponsored televisions playing, sensibly, CNN. What kind of a name is "Wolf Blitzer," anyway? He sounds like a Chippendale.

Why is the release of the sixth Harry Potter book still such big news? Who is J.K. Rowling giving handjobs to?

I'm sorry, that was crass. What I meant was, "To whom is J.K. Rowling giving handjobs?"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

it is not a city of pedestrians, but it may be a pedestrian city

I'm on Baron's blog right now, as he tells the saga of the last five days in the local comedy scene:
So I bombed/tanked/died three nights in a row. Lovely.

I hope the government doesn't google the word bomb and end up at my door to ask questions.
In other news, this blog appears to have received an extra couple hundred visitors from Gawker today (hello!), and I'm heading out to LA at 7am this morning. I'll be on the left coast for non-comedy purposes, but plan to make an open mic appearance at some bar in Hollywood.

I haven't been to LA since 1999, when I moved out there during my last summer off from college in order to shack up with this guy from the NYU debate team.

We had been meeting up at college tournaments throughout the Northeast and had never seen each other for more than a weekend. We developed this crazy summer-of-love plan and emailed about all the "crazy monkey lovin'" we were going to have (we never had, and never did).

When I arrived in LA, he arrived at the airport with another girl; they weren't involved, but it was meant as a signal. I moved into a separate bedroom in his apartment, paid rent, and barely saw him for three long months of incredible loneliness and broke-ass-bitchitude.

During this time I took acting classes, got dicked around by a con artist who wanted to be my "personal manager," showed my teenage lesbian superhero screenplay to the elderly film producer who was once behind the live action He-Man movie, who said he didn't believe in movies with female leads (much less lesbians), and made friends with a homeless woman named Roxanne who lived behind a Ralph's supermarket (I eventually snuck her into an internet cafe and helped her make a resume, of which I then printed 20 copies and put them in a nice folder, which I then watched her tuck into her shopping cart).

In the end, he didn't even drive me to the airport -- his new girlfriend did.

Less than a year later, he died of cancer.

Talk about mixed feelings. Dying of bone cancer at the age of 24 is the sort of thing that has long made people (Dostoevsky, anyone?) rail against a supposedly benevolent God.

But if someone is dead, are you supposed to pretend they weren't a dick to you? He was. We don't become saints when we die. We keep all our foibles.

So that's LA to me.

Also, if you attempt to walk anywhere in LA, people assume you're a hooker.

comedy clip - the dangers of iPods

The other day I tried to join this podcasting discussion group, but it turned out to be run by this evangelical lady (who ever heard of evangelical podcasting?) who wanted everyone to post an audio intro that was "totally clean."

So I went through my comedy clips and skipped over "blowjob lips" and "ribbed for her pleasure," but discovered that even my fairly innocuous bits ("We had Puerto Rican Day in New York recently ... what if we had New York Day in Puerto Rico?) generally have some mid-level swear word in there somewhere ("we'd have skinny white bitches parading down the street in their high heels ordering skim decaf mochaccinos from street vendors...").

I ended up posting a clip about the dangers of iPods.

I keep most of my comedy clips on MySpace, which is a great service but occasionally goes down or starts demanding a password (and then you reload the page, and it's forgotten its previous desire for a password, like when someone with Alzheimers wants some yogurt, so you yell, "Look, Don Johnson!" and then ask how their yogurt was).

So, if you have trouble with the MySpace link, er, try reloading the page.

um, way to go, guys

According to Alexa, in the last three months, this site has gone from the 2,946,176th most popular on the internet to the 1,459,533th!

I will immediately write my grandparents about this! It's what they've always wanted for me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

this blog's first-ever INSIDE SCOOP!

From an UNNAMED SOURCE, who sent this in response to my previous Mariah post:
I have been freelancing at Allure Magazine and we were getting together the September issue. The covergirl of that issue is Mariah Carey and there is a 3 page spread of her in her panties on the inside. So the images go through dozens of people before they are finally approved- they are changed, moved around, examined, everything. The process went on as normal, images were approved and yesterday as it was about to go to press, one of the layout people came down and said "We have an emergency. Mariah's pubes are showing."

They basically had to stop production because her bush was peeking out of her nasty panties.
In order to jump on the (mostly waned) Deep Throat brouhaha, I am naming my UNNAMED SOURCE "Double Penetration."

