Well, I Think It’s Finally Resolved

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Technical difficulties

I admit my graphic is no longer entirely accurate. Between making it and posting it, an incredibly nice RCN tech named William arrived and made all my problems disappear.

Thanks William.

Thanks RCN. My TV addiction lives on! The one thing I still need to do is cancel my TiVo account. So long, TiVo. Thought I’d be more sad about it, but honestly I’m not. I don’t know how much longer that company will be around, anyway. I remember when calling TiVo was a pleasure; now I’m going to have to grit my teeth to get the account cancelled.

So I still owe you all an installment of Jane Storegoer, which I promise will be coming. Just wanted to let everyone know I am still around and didn’t die of television deprivation, though it was pretty darn close!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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TiVo, RCN and the Great Tech Debacle

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I just learned that I can follow Tabatha from “Bewitched” on Twitter. Well, the actress who played Tabatha, yes I know Tabatha was fictional.

Probably.

And stumbled into this whole nostalgia pocket of actors who played parts on shows where our lives now would belong in a science-fiction world. Incredible, really.

Though I almost always marvel at technology with a schoolgirl crush, technology and I have had a little bit of a back-and forth recently. My TiVo abruptly stopped connecting to the internet. Now you would probably think that that problem would be easily resolved. After hours talking with the extremely kind people at RCN, I have been on the phone with TiVo since 9 am. Or on a chat. Or otherwise in communication. I finally got off of the phone with them at noon.

And no closer to a resolution. ARRGGHH.

It’s strange, because this moment is starting to feel like the end of an era for me: my TiVo era. I’ve given it my best, but it looks like I’ll be changing to the RCN system. It might cost a little more net, but if there’s a problem, at least there is someone who can fix it.

They’ve just been so nice about it all.

Which is good, because now I have to get back on the phone with them, because TiVo insists it must be an RCN issue.

Oh joy. The TiVo person thought I should go with the RCN system as well…apparently they no longer want me as a customer. One thing I can say for sure is I will absolutely never go through this again.

And let us all say it together: ARRGGHH.

Update: I had the most lovely conversation with Eric at RCN, and I am getting their equipment on Monday. Yay for that! He thinks that the problem lies with TiVo. Only time and outage reports will tell, but it won’t be my problem anymore. Let the new TVing begin!

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

TV Talk: Lady Dynamite

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No spoilers! I promise. So if you haven’t yet started the incredible “Lady Dynamite,” or you’re only a few episodes in, no fear.

Thank you, Netflix, for the gift of “Lady Dynamite,” because this show would not and could not have found a home anywhere else. With major broadcaster CBS passing on “Nancy Drew” for being “too female,” and then ABC  axing the two female leads of “Castle” before ultimately cancelling it, mainstream broadcasting doesn’t seem like a happy home for women-driven shows.

And this show is complete in it’s uniqueness. But before I wax poetic on the art of this show — and I’ve got my poetry wax standing by and ready to buff — this show is great comedy. It’s steeped with genuine, clever humor and shouldn’t be missed for that reason alone.

But it is so much more than that.

About a fictionalized (?) version of comedian Maria Bamford, played by the actual comedian, Maria Bamford, this show is layered art. While you can watch it purely for the tart, satisfying comedy, you can tell, watching the first time, that a rewatch will yield even more.

Bamford has Bipolar II disorder, and the show explores the impact of that diagnosis on her life. And here’s its brilliance: it does it in a surreal way, leaving you pondering what is and isn’t real, what did and didn’t happen. This feeling expands in a meta direction, because you can’t help wondering, after watching, how much of it reflects Bamford’s journey.

And you just can’t know for sure. Giving those of us without experience with Bipolar 2 insight into what it’s like to live with the disorder, which can cause hallucinations.

As I said. It’s genius.

Yet it’s utterly relatable for anyone who has had trouble navigating the grown-up world of life. Which is pretty much everyone.

Netflix took a huge risk with this show, because it’s not like anything else. And just as I love it so much I want to make it wear doll clothes and have pretend tea with me every day, no doubt there are people who will have a visceral negative reaction.

There is nothing middle-of-the-road about it. Very little television strides boldly in the direction of its conviction; many things get watered down to appeal to as wide a swath as demographics will allow.

Not “Lady Dynamite.” It is entirely itself as television can be, and it’s beautiful.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

On the Nature of Wishes

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WhenIMG_0079 I was a little girl, there was the persistent belief that you could make a wish by blowing on a dandelion. As an adult, I can now see that the only wishes likely granted that way were the wishes of the dandelion to spread its weediness far and wide, but seeing these the other day made me think about the nature of wishes.
We have so many superstitions about the objects that can prove transformative — birthday candles; necklace clasps; eyelashes — that can somehow take the utterly intangible and make it real. As though they are gateways, somehow, to the larger power of the universe, the power to manifest and make it so.

Is the world a better place with or without wishes? In a way, they are little packets of hope, whispered to no one and kept close to ourselves. But sometimes hope turns to disappointment, disillusionment. So is it better to not put faith in magic at all?

