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Sunday, April 29, 2007

I've been blogging at Gen. McClellan's pace

My blogging has been much impeded lately due to my busy schedule of tutoring (which is more lucrative than comedy, and not unrelated). Here are some fun U.S. and European facts I have recently encountered:
  • Lincoln once referred to Union Gen. George McClellan's half-assed thrust into Confederate territory as "a case of the slows."

  • Carrie A. Nation, the six-foot tall temperance reformer who smashed up saloons with a hatchet, was a total fame-whore. She paid the fines from her numerous arrests with lecture fees and the money she made selling souvenir hatchets. She even trademarked her name! (She was born "Carrie," married a man named "Nation," and added the "A." for effect).

  • Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, was perhaps the most intelligent of them all (and of six wives, one of only two survivors). Henry had agreed to marry her upon seeing Holbein's rather flattering portrait; when she arrived in England, Henry found her so unattractive (Holbein had neglected to paint her pockmarks) he called her a "Flanders Mare." He married her regardless, but when she didn't produce an heir, she was smart enough not to hinder his scheme for an annulment. She testified that her marriage had never been consummated, and that Henry had simply come into her room every night and kissed her on the forehead. Following the annulment, she received the title of "The King's Sister" and was given a castle. (She also kept her head).

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

May 2nd: watch me debate about lipstick

The Athenaeum Society presents a debate on the topic: "Does the Beauty Industry Oppress Women?"

May 2nd
8pm
Lolita Bar

Charles Star argues "yes" and Jen Dziura argues "no."

That's Wed. next week, May 2, at 8pm, at 266 Broome St. (basement level) at the corner of Allen St., one block south and three west of the Delancey St. subway stop (free admission).

A note from orchestrator Todd Seavey: "Because of the complexity of the issues raised by this debate, both of aesthetics and gender, the debate will be preceded by a brief explanatory sock puppet show entitled "Beyond the Looking Glass," performed by Diana Schoenbrun (creator of the exciting new children's book character Amos the Armadillo, and of sock puppets), eye doctor Heather Mcleod, and animator Jeff Hong."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

comedy is supposed to mean something, people

Parts of Cho Seung-Hui's video, which he sent to NBC in between rounds of shooting people, are available on YouTube:


That's not the weird part. Look in the righthand column next to the video: a dozen other videos from teenagers, all entitled "Re: Virginia Tech Shooter Home Video NBC News Cho Seung-Hui."

It's not a public debate, people! To begin a public debate, one needs ... a thesis, and some arguments, preferably accompanied by evidence. Also, the gunman is dead. What purpose does this serve? Are these teenagers all stymied debate-team members?*

On a related note, I was chastised in my own comments for making "school shooting jokes" when, you know, people are dead. Does anyone remember the 9/11 issue of the Onion? "Suicide bomber shocked to find self in hell"? A more welcome injection of humor I never did see.

In any case, please give me some credit for doing better than, you know, "orange and maroon and red all over."

I specifically wanted to discuss the fact that this is, to my knowledge, the first mass murder than was interrupted halfway through to conduct a PR campaign.

While that does seem to indicate that we have finally and fully become a nation of fame-whores (yes, I know: pot, kettle, black), I think this is a salutary trend in crime-fighting: I live in kind of a bad neighborhood, and if I ever find myself getting gang-raped, I'm going to suggest that the gang members take a time-out and, you know, go design a logo. And check their Alexa rankings.

*Not enough pinstripes and acne.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pete's Candy Store tonight

If you were vacillating about attending tonight's show, you may wish to know that the show will involve:
  • poking gentle fun at Ohioans
  • jokes about school shootings
  • and at least one mention of Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum

Monday Evening Stand-Up at Pete's
TONIGHT: Monday, April 23rd

Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St. in Williamsburg
7:30-8:45pm
Free candy, no cover!

Featuring Omar Beer (Laugh Lounge's "funniest lawyer"), Oleg Boksner, Eliza Faria-Santos, Charlie Kasov, and Ross Hyzer.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lalit Gupta wants your rich lady love

This man has seen fit to ask me to IM him, attempting to lure me with a message I first parsed as "u r sexy," but which I then realized I had transposed, perhaps due to its lack of a question mark. It was, instead: "r u sexy," the lack of conviction about which makes all the less likely any future IM communiqu├ęs.

