Friday, April 27, 2007

L.A. Sign Of The Times #6


Monday, April 23, 2007

Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up


I wish gossiping*** as recreational sport would just go away. I have people in my life who are incapable of keeping their mouths shut. How do I find out if they've talked about me? Because someone else has told me about it because no one can keep their mouth shut anymore. Revealing someone’s secrets is tantamount to being the General on a battlefield. It gives us a sense of power, of being In The Know. But the poor General may forget that the enemy has a General too. So, loosely translating from this rather questionable analogy, it means that while you’re spilling somebody else’s secrets, someone is likely spilling yours.

***And by gossiping I am not referring to anyone in Us Weekly Magazine. I’m reasonable, not insane.

In no particular order I also want these things to go away:

- Telephones in films ringing 26 times before the actor picks up
- Babies in films crying for 17 minutes before the actor notices
- Dogs in films barking through scenes when actors are talking
- Asking me how to get to the Hollywood Sign
- Manicurists immediately addressing each other in Vietnamese the split second I yell Ouch (she big baby)
- “Let me know if you need any help”
- “No speeka Ingleesh”
- “Tonight’s specials are”
- “I don’t eat gluten”
- “I’m a fruitarian”
- “I’m wheat intolerant”
- “I’m just big-boned” (unless you’re a man saying it and then I will pay attention)
- “Can you help me move?”
- “Can you drive me to the airport?”
- The Fitness Made Simple song. I can’t get it out of my FUCKING head once I hear it
- Entertainment Tonight and Extra saying You Heard It Here First. No we didn’t because Perez Hilton had it 48 hours before you did so please get over yourselves
- Fitness made simple, made for real people...
- Fuck
- End of chat

Saturday, April 21, 2007

TAURUS

© 2006 Clayboys

Best with: Virgo, Pisces, Capricorn, Taurus and Cancer
Fair with: Libra, Aquarius, Scorpio, Gemini and Aries
Difficult with: Leo and Sagittarius

Happy Birthday Barbra Streisand, Cher and Dennis Rodman

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Withholding Taxes - Part 2

After Dad asked me if he had suffered a heart attack, in that small instant that I had to answer him, I thought about lying. But I knew that some other dumbfuck doctor would come along and tell him so I told him the truth. I’ve often wondered if that’s when he took a turn for the worse. That the fear of a bigger attack had turned him towards the light.

While Dad was in the ICU, my sister and I started bringing a flask of vodka on our visits. Every time there was an update from a nurse or we heard another family break down crying, we reached for the flask. And I did what I always did when something overwhelmed me. I joked around. One day Dad called me over to his bed and motioned for me to bend down close to his face. “The people here like you, they all tell me how you try and make everyone laugh. But you know what? No one likes a smart mouth.”

And there you have it. Knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door and that’s all he had to say to me.

Ever since my friend Clark died and I was not there for him, I am now the person who takes care of my friends and family if they’re in trouble. And no rejecting motherfucker of a father is ever going to take away that part of me.

Your father did the best that he could, you say. No. He didn’t.

I’m so tired of people using that as an excuse to absolve others of their behavior. I know when I’m being an asshole; a three year old knows when they’re being an asshole. Everyone knows. Everyone knows.

Dad's lawyers kept asking us where the will and the trust were and we couldn't find them. I suddenly remembered that years before he had sent me copies in L.A. I had no choice but to leave Dad and my sister and fly home to retrieve the documents. He died while I was gone. I don't think that was an accident.

I wrote a novel about my disastrous sex life and the story of my sudden addiction to alcohol after years of being a social drinker and how I eventually quit, then slipped, used it to get me through a surgery and then quit again. As I wrote it, story after story presented itself to me with the same ending. And I finally made the connection. My Dad had stayed on the East coast and yet followed me everywhere I went. The writing of the book illuminated my darkest truth; every time I had taken a drink it was to mask the pain of being ignored. It was really simple and yet totally complicated. I didn’t have a disease, I didn’t need a meeting, I needed to wake up and start issuing pink slips.

In the last two years I have finally rid my life of anyone that treated me like my father. The list was as long as it was variegated. I had surrounded myself with a cluster of Punishers because I was addicted to being ignored, dismissed and otherwise overlooked. It’s all I knew. And I carried it with me from town to town, state to state, country to country and person to person. It’s really no surprise to me that I became a standup comic. Approbation from an audience became a life’s mission, a subconscious and useless attempt to plug up a hole that could never be filled.

