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Friday, March 30, 2007

An open letter to men who yell things at women on the street

Dear men who yell things at women on the street,
Obviously, it is not okay to say "Nice tits!" or "Nice ass!" or "Come over here and get raped now!" Sometimes you say those things anyway, but you and I both know they are wrong.

However, I would like to discuss some of your comments that fall into the gray area.

"That is a very nice dress, ma'am." Assuming you are saying this in any normal tone of voice and not, you know, inching closer with a knife, this is fine by me. For real. Sometimes it is in fact okay to say things to strangers.

"Hey, are you married?" This is an East Harlem special. The implication that, if I am not married, I would want to go out with you, is a prime example of The Fallacy of False Dichotomy.

"You're pretty -- why don't you smile more often?" This is the one I really want to talk about. For real? I should've been smiling ... just now? While walking down the street by myself? Carrying groceries? On my way home? WHO THE FUCK SMILES ALL THE TIME FOR NO FUCKING REASON? Bipolar people in their manic phases? Seriously, most women, much like you, maintain a fairly neutral facial expression while walking down the street and not talking to anyone. Were you just smiling at the air in the moments before you saw me and suggested that I should be smiling? No? Among people and animals, a smile is often a sign of submission. Why don't you smile more often?

In closing, I would like to say that I am aware that you, men who yell things at women on the street, don't read my blog. Yes, I know.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

dreaming people are dumb

So, I had a dream in which a young man I know killed himself and mailed me his own head in a box.

It wasn't until I woke up that I had my Law and Order moment and brilliantly deduced that foul play must have been involved, because a person cannot commit suicide and then subsequently pack up his own head and mail it to you.

The box was beautifully decorated with poetry (dark poetry, of course) and had several heavy, turnable "pages" of art before one got to the head. Like a really nice CD or something. But with a head for a CD.

How fucking weird is that?

that is my tiny head in this magazine

The spelling bee is in the April 2007 issue of Budget Travel magazine, which is much sexier than it sounds.

Update: Come to the Williamsburg Spelling Bee on April 2, 16th, or 30th. Signup at 7, bee at 7:30. Free and open to all.


inc*st is best, hmmn?

Dear Spammers,

I know you've had to get very clever in order to get past my spam filters to try to sell me penis hardeners and enlargers. I appreciate your diligent circumvention that has ensured that we preserve this daily bond we have. You have offered to sell me V*&gra to better "schtup" my "broad", and you have promised to enhance my "member" to please "dames." I especially admire your retro sex-talk -- how demure, how quaint!

But today's missive offering me the chance to "add three inches to your little brother" was just wrong. Wrong.

Thank you,

lamest celebrity sighting ever

I saw Matthew Lesko at the corner of 34th and Park. He was dragging a wheeled suitcase with a big dollar sign attached to it. He had dollar signs on other parts of his clothes as well. I'm not sure what they were attached with.

I'd rather have seen Kate Hudson jogging or something.

Lesko was wearing the dreaded ... purple gardening clogs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

treating women like children who can't handle advertising (again)

The Spanish government is making fatter mannequins for the purpose of socially engineering its populace to stop thinking that thin women are fashionable. They're bringing in some Homeland-Security-type technology to determine the mannequins' proportions:
Using laser-fitted booths that can take 130 measurements of a body in 30 seconds, the Health Ministry is fanning out across the country to assess the sizes of Spanish women.... The manufacturers' garments will then reflect the dimensions of real women, not catwalk waifs.
Bear in mind that this is not a STORE doing this. It's the Socialist government.

(Incidentally, fashion in larger sizes doesn't have to be government-mandated. Torrid is doing just fine in a laissez-faire economy, because their clothes are hot, and people like their advertising).

Now, Spain is not a particularly obese country, but imagine if you did this body-imaging and averaging business in the U.S.? Simply because something is "average" does not make it "normal" or "good" or "healthy." I'm not sure whether to call this a Fallacy of Middle Ground or just, you know, paternalistic government.

And may I add: can you even imagine any government thinking it has a responsibility to initiate a feelings-changing campaign regarding men's self-esteem?