From his profile:

"I want made with a very rich and open type lady for long time external personal serious relalationship,i wait for reply."

Is a "relalationship" perhaps, a personal affiliation with someone who has little grasp on reality? Re-LaLaLand-ationship?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fitness Rant: "take the stairs," my ass

I am always annoyed when fitness publications suggest that one might lose weight by "taking the stairs at work."

First of all, a person looks very sanctimonious leaving his or her coworkers at the elevator and jaunting up four flights of stairs to the office. Also, such activity tends to spill one's coffee.

But more importantly, if I am in a workplace, I am very likely
  1. not wearing my Reeboks, because they don't go well with pinstripe
  2. not wanting to be sweaty, which is also unbecoming with pinstripe
This page from the Get Healthy Kentucky initiative offers the most demoralizing, soul-squelching, Taylorist suggestion yet:
Consider developing a walking map highlighting a few different routes/trails in and around your facility, in distances varying from .5 miles total trip to 2+ miles total trip. Display and distribute maps in receptionist/lobby areas and other central locations. Staff can enjoy a walk during breaks and/or lunch periods.
A walking trail ... around the office! Try to imagine a koi pond or wooded glen as you hoof it through Human Resources!

I am similarly peeved by the suggestion that you "park your car in the back of the lot and walk to the store."

Suspending for a moment the fact that New Yorkers don't have cars (or parking lots), there is also the fact that, unless I just came from the gym, I'm probably not wearing my gym shoes. And if I just came from the gym, I think a walk across the parking lot would provide negligible additional value. Does someone think that clicking across a Costco parking lot in my strappy sandals is a useful form of cardiovascular conditioning? Is this a plot by podiatrists? Are these articles all written by sweaty men who dress like slobs?

Seriously, go do some real exercise, then take a damn shower.

p.s. No one ever lost weight vacuuming or fornicating, despite the little infographics in magazines telling you how many calories you burn doing these activities. Your "resting metabolic rate" actually assumes that you'll be conducting normal life activities throughout your day. You don't get "credit" for absolutely every time you move a limb. Seriously, go do some real exercise (then take a damn shower).

p.p.s. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy this classic: Shape magazine wants us to get gym-raped

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on the down-low

A friend of mine, about to relay some clandestine information, said she was going to give me "the down-low."

"I think you mean 'the low-down,'" I said. "The down-low is the secret gay sex one."

To be fair, though, I always used to mix up "down under" (meaning Australia) with "down below" (meaning vagina, if you're an old lady).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

an army of me

I was quoted in an article about egg donation in the Penn State Collegian, a newspaper produced by students at a school to which I have no particular connection.

I love this image, with the needle poking askancely into the ovary:


I'm really glad that the journalist mentioned that I'm a comedian before quoting me as saying, "I think I have completely fabulous genes, and if someone's going to make a baby, they should only buy the best. I think all babies should be part-me."

I mean, otherwise, I'd sound like a super-arrogant prissy bitch that other women should try to slap. For real. I could post a list of my flaws if that would ameliorate things. Did I ever mention the jump-rope/manhole-cover-accident scar on my right knee? Let's start there.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

May 31st: Broadly Speaking....


Here is a chance to see me perform in Manhattan, for those of you who don't venture onto the L train.

The first two people to show up on the night of the show and say they're there to see me get in free. You should make reservations for the show (see poster for info), but you can't really make reservations to "arrive first"; the deal is that the first two people to actually appear at the door and drop my name get in free (regular admission is $10). Two-drink minimum still applies.

I have been informed that I will have both entrance and exit music, and that some of it is by the Pussycat Dolls. Mrow!

Thursday, May 31st
The Laugh Factory

669 8th Ave (at 42nd St)
8:30pm (doors at 8)
$10 + 2 drinks

I (heart) five-year-olds

Longtime blog readers may remember my ex-boyfriend The Cowboy*, most notably featured in the post in which I excoriated the asshole who broke The Cowboy's collarbone with his (the asshole's) cab door.

Yesterday, my good friend Megan, another recurring blog character, most notably featured in the post in which she bought me children's underwear, sent me an email thanking me for various hand-me-down objects I had given her over the years (in brief, I am a minimalist, and she enjoys fun new possessions, so her visits to my house usually involve her leaving with my clothes, accessories, and kitchenware, not that she cannot provide those things for herself as part of her normal and productive professional life).

