Sunday, January 26, 2003

Super Bowl....s......of Cheese Dip!

I am really excited about the Super Bowl. It's not that I'm absolutely crazy about sports but I love dip. I also love chips. I've been looking forward to 'the day of snacks' for so long. I can't wait. I'm going over to my friend's house and we're going to crunch out. He's going to have potato chips, nacho chips, pretzels, popcorn, crackers, maybe some kind of vegetable sticks, probably some chicken wings. And the dip - I'm going over it now with my mind's eye. He's going to have salsa, and guacamole, and artichoke dip, and that cheese in a jar, maybe even the cheese in a spray can, definitely cheese in a block. He'll probably have some hot mustard sauce for the wings, some refried bean dip or something of that nature, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some sour cream dip.

Beverages - I know he's going to have those. He's going to have beer, soda, probably tap water, I doubt it but maybe bottled water, probably some milk but I doubt I'll drink any and I don't think it will be milk that he purchased specifically for the super bowl party, unless maybe he also purchased a bottle of kahlua or some kind of sweet coffee like liquor to mix with the milk, or perhaps just for coffee itself. I hate drinking coffee with out milk, so if he makes coffee, I hope he bought milk because otherwise, I won't be able to drink the coffee. Who wants coffee without milk?

I actually do know this one kid who loves to drink coffee without milk and every time I see him do that it makes me so angry. I always ask him every time I see him drinking it - why? Why coffee with no milk? How can you do that? It's really gross, black coffee. He says some kind of clever stupid little quip every time, like, "Hey. I like my coffee the way I like my women. Lactose free." Or, "Hey, I like my coffee the way I like my women. No cream, please." I never get it, but I always kind of chuckle because I imagine he's trying to make a joke and my mother always taught me, if someone tells you a joke, even if you don't think it's funny, you have to laugh, because that's what manners are all about.

So, this Super Bowl, I'm going to do a lot of fake laughing, because my friend who loves to drink coffee without milk is going to be there, and so if my other friend who's having the party didn't buy milk, I'm definitely going to be laughing, quote unquote.

My other friends who are going to be there are a rainbow of personalities. My one friend is going to be there who is always screaming in a very mascot-y way. My friend is going to be there who always is high fiving everyone. Last time I saw him, he was like, "Hey, Jessica. How's your mother?" I was like, "She's doing really well, thanks for asking." Then he was like, "All right!" And high fived me. There are going to be a few girls there that always travel in a pack. One of them will be really pretty and probably quite stupid. Then there will be a girl who's not as pretty as her friend, but her personality is a lot better than her friend's. Then there will be a girl who is really tiny, and all the guys will throw her around like a football. There will probably also be some foreign girl who is here visiting for a few days and doesn't speak english too well. We will make jokes to her face and laugh at her when she doesn't get them. That's so much fun. Who else will be there? Oh, yeah. There will be the guy there who tries to hook up with me all the time even though I've all ready shot him down so many times. Then, there will be a guy there who I totally want to make out with and he is so nice and it seems like he totally likes me, but he's just a nice guy, that's just the way he is, and he has no intention of either making out with me or letting me make out with him. I think the guy is going to be there who does beer tricks, he crushes cans of beer on his face, or bites the heads off of small animals swimming in beer. There will be the weed guy who always has weed, and will smoke it with you if he knows you, or if you introduce yourself to him and listen to stories of his trip he took to Europe. Finally, you will be there. You're the person who always....oh, yes, that's right. You're the one who loves to watch the game.

See you there!

Saturday, January 25, 2003

This is for a dating book (for women) I am writing with five other people which will be out in April. It's kind of corny, but it's comedy related so I thought I'd put it up.

There are close to a dozen stand-up comedy clubs in New York City. About 90 percent of the comics who perform in the clubs are male comedians. Most of those comedians range in age from 21-35. There are older and younger comics as well, and females too, but this is what most of the clubs are working with.

