Spoiler Alert!!!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you anything about Star Wars or Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead or Max and Ruby.  This spoiler is TOTALLY about Bobbing for Popcorn!

TOMORROW is our ONE HUNDREDTH POST!!!  1 – 0 – freaking – 0!!!  I’m kind of pumped about it.  When I started this whole thing I thought I’d have a fun little Lenten challenge and tell some goofy stories about my childhood and some social commentary about subjects that wouldn’t necessarily polarize people.  I love talking about quirky things, I love writing, and, above all, I love making people laugh.  I never expected the response I’ve gotten from this little hobby.  I am humbled and psyched simultaneously.

However, TOMORROW will be very different.  And since it’s going to be different, I asked for some help from some very special people.  I’ve talked about the comedy troupe I perform with in past posts and I am fortunate that these fellow performers are in my life all the time.  Anyone who has performed on stage knows that your cast mates turn into a sort of theatre family.  Not these people…they ARE family – we complete each other’s thoughts, we bring out the best (and worst) in each other, and we are together more time offstage than we are onstage.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have all of our troupe involved, but we did gather a healthy helping for tomorrow’s celebratory post.  ALSO, unfortunately, at no time do we explain who these people are, so just to get you ready for tomorrow here’s a bit of a visual aid:

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 8.57.18 PM

So get ready for something new.  Be patient, we’re venturing out in unfamiliar territory for your entertainment.  And if you could have a few heavily loaded Tom and Jerrys before checking out tomorrow’s post it would be greatly appreciated.  It is scientifically proven that we get funnier the more you drink.  Mazel Tov!

“I don’t care if the turkey said the dog was a turkey! The dog is not the turkey! The turkey’s the turkey, you turkey!” ~ A Muppet Family Christmas

Thank You…

Today, one of my bestest friends in the world visited me at work and brought me a “cortadito” – a cup of sweetened Cuban espresso – which is heaven in a cup.  He is also an avid reader of Bobbing for Popcorn as well as a frequent collaborator in my escapades and has been mentioned many a time throughout my posts.  When it came time to start writing this blog again, I asked him to help me refresh my list of topics I should write about and one of his suggestions was to write thank you notes for things that I appreciate.  Things that make a difference in my life.  And today was a rough day – in fact, it’s been a very rough week – and in he walks at the right moment with a friendly smile and one of my favorite beverages to brighten my day.  So it just seems fitting that I dedicate my first “Thursday Thanks” to…

Coffee.

What?  You thought I was going to be thankful for my friend?  Oh hell no.  Today royally sucked – if he showed up without the coffee, there’s a good chance I would have shanked him with a dry erase marker!

It was that frothy, steaming, cup of caffeinated heaven that saved lives today.

So thank you, coffee.  Thank you for your percolating melody.  For your full aroma that hugs me inside my nostrils.  For your bold flavor that distracts me from all the horrible things the voices in my head would like to see me do as I find myself up before the sun.  Thank you for being so useful – warming my hands, warming my insides, warming my forehead when I put my mug against my brow when I need to feel relaxed.  Thank you for not being judgy like many of my friends are when I rub my brow on them when I need to feel relaxed.  Thank you for not being judgy about my repeated use of the word “brow.”

Thank you for giving me something to keep my mouth busy when people around me do and say things that just beg for me to say things that will come back to bite me.  Thank you for giving me something in common with so many people that I would most likely end up insulting with my lack of enthusiasm toward anything else they enjoy (“Hey, did you see the Kardashians’ butt waxer on Dancing with the Stars?”  “Nope.  Hey, isn’t this good coffee?  Let’s talk about that until I can figure out a way to leave.” ). And thank you for giving the presence of mind to not attack the people who say they don’t like you – I don’t trust these people, and I’m pretty sure they’ve come from a distant galaxy to snatch our bodies – but since I have indulged in your liquid wisdom I am able to fake an indifferent “huh” instead of straddling their chest and squishing their faces between my hands and whining, “Why do you say such hurtful things?!!”

Thank you for being so readily available (seriously, have you ever gone anywhere to eat that didn’t have it?) and affordable…unless you go to Starbucks (damn you, you weird green aquatic lady with your overpriced beverages and strange alternative menu language).  Thank you for coming in a variety of sizes, strengths, and flavors and for being so quick to help me build a tolerance that I can enjoy multiple versions of you in the same day and still allow my liver to process your caffeine in enough time to crash on the couch at 8:00 pm like an 80-year-old man who just finished a fish fry and a Matlock marathon.  Not that I have a problem with thinking about my golden years, because seniors get free coffee at some places…but for some reason you need to drink it there at like 5 a.m. and talk about things like which of our joints retain the most fluid and what’s the best hard candy to keep in our pockets…I’m guessing mine will be coffee flavored.