I’m hyper vigilant now with people I meet. In a way I’m lucky because if I’m around them for a while and suddenly I feel like drinking, I know that person is not someone I should keep in my life. In some silent sign language of the heart, they have communicated neglect and disregard to me and I’ve picked up on it. As time goes on, my reaction time gets shorter.

What if they apologized? You ask. Withholders and Punishers are not Apologizers. Because that would make them wrong and the one thing a withholding person can’t do is admit they’re wrong. They get defensive and re-explain what happened, thinking that it’s you that are dense and just don’t ‘get it’. I get that a person who thinks highly of themselves will think highly of others. They will apologize because they would want to be apologized to. But The Punisher has such self-loathing and low self-esteem that he or she projects it onto you. They treat themselves poorly, so they treat you poorly. Yeah, I get it.

I don’t blame any of the people I attracted; I take responsibility for that. I don’t believe in a random Universe, so I believe they all served to show me the way out of the deep hole I was in. The heartache over my breakup with Elvis, the love of my life, was what eventually sent me spiraling downward in alcohol. But ultimately he saved my life since I finally figured out what was wrong. And I will never, ever again have anyone in my life that ignores me. I’m all sold out.

End of chat.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Withholding Taxes - Part 1


This picture of me was drawn by my mother when I was four. She made the dress, too. Bright blue with different colored ribbons sewn around the top. She said I spent a good part of that year saying, “I want my Daddy.” I have spent my entire life saying that.

So here it is another April and whenever I see the words Withholding Taxes, I think of my father. Because he was the most withholding man I ever knew and it taxed me as heavily as a million dollar fine from Uncle Sam would have. He died in 2001 and yet it took me three years past his death to deal with his rejecting legacy. I often look at this picture of the little 4 year-old me and wonder when exactly after that did my father turn against me.

While I was living in New York City, I had a Yorkie that at eleven years of age got diabetes and Cushing’s disease and eventually went blind. I temporarily abandoned my career to take care of him and spent two years devoting myself to my little dog. One day during this time, my father called me and said, “If I’m ever sick, you’re the daughter I want to come and take care of me.”

I had to laugh at that. When I was younger I had a Harrington Rod put in my back to fix my scoliosis and in those days, you had to spend seven months flat on your back with a cast up to your chin. Bedpans, sponge baths, TV, visitors and my Mom, who took care of me. My Dad was in the house but due to the fact that I had arrived home from California with a black eye; my father decided that he wouldn’t speak to me for those seven months. While he remained in the house. My mother had to make him put a TV in my room. I can still hear her asking him to take one from another part of the house and put it in my room and him replying “Why?” In the first month of my incarceration I would call down from my upstairs bedroom to see if he wanted to play a game of chess and he wouldn’t answer. I think once he just uttered a terse “No.” I eventually stopped asking. That was the man who wanted me to come and take care of him.

Sidebar: It was my mother who eventually told me that the reason my father didn't talk to me was because he felt I needed to be punished for getting involved with someone who gave me a black eye and for bringing him into our home. He was mad at the guy too, but he showed it by buying him 4 new tires for his car so he could drive back to California. He also gave him money to buy me roses. And he talked to him.

There are days when I don’t know whether I’ll ever get over a lifetime of being ignored by him, of having questions go unanswered, of being emotionally punished long after the infraction was committed. My reaction was always to reconnect with him, to forgive, to overlook the fact that he never told me what I had done wrong. I was needy; groveling and always emotionally begging for another chance. Because I always thought it was my fault. I must have done something wrong to cause my own father to turn against me so heartlessly. Psychologists point out that the difference between physical abuse and emotional abuse is that the scars heal from the physical.

The last year of his life he called me on my birthday and I called him on his and neither of us was home for our respective calls. Neither of us tried again. Other than leaving those messages for each other, we didn’t speak. I had lived in the cold, dark hallway of his rejection for so long that I had finally had it. He had unburdened me of the need to have a father. So when he fell and hit his head, his friends put him in a nursing facility near his home in Florida and I jumped on a plane because I remembered that he wanted me to be the one who took care of him. The irony of the situation is that my father told a friend of his to call my sister with the news. Not me.