Because females aren't funny? Yes, if you ask Jerry Lewis. No, if you ask us. But that is a debate for another time. Right now, we're focusing on finding you a dateable guy.

Stand up comics are generally single, as they travel from city to city to do shows at colleges, bars and night clubs. It's a very independent lifestyle, full of cheers and boos, booze and cigarettes. Many comics I know stay single because it is hard to find people who are willing to tolerate that special something that makes a person become a comic.

And some are happily married, so who knows? Maybe a comic is just what you needed in your life.

Jennifer, one of NYC's comedy club bookers, says she only dates comics. "I know it's not the best idea to date the people you work with, but I love comedians. They are funny, they are passionate, believe it or not, a lot of the guys are actually pretty shy and sweet."

She probably is not referring to Andrew Dice Clay. She's referring to the young up and coming stars of tomorrow who are working out their material on the stage for their future sitcoms.

Take Tom, for example. Tom is a 30 year old stand up comic. He is single, by choice. "It's hard to find a girlfriend being a stand up comic," Tom told us. "Girls automatically assume I'm going to be loud and crass all the time, just because some of my jokes are a bit edgy. The truth is, I'm a pretty quiet guy. During the day, I like to watch tv, I work out and lately I've been really into yoga."

Comics are typically very sensitive people with extreme egos that get fed by the energy of an audience of people, laughing at their jokes. This is not the case for all stand ups. Some of them really are obnoxious.

We met Chris one night in a comedy club on the upper west side. "I hate dating," says Chris. "The women I meet at the clubs are all the same. They come to the comedy clubs to try to hook up with a successful comedian. Then they don't feel so badly about not having their own careers."

While we don't necessarily agree with Chris's opinion, it does leave the door open for you, an independent, strong minded woman to stand out in the crowd.

So, you're in the club. A hot, tall, slender, future movie star has just left the stage to uproarious laughter and applause. You see him walk to the back. His head is up, he looks confident. He's probably in a really good mood, just having "killed". Look to see if he's going to meet his lady. If he's not, it's possible that he doesn't have one, or she might be there cheering him on. It's a good idea to wait a few minutes until he's had a chance to let his stage buzz cool down, so he settles back into the reality of regular life. It's a pretty quick process, maybe about five to ten minutes. If you are bold enough to go alone, walk over to him and say something very simple about his set. It is just as good to go by yourself or approach him with an entourage of friends. That will create a bit of a spectacle and all his friends will be envious, which will make him really want to play it up. "Nice job up there" or "You were really funny" is generally all it takes to win him over. He will most likely thank you and immediately humble himself to you. For all he knows, you could be an NBC executive or a friend of one. He will most likely ask your name, and if he doesn't, just put out your hand and tell him. "I'm Sarah," you say. "Oh, nice to meet you, Sarah," he will reply. "I'm Jeff." You shouldn't worry too much about conversation, he will most likely jump into it, unless he's got another spot he's about to run off to. You can flatter him by asking him where he'll be next or if he has a website you can look up. Most comedians do have their own url and are booked at several show locations weeks or months in advance. He will no doubt be flattered and thrilled to have a pretty girl politely pestering him in front of his comrades, as that is why comics are in the business of getting attention.

After you walk away, don't be surprised if one of his comic buddies comes up to you and tries to mack. The good thing about comedy clubs is, the guys hang out in packs, and they are very competitive for a lady's attention.

Be careful about basing your opinion of a comic on his stage personna or the first meeting. A lot of times, a stage presence is just that. He is doing a job, and when the job is done, he goes back to being normal. Most comics are not at all what they are like on stage. A lot of people expect comedians to be constantly cracking jokes and always poking fun at everything. That's not necessarily the case always. Most comics get bothered if you go up to them and insist they be funny. Also, keep your funny jokes or stories that you think they should try on stage to yourself. How would you feel if someone came to where you work and tried to tell you how to do your job? It's annoying and no one likes it, so be considerate of that.