Daily Show update

Slate has run an article, titled Talk Show Feng Shui, on the Daily Show's new set:
Then there's the issue of the background screen. In the era before the move, Stewart sat in front of a large graphic of a world map.... Now, the only graphic visible behind Stewart for the full half-hour is a continuous scroll-by of the words "The Daily Show" in solid cobalt blue. As if this constant movement of letters weren't distracting enough, the words "The Daily Show" also continuously radiate forward from the back of the screen in smaller white caps, originating from directly behind Stewart's head. I don't have the graphic-design vocabulary to describe this accurately, but let's just say that you can no longer watch The Daily Show without struggling to block out two constant, and competing, written reminders that you are, indeed, watching The Daily Show ... those radiating white caps are just maddening. It's as if Stewart's head is actually producing the letters, like promotional dandruff.

ROTFLMAO would also be acceptable

Apparently, Mariah Carey had a "wardrobe malfunction" while performing in Germany recently -- her top fell off, the studio mercifully cut the lights, and she ran offstage, yelled "Someone bring me a jacket or the show's off, we all know how quickly these images can spread around the world," and then reappeared on stage with more clothes and continued the show.

Doesn't that seem downright classy (even cute) after all those images of Janet Jackson's weird, fake, pierced boob peeking out of her bizarre leather space-commander outfit? (Related link: Go Fug Yourself's breast police archives).

I can't leave this post, though, without adding that I also read recently that, along with outrageous tour riders (I demand a crystal bowl of all-red M&Ms, each blessed by a bishop!), Mariah requires all of her staffers to greet her every morning with "You look beautiful, Miss Carey."

If I become rich and famous (and have "staffers" -- what would they do?), I will require my employees to literally laugh until they cry at everything I say before 10am.

when we hit ten million visitors I will throw a party with a vat of cream cheese frosting and twenty fat female clowns

I've noticed a lot of people reading my blog these past few weeks. But I want, um ... more. And a pony.

What if I came up with a way to send a friend some kind of audio jen-being-funny thing? Like, you could "click to email this post to a friend" and when the friend clicked, they'd get some audio comedy?

Or I could go knocking on doors and trying to convert people to the Religion of My Blog.

Or we could have Leave Your Daughter at Home and Just Take a Friend to Jen's Blog Day.

I'm taking suggestions for how to get ten million people to my website. Email me!

In the meantime, you can help by (sending me a pony and) putting this banner on your website:



Click to send a friend a link to this website

I swear, we had a moment!

Baron and I saw the Daily Show today as part of the live studio audience. They have a new set over at 51st and 11th. Jon was funny. I don't even know what to say. Maybe I don't want to blog about it. Maybe that was my special time with Jon.

Here's Baron Vaughn holding his admission ticket:

my apartment is infested with koala bears

Entertainment Weekly on The Rise and Fall of Mitch Hedburg, "comedy's Kurt Cobain."

hott

Holy shit, this is the snarkiest thing I've ever read, courtesy of one Mr. Alex Blagg.

"like a badge of honor"

"Embarazada?" reminds me that the other day I was shopping and the store was playing some kind of vapid light-hip-hop station, and a song came on about baby mamas and how hard it is when your child support check isn't enough. The chorus actually spelled out the phrase "baby mama," as in b-a-b-y ... m-a-m-a!

Turns out the song is by American Idol contestant Fantasia Barrino. Great. I don't mean to get all retro on your ass, but glorifying babymaking by the unprepared is just tacky.

Sure, that check might cover only "half of daycare," but I'll bet it would've covered one bigass bucket of condoms.

116, baby

Sweet. My blog is listed on the NYC Blogger Map, which lists 5,295 (at last count) blogs, organized by each writer's subway stop.

Strangely, I am not even the only comedian at my stop (hello, Carolyn!), and I don't live at a blog-heavy stop. Gentrification is proceeding muy slowly here in SpaHa.

sounds more like a Trojans ad, if you ask me

The Department of Health has put up these posters around town that picture three young pregnant women, one black, one white, and one Hispanic, under the headline "Pregnant?" If so, one is urged to obtain prenatal care by calling some phone number.

The Spanish version of this poster in my neighborhood says "Embarazada?"

This is unsurprising, as it is the Spanish word for "pregnant," but every time I pass the poster what I see is some knocked-up teenagers standing under the word "Embarassed?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

if you missed the coming and going of friendster, you might want to just skip this post

On MySpace, many bands have taken up the annoying marketing practice of sending friend requests to anyone and everyone; if you approve a request, your new "friend" can then post comments to your page.

