What’s a little public humiliation?…

Well, it happened again. Another very public anxiety attack. We can laugh about it now.

Or not.

Sigh.

The attack actually happened back in August. It has taken me this long to recover enough to write about it.

In August I rallied the courage to emcee for the first time at the major comedy club in the area. I had been putting this off… I had never done this before and I’m only just now, a couple of years into stand up, beginning to get over my severe stage fright. Hosting the show is an entirely different animal. As a comic, you must perform first, warming up the crowd, and then introduce each subsequent comic, making sure they stay to the set given minutes, give any announcements, and keep the flow of the show going.

I was already extremely nervous. My anxiety was beginning to climb days ahead of this show. I practiced my set, and my friend met me before the show to rehearse what to say to the audience–he had hosted several times. I was as ready as I was going to be.

I walked into the club and my friend that works there showed me the list of comics performing that night. At the end of the list were several names–add ons. My friend said that some headliner’s had shown up and asked to be on the show that night…and now the show was going to run long…and now we had to figure out how much time to allow everyone…and this is about the time my anxiety began to really escalate.

I went behind the stage and said hello to the comics back there and began to deep breathe. It didn’t help. Another friend came backstage to say hello before the show–he is a fairly well-known headliner–and pointed out a name on the list was a former winner of Star Search.

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT

The show began and I went out first. I did my set but because I was so nervous I lost my shit. My voice was all squeaky. I began to shake. I could barely hold the microphone. I was dying on stage. And I had a whole, now really long show, to get through.

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT

My friend, who was there to support me, the one that had practiced with me, kept running back to help me between comics. He was offering advice, like “Smile more!” and “More energy!” I heard “You are totally sucking it!!!” and became even more nervous–which I didn’t know was possible. I began to have tunnel vision. I was shaking so hard I had to hold the podium back stage to stand up. I almost vomited. On stage I very nearly backed into the wall, away from the audience. I don’t even know what the audience thought. I forgot a comic’s name on stage–and he had to yell it to me through the door. Jesus. I said to my supportive friend backstage, well, the worst just happened. Nothing else can go wrong now. He said oh, no–something else can always go wrong. NOT THE THING TO SAY TO ME ASSHOLE!!!!!! And just like that I went from extreme anxiety, to Thelma and Louise, over the cliff, not coming back, down the rabbit hole panic attack PTSD mode. It was over for me.

I had put so much pressure on myself as I knew that the owner of the club watched the show and determined if he would hire an emcee or feature act for the following year. I didn’t want to let him down, my friends down, or myself down. In the end–I did all of the above.

After the show, my friend that runs the club came back stage and asked me how I thought I had done. I knew instantly what that meant. I just started bawling. Like, ugly girl crying. It was horrible.

I ended up in the green room, on the couch with my supportive friend trying to calm me. It went like this:

Him: You know, I also suffer from depression and anxiety. You can’t let this get to you.
Me:(in my head) Not like this. And if you don’t shut up, I will punch you.
Him: Hey, the good news–you got to perform on one of the top four most important comedy stages in the United States! Not many people get to say that!
Me: (in my head) SHIT!! I JUST SCREWED UP ON ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT STAGES IN THE U.S.!!!!

My friend that runs the club came back to check on me and also tried to comfort me. He said well, maybe you just weren’t meant to emcee… I heard YOU SUCK AND CAN’T EVEN BE AN EMCEE and started hyperventilating again. I had two men staring at the girl bawling on the couch, staring at each other, and you could just see they were trying to figure out what the F*** to do. Like, do we just kill her? Do we call someone? Ummmm….

The good news out of all of this is that I have really good friends. Friends that I can bawl in front of and they will still love me. I love them for this.

And, I have licked my wounded ego and gotten back up on stage. I haven’t hosted again, yet, but I will. Eventually. Someday.

Peace people.

 

OH (my!) Canada..(or, I’ll take the enhanced version…)

Dear gentle readers…I have to share my latest adventure with you. As some of you know, I am a struggling stand up comic. This means that much of my time is spent at comedy shows performing in front of other comics and occasionally audience members. Once in a while I get paid by actual money for a performance and not just the standard free drink.