Once you get to know him better, then maybe you can berate him with your funny boss stories, or how crazy your mom is. Until then, just buy him a drink and get to know eachother.

Comics like to stay out late, and the business calls for it. It's a vampire lifestyle. Most comics sleep until the afternoon unless they have a meeting or a supplemental day job. Then, they get ready to go out and perform around 6 or 7 and are out until sometimes 2, 3 am or even later.

The best time to go out to a club to scope out the comic scene is on the weekend, because that is when the handsome and most talented comedians are performing at the clubs. Bring a pack of wild girls and go have a great time. Be supportive and most important, laugh, if you think he's funny. Don't call out to them while they are on stage, unless you want to get verbally smashed. If you heckle, it might turn out funny and it will definitely be fun for you, but it could mess up their flow. If your obnoxious blabbering caused him to mess up his set, generally he is not going to want to befriend you. If he's a strong enough comic, he should be able to pull through, but sometimes a bombing can't be helped. Maybe it was a friend of yours, though. Then you have a perfect excuse to go up and apologize for your friend and tell him you thought he was funny anyway.

It's also a good idea to go to a smaller, alternative style show, like Luna Lounge on Monday nights which is produced by Comedy Central, or Upright Citizens Brigade Assscat. The crowd there tends to be more intelligent, younger, and hipper. The comedy clubs generally attract a more bridge and tunnel or out of town crowd.

Just because a comic bombs by the way, doesn't mean they aren't funny or worth talking to. Some comics have off nights. It happens. A guy who gets your attention even if he didn't leave 'em crying in the aisles is going to appreciate your feedback and consider you very special and smart, different than the losers who didn't get him or his jokes.

Don't be a tag-a-long. After you give him a few compliments and chat briefly, you will know whether or not he wants to hang out with you or be alone. Sometimes comics just want to go over their material or listen to the tape they made and see how they can improve their act. Don't take it personally. He's at work. Remember that. The comedy club is a good place to meet a guy, but then after that, you want to remove yourselves from that situation. Set up a date for another time at a place that is not a comedy club. Most comics don't want to hang out in a comedy club if they aren't performing. They're there all the time. Comics are different than any other type of person you've ever met, in the same way that doctors are different from lawyers are different from anchorpersons. They all hang out in their own little world, but at the end of the day, everyone wants to be loved. Why not be loved by you?

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Important Public Service Announcement
by Jessica Delfino & Kurt Metzger

This was sent out as a Believe Chicken mass email, but is based on a story I heard on the news.

I was watching the news tonight when I saw a story that brought one tear to my two eyes, so each eye had half a tear. In a borough of NYC somewhere, far, far away from the safe part where we all live, an elderly woman was raped by a young man of 16 or 17.

This upset me very deeply, because the elderly should not be getting raped. I have particular interest in this case, because my grandmother is elderly – and at high risk for rape.

Why are young people raping our elderly? I believe it is because there are no programs that teach our children how gross it is to have sex with the elderly. I propose an after school program where our adolescents will be brow beaten with stories of how disgusting even consensual sex with old people is, and strongly encouraged to stop raping them.

Together, we are delivering a message: Adolescents need to keep their hands on their books, and out of the giant bloomers of the elderly. The elderly should be respected, not bent over their little Rascals by hooligans.

This week at Believe Chicken, we want to help. Bring all your pictures of the oldest people you know. These photos will be distributed by us to children who we think are at risk of raping the elderly. We will also be voting on an anti-rape campaign slogan. Some suggestions are:

Nye means Nye
Don’t rape the Elderly – When they were young, bread was a nickel
Old People – They’re bad at fucking

Thank you.

Now to the funny!

@ Nightingale, 13th St. & 2nd Ave.
Showtime – 7 pm
Cheap Drinks - Happy Hour from 6-8 pm
Awesome DJ from 6-7 and then after the show
$2 cover

Featuring your hosts Jessica Delfino & Liz Laufer
And a slew of comics:

Liam McEneaney
Andrea Rosen
Danny Cohen
Bernadette Pauley
Ray Field
Tom Daddario
Tom Padovano
Sasha Guilla
Sheldon Wickowitz

Also: starring special guests. It’s gonna be a great time, so make sure to come by, and don’t forget those photos.