The intended purpose of this process is that someone you actually know will request to be your friend, you will approve them, and then they will post a message that says something like "I saw Jen perform and she was sooo funny," or "Jen and I tried to lose our virginity together in junior high school but couldn't figure out how."

But when you approve the band "Supercilious Douchebags" from, say, Vancouver, Washington, instead they use their newfound "friend" privileges to spam your "comments" area with ads for their latest show. (In, of course, Vancouver, Washington. Because so many people on my page like to see bands there. Yes).

Jerkoffs.

In contrast to this, Dr. D. Inosaur of the band Defiant Dinos wrote to say he thought I waas funny and that their band would come see me if I perform in London. See, now that's nice! I will be their MySpace friend! It's just like the real world; you scratch other people's backs if you want your back scratched.

If you just run around the streets asking to get your back scratched, people look at you funny.

Notably, the Defiant Dinos ("a great band who write songs about dinosaurs, robots, pirates, and robot bears") have recorded but one song, yet they have 1209 MySpace friends. I love how the internet allows us to market things that barely exist. The cart before the horse, the press kit before the band.

nostalgia meets wireless technology

Sometimes makeup rubs off my cheek and onto my cellphone screen, and I find myself squinting at someone's text message until it occurs to me to wipe off the phone.

I want to see an Encyclopedia Brown story wherein Buggs Meany claims that a particular cellphone is his, but Encyclopedia (with Sally Kimball's help) correctly identifies the remnants of Estee Lauder pressed powder on the phone's faceplate and foils Buggs' plans.

another funny lady recommendation

I don't know if Rachael Parenta remembers me at all, but I persist in thinking she's hilarious. From her blog:
What is the matter with my generation and the need to be friends with the people we've dated? You want to be my friend? Do you know what I do with my friends? I bitch about my relationships. OK then...let's be friends. We'll get coffee and talk about what a loser you are..... Friends. Yeah that's a great idea. Let's spend tons of time together and then not have sex! You know what else would be a great idea if I could become a diabetic and walk around with a cheesecake hanging from my neck!!!! That's be awesome too!
Yes, more links to funny people. You read it here first, folks.

about today

I requested tickets to the Daily Show six months ago and my day has finally come! Daily Show tonight! I can't wait to wait in line.

My toaster seems to be sort of semi-broken -- it's only toasting on one side of the bread, which isn't really a big problem. I mean, the other side gets, if not toasted, then at least hot from its proximity to the toasted side. It's not a big enough problem to buy a new toaster, but it's not a small enough problem to be completely unbothered by.

today's gratuitous use of technology

I recorded a plug for Sleazegrinder internet radio -- you know, like when you're listening to the radio and then some helpful celebrity tells you what station you're listening to? Here you are:
Sleazegrinder radio plug

rapeseed oil also suffers from PR problems

The cowboy's sister has a bottle of face cleaner that contains an ingredient called "bladderwrack."

I don't care how well "bladderwrack" cleanses pores, it makes it sound like washing your face will make it hurt when you pee.

excessive concern

Here is a picture by Gary Winter of me in last Friday's show at New York Comedy Club. Strangely, in all the pictures he took, I look like I'm worriedly requesting more foreign aid for Africa rather than telling jokes about topics like how layering shirts is a scam.

I'm a veritable academician at Cal Poly

I received this unexpected email today:
Dear Ms. Dziura,

I’m writing to request permission to reprint the following selection for academic purposes only. Professor M.J. Xavier at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo wishes to use it in a course pack for the class detailed below. Thank you for your consideration!

1. “Internet Marketing Metrics,” Jennifer Dziura, July 11, 2002

Course: BUS 419
Term: Fall 2005
Instructor: Dr. M.J. Xavier
University: Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo
Approx reproduction qty: 40
PO#: 3586_BUS419_Xavier

(name)
University Readers
4186 Sorrento Valley Blvd Ste H
San Diego, CA 92121
The writer is referring to an article I wrote back when I ran an internet marketing firm, about how to measure the results of online advertising. I have no idea how Professor Xavier got ahold of it.

This prompted me to add a little "Business Writing" section to the Writing page of the site (as though I were not prolific enough on this blog).* The photo at right is from a stock photo modeling job I once did.

You can read the article as a PDF here if you really want. If you're interested in me in that ... internet-industry kind of way, you naughty thing.