When I got there, Dad looked awful. Emaciated and pale, he looked all of his 89 years and then some. He was disoriented. They had shaved his mustache and he had had it since the 70’s. He just looked at me and said, “Can you get me out of here?” I did.

By now my sister had arrived and we combed through a PDR trying to unlock the mystery of all his meds, many of which either canceled each other out or exacerbated the others. We took him to a hospital for evaluation and somewhere along the line he had a small heart attack. A stupid dumbfuck doctor told me this in front of my father and then left the room. Dad looked at me and said, “Did he say I had a heart attack?” (to be continued tomorrow)

Friday, April 13, 2007

That Seinfeld Episode I Did

Larry David, me and Jerry on the Seinfeld set

I just saw on IMDb.com that the next airing of the episode where I got the last chocolate babka is on Tuesday, April 17th on TBS at 6:30 pm. I have no idea what time zone that's in.

I thought I would give you some detes on that shoot back in 1994, when I still had all my teeth and was not wearing Depends and a hearing aid.

That is my own coat, pants and turtleneck sweater in the picture, which was taken at the end of the shoot and was what I wore on the show. My friend Henriette Mantel, who co-directed the Ralph Nader documentary and who is currently in Paris directing another doc, had just shot the Brady Bunch movie and we were shopping at The Gap. I decided to buy this black turtleneck and when we got to the cash register, she took it out of my hands and said, "This is on me." It lives on forever in this episode.

I brought two coats to the shoot, as wardrobe asks you to bring in your own clothes if you're not the star or co-star or even the almost-star or going-to-be-sometime-in-my-next-lifetime star. I brought in the above coat, which was a Kenzo, since my mother worked for Kenzo in Paris at the time and I had a lot of his clothes. Mom had also given me a Jean-Louis fake leopard fur which was gorgeous and what I really wanted to wear but the show opted for the more sedate Kenzo. I borrowed the scarf from a friend of mine and thin belts were in.

The picture was taken by Carol Leifer, one of the writers on Seinfeld. She was the comic at the Richard Jeni memorial that said she liked comics just a little bit better than other people. She starred in her own sitcom, Alright, Already and is now a permanent staff writer for the Oscars. I emailed her a few weeks ago and said that I regretted having her take this picture as I wish I'd put her in the shot and had someone else shoot it of the four of us.

The guy who plays my husband was not exactly the kind of guy I've ever dated in my life. Ever. He came up to me and introduced himself and said, "I'm playing your husband in this scene." I looked at him and almost said, "Yeah, right" until I realized he was serious. I thought THIS is who they think I would marry? He was overweight and balding and well, just not...hot. How could Larry David, the Executive Producer and a friend of mine, have cast this guy as my husband? Did Larry think that's all I could get?

Meanwhile, the cast fluttered around him and kept saying, "Oh I LOVE your work" and it wasn't until halfway through the shoot that the person playing the bakery counter lady told me that my so not hot husband had played the part of the grown-up bratty kid who traveled on the bus in A League of Their Own. His only scene was at the end of the movie, in the Hall of Fame ceremony. He had one scene people, calm down. And I would never have married him in real life unless he had a really good agent who would represent me as well.

A lot of people asked me if I was nervous to be on Seinfeld and I said that I had been preparing for a day like that my entire life. I felt like I belonged on that sound stage. I guess my subconscious was in agreement because I left behind my friend's scarf, my Henriette turtleneck and my Kenzo coat. The next day I got a call from the wardrobe department saying I was retarded. I mean forgetful. It was like when Elvis, a guy who I was madly in love with, came to visit me from out of state for 24 hours and left his toothbrush in my bathroom, or like the girl who accidentally leaves her thong and a shoe at a guy's place. They don't want to leave.

So the day I made an appointment to retrieve my things was January 17. At 4:19 a.m. on that day I woke up to go to the bathroom. The only reason I know it was 4:19 was because I was so sleepy I had to sit on the side of the bed and get my leg game going before I could stand up, and in the course of that time I glanced at the clock. I finally walked the round-trip twenty feet and came back to bed, happy to hit the sheets again. But at 4:29 a.m. I heard a tremendous roar and my apartment started to shake violently. I climbed out of bed, now fully fucking awake thank you very much, and tried to walk. The floor was pitching so violently that like a flying Wallenda I had to navigate it as if it were the high wire. I heard all the car alarms in three counties go off. My. First. Earthquake.

A 6.7 on the Andy Richter.