“Way too much coffee.  But if it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” ~ David Letterman

And We’re Back!

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years!”

Okay, well months at least.  I know, I know, I said I’d keep in touch and I really meant that but things got seriously crazy since my last post!  SO MUCH happened that I’ve been wanting to tell you about and I’ve been meaning to drop you a line a million times…

It’s not you, it’s me?

Anyway, I’m diving back in for another season of Lenten (Lental?  Lentil?) goodness of daily humor (or, at least I’ll try to be humorous, can’t promise you’ll laugh – you might be in “a mood” or something – lighten up, okay?) and I’m bringing back the fan favorite “Top 10 Tuesday” and I’ll be trying out some other new gimmicks as well just to keep things fresh.  PLUS, I really do have a ton of stuff that has happened: performed at a national comedy festival with Lewis Black, Trevor Noah, and Brian Reagan (kind of), literally demolished my house (partially), wrote a book (almost), got drunk for the first time in my life (somewhat), got into a fight (more or less), and gutted Santa Claus (in a sense).

Then of course there are some things I forgot to talk about last time until my friends and family reminded me of other “occurrences” that we’ve lived through: almost getting killed by my father’s tree, almost wrecking my father’s car with a tree, trying to take down a tree without my father…okay, so there is a lot of arboreal history between my father and I but some of these older stories WILL NOT have anything to do with trees or my father.

So before I go on and on about what I’m planning on going on and on about, I’ll just cut this short and tell you to come back tomorrow and get ready for another healthy helping of popcorn you can bob for.

“Do what you love; you’ll be better at it.” ~ LL Cool J

All the World’s a Stage

I have one of the greatest hobbies ever; I own a small comedy troupe.  We write and produce our own shows for a variety of different venues and occasions.  It’s a blast!  What could be a better feeling than knowing that you are making a whole room full of people laugh and be happy?  Plus, it’s like Halloween all year long – whenever we do a new performance, we need to buy a new wig or prop or figure out how to make some goofy object that doesn’t exist for sale: like a fake dead possum with a removable head or a life-sized Sasquatch that can burst into flame on cue (tell me you’re not curious about seeing one of our shows now).

It’s definitely interesting for my boys to grow up in this environment.  The first couple shows we did were written for male-only casts.  However, there were plenty of female parts so, in true Shakespearean form, the guys threw on a wig and a skirt and away we go! The first show had me in drag for the vast majority of the performance. So since we rehearse at my house, I was walking through the living room in a skirt and wig (looking pretty hot, if I do say myself) and my son – who was barely four – hardly glanced up from his cartoon, said “Hi Daddy,” and went back to his show without batting an eye.  I took a few more steps and then thought to myself, he should probably have more of an issue with this than he does. But, nope, in our house it just means it’s Thursday.

Our very first performance was one of our best…and one of the most difficult.  It was a fast-moving, three-man, slapstick comedy and it would have been way easier if I didn’t dislocate my knee ten minutes into the performance.  Yes, yes – my Achille’s knee was acting up again just like it did at my wedding.  I stepped wrong, popped my knee completely out of the socket…

***Please allow me to completely skeeve you out.  Take your right hand and put it on your right knee.  Cup your hand around it to get a good idea of the form of your knee.  Now, with your hand still cupped in the shape of your knee, slide it to the right side of your leg (if your leg was a clock and your knee is pointing at 12, your cupped hand should be pointed at 3).  Now look at where your hand is…that’s where I found my knee…yup, it hurt a bit***

…and I hit the ground.  The crowd cracked up (it would have been a great pratfall if it wasn’t 100% legit).  I felt sorry for one of my co-stars – this was his very first performance of any kind and there he stood frozen with a permanent grin on his face and a look of unadulterated fear in his eyes.  My other co-star rushed over to me not knowing what was wrong and knelt down next to me putting his hand (and his full weight) on my knee and popped it back in.  He instantly went pale and I was sure he was about to toss his cookies on me!  So now you have a three-man show with one guy with a broken leg (yeah, yeah, “break a leg” ha ha ha – first time I heard that one), one about to spew, and one in a catatonic state.  But, as they say, the show must go on.  Fortunately for my knee (unfortunately for my liver) we had brought a bottle of Captain Morgan to toast our performance with a shot.  My father was helping us backstage since there are literally almost a hundred costume changes in this show (mostly by me) and I told him, whenever I came back for a costume, I needed a shot.  The Captain kept the pain at bay and the constant adrenaline kept the alcohol from making me tell some random hairy dude in the audience how much I loved him.  When the show ended, we earned a standing ovation.  We have been hired to do that show more than any of our others and we’ve never had a repeat of that incident…of course, once, the catatonic grinner almost had his appendix burst during a performance of that show, but technically that is a different kind of incident. But, even then, we finished the performance (engorged appendix and all) with a standing ovation.  The show must always go on.