*This post now contains the subjunctive mood.

o-p-h-i-r-a

I ran into Ophira Eisenberg, who is totally more famous than I am, at Sin Sin on Sunday. Well, actually, I didn't "run into" her so much as I "talked to her" after she "performed" and I "sat in the audience."

She asked that I invite her to the spelling bee. I just googled her so I could do so, and now I'm linking to her blog, because she's quite literate, and that is a quality I appreciate in a comedian. Or in anything that walks on two legs, really.

Monday, July 11, 2005

breast-based street level marketing

Spelling bee co-host bobbyblue called to tell me he saw a girl on the street in a jenisfamous t-shirt.

As far as I know, there are only three of these in circulation -- mine, Molly Crabapple's, and Teen Tawny's (and he's a boy). bobby would almost certainly have recognized Molly, so I'm miffed.

The shirts are available on the internet, but I really just made the Cafepress store for personal use, so I haven't publicized the shirts. Someone would've had to go really out of their way to get one and advertise for me on their boobs.

Hmmn, maybe Molly was wearing a wig. Maybe someone likes me.

Incidentally, I met about ten people last night who I've never met before but who say they've seen this site. So from now on I'll just assume everyone is reading. Dear Mom, happy birthday! Dear cowboy, I think you might want to buy some new milk. Dear President Bush ... oh, nevermind.

Update: bobby says the girl's t-shirt was PINK. Molly's and Tawny's are mint-green. Dear girl with the bobbed hair and the pink jenisfamous t-shirt, thank you!!!

Sin Sin (and sin again)

Last night the cowboy and I attended the Brooklyn Comedy Company's show at Sin Sin, which I know about from (among others) comic Rob Paravonian, whose URL, www.robprocks.com, hearkens back to the at least fifteen minutes I once spent at godaddy.com, trying to figure out a domain name that would be easier to spell than "jenniferdziura." No one can spell "Paravonian" either, I'm sure.

I ran into comedian Nichelle Stephens of the Chicks & Giggles comedy show, Baron Vaughn (part III), and Village Voice sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel, who looks exactly like her pictures and was eating cupcakes as well as reportedly writing a book about them.

Note about a recurring comedy show quirk: weird-colored stage lighting (such as red) messes up all the race jokes. When I look tanned, my joke about being aspirin-colored falls flat, and when Jewish comics look temporarily black, things make profoundly less sense.

"we're bringing back first base!"

I bring you The 8-Hour Makeout.

this blog just writes itself

From a friend, regarding Sleazegrinder's complaint that I won't take off my pants:
I suggest that you take your pants off to reveal that you're wearing another pair underneath. Then you'd be all "Ha ha, gotcha!" and it would be good times all around.

Alternatively, you could take your pants off without wearing another pair. That could also work.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

welcome, Sleazegrinder fans

I'm on the front page of Sleazegrinder rock magazine, modeling their baby tee!

Did you come here from Sleazegrinder? You might enjoy some dirty jokes on my MySpace page (audio MP3)

...and a special sexy picture for Sleazegrinder readers (and Sleazegrinder said I wouldn't take my pants off!) To see the picture, you need to answer a rock trivia question (if you get it wrong, you get a 404 not found page -- my HTML skills are spent) -- what is Alice Cooper's real first name?

next comedy show - Jen does the Improv August 6!

My next upcoming comedy show is a showcase for HBO. I would really like lots of you, my brilliant and sexy readers, to come to the show and laugh very loudly so HBO will like me.

If you haven't already, you can visit my MySpace page to hear samples of me doing comedy, including instructions on how to correctly mug a baby.


The August 6 show costs $12 with a reservation ($15 at the door) and there is a two drink minimum.

Saturday, Aug 6, 2005
7:00 pm

(arrive by 6:40 for seating)
New York Improv Comedy Club
318 W. 53rd between 8th and 9th Avenues, NYC

RESERVATIONS are a must! Call 212-465-3108 by August 2nd and tell 'em you're calling for Jennifer Dziura.

observation

I was just talking to Megan about how the New York "look" for women is basically "haggard-sexy" (not a bad description for, say, Sarah Jessica Parker). As in, urban pollution is killing our skin, but we're thin and have better clothes than you.

blogging about Baron Vaughn, part II

I spent the evening with Baron Vaughn, "the guy from that AOL commercial." We saw a 12:30am comedy show at Gotham. (Incidentally, it turns out that, when we get tired, I get cranky, and he needs to ironically breakdance on the subway platform in order to stay awake).