Isn't is a little infantilizing that the state would need to protect women's oh-so-delicate feelings from advertising? Do we have campaigns to make men who can't afford big manly offroad-terrain-demolishing SUVs feel better about that? Maybe a campaign picturing "real men" of average incomes driving average cars. Lay off the advertising, people: we're destroying our nation's men! Um, no. We can all handle it. It's a free market; if you don't like the advertising, don't buy the product. If lots of other people do seem to like the advertising, well, that's why it's there. And we're done!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

comedian contest: wildcard spot at Pete's

Henceforth, when I have an available spot at the comedy show at Pete's, I'm going to give it away in a contest on the blog.

The fine print: While many of the readers of this blog are quite funny, this is a contest for (New York-based) stand-up comedians. You must have a website or MySpace page that clearly indicates that you have performed comedy before. You also cannot have performed at Pete's in the last three months or already be booked for an upcoming spot. By entering, you give permission for your entry and name to be published on this blog. The winner of this challenge wins a spot in the April 23rd show.

Now that that's settled, here's the challenge!

Compose a short story of at least three sentences in which a child is admonished to stop eating an inedible object, and instead turns to a life of philosophy and self-abnegation.

Deadline is Tuesday, April 3rd. Email to jen - at -

Monday, March 26, 2007

she must be Irish

Being fashionably thin is one thing, but this model in the New York Times fashion spread is so hungry, she is about to eat a baby.

Momisfamous Part II

My mom loves panda bears, so I sent her a link to this page of baby panda photos. Look how tiny a newborn panda is! Now think about this -- a 120 lb. woman has to give birth to, say, an 8 lb. baby, while a 600 lb. panda only has to give birth to a 5 oz. baby! Unfair! Childbirth must be a walk in the park! Mom wrote:
Dear Jen,
They don't really have it that easy. I've seen two films showing pandas giving birth. They get no human assistance, but they can lick the part that hurts. There are always tradeoffs.
Love Mom

Friday, March 23, 2007


I sent my Mom this article (thanks, Feministing) about Bea Arthur's 1970s sitcom Maude, which, according to the Kansas City Star, is far too liberal to have made it on TV today. (Maude actually had an abortion on the series, whereas today, even on Sex and the City, characters boldly contemplate abortion, and then, every time, decide to have the baby, or else have conveniently-timed miscarriages). My mom wrote back:
I love the article about Maude. Maude and Archie Bunker were two of the most socially relevant, ground breaking shows of their time. Maude was introduced as Edith's cousin in season 2 on Archie. She was on more than once and of course, Archie HATED her. I remember the shows because they were different than anything else on tv and they were hilarious. The show Maude was a spinoff.

Maude actually influenced how girls dressed when I was in jr high and high school. In a time when girls wore their mini skirts one day and their maxi skirts the next, Maude made a statement of her own. If you wanted to look confident you wore a midi vest over your white shirt and pants. I had one.

It was discussed, that the Maude character was perhaps less than feminine, a secret lesbian, and/or a symbol of a liberal agenda. It was the "powerful women are always evil" mindset. Maude always said it straight and Archie always made you see your prejudices for what they were. They did it first and they did it well. These were the shows that made lasting impressions on a generation...mine.

Love Mom
I've suggested it before, but I think it's time for a blog.

TV audiences can soon see what my couch looks like

Today a WNBC Today crew came to my apartment to interview me about egg donation. One question I was asked went something like, "Some critics fear that young women who maybe don't have a lot of options will decide to donate eggs and then regret it later. Doesn't that worry you?"

My answer was something like, "I think if we were talking about twenty-two-year-old men, no one would ask that question. Plenty of people grow up to regret decisions we made when we were younger, and there are plenty of jobs chosen by young people that are more dangerous than egg donation. Is a twenty-year-old man capable of making a decision to work in a coal mine? Seems so. Perhaps most of the people in the world work at unrewarding and potentially dangerous jobs. Questioning women's capability to make their own choices is infantilizing and paternalistic."

What I should have also said was "Egg donation is a lot less dangerous than going to Iraq, and our government recruits eighteen-year-old women to do this in high schools across the nation. If they're capable of making that decision, they're certainly capable of making this one. And no one's ever gotten PTSD from egg donation."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Modest Proposal to Anti-Choice Folks

Update: What timing! Pro-life Senator Dan Patrick said, er ... much the same thing. He's just really, really off about the price. Here's my original post:

If anti-abortion types really just want to save fetuses, why not the most obvious solution: make it legal to sell babies?