No phones, no lights and because of an hysterical lesbian in my building, no gas, as she panicked and made the manager turn off the main valve. I went out on the balcony and every resident was already outside with flashlights. They kept shining them in my face and asking me if I was okay. DO I LOOK OKAY? I wanted to scream but I couldn't talk. A woman from two apartments down walked towards me and told me I should put on some shoes. I had managed to find my Victoria's Secret satin pjs, which was a miracle in itself since I sleep in the nude and have no idea where I found those pajamas. Yes I know that was too much information but you'll live. My neighbor asked me if I had a flashlight and I looked at her and wondered why her mouth was moving and yet I couldn't hear her. The earthquake had first made me lose my voice and now I was deaf.

"SHOES, where are your shoes?"
"I don't know," I said, each word shaking like a Chihuahua. Apparently I can remember not to go outside naked but can't remember where I keep my shoes.
"In your closet maybe?"
"Oh my God, in my CLOSET! You're a genius."

You know that if I can't remember where my shoes are, the apocalypse is here.

The next day, when electricity had been restored, I heard that the Seinfeld stage had taken a hit and suffered water damage. It was such a famous show at the time that it was singled out for earthquake damage coverage. I sat in my apartment and pictured my clothes going down with the ship.

End of temblor chat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hello Buuuuddddddddddd


I bought the new Razr cell phone including the ear bud and car charger, the holy trinity package of communication, all in metallic pink because I guess I think I’m Paris Hilton. Every two years I head to Verizon to update my phone. I’ve had two Motorola’s and one LG and one I can’t remember because it was the first one I bought and that was in 1997, when I was still having regular sex and drinking. Now I’m doing neither. Great.

I was so out of the whole cell phone culture loop that I didn’t even upgrade the first one so I had it for almost four years before the laughter and derision got to this Luddite and I went in for an upgrade. Seriously, only my couch was larger than that phone.

I was one of those people who didn’t think I needed a cell phone. Honestly, how important was it to field calls at the supermarket from men you refuse to sleep with?
But that all changed in 1997. I had taken the 101 N to go meet The Impotentate for dinner in the San Fernando Valley. The Valley is over the hills, on the other side of Los Angeles, home of the Valley Girl. My car started making a clicking sound and I pulled over to the side of the road next to one of the 16,000 yellow call boxes located on California freeways. I opened the little door of the box and picked up the phone.

“Highway Patrol, may I help you?” (Actually, I have no idea what she said. I remember it was a woman but for all I know she said, “Stop playing with the roadside phones you dick.”)
“I need a tow truck.”
“Okay.”
“But I don’t really know where I am.”
“We do, this phone box is your location. Who do you want us to call?” I SO wanted to say Can You Prank Call George Bush? but I replied AAA. You can’t live in LA and not have it; if you don’t have AAA, it’s like you’re asking to break down and get killed by the Nightstalker. (If he's not dead or not in prison, don't tell me)

The next day I bought a cell phone.

So here it is 2007 and I opted for the newest technology because the pressure to keep up in LA is as great as it was in NY. It’s why I love big cities and ultimately why everyone else hates them.

I got the Bluetooth with the ear bud because in some part of my brain I thought, how hard could it be to work this thing? I bought the metallic pink one and was all pleased with myself until I saw a picture of Sharon Stone and her gold Razr and called McLoserstene.

“There’s a GOLD Razr?”
“Yeah, Dolce and Gabbana makes it.”
“You knew about this and you let me buy the stupid fucking ugly ass pink metallic one?”
“Yes Paris, I forced you to buy the pink one while I was sitting in my apartment watching TV not knowing you'd even gone to Verizon." She can be so mean sometimes.

Okay, so the gold D&G cost $400. The metallic pink one is actually kind of nice, you know?

The ear bud requires two actions. After you sync it up to your cell you strap the little bugger over your ear and all you have to do is Tap and Press. I can tap. I can press. Done.

Reading from the instructions:

Reject a call: Press and hold the Call Button until you hear a beep.

Redial last call: Press and hold the Call Button until you hear a beep.

Answering a second incoming call: Press and hold the Call Button until you hear a beep.

Put an active call on hold or resume a call on hold: Press and hold the Call Button until you hear a beep.

I now look back at that picture of Sharon Stone and notice she isn't using an ear bud. I understand.
End of ....hello? Hello? Are you there?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007