The day I have to finally admit that I might be rapidly turning into Hoda.

I’ve mentioned before, but probably not on pamie.com, that I watch Kathie Lee and Hoda most mornings. That’s not exactly true — I have it on while I’m working. Depending on which part of the house I choose to work from that day (couch if I’m feeling frustrated, desk if I’m feeling self-punishey), I will let the TV do its thing from The Today Show all the way to that silly fourth hour of booze and constant chit-chattering. It makes me feel like I’m at an office, stuck in a corporate job I can’t stand, and I’ve got Kathie Lee and Hoda at the next cube going on and on and on about a movie one liked that the other didn’t that starred an actor whose name they can’t remember, or they’re ranting about a young starlet whose behavior they don’t understand, or sometimes — unfortunately — Kathie Lee’s talking about her sex life with her husband. But they really do make me feel better about my drinking, as most days I wait until at least after two to drink as much as these two sloshy ladies Continue reading

blood, sweat and tears

Which of the following things didn’t happen to me this past weekend?

A) Cried at a museum.
B) Ran seven miles.
C) Met someone in a hot tub who knew Dan from college.
D) Held Sara’s head as blood gushed down her face.
E) Stayed at home, finishing my book edits. Then went to the post office, got my windshield wiper blades changed, did some grocery shopping, cleaned my house, made cookies and folded my hands in homemaker glee.

Yeah, good guess. Continue reading

rusty.

i started class

We had DSL problems and I’ve been busy, so pretend I’m writing this last Thursday and not today, which is Monday.

Well, I started my comedy classes. I’ve learned I’m quite rusty.

I hadn’t done any real improv work in almost a year. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, I did my one-person show and I filled in on a couple of quick improv shows, but real scene work and instruction were things I hadn’t done in probably close to a year, if not more.

So, needless to say, I was quite nervous walking in for my first class.

Here’s what I love about my new class: well, everything. But what struck me first was walking up the steps into this old-ass nasty building with the callboard taped with upcoming auditions and classes, signing in and standing with all of the other new students. The building has that Fame look about it where it’s dingy and the floors are all marred up and the place is drafty and old and the vending machine rarely works and it’s across the street from boarded up buildings and on the Walk of Fame.

It felt like I was starting over. Like, we were all going to walk around the room and whisper, “God, I hope I get it. I hope I get it. How many people does he need?”

We did a warm-up where we had to learn everyone’s name. I’m really bad at this, because I’ll remember faces but not names, and several times I called someone, “JenniferJessicaDamn!” instead of her real name. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was coming across as a nice person or this manic freak with ADD.

We went into physical warm-ups (I had forgotten to bring a ponytail holder, which shows just how long it’s been. I had the much-frowned-upon hair-in-my-face) and then walked around the space talking to each other, getting used to the sound of the room, the floor on our feet, things like that.

It had been so long since I’d done this stuff that when we were paired off and one girl started doing scene work with us, I didn’t know if I was supposed to play along, or if she was doing her own sort of warm-up. Good thing I started playing along, because seconds later the other groups were instructed to stop and watch us. The exercise was to pretend to find an object in the room, start working with it, and then continue to work with it while you did a scene. Generally you’re not supposed to comment on the action you’re doing, but usually in scenes with people you’ve never met before, you all start talking about what you’re doing, as you have no idea who this other person is. I started with a basketball, but figured that was too easy, and that everyone would be bouncing a ball. I quickly chose a paddle ball, forgetting that basically a paddle ball is another way to bounce a ball.

Once my scene was over and we started watching the others, I realized that I was one of the four people that had chosen an imaginary paddle ball to work with in a scene. So much for my individuality.

I also found myself getting so nervous about getting up and doing scene work that I started thinking about what I was going to say, do, be. This is so not what I’m supposed to be doing. I can’t help it, though. I start trying to guess what direction my scene will go. I look at the actors I’m going to work with and think about how they might react to different things that I’ll do. We took a break before it was my turn, and the girl I was going to be in the scene with started telling me the character she was going to play, and then we decided to just not talk about it at all and just have fun and do the scene the way you’re supposed to.

It went well, I think. In any event, it was lots of fun.

And something happened in the beginning of that scene. Once I heard that first burst of laughter from the class, my entire body eased. There isn’t a warm-up out there that can give me that sense of rhythm and calm as the sound of laughter. Then I know I’m on the right track. I know I’m in the right place. I know that I’m doing something I can do and I start to have lots of fun. It had been a while since I was in that classroom situation, and the laughter from the class gave me such a sense of relief.

I was back. I felt good. I had fun. And the rest of the time in the class I wasn’t afraid to answer questions or ask questions, or participate. I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to do anymore. I was watching scenes and enjoying the work of my other classmates and laughing and having a great time.

I’ve been the new kid in class so many times. I guess I never lose those first-time jitters. That gnawing in my stomach right before hand that says, “Run away. Go home. Don’t be a fool. What are you doing here?” I’m getting better at ignoring it and pushing forward. There’s a sense of familiarity in the work so that it’s not totally nerve-wracking. Looking at a stranger but knowing that you both know the same words to describe things, and that you both understand what you’re doing and what you’re going to do– that’s a great way to start a new school. It’s not completely unfamiliar. And you know that this stranger across from you is probably just as nervous. Even if she’s already finished three of these schools. She wants to trust you like you want to trust her. She’s funny. You’re funny. You just don’t know if you’re going to be funny together. You don’t know if there’s going to be a good give and take, or if it’s the two of you just screaming at each other trying to be the Big Funny Actor. But when I stop thinking about that, breathe, and relax, I find that the ride of the scene is over and you’re left a bit breathless and laughing before you even know you started.