Be There. Believe Chicken.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

It's an interesting format that you probably have never seen done before.
First, Jessica Delfino and Chelsea Peretti are in charge of this show. They get
on stage and sort of represent the comics, joking and getting the crowd 'ready'
for the show. Then, there are comedians who tell jokes on the show. There are six.
They are all funny (except for two of them, who I won't mention by name.)
The rest are funny. All of them. Except for those two.
82 W. 3rd St. at Thompston St.

ACEFV to W. 4th ST.
NR to 8th
6 to Bleecker
Taxi to 82 W. 3rd St.
$5 cover, one drink minimum (coffee or tea costs $2)
(How) I Got Off My Ass And Got On Drugs (Again)

I went through a very dark period of my life where I quit smoking marijuana. I don’t like to talk about it or really even think about it, but it was my life. It happened to me.

Every day of not being stoned was like a different day over and over again for me. There I’d be, just sitting, watching tv, eating a whole entire bag of donuts with one hand and a whole entire bag of popcorn or peanuts with the other, when I realized, you know what? I’m not stoned and I’m still engaging in the munchies like I never stopped smoking pot. I’ve got all the food and none of the buzz. I don’t like this feeling. It made me feel like I was truly on my way to being fat without any reason behind it. I didn’t want to be one of those fat people. I wanted to know exactly how it had happened. I wanted to be able to blame it on marijuana.

What is the most important thing in my life, I asked myself, hypothetically, not exactly expecting myself to answer out loud back to me. But strangely, I did answer myself. And this is what I said. “Marijuana, and comedy. Comedy is the most important thing to me. I love it. I like to make people laugh. I like to make myself laugh at myself making people laugh. There are many levels to it. It runs very deep. It’s sort of interesting, and at the same time not, really. Marijuana is the thing that makes comedy not feel so depressing and also makes eating for four fun.”

What I said really affected me. I was like, “Hey, wait a minute, me. You’ve got some really good insight here. But here you are, sitting on the couch, stuffing your face and not prioritizing. You know what is important to you, yet you are not doing that thing.”

And I had me. It was totally true. I should have been out doing comedy, my lips fresh off a fat doobie. So I called up my friend who is always quick to try to push a joint down my lungs. I said, “Hey. What are you doing?” And he was like, “Nothing.” And I was like, “I was wondering if you know any spots tonight?” And he was like, “Why don’t you come over and we’ll smoke this J, then we’ll go do a spot?” And I was like, “I don’t smoke weed.” And he was like, “It makes comedy fun and not depressing. Those are your words, you know.” And I was like, “I’ll be right over.”

I arrived with a bag of chips as an offering, because I don’t know how to pick wine out the right way. I gave him the chips. He was standing on a ladder, packing a fourteen foot bong. He was scooping the marijuana out of a cat litter bag with a pair of salad tongs. He looked at me like I’d just walked in on him wacking his bag off. And in a way, I felt like I had. I was like, “Um…I thought we were gonna smoke a J or whatever.” He was like, “Well, I have a lot of weed and you don’t smoke, so I figured I’d just make you help me smoke a lot of it.” So, smoke is what we did. I climbed up on top of that bong, and I huffed, and I puffed, and I fell over.

When I woke up, three days had passed. I was in a room in a house I’d never been in before. There was a lady named Fannie who was yelling at some dirty faced kids. There was also an older guy eating ice cream out of the container with a fork. I knew I had made the right decision to start smoking marijuana again. I think it was a Tuesday, because I had no idea what day it was, and that is usually the day I come around in the week and say, oh, yeah, it’s a new week.