Okay, I didn't really mean that -- what I meant was, it's legal to pay an egg donor for her "pain and suffering" in the egg donation process, without actually paying her for the eggs themselves (uh-huh). So why not make it legal to pay women for their gestational services in "donating" a full-on baby?

I love when anti-abortion people ask abortion-seeking women, "Why not just have the baby and then give it up for adoption?" Are you kidding? You can sometimes get a guilt-riddled Christian teenager to do that. But, obviously, very few employed adult women are interested in carrying a baby, enduring childbirth, getting stretch marks and getting fat and possibly incurring other, more serious, physical consequences (urinary incontinence is way more common than most people want to discuss, and I'll never forget the diagram I saw in a medical textbook of a "clitoral fissure"), taking time off work (those employed outside large corporations do not get maternity leave), and explaining the whole thing to people who ask questions about your obvious pregnancy. If you don't have a religious belief in the all-out personhood of fetuses, there is simply no reason you would do this. Well, no reason you would do it for free. (I wouldn't have donated eggs for free, and that doesn't even cause stretch marks).

As you undoubtedly have noticed, we live in an increasingly commoditized world, one in which we have already put a price on this service: surrogate mothers receive about $20,000, plus medical expenses and sometimes payment for lost income, for carrying and giving birth to a child.

As per current law, surrogate mothers are always carrying babies made with someone else's eggs, that way they cannot be said to be "selling their babies."

But if you're really against abortion, and perhaps you'd like a baby for less than the $50,000-$100,000 you might spend on a combo of egg donor fees, surrogate fees, IVF, legal and medical expenses, why not legalize one-stop baby production and delivery?

Or, more specifically, why not make it legal to pay women for gestational services they provide in offering babies for adoption? Someone could found a matching agency. Pro-lifers: if you believe abortion is murder, certainly this is better, no? Pro-choicers: if you believe abortion is a human right, then perhaps you might also get behind the idea that women deserve to be compensated in a market economy for tasks traditionally considered "women's work," just as various feminist thinkers (mostly in Europe's socialist nations) have proposed compensating women for domestic labor, and just as women are sometimes compensated for domestic labor (after the fact) in U.S. divorce cases.

Now everyone's offended! By a comedy blog! Discuss.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

today's grammar post

In response to the previous post, my mother asked:
Does "Now I lay me down to sleep" make you cringe?
I actually use this one as a sort of trick question when teaching grammar. "Now I lay me" is weirdly archaic, but the verb isn't wrong, because in this case, "me" is being used as the object. For example, both of these are correct:

Now I lie down.
Now I lay myself down.

(But "Now I lay down" is just wrong. If you "lay," you need to lay something).

That being said, "Now I lay me" should actually be "Now I lay MYSELF."

Which sounds awfully dirty for a children's prayer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

grammar bitchfest of the day

No, my dear. Despite having been selected from the hoi-polloi of the single-and-looking-in-the-Onion-personals, you can't even fill in two short blanks in an online form in a grammatically correct manner.

You meant "lying" by the beach is, not "laying" by it. In the present tense, people "lie" down. "Lay" is what people to do objects: "Now I am laying the donor heart on the operating table." (And, incidentally, most people would simply lie directly on the beach, but we'll excuse your choice of preposition. Also, isn't "skinny dipping in the water" a tad redundant?)

If you meant to say that you were, in fact, "laying" on the beach (as in "I'm laying your mom right now"), that's fine, although it's a little weird to think that "laying" in that sense is less sexy than skinny dipping.

However, if that is your intended meaning, you can't simply say you were laying; you need to tell us whom or what you were laying.

I don't need you to name names, young lady, but your verb requires a direct object.

syllogistic logic for five-year-olds

Funniest thing I've read all day (totally non-funny things I've looked at today include a the Egyptian girl who died after surgery to remove a parasitic twin head, and the horrifying Slate piece, Buried Alive in Your Own Skull): a article about a woman who enjoys speaking sardonically to her friends' children.
"What's in there?" my friend's five-year-old once asked, pointing to my plastic cup. (Glass is breakable, their parents will continually remind you, like you don't know that. Like a hurled glass has never punctuated the end of a bad breakup.)

