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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Snakes and what you do for family!

I was told today that we (meaning Myriam and I) would need to transport two pythons to Santa Maria next week. Needless to say--I am NOT thrilled with this prospect. For those of you who do not know--


Let me put this another way. A few years back when a snake escaped from the Bronx Zoo--I was honestly afraid that said snake would make his way to Long Beach, California and eat me in my sleep. I was a wreck until the cobra was apprehended.

My brother-in-law, David has a pet snake in his condo. Even though I love him very much (David--not the snake)--I have never been to his house simply because of his pet. "Ivan," the name of said snake often goes missing for days. The thought of him just slithering out from somewhere unannounced makes my knees weak.

Last year I had an opportunity to meet Betty White. (BTW--if I could meet ANY person in the world--it would be Betty White) She was going to be at the LA Zoo, and we are members there. Problem was--she was dedicating the new reptile habitat. I just knew that if I went to this event--a snake would get loose causing me to die of fright right then and there. Needless to say, I did not go--forfeiting what might've been my only chance to meet the one and only, Betty White. Here is a picture from the dedication.


I've already had two panic attacks whilst writing this post so I'll proceed with the story. Next week we need to transport these two pythons, and I'm not quite sure what to do. I'm a courageous person and no one can tell me otherwise. I'm also a person who knows and respects my limits.  I think that asking me to drive two PYTHONS (not tiny regular snakes) but PYTHONS is a very very tall order. Guess what? I'm going to do it. Here is why:

This past year has taught me a lot about the importance of family. Family is the one thing that people should be able to count on. We've all had ups and downs as far as our families are concerned, but the bottom line is this--we get back as much as we put in. As we each get older--so do the members of our family. Then--before you know it--a whole generation is gone. I'm at the point in my life where I have no grandparents left. Myriam just lost both her maternal grandparents. Time takes us all. So while we still have that time--we need to do what we can for the sake of family.

Myriam (my partner of 14 years) has an uncle who might just be one of the most courageous people on the planet. A decorated war hero, Henry fought for the rights of this country. After returning from Vietnam, Henry developed Schizophrenia. He unraveled very quickly and has been living with severe mental illness for over 40 years. He carries on. Sometimes he doesn't bathe, so eating establishments won't allow him to come in for food. Most people avoid eye contact with him which must cause a feeling a loneliness that I could never explain. Still Henry gets up every day and does the best that he can. He sells do dads at the swap meet or trades his wares for animals. Henry loves animals. They have been his constant friends.

Well, long story short--Henry is now 68 years old has had two strokes and is battling Parkinsons Disease. He's currently in a mental hospital and will probably never be able to go back to his home to be with his animals. While the family looks diligently for a good place for Henry to live and get the care that he needs --I sit helpless with a heavy heart. Myriam goes and sits with him every single day. Tomorrow I will get an opportunity to hang out. I'm hopeful that Henry will tell me about his animals--yes--even the snakes. So--my gift to Henry is this--I will drive his Pythons to their new home and I will adopt his 23 year old Iguana who is the size of toddler. It's family. There was really never another choice.

Please send love to the Gurba family--especially to Henry. Thanks for reading. I'll try to be back tomorrow. I have a show tonight. Haven't been on the stage for a while so I'm looking forward to it. Still in a funk, but am trying to stay as positive as I can.

Until next time--

TJ

Friday, August 24, 2012

Welcome to being in a funky town. Population: 1

There are days when I feel like a very accomplished person.
There are days when I feel like my entire life has been a waste of time.
There are days when I feel both.
Today is one of those days.
In fact, I've kind of felt like that for the last two weeks. While I am so grateful for all that I have, I'm still struggling mentally, physically, and spiritually.

My biggest problem seems to be lack of motivation. I simply cannot find verve. I've lost all enthusiasm, and it really really sucks. I'm not writing these words in hopes of getting people to "pep me up." It's just the opposite. So many people have reached out to me. I just think this is something I need to process alone. I'm not sure. Only time will tell. In the meantime--please do not take my absence personally. I'm just in a serious funk. Here is how bad my "funk" is. If someone called me and told me that Betty White wanted to meet me for dinner--I'd probably decline. If someone knocked on my door and offered me a job to do comedy--I'd probably decline. If someone offered to move in and become my personal chef--I'd tell them not to bother because I have hot pockets in the freezer. If someone gave me a scratcher that was guaranteed to be worth $--I wouldn't even bother to scratch it. Yes, I realize that this all sounds so ridiculous and that makes everything worse. I have friends, a job I love, a comedy gig every night of the week if I want it, the most amazing partner a person could ask for, a family who loves me.......