This week I performed in (OH!) Canada. This is just across the border from where I live, so normally this isn’t a problem. However, the night of my chosen performance, was also the night of the fireworks display across Great Lakes. Shit.

I was stopped by border control in Canada and my car searched. Apparently I meet the criteria for either terrorist or drug runner. Good to know.

Two and a half hours later (which is normally a forty minute trip…) I made it to the venue. The club was a marijuana vape lounge. It was legal. No weed is sold there, but a patron is allowed to bring their own and smoke at will.

Turns out I was the headliner, so it was a good thing I actually made it to this hazy room. Some of my comic friends were there and were very happy to give me an in service on all the devices used for pot these days. Things sure have changed since the 1980s. There are all sorts of contraptions, digital things–crazy man. High tech. Bunch of wimps. Just saying.

I was anxious to perform as I wanted to get on the road to home and try to beat the traffic. My GPS did not work in Canada (asshole) and I had used up my phone battery getting there. I went up last and did my routine…and as part of it I mention menopause.

There was a guy sitting at the vape bar (no alcohol is served…what the hell kind of bar is this???) and he looked at me and shouted “What you need is CANNALUBE!!!”

WTF??

I asked what the hell that was and if that is what the cool kids were calling cannabis these days.

Nope. Turns out it is a vaginal lubricant with cannabis oil in it.

You heard it here first, folks.

I asked him if it would make my vagina high. I asked him if I could have a free sample. I told the room this was the single best day of my life.

I finished my set and had a conversation with him. Turns out not only can Cannalube be used as a personal lubricant, you can cook with it (he told me some recipes) and he also puts it in his coffee. It was quite the conversation. He would have given me a free sample, but as I had already been searched going over, I decided not to chance it going back to the States.

So my postmenopausal ladyparts that can’talube by themselves could have gotten free Cannalube.

Damn.

Peace People

 

 

 

 

Marching On…

I survived February. It wasn’t easy. It was gray here in Michigan…cold…and it has been a year since I stop working as a nurse. It hit me hard. All of it.

To combat all that I performed in comedy shows and started a fundraising effort. Fight darkness with light.

Some of you may be aware of the situation in Flint, Michigan. The toxins in the water there, especially lead, are dangerously high. I was born in Flint and lived in the area for the first eleven years of my life. As the mother of a special needs child, I can tell you I would have done anything to have prevented the pain it was clear he was in early in his life. The parents in Flint fought to be heard for at least a year and were ignored. The lead exposure to their children has most certainly done damage. The effects are already showing and will continue to be seen for years.

I contacted a local well known comedian about the idea for a comedy fundraiser. We started Comics For Flint. Through this comedians and venues can raise donations to be used for the various charities in the city of Flint to help those affected. We are having a large comedy show in two weeks–we are not personally performing–we have well known comedians in the area donating time and a comedy club has donated their room.

I am very proud of this effort. It has helped to get me through the depression of February.

Now it is March. The sun is beginning to return. I have the shoots of tulips poking up. I am turning my face to the future. I am fighting back with kindness.

And humor. Laughter helps.

So go laugh. Today.

Peace people.

Oh my burning eyes…(or, No- no you may NOT share that story with me. )

I must have one of those faces.

You know, the kind that says, why yes, total stranger at the grocery store…it’s absolutely acceptable for you to tell me your entire life story. Starting at your conception. Or, yes, please, tell me about your uncle/cousin/aunt’s cancer/growth/wart that grew/was cured by god/was treated by vitamins.

My favorite stories are the kind that also have visual aids. In the form of photographs.

In this day of social media and cell phones with cameras…one would think that ADULTS would have better sense than the tweens/teens that are sexting.

Apparently not.

Last week alone I was having a conversation with a female friend…when she casually said hey, look at this…pulled out her phone…and showed me a picture of the guy she was casually dating. It was a head shot. And not from the neck up. HOLY SHIT. I did not react (because, remember, I had been an ER nurse, and it takes A LOT for me to react…) but I thought JUDAS PRIEST (not the band..) what the hell is wrong with people????