I didn’t pick that dandelion. I didn’t close my eyes or send its seeds scattering on the wind of my breath.

But I can’t say that I didn’t hope, if only for a millisecond, that a little girl might come along who would.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

The Continuing Story of Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil: Part 6

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(Parts 1-5freezer, start from the bottom!)

“Don’t come any closer,” said Jane, snapping her hand and the cardboard in a sharp sideways royal wave.

The Grand Fermenter chortled. “What do you think you’re going to do with that, meat-based creature?”

Jane stood still, her cardboard blade hand falling to her side. “Meat-based crea– Nope, no, never mind, I don’t care.” She brandished the cardboard again. “Get any closer to me and you’ll find out.”

“If ice cream cones ate popcorn,” said Barry, now on the very edge of the bottom of its cone, trying to get the best view through the rip in the top of the box, “I would so be eating popcorn right now. Best show ever.”

“Shut up, Berry,” said Jane, trying to keep track of all of the Tofurati. But especially the one with the pimento eyes. That one just didn’t look right.

“BArry BAAArrrryyyy BAAAAARRRRYYY,” it bellowed, and with the momentum of the last one, Barry lost its precarious balance and tumbled head-first through the hole, landing on the bottom ice cream down with a soggy splat.

“Ouch,” said Barry.

“Serves you right,” said Jane. “If it wasn’t for you,I wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“Your mess has only just begun,” the Grand Fermenter said, his eyes gleaming in the now-brighter fluorescent light making its way through the top of the freezer and into the hole.

Barry struggled to right itself, its cone pointing straight up. “Help? Anyone?”

“I’m warning you,” Jane said, cutting air with the cardboard, “I’m not afraid to use this thing.” The Tofurati advanced, undeterred, as Barry tried to lurch its way free.

“You fool! What do you think we are, silken? We’re firm tofu, meat-based creature. Super-firm tofu. We’re the rubber bands of tofu. That thing will bounce right off of us!”

“Do you really want to find out?” Though her tone was confident, her heart pounded, and a hot fear kept the her from feeling the cold. They were close enough now to poke at her with the asparagus spears, which bent with every wet nudge.

The one with the pimento eyes was right on her, the red glowing softly in the shaft of light from above. Jane jabbed at the Tofurati with the tip of the cardboard. Her hand rebounded sharply back at her.

“I told you so.” The Grand Fermenter’s smile left her colder than the freezer did.

“Seriously? Just a push? One push?” Barry said.

“Seize her, Iris!” commanded the Grand Fermenter with a stately brandish of his spear.

And then Jane felt the jiggly stickness of malevolent tofu surround her.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

 

 

 

Fridaying My Way Through Writing

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It’s a solidly gray day here in Chicago, and I’m hoping I haven’t fallen off the blogging wagon. I skipped a day yesterday, the first since the A-to-Z Challenge.

Bad me.

I am in a very odd space of inspiration and non-inspiration, thinking but not quite ready to do. I’m hoping that like water suddenly retreating from the shore amidst an eerie silence, that I am on the brink of a creative tsunami.

We shall soon see.

With the show halfway through its run, and my only responsibilities picking up cake and refreshing one of the props, it’s time to return my attention to my original writing. My real writing.

I have such romantic visions of sitting down and doing the work, but anyone who has ever written anything knows how that tends to go. Just ask Spongebob.

But when that rush of creativity hits, there’s nothing much you can do other than be carried away with the tide.

And that might be a tad more romanticizing.

I also have editing to do, with a manuscript that needs to convert from draft 1 to draft 2 at some point.

This sketch comedy writing has been fun in many ways, and I’ve picked up a lot of great, transferable skills, but short-form sketches aren’t who I am as a writer. So for me and Spongebob, it’s time to hit the pencil and paper.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

TV Talk: Castle

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I used to truly enjoy the campy mysterious goodness of “Castle.” Or, to be more precise, I used to truly enjoy the campy mysterious goodness of Nathan Fillion in “Castle,” because the mysteries themselves weren’t all that tricky. It wasn’t difficult to spot the killer in the first 15 minutes, which made for pretty stress-free viewing.

The thing that made “Castle” fun to watch was the interaction between mystery writer Richard Castle and cop extraordinaire, Kate Beckett. Their romance was really the engine of the show; the rest was standard procedural fare, populated with fun characters you didn’t mind inviting to your house once a week.

In summary, “Castle” wasn’t exactly enlightened viewing. It’s no “12 Monkeys,” for example.

So when I read that Stana Katic — the actor behind Beckett — was out for a possible season 9, I was disappointed. And then more so when I heard Tamala Jones, who plays a snarky medical examiner, was also out.

The two major female characters were cut from the show.

I’ve always loved Nathan Fillion, a) because I am a straight human female, and b) because he has always exuded the effortless, humor-packed charm of a man who has a highly-functioning brain, which is also appealing.

But all of that vanished when this show, reportedly due to conflict between the stars, dropped not only the female lead, but the second most-prominent female character as well.

Was a unique character like Beckett simply disposable? Replaceable?  After eight years?