I also realize that so many people have reasons to feel low yet they do not. I'm angry for feeling this way, but I can't seem to snap out of it. I need a goal, a purpose, something to spark a drive. Instead--I sit in front of the TV or in front of my computer feeling numb and useless. I've been wanting to blog for ten days. I've started a post every single one of those days and then decided that I had nothing to say. So today I decided that even if the post was gonna be sad or inane--I had to do it anyway. Do I feel better for getting everything out in the open? Sadly, no. Whatever.

Myriam has been beyond patient with me. She just let's me go through what I need to, and that is the very best thing she can do.

Lots happened in the last few months that may be contributing to my funk. Some things are little, but some have been big. Here's a list of some stuff that may be affecting my mood:

1. It's been unbearably hot. The inside of our house has not been below 85 degrees in over a month. Also, I'm going through menopause. The hot flashes along with the heat wave make me feel like I'm living inside a crockpot. The heat has caused sunstroke, dehydration, and migraines. I'm also unable to sleep or eat and that is really fucking up my body and mind.

2. I have a muffin top. Myriam says I do not, but she is wrong.

3. This country is a mess. The issues that politicians are choosing to take on are a complete waste of time. The GOP is insane. Discussions of rape, abortion rights, and gay rights should NOT take precedence over important issues. It's simple. rape is rape, my body my choice, how will my marriage affect anyone's life? RIDICULOUS! It's 2012. How is this even happening?

4. I miss working on the film, and I miss Bridget. This parting ways thing has been difficult for me. I'm actually going through a grieving type process.

5. School has started, and even though I love teaching--I'm tired of the bullshit. I'm tired of the laziness, the lack of respect, and the entitlement that this generation shows. It is so disheartening to see.

6. I feel like I don't even know my own story. I found out some stuff this summer that has derailed 23 years of what I thought was true. I'm left wondering if I even have a story to tell or if my own shame was what caused my wretched path to where I am today. I no longer feel courageous.

7. Ruby's Diner got rid of their sliders. They brought one back, but it's not the same.

8. I've had to watch (without being able to help) as Myriam deals with some very tragic, trying, and sad times. Her courage astounds me.

9. We have no money. No money!!

10. I found myself tapping my toes to a Toby Keith song last week.

11. Everyone I know is so busy. Busy busy busy!! I want to be busy or I want my friends to be less busy. I'm not sure. It's not like I'm motivated to call them or anything. Geesh! Wendy Jo's schedule MIGHT just be driving me insane. I have something to share my dear! LOL.

12. I feel old. I do. I look old, I feel old, I smell old. It worries me. A student asked recently asked me if I knew that Nicole Richie's dad used to be a singer. WHAT? OMG!!!

13. Jerry Nelson and Phyllis Diller both died this week.

I guess I'll stop the list at 13.

Ok--so there ya have it. That's my post for today. In a nutshell--I'm not doing well at all. I'm hopeful that I will snap out of this funk soon. In the meantime--send me love. The following pictures sum up my last month. Cheers!!

TJ







This video made me smile a little bit!!

Funky Town REMIX mash up--starring Richard Simmons

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pure and simple food, haircut, and tinysuperstars parting ways



I like postmodernism, but it's getting a little out of control. For those of you who do not know--postmodernism is the putting together of things that one normally wouldn't combine.  That is of course MY definition and it's quite elementary at that, but I think most people just want simple interpretations so there ya go. In graduate school I was forced to read Foucault, Butler, Jameson, Derrida, Wittengenstein, yada yada yada and I think they all pretty much say the same thing--when you put stuff together that doesn't belong together and it works--that's postmodernism. Anyway, I think it's getting a little out of control.

Here is a short list of some of the things I think should be left alone. See, sometimes the pure and simple should just stay pure and simple. It's all food and beverages. Let me know what you think.