I was amused to discover that Megan's new husband's mother wore my large pink straw hat to St. John the Divine for Easter, but even more amused to discover that Megan had the "I (heart) my cowboy" t-shirt I once owned (originally ordered from Neighborhoodies and which I think Megan ended up with just to get it out of my house, for breakup-related-clothing-catharsis reasons), which turns out to be "a perfect size for (and hilarious on)" Megan's new five-year-old stepson.

Dear god, I can only hope that somehow, The Cowboy might someday run into a five-year-old wearing that shirt.

* Many blog readers back in '05 did not realize The Cowboy and I had broken up, as I informed everyone with the sentence "The cowboy has ridden off into the sunset on a metaphorically short-butted horse unable to accommodate dual-rider saddlery", inserted into the middle of a post about the hot guys who work at the Apple Store's "Genius Bar."

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"balloon fetish"

I am pictured (entirely attired) on the Quips & Chains fetish blog, in a post about "balloon fetish." (The balloon post itself is pretty wholesome, but I'd still avoid clicking the above link at work).

For those of you not at work, you might also enjoy this Q&C post, Nerdporn Redux - A Bowling Pin Anybody Can F***.

D.C.

I've just returned from Ohio, and I don't know that I have any special "Buckeye State" anecdotes, but I just ran across a scribbled note from when I was in D.C. -- my friend Maureen was trying to suggest a bar I might enjoy hanging out in, and she took pains to point out one where I wouldn't be "mobbed by legislative aides."*

And I was like, "Well, better than any other kind."


(*This is absolutely not a problem in New York, although one might take pains to avoid hair-gelled bridge-and-tunnel fratboys. I wonder how much overlap there is here).

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Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm hot cause I'm fly: a classic test of the epistemological question of whether there exists any non-trivial a priori knowledge

Perhaps you have heard the chart-topping rap song This is Why I'm Hot, by Mims?

You might think I'm about to complain about the tautology inherent in this assertion:

I'm hot cause I'm fly
You ain't cause you're not


It's vapid, but so is plenty of popular music. Let's let it slide. What I do want to comment on is this, right in the first verse:

This is why I'm hot
I don't gotta rap
I can sell a mill saying nothing on the track


Wow. I think he just ... called you stupid for buying his music. Or else it's meta-rap: an indictment of the commodification of music and the tendency of the corporatized music industry to promote mass-market pablum, which Mims has cleverly inserted into the otherwise derivative and bland lyrics of just such mass-market pablum!

It would be like ... if a fashion model arranged to die of anorexia on the runway and only the occasional audience member noticed, while everyone else complimented this season's lean silhouettes and bought up all the clothes.

Update: Whoa, huge props to Rob Harvilla for this piece in the Voice. Thanks to multiple people for bringing it to my attention.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

a brief update from the Port Columbus airport

While I've made little progress towards getting a book of my own published, I've got little bits and pieces coming out in a bunch of books -- a story in Rachel Kramer Bussel's Sex and Candy, a couple of farcical anecdotes in Judy McGuire's book on bad dates, and now, I've been asked to comment for the upcoming Official Compendium of Imaginary Fights on the probable outcome of fights including:

   
Voltaire vs. Voltron!

I am clearly an expert in this matter!

No prognosticating on this in the comments -- I haven't written my own predictions yet and I don't want to read anyone else's lest I be accused of plagiarizing from my own blog and you of influencing the outcome of the imaginary fight.

Apropos to the title of this post, all flights everywhere are delayed due to winds. Ohio snowed on me a bunch.

I am popular in Findlay, Ohio, apparently enough so that some people drove down from Bowling Green. I am substantially less popular in Columbus. Monday, April 23rd is the next Pete's show -- I'm bringing all the jokes that people in Columbus hated, which means they are sure to be a hit in Williamsburg.

A big, beefy white guy (as though anyone in Ohio weren't big, beefy, and white) working the security checkpoint had a little comedy routine of his own going, continually repeating instructions about removing your liquids and gels from your bag and putting items under four ounces in a clear Zip-loc, during which he launched into a detailed explanation of the difference between lipstick and lip gloss, the latter coming in a tube and having an applicator stick and being "gooier."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Liberals and Conservatives: a Truce?