Even when you know the show is doomed from the very beginning.  Our friend booked us for a charity event he was hosting. It was a full day of all sorts of different events and it was for an awesome cause.  Tons of fun?  Worthy charity?  Our friend’s request?  How could we say no?!!  However, right from the booking we knew this was going to a bad day. We were to perform live improv – like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” – for about an hour. Remember when I told you we were an improv group?  No?  It’s because I didn’t.  It’s not that we can’t do improv, it’s just not our thing.  Then we heard about where we were placed in the schedule.  We were going on right before a very popular local band that was headlining the whole event and right after the petting zoo left and the dice run was over (I told you, tons of cool stuff).  So we had to do improv for a bunch of bikers and small children who were all waiting for the really cool band?  How could this go wrong?!  Quick, think of a joke that would make a leather-clad biker and a toddler who just had live animals taken away from them laugh equally hard at…can’t come up with anything? Neither could we.  I give them credit – they were kind.  They clapped and no one even remotely tried to shank us (I wasn’t worried about the bikers, but some of those preschoolers looked mighty ornery after the quarter horses and bunnies were loaded back on the truck – I think they thought we made the animals leave).

But, even with the rough performances, I wouldn’t trade my hobby for anything – unless of course I found something that paid better.  I can easily be bought!

“Perhaps I’m not a good actor, but I would be even worse at doing anything else.” ~ Sean Connery

Feel the Burn

I’m not fat.  I can’t be.  All my life I’ve been told that, so it must be true.  Oh sure, I’m something, but it’s not fat.  When I went shopping for school clothes as a child, Mom took me into the “husky boys” section. That went well in school; when other kids (who were wicked jealous of my pleated pants) called me “fat,” I quickly fired back, “I’m not fat, I’m husky.”  That promptly earned me a husky lip.

So, I’m not fat!  I’m husky, or overweight, or plump, or big boned, or extra-healthy, or horizontally tall – I’m anything but fat!  I am dedicating a lot more time and effort to my health lately – not too long ago I had quite the health scare.  I’d tell you about it now, but I could probably stretch that into a couple more blog posts, so you’ll have to wait.  I’m eating much healthier and I recently began working on my black belt in karate; true I’m a white belt, but technically I’m working on my black belt (journey of a thousand miles and whatnot).  However, up until my near death experience (see how I keep making that future blog post sound more enticing?  I’m keeping y’all hooked!) my dietary regiments were pretty much all the same – I’ll live off of Triscuits and air for about a day and half, hit the treadmill once for an obscene amount of time, then treat myself to a carton of Crisco and my favorite spoon.

There was one time in my life when I was in awesome shape – my freshman year of college – right after my super-powered high school metabolism was still engaged and I got in beastly shape to portray a very physical role on stage.  I was eating protein like I had a personal vendetta against all farm animals and I was hitting the gym daily.  I was well on my way to defined abs (not a six-pack, but I had that super sweet line cut down the middle…a two-pack?) and my legs were made of iron; I even won a bet with my buddies when I put up 800 pounds on the leg press…sure I screamed like a 3-year-old girl being chased by a shark and I couldn’t walk for 2 days, but I got twenty bucks so who’s laughing now?!  BOOYAH!

Fast forward to my college graduation and my two-pack turned notoriously B.I.G. (see what I did there?) after my metabolism and I started a relationship akin to that of the Miley Cyrus and virginity.  If there was one thing I learned from being husky, to being in shape, then to being not-fat again is this: Mother Nature is the best friend you can have – if she’s not with you, getting is shape is going to suck!  You hear all these fit folks telling people how important it is to be healthy – “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” – shut up!  I just fell off the treadmill and I’m a second away from eating you!  The first dude who won “Biggest Loser” dropped over a hundred pounds and then he springboarded right back to where he started!  You know why?  Because just about EVERYTHING tastes better than rice cakes!  He WAS thinner, so he knows how good it feels, and he probably would tell you that nothing tastes good enough to replace that feeling except HIS MOUTH IS FULL!  I’m sure being thin feels great, but getting there sucks like a Hoover vacuum factory!  Health food tastes horrible and exercise does not feel good.  Eating and comfort = bad and gagging and pain = good?  What kind of messed up math is that?!!  And the math is only one-third of the problem with fitness.