"Red wine juice," I said.

"What's red wine juice?" she asked.

"It's what makes me be nice to you," I said.

"Can I have a sip?"

"No. Your mommy brought you your own juice."

"Can mommy can have a sip?"

"No. Mommy can't," I said. "Mommy has to get up early because she lives for you now."

"What do you live for?" she asked.

I pointed to the cup.

She thought for a moment, then said, "You live to be nice to me?"

Smart kid.
Update: The author of this piece is also the author of Pretty in Penury on Nerve, a piece about social class and Pretty in Pink. Lisa Gabriele is so my new girlfriend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

take that, Brooklyn-Marxists-in-tight-pants

Camille Paglia on capitalism:
Capitalism, which spawned modern individualism as well as the emancipated woman who can support herself, is essentially Darwinian. It expands any society's sum total of wealth and radically raises the standard of living, but it leaves the poor and weak without a safety net. Capitalism needs the ethical counter-voice of leftism to keep it honest. But leftists must be honest in turn about what we owe to capitalism -- without which Western women would have no professional jobs to go to but would be stuck doing laundry by hand and stooping over pots on the hearth fire all day long.

feminist discussion of the day: Get to work!

I'm not unreservedly endorsing Linda Hirshman (the feminist author of "Get to Work," in which she argues that adult women who do not have jobs are betraying other women*), but I really enjoyed her response to having been named one of MSNBC's "Women Who Make Us Cringe" (thanks to Feministing for the link):
We cringe makers include “The women who . . . forget that women have won the right to chart their own course, even if it’s as a homemaker.” That would be, say, Phyllis Schlafly, who “stridently urges women to be homemakers, and homemakers only” and Linda Hirshman who “argued that women who leave the work force to stay home with children basically are turning their backs on other women.” Does this make sense? If it’s a mistake to be a homemaker only, then I cannot make editors cringe by trying to steer the next generation of women away from it. If it’s not a mistake, then why is Schlafly on the list?

What is going on? The editors are actually saying there no such thing as a mistake, where women are concerned. The only thing that seems to save a thinker from the cringe list is to repeat the meaningless nonsense that the only thing that matters is choice. Choice feminism is not feminism. As I said in my book, “Get to Work,” choice matters, but if all that matters is choice, then there is no right and wrong. If there is no right or wrong, then there can never be significant social change, because how would you argue for it?
I enjoy seeing an author in a mainstream publication, in colloquial language, debunk this atrocious "you go, girl!" atmosphere, the proponents of which insist that anything women do is great**, which is infantilizing, logically impossible, and contrary to the original purpose of feminism, which was the full inclusion of women in civic participation (from which would lead reproductive and other important rights).

In summation: In a world in which our radical feminists are standing up against relativism, wow, maybe our radical feminists aren't that radical at all.

* The reason I don't wholeheartedly endorse this is because of the classist implications of an educated white feminist telling other women they have to have jobs in order to hold up the feminist banner; this rather ignores, I think, the fact that for a great segment of society, work is not fulfilling, career-oriented, intellectual, or creative. While everyone loves to argue about the Ivy League alumna who quits the law firm to take little Dylan to baby yoga, I'm not sure how drudging for thirty hours a week at Wal-Mart (never 40, because then the company would have to offer benefits) for substandard wages and no health insurance really assists the cause.