Rosie O'Donnell has been on The View awkwardly discussing Don Imus and whether a racist remark merits being fired from a public platform. She kind of has to stick up for Imus, or else argue for her own firing. And apparently, Rosie recently argued on the show that 9/11 was a conspiracy by the United States. For those who've never visited her blog, it's written in this sort of illiterate free verse:
the british did it on purpose
into iranian waters
as
US MILITARY BUILD UP ON THE IRANIAN BORDER

we will be in iran
before summer
as planned

come on people
u have 2 c
i know u can
I mean, I'm glad she's talking about important issues, but I also wish she had evidence, as well as both subjects and predicates.

Apropos to the British/Iranian debacle, I've also been inspired by recent discussion of hostage trading. So here's the deal, conservatives: you lock Ann in a box, we'll do the same to Rosie. We'll all be a lot less embarrassed.

Ching Chang Chong FAGGOT!

Box.

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today's "news"

I'm in Cleveland at my aunt's house. This morning when I got up, she was watching the news and commented that it was all Larry Birkhead and Don Imus -- they haven't covered any political or world issues all morning. Mr. Intrepid Young Journalist, who has had various jobs involved in the production of this news (but none of which give him the authority to tell the network put Anna Nicole on hiatus), has also been frustrated by this. A number of blogs I read have had threads about Imus, replete with hundreds of comments: an apology isn't enough, people don't spit out racist things unless they're really racist, etc.

Um, yes. Can we all just agree that old white people are almost all totally fucking racist, and we just have to wait for them to die? We can certainly take them off the television and let them die without a public platform. But really now -- of course Imus is racist. Really, really racist. I just can't believe so many minutes of footage could possibly be dedicated to that fact. Send him to a nursing home to slowly fade away, cared for by Jamaican nursing aides who push him around a little and then deny it, telling him he has Alzheimer's.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Presidential name game

Celebrity couples have all become subject to cute combo-names: Bennifer, TomKat, Brangelina, and now...

Gyllenspoon


What if, instead of restricting this practice to those who are actually banging each other, we also applied it to Presidential tickets?

For instance:

HillBama


And on the Republican side:

CondiCain


Or, here's a good one:

MormonDick


Or, if Hillary doesn't make the cut....

Barack O'GuyWhoseWifeHasCancer


xo,
Jen

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Monday, April 9, 2007

humor piece on Junkiness.com

Saturday, April 7, 2007

the ladies gym and the giggly girl-car

Today I worked out at a "ladies only" gym. From the front, the place looked basically normal, but once I was inside, I realized that the entire center of the space was a great big mat area on which a woman wearing a headset was conducting a rambunctious play group for children, such that the women working out could watch their kids playing.

It was very weird to work out while the background music suggests that you touch your head, shoulders, knees, and toes (not the worst idea ever) and then informs you about the alphabet, while also saying something about elephants.

(Side note: toddlers with tiny blonde ponytails, curled up on the floor pretending to be "flower seeds" and then sending up shoots and growing into flowers, is about the cutest thing I've ever seen, unless, you know, you released a bunch of bunnies into the class or something).

(Side side note: I can lift very many bunnies. I would like to see a gym that allows me to determine just how many).

It's snowing like a motherfucker* here. Tomorrow I'm driving to Cleveland to spend Easter with my extended family.

The rental company gave me a bright red Chevy Aveo hatchback, which is a precious, tiny girl-car. I love it very much. I am so excited to drive it every time I approach it in the parking lot. It has three spots for cups, one of which is currently holding an apple.


A red apple preciously placed in the apple-cup of my precious, tiny red car? Love. I am reduced to giddiness, and saying "Zoom zoom!" on the turns.

* Why would a motherfucker snow? Oh, crazy idioms.

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Friday, April 6, 2007

capitalization

I saw a headline that said "Financial markets close for good Friday."

I was concerned, until I realized it was "for Good Friday" not "for good, Friday."

I AM a barrel of laughs

Ohio is farmy.

I'm at a Panera in Findlay, and I am very, very grateful for its presence. If there are two thing Ohioans love to eat, it's frozen custard, and Big Boy (see previous Big Boy tour hijinks). Never have so many white people added so much unnecessary mass to themselves.