I literally stopped watching the show as soon as the news broke. I’d loved that this strong, intelligent, brave detective-turned-captain was an equal partner to the crime novelist. But by firing her, and the only other major female actor, the show told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was wrong.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Want to know what happens to Jane Storegoer before everyone else? Sign up for my spamless newsletter, and get new episodes in your inbox on Fridays!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Neurotrash, the Second Week

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Our illustrious director came up with this graphic:

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And I just had to share it because I thought it was hilarious. And pretty true. Granted, we’re not Tony Award-winning. But then again, neither is Hamilton.

Yet.

Anyway, our second show went really well, the tweaks were tweaked and it came together really tightly, and our cast killed it, as per the usual. There was no potential food poisoning with the cake on Saturday, as it had been stored in the freezer, and for this Saturday’s performance, we’ll have a new piece.

What kind, you ask?

Whatever is the one that has the hopeful sticker on top with a $1 off coupon saying “We made too much!” The last one was carrot cake. This one? Hmm. I’m thinking something in the vanilla family.

And here’s an interesting little tidbit: for all my friends too far from Chicago to make it to the show, you can stream it! Tickets are $6, but apparently do not count toward our ticket sales, alas. But at least you can see what the fuss is about.

You can also live-stream it on the night of the next performance (Saturday, 10 pm central) if you want to feel like you’re there. You can have even have a drink handy.

You know. Because there’s booze.

So we’re halfway through our run, and the show is only getting hysterical-er. My props are holding up (ish), and we’ve got two more to go!

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Want to know what happens to Jane Storegoer before everyone else? Sign up for my spamless newsletter, and get new episodes in your inbox on Fridays!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

The Continuing Story of Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil: Part 5

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freezer(Parts 1-4; they start from the bottom!)

“Vegania?” Barry said, a hint of moisture gathering along his sprinkles.

“Yes,” said the Grand Fermenter.

“But Vegania is far lower, under the Permafrostbitten Layer of Perpetual Freezerburn.” Barry’s voice quavered with more than the cold.

“Vegania has grown and conquered many lands, including The Space of High Turnover.”

“What the heck is a Vegania?” Trying to get the sauce off of her hands, Jane ran her hand along the cardboard below her. Until, like some kind of organic soy-based superglue, the thinned stickiness stopped her hand dead. She was stuck.

“Ignorance. Such shocking ignorance.” The Grand Fermenter wiggled his spear in Jane’s direction. “But little can be expected from one so reeking of…animal-based products.

Jane tried twisting her hand to loosen it, but it stayed put. She made a mental note to check out the box so she could use the sauce for her next glue-based emergency.

“Look here, Grand Fermenter. There hasn’t been any official notice about your kind encroaching–”

“Silence, dairy-based creature!” He blobbed his way closer. “Surround her! You will be taken to the Cruciferous Florets where you will be sentenced for having the audacity to wear those shoes.”

Jane put a little shoulder and arm into it, but still couldn’t pry her hand from the cardboard. “These are synthetic,” she said.

“I know,” said the Grand Fermenter. “They’re just awful.”

“Gotta agree there,” said Barry.

“Seriously, Barry, what is your problem?” Shifting all of her weight to the side, Jane tried to yank her palm away from the floor.

“That you were trying to eat me, maybe?” The ice cream topper on Barry’s cone cocked itself to the side as it raised a single cookie crumb eyebrow.

“You were going to eat him? EAT him?! A sentient dairy creature?” The Grand Fermenter’s olive eyes folded a fraction, giving the effect of them narrowing. He straightened his stovepipe hat with indignation, leaving it more askew.

“In my defense, I had no idea of that at the time.”

“Advance!” the Grand Fermenter jabbed the spear upward, as upward as possible as his semi-solid fingers tried to control it. The other Tofurati glopped their way to Jane, their spears more or less pointed at her, some more, some less.

“Well, this didn’t turn out the way I expected,” said Barry, making sure it could see the goings on without the danger of being in asparagus’ reach.

As they got near enough for her to smell the hint of chili in their sauce sheen, Jane, with one final, massive pull, heard a slow rip. Her hand was up, yes, but now attached to a jagged blade of cardboard.

She looked at the approaching Tofurati, looked at her hand, and smiled.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Want to know what happens to Jane Storegoer before everyone else? Sign up for my spamless newsletter, and get new episodes in your inbox on Fridays!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

 

 

Chicago, Get your Neurotrash Tickets!!

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Tomorrow night, “Neurotrash” rises again for week 2! So, Chicago, if you enjoy hilarious pokes at everything from love to birth control to technology to beloved childhood television series, come join us at Donny’s Skybox Theater in the Second City Training Center at 10 p.m. Saturday night!

You can drink during the show, so there’s that, too. Tickets are $13, unless you are a student, then they are $11, and if you are a Second City Training Center Student, they’re just $7.

And did I mention the drinks?! Also the props are incredible.

Yes, I made the props.

Come join us! It’s a fun night.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Want to know what happens to Jane Storegoer before everyone else? Sign up for my spamless newsletter, and get new episodes in your inbox on Fridays!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!