[db]

“YM Girlz Rule!”

First Kiss Tips

Smooching a new sweetie can make anyone jittery. Here, three ways to give better lip service.

Reading this stuff makes me jittery.

  • If you want to kiss him, don’t be shy. Sit near him, maintain eye contact, and be willing to stop talking to give him an opening.Sit down, shut up, and stare at him like a stalker. For God’s sake, don’t ruin everything by talking. He’ll hate you if you talk! Just sit as close as possible and stare. Eventually he’ll kiss you just to get you to close your eyes! Works like magic, every time!
  • Keep mints or toothpaste nearby; duck away to refresh when you feel a kiss coming on.If you’ve never kissed anyone before, there’s no way you can see this one coming. My first kisser got to experience Pamietongue soaked in the essence of Garlic Chips. Dude. He could have warned me.
  • Take it slowly and enjoy it! There’s all the time in the world, and a first kiss with someone only happens once.In my experience, this isn’t a tip that the young girls need. The young boys need to know that kissing lasts a long time before boobie action.

double ditto

(insert heavy sigh here)

Wow. You know, I knew yesterday was going pretty bad, but it only got worse.

We got the phone call. We aren’t going to Aspen.

Let’s see how I handled this last year

Great. Good to know that it’s not exactly the same, I mean, at least this time I have a different job. I have quite a few jobs, really.

I could give you all of the reasons they gave us, but they really don’t mean anything because they aren’t the real reason. The real reason is they only liked the two people they picked to go this year. Any excuse could easily be the same excuse they’d give as to why they liked us. It boils down to what they want. This year, just like last year, it was almost us but not quite.

Continue reading

cranky

too many planes

So, I think the secret is out: I was out of town this weekend. Since Matt had won the stand-up finals here in Austin he was getting to perform at the Los Angeles Finals at the Improv last Saturday night and we wanted to go out and support him. We decided to make a long weekend out of it and stop in San Francisco Friday and see Bill, eleanor, and a couple of friends of mine who had moved out there recently.

Continue reading

“get up, rooster! kick his ass!”

did i just say that?

Last night, for the first time in my life, I enjoyed wrestling.

This is a very new experience for me, as I’ve always had that nose-in-the-air disdain for the entire wrestling corporation.  But this was a bit different.  This was Blue High Machine.  Imagine this:  you’re at a local bar and you’re watching a theatre festival.  Comedy troupe, comedy troupe, choral Shakespeare-ish show– and then the lights go out.  The stage manager asks you to move your chairs away from the center of the bar, and fifteen men come out and set up a wrestling ring and a full band.  Lighting, sound equipment, mattresses on the ground– it took over twenty minutes.  After that they start the show in the same manner as you’d see on television.  But seeing it right in front of me was something different.  The rock music was blaring as they did the commentary on what was happening in the ring.  Four men were in this tiny ring just throwing each other around and flailing and falling into the crowd.   There were people with martinis just staring in confusion.  Others were chanting, cheering, jeering and screaming.  Some covered their ears.  Some just sat and laughed.  There was such an air of comedy and danger and fun that you couldn’t help but watch it.  Of course, I was interested mainly because I had a couple of friends in the show, but watching the stage combat right in front of you was something I hadn’t seen before.   The entire concept of a wrestling match in a theatre festival was such a nice break from what “conventional” theatre is always thought to be.  I like it when “theatre people” have to see something new.

Continue reading

miss.

I am nervous about my show tonight.

Quite nervous, actually. I haven’t done the one person show in a while. To see what’s going on in the comedy community, check out the Monks’ page.

I miss my boyfriend.
I miss sleeping.
I miss television.
I miss doing nothing.
I miss my boyfriend.
I really miss my boyfriend.

“my, my” that sounds familiar

why weird al is almost a monk

Well, it looks like I’ll be uploading in the afternoons for a little while, like a few weeks.  Most of you won’t even notice the change, but those of you who wait for ten a.m. central time every day to see a new Squishy, it may be a few hours later in the day.

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independence day

celebrating my freedom to do nothing for four days

Did everyone have a good weekend?  I sure did.

The great thing about the Independence Day holiday is that you really don’t have any sort of obligations like you do with other holidays.  You don’t have to go and see people.  You don’t have a long list of gifts to buy and a list to make of people who may get you things so that you can return the favor.  You don’t have to travel.  You don’t have to get up early to worship or eat or anything. You just do what you want, and if you feel like it you make sure you can see the sky around 9:30 at night so you can see a few fireworks.

Eric and I spent the weekend doing as we pleased.

Continue reading

little voice

I’m feeling a bit better

Well, what happens when you sit around your house for two days feeling sorry for yourself and not talking?

Your voice comes back.

Not completely, but enough for me to come back to work.  Enough for me to get out of the house, which I really needed.  Last night I was so bored from sitting around my house that I fell asleep at eleven.  I haven’t done that in I don’t know how long.

Because so much time has passed since my last “real” entry, things are starting to blur and fade.  The wholeness of the weekend is starting to break up into moments that I don’t want to forget.  Now I just have little notes to myself:

 

things to remember…

Continue reading