Besides the food and the exercise, the math of non-fatness makes no sense at all.  If you want to lose weight, you need to eat less.  But if you eat too much less your body will rebel and you will actually gain weight.  Wait, what?  My body is rejecting being healthy?  It doesn’t WANT me to do this?  I’m mutinying MYSELF?  If you want to lose weight make sure you don’t gain too much muscle because that weighs more than fat.  So if I want to weigh less I need to be more fatty and less muscular?  Isn’t that what I was trying to do originally? “I can’t lose the last 5, 10, 20 pounds because my body has plateaued.  It just got used to what I was doing so I need to push harder.” Hold the phone!  You spent 30 years conforming to your couch and shoveling chips into your head and after 6 months of eating right and working out, your body has gotten used to it?!!  And now you have to eat healthierER and work out moreER?  So your original healthy eating and exercise is your body’s new unhealthy norm?  How busted are you?  Why am I working so hard to go against what my body wants to do naturally?  Everything that the experts say to do gets answered, in one way or another by my body with an, “Oh yeah?  That’s what you think!”  Just because your scale is weeping less every time you step on it does not mean you are looking any better.  Back to the “Biggest Loser” folks – check out those big dudes who are dropping 15-20 pounds a week!  Yeah, sure, their hearts are getting stronger and their blood work will earn them an “Atta boy” from their doctor and a Muppets bandaid on the way out the door.  But their body looks like it’s melting!  Their fat kept everything in place and now their nipples are tucked in their pockets!  How is THAT better?  With their ta-tas hanging down to their stomachs and their navel stretching out, their torso is resembling the mask the killer wore in Scream and their gut looks just as awestruck as the rest of us staring at the Michelin Man doing an end zone dance and crying in his wheat germ because he’s back to using the factory installed holes on his belt!

Wheat germ?  Sounds like something that gives farmers the flu!  Why do the fitness folks tell us, “Don’t eat anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce” but then give us choices of foods we’ve never heard of before?  Have you ever eaten a slice of Ezekiel bread?  I have – although eaten is a misnomer because it gives you the impression that the bread has made it down my throat – and let me tell you, it was an experience.  If I made a sandwich with white bread, I would be consuming multidextrose.  A) I can pronounce MUL-TI-DEX-TROSE and B) being a literate person, I can break the word down and engage my prior knowledge to know that the “trose” has something to do with sugar.  However, Ezekiel bread contains Organically Sprouted Millets.  WHAT THE HELL IS A MILLET?!!  Is that like a small mullet?  It also contains “fresh yeast” – well that’s a relief.  Because you know what happens when yeast becomes NOT fresh, right?  IT MAKES BREAD!  My breakfast included Ezekiel’s multigrain formula, but it also comes in a HEMP variety!  Like WEED!  Like gives you the munchies and causes you to eat more bread!  What a racket.  Every time I hear the name Ezekiel, I automatically think about Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction quoting the Bible verse.  Which is fitting because I kept hoping he would walking in and “lay his vengeance upon me” and bust a cap in me to save me from consuming any more bread!  This Ezekiel bread company has done just about as much good for the Bible as the Westboro Baptist Church.  No kind and loving God had a hand in creating this bread – this is the work of the Devil if I’ve ever seen it!  Charlie Daniels needs to update his song:

The Devil went down to Georgia
And he was looking to make some bread
It’s gonna look real old and taste like mold
And be heavier than lead.
[fiddle solo]

That brings us to exercise.  The only people who enjoy exercise are pathological liars.  People enjoy the RESULTS of exercise, sure…but the process?  My friend put it best, “I have come to this realization – Working out is stupid. It doesn’t make you feel better (just the opposite), and very unlike other things that are enjoyable, I want the session to be over the second I start. You know what feels good, workout freaks? Doughnuts – Preferably from Tim Horton’s, still warm, and covered in chocolate goodness.”  I agree!  Exercise ALWAYS seems like a great idea UNTIL you actually start doing it!  I’m all gung-ho to hit the treadmill for a solid hour until I’ve been walking for about a minute and a half.  I’ve learned that I hate sweating.  I’ve learned no amount of prayer can bend time and make the treadmill clock move faster.  I’ve learned that having blisters would have made Cary Elwes’ character’s decision to hack off his own foot in Saw much easier.  I’ve learned that no matter how much it feels otherwise, I don’t think my heart will actually explode, it will just make me keep wishing for a visit from Samuel L. Jackson.  I’ve learned that exercising until a man’s body is attractive to women will back fire once they approach and find out the top half now smells much like the bottom half.  Most of all, I’ve learned that all of the people who are older than me who say, “back in the day” no one needed to exercise because they HAD to walk everywhere are full of it.  That doesn’t make you profound, it makes you old!  Telling me that “back in the day” people spent more time outside instead of rotting behind their computers typing about nothing important doesn’t…okay, you might have something there.  I’m off to hit the gym, cry in the shower, and then order some Buffalo wings.

“I tried every diet in the book.  I tried some that weren’t in the book.  I tried eating the book.  It tasted better than most of the diets.” ~ Dolly Parton