** As a female entrepreneur (I ran a dotcom in the early '90s), I was terribly annoyed and embarrassed by rhetoric congratulating "women entrepreneurs" for opening businesses, any kind of businesses at all, such as the kind in which you make small goods or are a sales agent for a larger company and are charged with selling small goods to other women, and you might make an extra few thousand dollars per year, with no ability to even subsist off this business yourself, much less employ others. Now this type of small business may very well still be quite worthwhile for you and yours, but women have been peddling small goods for, oh, thousands of years. They did it in medieval times and in Victorian times. Nothing new there. What's new and interesting and feminist is women's businesses actually creating jobs and contributing to the economy, and women leading large companies. When I was a member of the National Association of Women's Business Owners, I met a woman who had started an interstate trucking company. In the 1960s! When women couldn't even legally get credit in their own names! She was there to get an award and she was, as you might imagine, intimidating. I'm tearing up a bit right now even writing about it. Also during that time, I knew a woman who ran a tech-support outsourcing center, who introduced herself to a man at a country club as the owner of Such-and-Such company, which she had just moved to the area. He smiled and nodded and politely asked her about how the move was going. She said she had just bought a building and he looked like he'd just been hit in the head: "Oh, you run a company!" Congratulating women for starting any kind of business at all (when we only congratulate men on the actual merits of their businesses) is sort of like feeling obligated to clap for any old thing the five year olds manage to play at the piano recital -- oh, look, you did something! It's embarrassing.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy Belated B'Day

Mr. Intrepid Young Journalist just noted that Beyonce's album "B'day" is best pronounced "bidet."



Good job with that apostrophe, hon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Upcoming Tour Dates: Ohio, California, Oregon

Findlay, OH:

April 6th and 7th
Barrel of Laughs Comedy Club
1936 Tiffin Ave., Findlay, OH
7:30 and 10pm shows

Columbus, OH:

April 11
Funny Bone
145 Easton Town Center
(614) 471-JOKE

Los Angeles metro area:

Update: This particular trip to California has been canceled, but others will undoubtedly occur in the wide expanse of future we have ahead of us before the joke-stopping grip of mortality takes us eternally. Oh, sorry -- funny ha ha!

Portland, OR:

Friday, July 13
Someday Lounge
125 NW 5th Avenue
Portland, OR

it's kind of like naming your son "Barron Trump"

It's a contest! Let's find the tackiest way possible for the aspirationally nouveau-riche to spend their cash!

Is it ... a $1,000 pizza topped with caviar, lobster, and salmon roe -- in other words, all the foods that immediately pop into the proletarian mind as "food for rich people"?

Or is it every tacky fucking thing Prada puts its name on? I can't decide if these $520 shoes say "seventh-grade craft project" or "bingo night in Florida."

Man, I know some people love their labels, but I've seen an awful lot of precious little Prada mini-backpacks on Staten Island women on the subway. Prada: goes great with acrylic nails and the boobs your husband bought you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the very racist thing that happened four days ago at 78th and Amsterdam

On Sunday, the day after I returned to New York, I was -- at the corner of 78th and Amsterdam -- made very sad for humanity.

At the corner, a white man and a black woman were yelling at each other. The man was getting out of a car, and their dispute seemed to have something to do with driving or parking. The woman escalated the conflict by calling the man a "Jewish asshole." It might have been a "Jewish dick." Whatever she said was some kind of generic insult with "Jewish" attached in a pejorative way. The man was wearing a yarmulke.

The thing I saw next has troubled me for four days now.

Without absolutely zero hesitation -- there was literally no sound gap from the end of "Jewish asshole" to when the man began speaking -- the man shouted "You're a NIGGER!" He had a look of ... excitement. As though, by having been slurred himself, he had been given permission to say what he had really wanted to say in the first place. "Nigger bitch!" he shouted, pointing.

At this point, it got weird. The woman replied that the man's mother and father had been niggers, which doesn't exactly reclaim the word or anything. And the man replied that at least he had parents, and the woman replied that he didn't know what she had, and by that point I had walked well past them and was already thinking about the chilling look that guy had had before dropping the N-bomb, and I was sort of thinking that, if one had to pick a side in this sad fucking excuse for human interaction in a civil society, I sort of felt like, being on the Upper West Side gave the man a sort of home-court advantage, plus he had a car, but then, on the other hand, the woman was the one who started the slurring, but then, of course, if my reading was correct, the man was all too delighted that slurring had been put on the table. So, if I had to pick a side, I felt like I'd be on her side, and then, as I was thinking that, I heard her yell "Beanie-wearing bitch!" Which, of course, is an incredibly anti-Semitic thing to say, but I hated this guy so fucking much I kind of chalked up a point for her, for at least having alliteration on her side.