So, I hope you’ve all learned something here. 1) Smoking marijuana kills the pain of following your dreams. 2) Smoking marijuana gives you multiple excuses to be able to do things that seem to be stupid ideas to others who are more organized in life. 3) I can’t not smoke weed because it’s not fun to not be stoned.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

The Hudson Hotel

Tucked into a corner of midtown that I never would have noticed if it weren't for flames shooting out of the side of the building is a house where continental trend followers and New Yorkers in the 'no' set up shoppe. You would guess the place is kewl from the outside fire holders shining away as if to light some kind of medieval cavern. Here, capped men stand in appropriate costume, waiting, gloved, to open the door for a Hermes suitcase set and it's owners, Mr. Foreign Currency and Ms. Cigarette filter, whom, by the way, are NOT married. As soon as you walk in, a hot blast of air presents you with the personna you need to enter this world.

Up the yellowed escalator you go into a city of dark wood and beautiful everythings everywhere you look. The music sings itself to you without you even noticing you've never heard the words to the song before. The hotel, which you wouldn't even be able to call it if it weren't for the fact that people pay money to sleep in private rooms equipped with beds and showers, is basically divided into four parts to the average lay-success story.

First, to the left is a set of elevators. Walk towards them. Now, turn right. A long hallway/tunnel shows you the way to the best room in the house. The Library has books, but you can't reach them. They line the wall for hours, high and far away, tempting the literate in all of us. Will we never get to touch said sweet spines and caress silken pages from out of print versions of obscure titles and glorious masterpieces? A stranger and I had a deep and thought-provoking discussion about whether or not the books were even real. They look like a photo, perfectly stacked and set, side by side, paper backs slid in for effect, a pathway around them, taunting you to step.

The real books line the walls - gigantic versions of intelligence, shocked with images of innocent pornography or architecture. Photo books for dummies to peruse - famous buildings, Maraini, Robert Mangold, Brassai - books that people who don't like to read distract themselves with. Party pieces. Table clutter. Every one as beautiful, large and oblivious as the next.

A studio apartment sized pool table spends it's time lounging in the middle of the room, befriended only by 4 enormous wooden pillars. Does anyone even care? It is ornate - polished, sexy, creature-like, always entertaining, being touched and admired, swallowing balls.

Two chess actual tables keep in the far corners of the room, but mostly serve as a place to set vodka gimlets, merlot and ashtrays, which are never full, none of these things. The nearest neighbors are two flat screen computer monitors accompanied by a mini-virtualy indestructible keyboard and a remote hard drive, connected, of course, to the internet. But who's checking their e-mail? No one.

The furniture - leather, except for an occasional brushed metal chair. Everything a warm tan. It makes you want to sit on it, sin on it, become friends with it, lounge, rub, nap, drink as you perch upon it, suck you in. Welcome to the Hotel California in New York City, the truest devil town.

Let us take a look at the fireplace before we walk out, because there IS one. No where else in NYC have I seen an actual working, burning fire place, so this is something to behold. So, there it is. Back we go, out the long corridor, past the elevators, here, we turn left - this way - and walk through the lobby past the mile or so of registration desk. At the end of the horizon line of counter space, to the right we see the velvet roped entrance to the Hudson's own personal nightclub. I don't care for the nightclub so much because I am a terrible dancer, except when I am drunk, when I magically take on a talent for the dance, just before embarrassing myself via vomit. Dancer or not, I do like the space. The floor glows, the alcohol flows like alcohol, into my mouth, people stake out every square inch of this sceney room. The music is loud and I am feeling too drunk to keep my balance, so out we go again to the restaurant.