I got home and left him a comment on his comedysoapbox page about him being so funny it made me quit comedy out of self-loathing and go back to my day job selling insurance. (Seriously, though, do you think I could sell insurance on this blog? How about real estate, or strudel?)

Baron's blog is here (excerpt: If you are black and someone says to you..."Do you wanna be an Afri-Can't or an Afri-Can?" They have just given you permission to stab them), and his one-man show runs July 27 through August 7.

Baron's blog is called "Negro Witticisms." I think using the word "negro" is, for black comics, the equivalent of "wearing funny black glasses" for white comics.

Ponder!

things do not look good for anyone

Tonight at a party I met a pretty blonde girl my age who has a three-year old and says she's never been happier. And then Cary Tennis wrote this in Salon:
Fathers have been getting drunk and leaving town for centuries when their babies are born: In spite of our storied propensity for engendering life, we do not always welcome it when it arrives, we kind of wish it would go away, we want to be left to our tools and our greasy hands and our shade trees, our violent metal and brief explosions, our gray primer and rust, our certainty of objects. The birth of a child means more life, more crying, more questions, more hunger, more lying and walking away, more required courses, more questions we cannot answer, more tests, more tedium, more teachers, more classroom sitting, more desolate afternoons, more diapers and howling, more unbridgeable gulf, more rules, more discipline, more silence. We do not like life in a lot of ways. For some of us men we like a few books, we like a little racquetball, we like maybe a sauna and some swimming, we like a long drive down a leafy road in a good truck, but we did not sign on for the entire program and it tires us out, frankly, and after the truck is parked we just want to lie down and go to sleep, and it is like this day after day for many of us men, which is why we father kids and go off into the woods, never to speak of it again until it comes up by a careless word or two in the supermarket, and there we are again, saddled with ourselves, bending under the incomprehensible load of what we have done -- given life to a child who now looks out at the world and says, I don't know, man, what you're all so fucked up about, this looks pretty good to me. Just wait, we say. Just wait.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

this looked serious at first glance

My friend Derek and I have this crazy idea that we're going to be writing buddies, and pester each other into completing novels and screenplays. I managed to "delegate" (ahem) to Derek the task of coming up with a timetable of goals for what we should have developed and written by what time. This is what he came back with:
1) Briefly describe the main characters, with goals and motivations for each.
2) Add physical descriptions and backstories.
3) Complete an outline of the story's plot points.
4) Introduce myself at parties as a writer.
5) Expand the outline to one-sentence-per-moment-in-each-scene.
6) Begin fleshing out those scenes, averaging four pages per night.
7) Decide to quit job and become full-time author.
8) Cleverly change protagonist to a heroic loan officer.
9) Confidently apply for loan.
10) Get arrested for assaulting a loan officer.
11) Refer to time in jail as "research" on the "write what you know" theory.
12) Refer to drinking as "research" on the "write what you know" theory.
13) Note that book is suddenly about an author having an affair with a barmaid.
14) Ponder "write what you know" theory vis-a-vis cute barmaid at local hangout.
15) Acquire writer's block by dint of stoically refusing to research.
16) Get badgered by Jen as to timetable and deadlines.
17) Reply angrily that, what, you want me to have an affair?
18) Reassure Jen that, no, I don't think she's propositioning me.
19) Finish rough draft.
20) Second draft turns out to be a big fine book.

I'm thinking two a week ought to be about right.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

hey mami, you sexy

I just saw a baby-tee for sale in East Harlem that said "Dame más gasolina, papi!"

This is a reference to the popular Latin hit, "Gasolina" (lyrics in Spanish). Like that song about my milkshake being better than yours (in which the "milkshake," I eventually learned, refers to the jiggling of breasts), "gasoline" turns out to be an oblique reference to a substance that bears very little relation to gasoline, except perhaps for the part about "pumping." (Other than that, one does not buy it by the gallon, it is not heavily taxed nor highly flammable, and we import very little of it from the Middle East, seeing as how we have an abundant natural supply).