But I have a salad, and free WiFi. Right across the street from Panera and in front of the club is the Butt Hut Cigarette Outlet: GREAT PRICES ON GREAT BUTTS.

If only I had a photo of this to offer you.

Update: Now I do.


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Thursday, April 5, 2007

pro-natalism

I don't know how I'd never noticed it before yesterday, but there's a children's clothing boutique in the East Village called "Lucky Wang."


You know, if "I hit that egg right on the mark!" is your idea of "lucky."

The Buckeye State is mine!

Findlay, OH:

April 6th and 7th
Barrel of Laughs Comedy Club
1936 Tiffin Ave., Findlay, OH
7:30 and 10pm shows
$12


Columbus, OH:

April 11
Funny Bone
145 Easton Town Center
7:30pm
(614) 471-JOKE
$10


Image by the delightful Natalie Dee.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

internet access for the grammatically correct

Alert reader Amy sent in this.

Beaten to the Punch Line

All my lady-comic friends are discussing this Washington Post article (thanks, Joselyn; also check out Carolyn's response), entitled "Beaten to the Punch Line: The Odds Against Female Stand-Up Comedians Are No Laughing Matter."

Who the hell makes Lisa Lampanelli cry?
"It sucks for us, you know?" she says through her tears. "If you're a woman [comic], you don't have the option to have a nice wife who stays home and has the kids for you. There's just this mind-numbing schedule, and you can't believe there's nothing else out there in life.

"I'm jealous of the male comics who have kids. Who have wives. Who have a life. I cried on Valentine's Day because I had nothing going on."
Um, I think I'm going to look for a wife. I'm pretty sure I could get one.

laissez-faire annoyance

My brother (a 24 year old industrial tool salesman and volunteer firefighter and a recurring presence on this blog, soon to be married to a woman whose name is soon to become "Jennifer Dziura") has written this hilarious missive about moving companies:
In my life I have dealt with many different types of sales professionals. In fact, I am a sales professional myself. However, these individuals seem to take things to a totally different plane of existence.

I was playing around online one day and found this website that allows you to enter some information and receive quotes from multiple competing moving companies. I say to myself "Self, this has to be a good idea. This seems like capitalism and free market competition at its very finest." This was most likely the dumbest thing I have done in recent times. I did indeed get quotes from movers. I got like a fucking million quotes from movers. I got about 1,238,576 moving quotes the very next day. I reviewed them and promptly decided that I would much rather carry all of my own possessions from my apartment to the truck, personally, barefoot, through piles of broken glass and salt than give those guys that much money. Chances are they would just break all my best stuff anyway. So I put the idea behind me. Then the phone calls started. Oh god the phone calls. The same damn people called daily for like two weeks. Never once did I answer or return their messages, yet they continued completely undeterred. These people conduct business based purely on persistence. They don't seem to have the slightest understanding of their customer base. And their phone etiquette was just atrocious. Anyone who actually intends to impress a potential client should attempt to represent your organization in some sort of intelligent and coherent manner. Please, stop leaving messages after a reasonable and sane number of unsuccessful attempts. And for fuck's sake, figure out what the fuck you are going to say before the fucking beep.

Now I hate these people and I always will. Besides, we talked Jen's little brothers into traveling up here to help us carry stuff. All I have to pay them is pizza and beer. Checkmate evil moving companies. You are my biotches.
Did you know that the vast majority of modern-day readers of Sun Tzu's The Art of War are salespeople? There are, in fact, (questionable) translations of the book aimed just at people who must daily gear themselves up to annoy the living shit out of you.

Hahahaha! My I-Hate-Epson plan from 2005 has finally succeeded! Sort of.

In 2005, I wrote this. Scroll down to the comments! I am chipping away at an evil corporation's business one cartridge-buyer at a time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

seen in Union Square

Tourist dude carrying a gym bag and walking in a very fast and aggressive manner across the park, exclaiming to all:

"Fuckin' city. You all got sooo much fuckin' money and there ain't no fuckin' bathroom. WHERE'S THE FUCKIN' BATHROOMS?!"

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best New York Times correction ever

From this article:
Correction: April 3, 2007

A front-page article on Sunday about the experiences of high-achieving high school girls in Newton, Mass., misstated a verb property of Latin, which one of the girls in the article studies. It is the subjunctive mood; there is no subjunctive "tense."
Indeed!
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