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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Update, honoring those we lost, stores that need new names, and some other cool stuff

Let me just start off by saying that I am truly amazed with the number of peeps who read my blog. When I disappear for a hot minute--everyone starts messaging me wondering when I'm going to post. I really don't think that I have much to say, but since y'all seem to like it--here it is:

In the last two weeks I've had three more deaths in my life. 9 deaths of family members and friends in nine months has made this year pretty rough. Sadly, I will inevitably lose another one before the weeks end. I'm feeling sad, nostalgic, inspired, and a little scared. Life is short. My biggest fear has always been dying all alone. Ya know--no one knows, no one cares, no one will come to pay respects--the whole thing. People tell me that I am silly, but it is a very real fear. We all want to make some kind of "mark" on this planet--to be remembered for the good--and frankly, we all want to be missed. The only thing I can do is just carry on with life, offer what I can, and do my best. Quick shout out to those we (Myriam and I) lost this year:

Ricardo Serrano, Maria Luisa Arcelia Serrano, Tatiana De La Tierra, Mel Valentine, Alvin Krogh, Alan King, Yelsin Orge, and Sam Gerloff.

Papa O

Uncle Alvin
Sam In between his parents Bonnie and Dennis

Myriam's Grandmother



Ok--now I shall move on to a few topics that are a bit more light hearted.......politics and religion. JUST KIDDING!

The new Joan Rivers book I Hate Everyone Starting With Me is brilliant. I purchased the audio version from I prefer the audio version of celebrity memoirs because the celebrity actually reads the book. If you need a good laugh--I highly recommend listening to Ms Rivers rant about what she hates. You'll love it!

I cannot believe the show Pawn Stars is still on the air. Chumlee needs his own show--he is the reason Pawn Stars is still on. No one likes "Big Hoss", or Rick, or "The Old Man"--they are just three arrogant fat bastards who threat each other like crap and pretend to know everything about everything. I'd like to find one person who watches the show because of those three morons. Chumlee is the man.



Most of you who know me know that I am not a fan of Huntington Beach, CA. Not only is HB the American capitol of hate crimes against LGBT--it's also.......well........nevermind. I just do not like it. Today I was in Huntington Beach for a meeting when I heard someone yelling at me from a pickup truck. I cringed and waited for the derogatory slur that was inevitable. To my dismay--the next words from the "dudes" were--your name is TJ, right? Yes. Saw you at a show--you are hilarious! Skeet skeet skeet! Then they gave me the "rock on" sign and drove away. I'm not gonna lie--I liked it. Felt pretty good especially since I had braced myself for some bashing! Thanks dudes. Keep coming to my shows.

There are several businesses that need a name change. Here is a list of ten of them!

1. 24 Hour Fitness
Guess what? If you are not open 24 hours--then you shouldn't be allowed to say that you are.

2. BJ's
Do I even need to say why? Apparently they don't want any lesbians to frequent their establishment. Who gives a rat's ass about the pizookie? I can make a big ass cookie at home.

3. Nothing but Socks
Um.....they also sell hair things and cheap jewelry.

4. Trader Joes
I've tried to barter there--they do not allow it--so the "trader" part should be eliminated immediately.

5. Planned Parenthood
A lot of people who go there didn't plan ahead so there

6. In n Out Burger
Because the burgers are so amazing--no one is EVER just in n out. It's 90% waiting--so in wait and out would be better.

7. Old Skool Yogurt (it's by my house)
There is nothing and I mean nothing about yogurt being "old school." Trying to spell skool more gangsta' makes it even weirder. Gangstas eat ice cream--not yogurt

8. Jack in the Box
I like it and think the name is kind of clever, but when someone who is ESL works the drive thru window--they always say "Welcome to YAK in the box may I take your order?" Um.......Yak? Yeah--never mind. Now I'm picturing throw up and that is the most unappetizing thing in the world.

9. Buffalo Exchange
They never take ANYTHING so there is no exchanging about it. BTW--being a buyer at B.E. is the most powerful job a hipster can have.

10. The Dress Barn
Why would anyone go into a place called the Dress Barn?

I have more, but I'll leave it at 10 for today.

Thy have remade the movie Steel Magnolias with an all black cast. The premiere is October 7th on LIFETIME. I cannot wait. Here is the trailer.

Steel Magnolias Trailer

My comedy is going well and so is this semester of teaching. As soon as I get back to being 100% health wise--I think things will be even better. I'll be at Flapper's Comedy Club on Thursday and at The Irvine Improv on Saturday. I'm working on a cool new project with Wendy Ho, and I'm super stoked about it's potential and the fact that I get to work "wif my boo on the regular. "I'm also getting ready to produce some great comedy shows in Long Beach, Orange County, and L.A. First show will be in October so watch out for information on that. As far as the film "The Artist Formally Known as Trina" goes--everything is pretty up in the air. I'll probably have a better sense about the status of that project before the end of the year, and I promise to keep you all posted. Several of you have written to me about said project. All I can say is that patience will prevail and it will all work out the way it's supposed to.