Who the hell lets their daughter out of the house in a "give me more come" t-shirt?

dear blog readers, I desire only to please

I have set up a mailing list. Please sign up, and you will be sure to know when I am performing in your town, or when I've put new comedy bits online for your listening pleasure. You can sign up on the righthand side of this page or on the front page.

mikeisfamous

Comedian Mike Birbiglia is kind of freaking me out. He's my age and lives in my town and is annoyingly more successful than I am, and, weirdly, he was in the Georgetown class of 2000, which I would've been in had I taken the road more traveled by (it was a narrow decision between Dartmouth and Georgetown, and Dartmouth was located at a comfortably greater distance from home, so it won).

His website is very funny. He also has his own fan club.

retro photo (this post also features SHOUTING)

Another comic posted to her blog that her mother skydives and insists that doing standup must be scarier than skydiving. My mother has never gone skydiving, but also insists that doing standup must be scary, indeed.

I have done both and felt the need to comment:
Skydiving was scarier than standup (unsurprisingly), but the big thing about skydiving wasn't the fear of dying, it was that it's COLD up there and it SUCKS. Breathing freezing sky-wind at high altitudes gave me LARYNGITIS in JULY. Sorry for shouting, but skydiving was not the beautiful swan dive from the plane into the glorious cerulean sky that I expected.

Mr. Won is a white guy

From a friend who's coming to my comedy show tomorrow:
I just called to make the reservation. I hung up the phone and realized the girl never asked for my name. So I called back to give it to her and she did not seem to be aware of the error. As far as I can tell, my reservation was for a guy named Jen Dziura, coming to see a female comic with the same name. Either that or listed as a reservation for one for Mr. One (or Mr. Won).

oh, really? and to think I was going to give it up for Lent!

I saw a woman on the train reading a book called "Your Body's Cries for Water."

Who needs a whole book for this? All I need is the title. My body wants water? Okay. I'll drink some.

I mean, if it were "Your Body's Cries for Niacin," I might have to read a bit. Does my body really need more niacin? What the hell is niacin? Are the benefits worth the expense of buying supplements? What if I take too much?

Water, however, is free and has no side effects. I really don't need a run-down of all the things that will happen if I deprive myself of it.

die bugs die

This is an odd claim to fame, but I apparently just impressed the exterminators with my knowledge of various professional-grade bug killing products I ordered over the internet and used to fill suspicious cracks and crevices.

They rooted out the corner of my kitchen cabinets that was home to some little cockroaches (complain as you will, New York cockroaches are all pretty small to Southerners) and sprayed the hell out of it, causing several cockroaches to evacuate. One, they pointed out, was a male. Another was a pregnant female. See that egg case? It holds 32 baby cockroaches, said the exterminator. The other exterminator said it was 30, and they had an argument over the matter.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

self-publishing interlude of the day

I've had some requests to post the "Jew fetish" story, but if I do, I'll never be able to get it published.

So, in lieu of posting my piece from the Bad Sex/Bad Dates reading, I'm publishing a piece from the reading before that, which was all flash fiction.

I read this and three other pieces (including Milk, which you can listen to instead of read) at Cornelia St. Cafe last month.
INSTANT LIFE

I went to the store and bought for seven dollars and fifty cents a little tank and some packets and a book of instructions that said “Grow Live Sea Monkeys!” Just add water and you get life! So I put life in my handbag and headed home, hoping life wouldn’t get bruised on the trip.

On my kitchen table, I opened up all the parts of life and set them out before me. Life was made up of: 1 Micro-Vue Ocean Zoo Aquarium, 1 packet No. 1 “Water Purifier,” 1 packet No. 2 “Instant Life,” and 1 packet No. 3 “Sea Monkey Growth Food.” Just add 12 ounces of water and life was mine.

So I followed the instructions for life. I filled the tank, purified the water, and added “Instant Life.” It was brown and looked like dust. For three days, I hovered over the kitchen table waiting to see life, sort of daring life, mostly not expecting it to appear.

When the three days were up, some little specks started to dance around. That continued for some time. I persisted in feeding life and keeping it in a warm, sunlit place.

After a few weeks, the specks started to mate. What progress! They had gone from swimming around the tank to swimming around the tank stuck together.

Well, I’m glad I’m not a sea monkey, I said. They’re boring. I’m bored. I’m so bored I’m going to make myself a sandwich and go to bed. When I got into bed, my boyfriend rolled over and said “How’s life?” Boring, I said. We mated. Then I went into the bathroom because I was thirsty. I drank a 12 ounce glass of water and went back to bed.

Friday, July 1, 2005

what I'm listening to right now

Folk rocker Eric Lichter is my new MySpace friend because he sent me some fantastically confabulated compliments on how funny I am.