And then I walked away thinking how sick it was that I was trying to sort it out somehow and pick the least bad side, and then I thought, well, it's a fight, and the point of fighting is to have a winner, so it's probably normal to try to score the thing, and besides, I used to judge debate tournaments, and, by God, I'm glad debaters never said "beanie-wearing bitch."

And then I was sad for four days.

Can we all please just hate each other as individuals? If she had called him a "fucking dick" and he had called her a "dumb cunt," this blog post never would have happened.

Update: This post has been linked off Jewcy. As an aside that ought to be its own post sometime, all my high school boyfriends were Jewish because everyone else in Virginia was a crazy Christian fundamentalist.

"who are you and why are you on my couch?"

This hi-larious video podcast by the hi-larious John Brodrick Jones features my being interviewed by a puppet. And also a puppet and a robot puppet having an uncomfortably homoerotic moment.

capitalism requires and hence produces parrots of reason

From an article by, of all people, Robert Bork:
Joseph Schumpeter first articulated the idea that capitalism requires and hence produces a large intellectual class. The members of that class are not necessarily very good at intellectual work; they are merely people who work with or transmit ideas at wholesale or retail, the folks collectively referred to above as the New Class (also known as the "knowledge class," the "class of semiskilled intellectuals," or the "chattering class").
Oh, blogosphere, you chattering class!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I love food so damn much I wake up thinking about all the opportunities I'll have to eat until bedtime

So, I'm back in New York, and in love with food. I have been eagerly consuming a great many comestibles that were unavailable to me on our nation's highways (and byways!)

So far I have enthusiastically ingested two Pita Grill falafel sandwiches on low-carb pitas with spicy tahini, a spring roll and a plate of veggie dumplings that I like to think are a little hippied-up and therefore healthier because they came from Williamsburg, a Burritoville burrito on a whole wheat tortilla with low-fat tofu sour cream, and a Chickpea falafel platter (whole wheat pita, of course).

I love food more than anything! I really do watch my diet, of course, but I've been doing it so long that I've really changed my tastes. I am actually disgusted by white bread, and when whole grain (or better yet, whole-grain low-carb-soy-flour) isn't available, I'll take the "wheat bread" that's actually just white bread with caramel coloring because I find it more appetizing. And I prefer low-sugar 85% cocoa chocolate (I find milk chocolate disgusting), and I've started craving black coffee (lattés just taste like cups of warm milk to me, which is really kind of infantilizing for a beverage found in the hands of so many businesspeople). And there are these amazing things you can sometimes get in the tofu/soy section of the grocery store -- spinach nuggets! They're breaded, they're nuggets, but inside ... spinach! Ohmygod, so good.

A few months ago, I was in consideration for a print ad and television commercial for a sports supplement, and I attempted to gain a few pounds for a good "before" picture. Mr. Intrepid Young Journalist laughed at me for going into the health food store on Bedford Ave. and looking for food I could "pig out on." (I left with many delicious tofu knishes, which, like much vegan fare, are healthy but carb-filled and not particularly dietetic).

On another food note, spending a week and a half on the road with my tour partner Molly led me to realize that I eat TWICE as much food as she does. I mean, I was suspicious about this. I've had boyfriends much larger than I am, and I've always seemed to need nearly as much food as they did, way out of proportion to body size.

Anyway, if I'm going to eat ten freaking pounds of food a day, I really need my burrito place to not look at me like I'm crazy when I order a riceless whole-wheat low-fat-tofu-sour-cream chicken and grilled vegetable burrito. If you want to say that's not a real burrito, I am totally fine with that. You can call it a Crazy-Chick Wrap Sandwich Conducive to Future Hotness. But really. I have needs. I really love New York.

Monday, March 12, 2007

a little bit of tour socializing

A friend of mine whose fiancé went completely insane six months before the wedding (a few weeks ago) directed me to the website, which allows users to auction off their no-longer-needed engagement and wedding rings.

(Also notable -- the founder is way cute, and not averse to commitment. I don't know if he's sold the ring he bought for his once-fiancée, but I'll bet his new business endeavor is getting him some play).

My friend doesn't particularly need the money, so she tossed her engagement ring in her fishtank. And then, just before I came to visit, the fish died. So maybe, actually, she should think about selling the curséd* thing.