Straight down we stumble, until we reach the 30 foot ceilinged 'cafeteria' as they call it. Hmm. When I think of cafeteria, I think of a place where at age 6, I once hiked up my knee skirt until it became a mini, pulled my shirt down and filled my lunch tray with wierd pizza, mashed potatoes and some kind of bean. At the end of the line, the lunch lady firmly grabbed the hem of my skirt and much to my shagrin, yanked in down, down, down, back into place. I don't, however, think of long mahogany tables, end capped with huge cathedral chairs, a truly delightful waitstaff, a menu decked with food items so pleasing to the stomach they could only be from another planet, and the sexiest foreign men you ever saw to your left, right and across the way. Everything you eat there is prepared with the 'best' in mind. This is going to be the 'best' Macaroni and Cheese foie gras you ever had. The 'best' lobster bisque, tomato and mozzarella salad, penne pasta with shrimp and tomato. It's so good, you don't even mind that you are so full you have to force feed yourself the last few bites of your banana split and that the check for four totalled $273.

Finally are the rooms. Thank the waitstaff, sign your room tab, and follow me back around to the elevators. Into the elevators we go, which are a party in themselves. The walls of the elevators are lined with some funky metal that makes you feel like you're in a space ship. Music plays so you don't get bored for the 45 seconds it takes you to get upstairs. Once to your floor, you are greeted by a sci-fi looking lobby where you can purchase snacks, get ice or sit and talk for awhile with the man you met at the bar before you make your final decision as to whether or not he should get to see you o.

Back to the room, you go. It's been a long night of partying, eating, barring, fireplacing, poolside conversating, leather chair sinning, wooden floor taking in-ing and now it's time to watch bedroom shadows. The rooms are tiny. Two people are too many. The bathroom shower has a transparent wall so the relative who you are sharing the room with can watch you shower from the bed. There is a small tv up in the corner, a miniature desk, a hallway just big enough for a starving model to slip through, and a bed so big, you can't think of anything else you've ever wanted to do more in your entire life than undress and lie down, dreams already forming behind your eyes. But due to the practically flawless course of the evening, it almost seems like enough just to sleep - at the Hudson Hotel, dreams are a plush, sweet, classy bonus.

Saturday, January 4, 2003


By day, I'm a jobless, hopeless, meandering freak. I wander from subway car on the 6 to subway car on the N or R, sometimes W, watching people, listening, waiting for something interesting to happen that can be morphed somehow into a crowd pleasing bit. Sometimes something happens. A fat lady carries a large bundle of inflated balloons? Where? What is she, a big fat clown in the circus? What is her agenda? A drunken bum yells at an invisible person sitting next to me because the train never takes him where he wants to go. He stands up and shows the empty seat his torn pants - sliced clean through, as if cut with a knife. What does this mean? Was he in a bum fight? Is this even funny?

Sometimes jokes are born not in the outside world, but in my head, as if by radio broadcast. I'm sitting, eating a cracker, when, blammo! A joke about getting kissed at a lesbian christmas party under the camel toe crawls out of my ear and punches me in the face. As long as I hear, feel, smell, whatever, that little vibration, that 'joke alert' sensation that I am so familiar with, the joke is alive, and soon to be down on paper. Maybe it will make it to the stage later on when I go back through the day's musings. But most of my jokes have the life span of a fruit fly, and are dead even before they get to reproduce or grow wings.

At night, I am a comedian. I get to let my little ones go out into the world. I pick them up, I throw them off the roof, I try to teach them how to fly. Many of them fall to the ground and break their legs, I can see the future before they even hit the tops of the people's heads. But every once in a while, a strong one comes along, as if given to me as a gift, when I'm not even supposed to be able to have this privilige. A special one. The inspiration for the joke, the father, who I don't even remember sleeping with - a cracker, a banana, a ride on the bus. A piece of gum flattened onto the sidewalk. The cold-ass wind. So many forces of nature, modes of transporation and pieces of food are responsible for impregnating me.

That's where I find the little fat babies, because most of my friends are evening friends. At night, we congregate and talk and mutter and write things down in the dark rooms, and we share insight and we talk shit and we complain and we fear the future, all together at the very same time in the same moment. But during the day, I'm a jobless, hopeless, meandering freak, and like a homeless person looking for leftovers, I wander from subway car, to subway car.....