She wasn’t done with her pictures of him…I was slightly horrified…but laughed it off..and I pray I never run into him (after I finally was shown a picture of his face…)

Last night a male friend began talking with me about the dating scene.

Fuck (is what I thought..)

Apparently, he did as well…

As he began to show me all the pictures of the women he was either dating or had dated…their poses on the dating site…

Ummm…ladies…just a suggestion…

If you don’t want a guy like my friend showing your “cleverly positioned body in lingerie draped across a bed” to just anybody…maybe don’t take these pictures to send to just anybody???

Or maybe they just don’t care???

I commented on one picture of a woman in her underwear, taken with her phone in the bathroom mirror (given no points for originality by me…) My friend said that this was sent AFTER they had gone out…because that makes this oh so much better…

I suppose that fact that we are friends made these people feel free to share their soft porn with me.

Sigh.

Either that or I just have that kind of face.

People…keep your clothes on if a camera is around..unless you are a big Hollywood star. Seriously.

Now to go and try to burn these images out of my mind…

Peace all.

You Might Be An Asshole If, Episode 4…

In today’s episode of You Might Be An Asshole…we find today’s total douchebag disguised as my (newest) pool service dude. You may remember when I had a previous pool guy come out (Sexist Dude) who asked to speak with my husband…(umm…why??? Because he needed to tell him what was wrong with the pool heater…).

On Monday night I had my dining room window open. This window is directly next to our now infamous pool heater. I walked into the room and smelled gas. We ran outside, turned off the heater, shut the window, and called the gas company. They came out and found a small leak, tagged it and said to call the pool company (again…).

Today pool dude number two showed up. He checked out my heater, had me give him my Windex to use for the gas leak test, and then proceeded to tell me that what I had been smelling was…wait for it…carbon monoxide.

Wait, what??

I said, umm, carbon monoxide is odorless…thus it is called the silent killer…

He all but called me “Sweety” and explained that no, carbon monoxide does indeed have an odor.

I again attempted to say that I was fairly certain that it was in fact odorless, and that exposure to it would cause your cheeks to become cherry red…and before I could continue he cut me off and again explained that carbon monoxide does have an odor and THAT’S what I had been smelling (Sweety).

He fixed (supposedly..) the small leak in my heater…signed the tag from the gas company and left.

I won’t bore you with the call I made to the pool company….just suffice it to say that it was COLORFUL.

And I am considering having t-shirts printed up with my catch phrase “This is fucking bullshit” to wear and shoot out in one of those shirt cannons, should I ever go on tour. Just saying.

You might be an asshole if you are a dumb ass that is supposed to know how to fix a gas leak, and don’t know the first thing about gas.

Idiot.

In the meantime… the window remains closed…and I am going out tomorrow to buy some carbon monoxide detectors.

And maybe some wine. Sigh.

Traverse, part two (or, Another person I wanted to collect…wait, that sounds creepy..)

I have to add another post about our trip to Traverse City. As many of you may know, two of my children are adopted from Sierra Leone. That’s in Africa…just in case you didn’t know.

That means they are black–just to be clear.

We went to lunch one day at a local eatery, called Don’s Drive In.  It’s painted bright pink, and inside the booth’s are sparkly red and silver–reminiscent of the 1950’s. They serve a pretty good burger and steak fries, and home-made shakes. The kids love this place. The children’s meals are served in paper pink Cadillac cars. What could be better???

The very cute young waitress, wearing a bright pink dress and white apron, approached our table and began chatting with us. She brought back our drinks and then asked where the kids were from, nodding her head towards my daughter and youngest son. It took me a half second to realize what she meant–my first answer was Detroit?? because, duh–I sometimes forget they aren’t really “from me..” I answered from Sierra Leone–Africa.