* I réally liké using thé littlé accént é-thing on my blog, and I felt that "curséd" made the whole thing scan better.

back in New York

Back in city! Show tonight at Pete's! New jokes. Blog more later, when re-find articles & prepositions.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

driving home to Brooklyn in the a.m.

All this driving has taken a lot out of me. Part of it seems to be that I'm just ... sensitive. When people honk at me or don't let me over, I feel pretty much as though someone just told me they hated me to my face.

Molly says it's just like being elbowed on the subway, but I can't help but feel sad that other cars don't want me in their lanes.

I'm a nice girl and an upstanding citizen. I'd be a fine addition to your lane! For real. Seriously, I've had my turn signal on for like ten minutes. I want in. I officially petition you. Haters.

fantabulous comedy/modeling gig

I'm on the cover Tom Shillue's new comedy CD. (As well as hilariously animated on his website).

The Tour: Baltimore update

Last night, an artist named Ben who had intended to come to my show in Baltimore got in a car accident and wasn't able to attend -- and sent Molly and me flowers. Ben is fine, his KIA isn't, and the flowers are red, yellow, and blue in honor of my Wonder Woman outfit.

The Hamilton Arts Collective is an oasis of artsy pleasure, pocketed in a marginal part of town. It is the Baltimore equivalent of moving Galapagos to the Bronx. This show didn't sell out like the D.C. and Norfolk ones, but I was very pleased to play to a small crowd of Baltimoreans who braved the snow to make it to the land of artsy couches and $1 concessions.

Strangely, virtually every bar and theater we have played on this tour has served popcorn.

The how-to-do-standup seminar went very well, and I received a couple of inquiries after the fact from potential comedians who missed it, so you can plan on that being repeated.

I'm going to make my last trip (possibly ever) to the Wheaton Shopping Village Bally's in Silver Spring, Maryland. Oh, suburban Stairmaster, how I will miss thee.

Yesterday at the gym, I saw a fifty year old overweight Asian lady on an elliptical machine who had penciled in her eyebrows blue, to match her ... headband. For real.

Tomorrow I return to Brooklyn, to my cat, and to Pete's Candy Store. New Yorkers: next Monday's show, I promise all-new jokes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tonight's show in Baltimore has FREE BOOZE and COUCHES

I hooked that shit up!

Wednesday, March 7th
What Philosophy Majors Do After College

In her hour-plus solo show, Jen starts off with "The History of Western Philosophy in Fifteen Minutes," and then expounds comedically on what one does with a degree in philosophy. In her case, stints as an art school model, a professional contraceptive tester, a failed dot-com entrepreneur, and finally, a comedian telling grammar jokes in Wonder Woman underpants.

Sponsored by Original Sin Cider -- free with admission, 'til it runs out!

Featuring opening appearances by workshop participants John Bennett, Lindsay Filz, and Zina Davis.

Hamilton Arts Collective
5440 Harford Road
(third floor -- entrance is around the corner on Hamilton)
Baltimore, MD
Doors at 7:40pm, show at 8:00pm

Tour update: photos from the Norfolk show

From Monday's sold-out show in Norfolk:

Thanks to Clay Hornick for the photos! And here's one posted to the tour blog by Deb Markham of me reading a piece of hate mail I received in 1994:

Thanks to The Boot, of course (which had scheduled only three staff members for the night and was a mite worried when all the reservations came in!), to Lorraine from the Pilot and Deb from Pilotonline, and to Mom and Dad for letting me drag them to IHOP at 11pm.

A little Norfolk follow-up -- here are some people who should send me an email:
  • The guy who books Enrico's
  • The guy who gave me the DVD of local comics
  • The guy with the very photogenic 'fro who bought the size-small t-shirt
Here are some people who should not contact me:
  • The fiftysomething guy who told me I was very attractive but too young, and his daughter would kill him, and then that I was very attractive and looked just like his daughter. You, never speak to me again.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Tonight in Baltimore

Note: I am going offline now for the purpose of driving to Baltimore. If you are interested in attending tonight's seminar in Baltimore and have not RSVP'd, you may simply show up at Hamilton Arts at 6pm tonight. Please bring $20 cash, preferably minimally crumpled and non-sweaty, and a notepad. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 6th
Stand-Up Workshop With Jen Dziura

$20. RSVP to

Click to enlarge


Another sold-out venue!