1. Chocolate chip cookies and grilled cheese sandwiches.


YES!

YES!


NOOOOOOOO!

2. Martinis

YES!!

NO!!

Maple Bacon! NO!


NO!!!

NO!!

3. Pizza


YES!!!!

NO. I MEAN, NO!!

Good Lord, NO!


Yeah--salmon belongs on a pizza! NO!

Really?

4. Burgers
YES! Simple and elegant!

Donut Burger? Yeah--NFW!

For God's sake--just eat the meat!!


A burger on pita--hell no!!


5. Soda

YES!!
The inventor of these should be shot! So wrong!



Ok so there is my opinion on some of the foods that I think should be left alone.


I think the song "Shoop" by Salt n Pepa is one of the greatest songs ever written. I believe I will sing that song at karaoke this week.

Here is a snap of me and Izzy right before she cut my hair. I LOVE Izzy!!

Here are two snaps of my little buddy, Olen getting his haircut,

BEFORE

AFTER!
Ok--that's it for today. Tomorrow I am going to San Diego to do my final interview for the film. Bridget and I have decided to part ways for a few months while she works on putting together all of the footage. I'm pretty certain that my presence makes her anxious and I'm also pretty sure that if I was out of the picture for a while--she will feel inspired instead of pressured. The artist needs space to create. I fully respect this. See--I always like to know what's going on. If we take a break and I go away for a month or two or three--that will give B Naj time to focus and just be! Once that's over--there will be a film of some sort. A B Naj original that I cannot wait to see. To read more about the adventures/misadventures of filmmaking, please visit tinysuperstar,blogspot.com

Thanks for reading, everyone. I'll be back tomorrow with something very witty to say.

TJ

Monday, August 13, 2012

A dozen things I never want to do

Hello blog readers. I promised I'd post every single day, so here we go. It's gonna be a short post, but a post nonetheless.

I like lists. I always have. I think it would be cool to write a book of lists. Some people have bucket lists--you know, stuff they want to do before they "kick the bucket." Of course I have a bucket list, but tonight I thought it would be fun to talk about some things I never want to do. Things that other people might enjoy.

1. See a whale
2. Ride in a helicopter
3. Read Shakespeare
4. Surf
5. Meet Tom Cruise
6. Run a marathon
7. Participate in a Civil War reenactment
8. Golf
9. Run with the bulls
10. Build a sand castle
11. Go to Australia
12. Cliff dive

Told you it was gonna be a short post. Tomorrow I will discuss postmodernism and why I think it's getting out of hand. Thanks for reading. Like I said a few days ago, I had been putting a lot of time and energy into the tinysuperstars blog and project. I've missed my own stuff so it's good to be back. Until tomorrow, TJ

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wendyx2, I'm up to a lot, and Nellie

Hey readers. Thanks for checking in. Even if I don't feel like it I'm determined to write on this blog every single day. Quite frankly--tonight, I don't feel like it, but alas, here I am.

Shout out to my friend Wendy Jo. I'm pretty sure that Wendy Jo and I are soul sister mates.  I'm grateful to have her in my life. Her humility and dedication speak to my inner......well......my inner something. What I am trying to say is that she is pretty important to me, and I'm glad she is in my life.

Shout out to Wendy Jo's alter ego, Wendy Ho, Wendy Ho is a brilliant performer with balls the size of coconuts (that she doesn't even bother to "tuck") and a mouth that makes Bob Saget blush. She's crazy y'all and I adore her. PLEASE check out Wendyho.net--especially if you like nasty comedy at its finest! Here are a few of my favorite videos. BTW--this bitch is a pioneer. Just makin' sure you all know that.



Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse
Oprah Winfrey Video
Yes, I'm a Ho Album preview

I'm pretty sure that the three of us--meaning Wendy Ho, Wendy Jo, and me, TJ, are gonna be doing some shows together soon. No more details now--but definitely keep up with what's going on. You will NOT want to miss out on what is about to happen. I promise.

Ok--what else?

I think most people really want just two things in life.
1. To be loved unconditionally.
2. To be able to pay their bills.

If you have both of these--consider yourself blessed beyond measure.