You can listen to some very pretty Eric songs here. I'm going to try to make it to his CBGB's show on July 11 after the spelling bee.

how to put your comedy up on MySpace

So, another comedian wrote to me off my MySpace page and wanted to know how to put comedy files up there like I had done, so I figured that once I'd type-type-typed all the info, I might as well put it here too in case anyone else will benefit:
Okay, here goes. When you sign up for MySpace, you must not make the oh-so-foolish mistake of signing up as a "member" rather than as a "musician." The two are completely different types of memberships, and as far as I can tell, you cannot convert one to the other.

If you have already signed up as a "member," I think you need to go join AGAIN, as a musician, get all your files up and make a new profile, then go ask all your old friends to be your new profile's friend, then delete the old profile. Or, maybe you could write to MySpace and ask them to convert your membership.

Once you do THAT, you need MP3s. To make them, you need to record your comedy. What I do is take a portable audio recorder with me (search Amazon for "digital voice recorder" and get one with a USB port so it will work with a computer).

I then upload the files from my recorder to my computer, edit them in iMovie (because I don't have GarageBand), export them as Quicktime .aiff files (Export -> Quicktime/Expert mode -> aiff), and convert them to MP3s in iTunes. This is much harder than it has to be. I'm sure you could pay actual money for a decent audio editing program that would make this much easier.

That's it! It's a piece of cake, if by "cake", we mean a big stick in the ass.

"The J Train from Marcy Avenue"

The "Bad Dates/Bad Sex" fiction reading last night was entrancing. I am usually easily bored at such events, and don't attend unless, say, David Sedaris or I have been invited to speak.

Karen Heuler (author of Journey to Bom Goody) created this event and had requested beforehand a bio from each of the four readers about our dating pasts -- something to "humanize" us to the audience. Mine included a few memorable first dates (the Ukrainian hip-hop DJ who wore fake silver teeth), up to and until my current spelling-bee paramour.

Karen did quite a job rewriting the intros to segue into her introductions to each of our short stories; she practically created a work of literature just to introduce four people.

Notably, one of the other readers, Martin Cohen, read a short story about being in an imaginary relationship with the female subjects of two different paintings at the MoMA (one a Modigliani, nicknamed "Mo") and ultimately having to choose one over the other.

guerilla ceiling fan action

The post office in Yorkville (90th and 3rd) is about fifty times nicer than the one in Harlem sixteen blocks north, which lacks the bright lights, sufficient staffing, and air conditioning afforded Upper East Side residents. Also, there is no bulletproof glass in front of the postal worker stations on the Upper East Side.

The post office in Harlem has no perceptible air conditioning, but it does have a ceiling fan, located so high that no one can reach the cord to turn it on, and, of course, it is always off. One time I was waiting in line and we were all so hot that this one big guy and I seriously discussed his boosting me on his shoulders so we could turn on the fan.

Subversive action is clearly necessary at the Oscar Garcia Rivera USPS station.

iTunes Podcast Subscriptions Top One Million in First Two Days

A bit o' industry news:
iTunes has done what possibly no one else could have accomplished, propelled Podcasting into the mainstream, said Will Lewis, management consultant for KCRW. Our servers have been swamped with a stratospheric increase in traffic. In fact, downloads have increased tenfold as a result of the iTunes 4.9 launch.

speaking out for Paxil might get Scientologists tapping your phone

After her turn in Pretty Baby -- a movie that could never be made today -- who would've thought Brooke Shields would become a minor feminist heroine? From Salon:
Brooke Shields has decided that the time has come to speak out about the series of disses Cruise has shot her way about her decision to deal with her debilitating post-partum depression with a combination of drugs and psychiatric therapy. " I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but after Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC show "Today" last week, I feel compelled to speak not just for myself but also for the hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered from postpartum depression," Shields writes in a New York Times op-ed piece published today. "While Mr. Cruise says that Mr. Lauer and I do not 'understand the history of psychiatry,' I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression." Adds Shields, "If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease."
Actually, after appearing naked in "Pretty Baby", maybe Shields couldn't help but end up a mascara-toting feminist warrior. I'm reminded of a classic story about twin brothers who grew up with a boozing father who beat them and their mother. One brother grows up to be an alcoholic, and the other grows up to never touch a drop of alcohol in his life. When asked why they turned out the way they did, each brother says "With a father like mine, how could I have been any different?"
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