There should be a law stating that Christmas music cannot be played until after Thanksgiving. I mean it.

I'll leave you with a song by The White Buffalo. This song reminds me of growing up in the country and it makes me think about the awesome times I had with my little brother. I post it today in honor of Sam Gerloff--who also grew up in the country. Sam had 4 siblings and I'm sure they all share fond memories of BB guns and dirtbikes. I send the whole Gerloff family my love. Tomorrow is Sam's funeral and I really wish I could be there to support Bonnie and Dennis as they bury their young son. That has to be the most painful thing in the world. Godspeed, Sam.

BB Guns and Dirtbikes

I'll be back soon. TJ

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Short post with 10 horribly amazing songs.

Hello blog readers. Thanks for checking in. All is well in my world. I'm extremely busy which is a nice switch from having way too much free time on my hands. Today's post will be short, but at least there will be one.

Here is a list of 10 horrible songs that I love very much. These songs are so bad that they are good. Chances are most of my friends and readers will like at least 7 of these songs.

1.  Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson
What does that song even mean?

2. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
You know all the words too so don't even judge me.

3. Billy Joel. Any song by Billy Joel especially We Didn't Start the Fire
The synthesizer is so overused in his music, but that's what makes it so amazing.

4. We Built This City by Starship
This song is the nucleus of my teenage years

5. Barbie Girl by Aqua
BRILLIANCE! I want to make a video of this song starring, ME!

6. Friday by Rebecca Black
Best worst song ever

7. Beer for My Horses
Who would give beer to a horse? Toby Keith--that's who.

8. Dilemma by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
Nelly and Kelly? Nuf said.

9. Dancing on the Ceiling by Lionel Ritchie
Recently I had a student ask me if I knew that Nicole Ritchie's dad used to be a singer. I plan on failing her at the end of the semester.

10. I Need A Doctor by Eminem featuring his lover, Dr Dre.

Ok--there you have it.

Yes it's true. A "Real Housewife of Orange County" petitioned to be in my class. I did not let her add.

I have nothing else to say tonight. It's been a long day. Myriam's parents arrive tomorrow and will  be here for a few days. Also, I will be performing at The laugh Factory tomorrow night at 8:00. It's going to be an amazing show.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

GLEE recap, words of wisdom, facing another fear, and what is going on

Hello blog readers. Thank you for checking in. I'm happy to say that today's post will be a bit more upbeat than the last few.

As you all know-- the summer was overwhelming for both me and Myriam, then I fell into a bit of a depression. As depression bouts go--this was a bad one. I'm thankful to say that I am officially feeling better and that things are on the up and up. Ready? Here we go.

GLEE was amazing. The cover of "Call Me Maybe" was so bad that it was incredible. The "camp" genre never fails to disappoint. I know not all of you are Gleeks like me, so I'll keep this portion of the post brief.
1. I miss Santana and Mercedes.
2. Puck, Quinn, and Finn--yeah, I'm fine with the fact that they are gone.
3. "Kitty" is a sad substitute for Santana, but I can see myself adoring her by episode 3.
4. Rachel needs to fall in love with that hot boy at NYATA
5. Kate Hudson. I LOVE her, but do not know about her role in GLEE. We will see.
7. I love Unique and Britney.
8. Next week=BRITNEY 2.0 where the cast will do Britney Spears' songs. One of my students is in next weeks episode. I think it's gonna be great.
9. Last night I laughed, I cried, I cheered. Well done.
10. GLEE!!


Ok--on to new business. Well, the last few weeks were a bit trying for me. I was having some medical issues that pretty much scared me to death. Long story short--headaches, loss of vision, dizziness, balance problems, numbness on one side of my body, and uncontrollable twitching. I of course went to WEB MD and freaked myself out. I finally decided to go to the Dr. After a number of tests and a lengthly conversation with my Dr--she voiced her concerns. She said that I needed to get an MRI immediately and did not hesitate in telling me that this might very well be brain related--i.e.......tumor. Several thoughts ran through my mind including:
How will I tell people?
This will be quite interesting as far as the documentary goes. It could be a goldmine for tinysuperstars inc.
I need to get stuff in order.
Yada Yada Yada.........I couldn't eat, sleep, was crazy.

Here it is--the results are in:

My hip was dislocated and one of my ribs had somehow moved out of place. I've been "straightened out" so to speak, and now I am pretty much back to normal. I'm not dying.

So---the medical issues along with the stress of dealing with 7 friend/family deaths in 5 months, making a documentary, trying to change careers then deciding not to, having to turn down being on the Ellen show, and adopting a lizard who is the size of a toddler probably contributed to my depression, lack of motivation, and overall sense of doom. Thank you all for your patience and for your love and support. I'm grateful to be back with "the living."