I would really really like to work with Alison Angrim. I think if I had to pick one person to do a show with (besides Wendy Ho) it would be her. I think she would really like me. Also, I know more about Little House on the Prairie than ANYONE in the world. I'll challenge anyone! Even--Alison--Nellie Olsen!



I've decided what I want to do with the next 4 years of my life. It's a secret, but I'll fill you all in at a later date. I'm actually pretty excited about it. I've never felt more focused.


The Bluegrass Festival is NEXT WEEKEND!!! I love banjos so very much, and cannot wait to go.


Well, I've recorded the Roast of Roseanne and I really wanna check it out. She too was a pioneer in comedy, and she's kind of a badass. She's also insane--but we will save that for a later post!


Thanks for reading everyone. Come back tomorrow for more brilliance!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Love and Hate

I'm on a mission to post on this blog every single day. Thanks for reading, everyone. Here's my day in a nutshell!

Myriam and I went to the memorial service for our friend, Tatiana, and It was beautiful. I'm so honored to have known her and will miss her very much. She touched thousands of lives during her short 51 years on this Earth. Thank you Tatiana for your bravery, your truth, and your open heart. Godspeed!


It was too hot to do anything. I napped, drank slurpees, watched really bad reality TV, and watched about 37 parody videos of Call Me Maybe. Yes, I know that I am pathetic and I do not care. Actually--if you stop and think about it--you'd all love a day where you could be that lazy.

A friend sent me a link to a Dolly Parton song done in Dubstep. I woulda puked, but I had In n Out for lunch and didn't want to waste a good meal on a bad song. The end is near, people. If you don't believe that--give dubstep a listen and tell me that's NOT Satan trying to take over the world. Also, Skrillex needs to wash his hair.






Ok--what else? I think that's it for today. I'm really hot and tired. I guess I just wanted to share how much I love Tatiana and how much I hate Dubstep. Thanks for reading. I'll be back tomorrow with some really interesting stuff. I promise!

TJ

Friday, August 10, 2012

Let's catch up--shall we

Hey Ghettopolitan readers. I've been away from this blog for a ridiculous amount of time. There are several reasons for this. As you all know--I've been working on a comedy career as well as a documentary. Bridget (the filmmaker) and I started a blog when we decided to make the film so I've pretty much just been posting on that one. I will continue to post on that blog, but would really like to get back to my own because I have missed it very very much. I guess what I will do with this post is get you caught up. I like to do shit in list form because if I don't--everything just seems to sound like one long convoluted mess of a thought. So....without further ado......here are some highlights of what has happened since my last post on April 18th, 2012........

1. I'm still making a documentary. Let me rephrase that. I am still co-producing and appearing in an autobiographical documentary. Bridget Najour is the one who is actually making said film. To follow our adventures and misadventures--check out tinysuperstars.blogspot.com.



2. I decided to leave teaching so that I could pursue a career as a full time comic.


3. I decided that I could not leave teaching. I love it so much. The semester starts in two weeks. I'm still doing comedy though. Basically, I'm doing both.


4. Myriam turned 35. We celebrated her birthday at Descano Gardens. It was wonderful.


5. I turned 41.

6. My cousin Blaine and his husband, Jeremy came to Cali and stayed with me for a week. It was AMAZING and I cannot wait until they return.


7. I got to meet my very favorite character from GLEE!!


8. I won the best of OC all stars comedy competition.


9. Myriam lost both of her grandparents.


10. I performed about 50 shows.


11. Myriam KILLED it at the LA Library Storytelling series.


12. Myriam got laid off from her teaching job. Here she is on her last day of school--grading done--


13. I had a short documentary made about me. The focus of the film was on how awesome I am and my love for GLEE!

Short doc done by Chapman students

14. I went to Iowa and performed for hundreds of people. It was pretty amazing.


15. While in Iowa--we had a steller vacation with friends and family. Here is one pic, but click here to read about my Iowa vacation and see lots of pics. blogpost about IOWA

16. We went to Santa Maria to visit family and friends.




17. Life got easy.


18. Life got hard.


19. I got a banjolele and started taking lessons.

20. Myriam had sinus surgery--aka--an inside of the nose job.


21. I kicked it with some friends








22. And I learned a lot along the way.












That is all. I think everyone is caught up now. Thanks for reading. Look for a new post tomorrow. Cheers! TJ