Thank you, my very dear liberals below the Mason-Dixon.

Monday, March 5, 2007

"my glutes are like the finest farmer's market cantaloupes"

Here is my interview in the Virginian Pilot leading up to tonight's show.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Tonight's Show: Norfolk

I've got a stack of old Virginian Pilot hatemail.

Audio! Literacy recommended but not required.

Here we have a professionally-recorded audio clip of me reading my latest McSweeney's piece. I thought you might like this if you somehow enjoy my blog but deeply resent being forced to process the written language.

by Jennifer Dziura


top article on McSweeney's today!

Update: I am an idiot. I have fixed the link in this post. NOW click on it. Do not go back in time and click on it, or you will be sorely misled. Thank you.



Addendum: A lawyerly friend of mine replied:
There is some question as to whether a contractual bargain that extends into perpetuity must be written to be enforceable, per the applicable state Statute of Frauds, which (if the common law of Merrie Olde England is anything to go by) covers contracts of marriage, contracts for the sale or transfer of land, and contracts not by their terms performable within the space of one year. Thus, mere oral agreement to love someone "forever" (assuming time lasts for more than one year) would not be enforceable. However, there may be applicable state glosses on the applicability of the statute to contracts involving vague or imprecise terms, like "forever," which should be researched. More importantly, your original promise to love was that -- a promise, not a contract. To be enforceable, a contract must extract consideration for performance -- i.e, a thing of value that will be given to you in exchange for what you offer to give up. While you may have promised love indefinitely, it was not (as stated) in return for something else, and thus your offer cannot be enforced against you, either at law or equity.
So there!


Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Tour: photo update

Molly taking pics as I'm getting out of the shower.

I made Molly pump gas for the first time. Outside Quantico.

The Tour! From Richmond to North Carolina, like an invading Union Army

Richmond is hip and adorable, except for all the Confederate monuments. I am waiting for my breakfast burrito so I can then drive even further south.

Winston-Salem, N.C.:

Saturday, March 3rd
Camel City Showcase

The Garage
110 W. 7th Street
Winston-Salem, NC
Music by The Malamandos, Viva La Venus, and 220 Short with special appearances by caberet, burlesque and comic performers Foxy Moxy, Molly Crabapple and Jen Dziura

Raleigh-Durham, N.C.:

Sunday, March 4th
A Triple Threat of Subversive Women Who Will Eat Your Brain

A cult classic about strippers who kill men with their bare hands, a burlesque dancer turned authoress, and a comedian in Wonder Woman underpants, all in one day.

305 South Anti-Mall
305 South Dillard St., Durham
2pm - movie
4pm - Molly's book signing and mini Dr. Sketchy's
7pm - Jen's comedy show

All free.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Tour! Today's update, from a used book store in Richmond

Today, off I-95 between DC and Richmond, I made Molly pump gas for the first time ever. And then I took pictures, because objectifying each other is part of our friendship.

I'll post the photos soon when I can retrieve my various widgets and cables from the trunk of our rental car, currently parked in a Gold's Gym parking lot in Richmond, where I'm sitting in the back of Chop Suey Books at Molly's book signing, and the bookstore's dog and cat are fighting on and around my armchair.

Richmond's construction workers like Molly. I mean, they might like me too, but I am wearing many more clothes today than Molly is.

By the way, I think "used book store" indicates that the store sells used books, whereas "used bookstore" means the store itself has been ravished by someone who then failed to call.

not a Degas

Sometimes when (and only when) I wear my hair pulled back, people ask me if I'm a ballerina.

At first I thought this was a great compliment: I must be so fucking lithe!

But then it happened when I was wearing a big winter coat, and I realized it's actually because I have an enormous forehead. An endless expanse of forehead, really. A ballethead.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Tonight I did an hour and forty-five minutes of material and sold out a theater.

Thanks to everyone who came, to Chris White of for opening, to Molly, and to the DC Arts Center. I also saw my third grade best friend Eva for the first time in 20 years!

D.C. has been good to us.
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