Here is what else is going on:

1. I've been asked to host and produce shows at both the Irvine and Brea Improv. This is a huge opportunity and I'm looking very forward to it. Also--$$ is involved which makes it even cooler.

2.  I've been working on creating a curriculum for Japanese college students who are interested in learning about American culture. This course will be taught by me in the spring. I'll post the brochure when it's ready. Fun Opportunities Abroad is taking this proposal to Japan next month. They will love me.

3. Gonna be catering a wedding for a friend. They love bacon and cheese and potatoes.

4. I'll be opening for Justin Tranz next month. He is a world famous hypnotist. The two of us will be performing at the irvine Improv on Saturday, Sept 29th at 11:00p.m. I will also be at the Laugh Factory on Wednesday, Sept 19th at 8:00.

5. My nephews are pretty much ruling the football field, and I am very proud of them.

6. My latest project involves colleges and universities, comedy, controversial topics, and taking education of race, class, and gender to a whole new level. Oh--and I have a pretty rad P.I.C. (partner in crime.) Look for more details on this very exciting adventure.

7. Bridget and I are still on "break" and I miss her very much. Several of you have emailed me about the film, and I'm really happy that everyone is so excited. All I can say is--it will be worth the wait. We went through a lot to get to the point of post production. I'll be back to posting on tinysuperstars in late October. Making the film has already been life changing for me. I'm proud to have been a part of this project.

8. Myriam has several readings coming up. Also--her blog "lesbrain" is amazing. We have officially begun the planning process for our 15 year anniversary party. It'll be next summer. There will be performers and sno cones. BTW I consider myself to be the luckiest person in the world because of my relationship with Myriam. Just thought you'd all like to know that.

All is well. Thanks for reading. Be back soon.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pythons, Public Speaking, Papa O, and Politics

The end of summer is here and I'm actually really glad about that. Both Myriam and I are looking forward to the next chapter. I am by NO means a religious person, but I am a spiritual person and I love the words in Ecclesiastes 3. You know--There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity........

Here are my two favorite versions of Turn! Turn! Turn!. Listening to neither will add nothing to your day. Listening to one will cause reflection. Listening to both versions will be life changing and will make your day more meaningful than you ever thought. True story.

Turn!Turn!Turn! The Byrds

Nina Simone Turn! Turn! Turn!

It is no secret that Myriam and I have had quite a year. If you wanna know what we've been up to--check out previous posts, my other blog, or Myriam's FYI--if you choose to read Myriam's blog, bring a dictionary along. She's pretty avant garde if you know what I mean. Anyway--long story short--we've dealt with everything from filmmaking to funerals, and the trials and tribulations continue. We've both been trying to stay present in each moment, but it has been difficult.

My current situation is this:

I'm a middle aged comedian struggling with severe depression while going through menopause.
I'm a young at heart educator struggling with the laziness and sense of entitlement of today's college students.
I'm a bleeding heart liberal struggling with the idea that Mitt Romney might be our next President.
I'm a brilliant person struggling with motivation and follow thru.

All of the above things infuriate me, yet I lack the ability to process and express the sadness and anger. I will try very hard to sprinkle bits of funny throughout this post, but above all--I will remain honest. I do understand that there is a time for everything--I just didn't think the "everything" would come all at once.

I want to progress--to evolve if you will, but I feel I am moving backwards. It's not backwards in a cool Benjamin Button sort of way--it's a backwards like--I guess it's hard to explain. I'm living the not so fun not so inspiring version of Eat, Pray, Love. Yeah--that's it! Muffin top, is there a God, loss!

Ok--that's enough of that. I'll attempt to lighten the mood. Here are some good things, some questions, and some fun observations:

What is pinnacle? Does anyone under the age of 100 know how to play this game? I think I'd like to learn.

I drove two pythons to Santa Maria. I'm writing a story about my new love affair with snakes for the next issue of The Betty White Newsletter. I'll be sure to post it when it's done.

I'm headlining a show on Friday. Should be a good time.

I.LOVE.PINTEREST!! It makes me happy.

Why is it that when we see weird things in a museum--we call it art, but when we see weird things outside of a museum we call it mental illness? Something to think about!

That's about all I have for today. I wanted to pay tribute to a dear friend who I lost over the weekend, and talk about how wonderful my semester is going, and discuss the ins and outs of raising an iguana, but I'll save those tidbits for another day. I will leave you with a photo of my friend, Yalcin, who I met nearly 20 years ago. Papa O has always had a special place in my heart. He taught me more about myself than he will ever know and I consider myself blessed beyond measure to have known him. His death has devastated my soul, but I am so grateful that he has found peace. His spirit will always be welcome in my home.  Here he is with his family--I'm proud to call them all my friends!

Thanks for reading. Comments are awesome--especially ones with little pep talks.

PAPA O with Leila, Kim, Missy, and Suzie

Have a day that you can be proud of!