She said that she had been a foster child and was also adopted. She gave a big smile and walked back to look for our food. My youngest son, age 11 (he will be 12 in August) looked up and asked how she knew they were adopted. My daughter and I nearly fell on the floor laughing. Because, really. Two really white parents and giant 18-year-old autistic brother and then them.

When she came back to the table I told her, with a smile, that my son wondered how she knew they were adopted. She looked at him, and said that as an adopted child, you develop a sense as you get older and can just tell when another person is also adopted. And that being adopted is really cool, because you know you are really loved and that you are special.

She brought our food to our table and I asked her how old she was when she was adopted. She said she was put in foster care at age 5 and adopted at 12. I explained that we had to wait for six long years to bring the kids home, and they were 7 and 14 when we got them–and that they had been here almost five years now.

She was super nice and friendly and cute as a bug. I just wanted to squeeze her and bring her home with us. But I have a feeling her family would miss her.

She is a foster care success story.

I want to thank her for sharing her story and for telling my son that he was special. The family that raised her–the people who impacted her–BRAVO for doing such a great job. She seems to be a great girl.

I hope someday my own children can pay it forward in the same way.

You just never know who you’re going to meet.

The universe works that way. No chance meetings.

So keep yourself open to them.

Peace people. I hope you enjoy meeting me.

Traveling to Traverse (or, I wanted to be sedated…)

I have just arrived back home from a short vacation up to Traverse City, Michigan with my family. For those of you that don’t know where that is or what it looks like there…well…let me give you some visual aids here.. IMG_1457IMG_1460It is a beautiful part of the country. That’s Lake Michigan out there…

Every year when we travel up here for my husband’s conference, we stay at the same hotel, that has a water slide in the pool area. This year the conference was held at a different hotel, in the downtown district. Silly me, with all the distractions in my life…I failed to think about how this change would affect my autistic son. Ooops.

We got into the car and I began driving the first leg of the 3.5 hour trip. My son asked where we were staying…trapped in rush hour traffic and distracted, I told him the truth…he immediately began a tantrum that would last into the next day. He began hitting the seats, yelling, and asking every 30 seconds if we could go to the original hotel.

Within twenty minutes I wanted to bang my head against the window. We medicated him with his emergency sedation med, hidden in a Reese’s cup…he calmed a bit. My youngest son, bored, asked how much urine an average person pee’s in a day…

By the time we reached Traverse, my nerves were completely shot. My son’s continual asking about the original hotel had worn me down.

The next day we convinced him to go to an indoor water park. We all went and had a blast. My son is fearless..he went down every single water slide, no matter how scary it looked. He even insisted on going down this bright orange super scary tube…you step inside this chute, the kid closes a door…the bottom falls out and you plunge down, presumably to your watery death.

I was very anxious when he climbed into the chute…I kept repeating to him to hold his nose and keep his arms tight to his body and legs still. The door closed and the bottom dropped. The young (asshole) kid running the chute, said “OH! I’ve never seen anybody do THAT before.” I asked frantically, “WHAT???” He said he had never seen anybody pull their legs up when the floor dropped. My heart fell and I ran to the rail and looked over, convinced my son had bilateral femur fractures. The (asshole) kid was next to me, also looked down, shrugged and said, “Ah, he’s fine. Who’s next?”

Next up was my youngest son…who went in the tube and immediately began screaming…AH AH AH… We all started laughing…People in line, the (asshole) kid running the chute…my son’s eyes were wild…finally the (asshole) kid pushed the button and the platform dropped and my second son fell from sight…

Now it was my turn…my heart was just pounding…I went in…the young couple behind me were staring at me, mocking me…assholes….so I tried to act cocky…but then I started to get super nervous…and I started to swear…OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SH and then the bottom dropped out and down I flew, in the dark, water trying to go up my nose, which I tried vainly to squeeze….

The good news is the force of all those water slides completely cleaned out all my ladyparts. I’m just saying. And my bikini bottom’s were turned into a thong at every landing. AWESOME.

My son was finally happy. The kids had a great time.

But.

My son has said that next year we had better stay at the original hotel.

Ok then.

I got the message.