Tomorrow night 

No plans? No problem. Tomorrow night @ City Streets Cafe E. Windsor, NJ 9:30 pm free comedy. Come on out!

Cat-calling: Stop. Just stop.

Ladies, do you get disgusted when you’re walking down the street just minding your own business when some guy walking in the opposite direction looks you in the eye and says “Hey baby, you’re too fine.”? It’s annoying right? Why do men catcall women? When has that ever worked? When you ask a couple how they met, you never hear “I was walking down the street and he was walking the other way and said “Hey baby, you’re too fine!,” and I just fell in love with him right there and we’ve been together ever since.” The odds of cat-calling a woman actually getting you laid are non-existent, so why bother?

Let’s define cat-calling. The dictionary defines a cat-call as a shrill whistle-like sound or loud raucous shout made to express disapproval at a theater, meeting, etc. or an instrument for producing such a sound. The verb to cat-call is defined as to sound cat-calls or to express disapproval of by cat-calls. Disapproval isn’t what I’m hearing when a guy cat-calls me. In fact I’m hearing quite the opposite, so I don’t think we can continue using the word cat-call or any derivation thereof to refer to what’s really going on here. Let’s call it what it really is: street harassment.

But how is it harassment if I’m paying you a compliment?

If you wanted to pay me a compliment, what’s wrong with saying any of the traditional greetings in this country and striking up a conversation? Let’s try something like this:

You: Good morning

Me: Good morning

You: Lovely weather today

Me: Yes it’s nice, less humid than it’s been.

You: Definitely. That’s a lovely skirt you’re wearing.

Me: Thanks! I got it on sale.

You: It suits you. Have a nice day!

Me: Same to you!

Isn’t that nicer? What you’re doing isn’t paying me a compliment. What you’re doing is being disrespectful and I’ll show you how. Here, let’s break it down:

“Hey baby!”

Whoa! Pump the brakes, slick. We’ve never met. Who exactly do you think you’re calling baby? The only individuals you should be calling “baby” are your significant other, a dog or other animal, or an actual baby. I’m not your significant other. I’m a human being, not an animal and I’m a grown woman not a baby. So, calling me “baby” isn’t cute or a compliment. It shows that in your mind I’m equal to an animal, small child, or that you’re just deluded enough to think I’m your significant other. Frankly that last bit is sad enough to be funny.

“You’re too fine.” Yeah that’s what you said, but what I hear is “I’m eye-f*cking the sh*t out of you and there’s nothing you can do about it.” That’s not a compliment. Basically your entire statement has shown me that in your mind I’m being viewed as an object instead of a person.

Well so what? They’re only words.

I’ve heard street harassers say pretty filthy things to women walking by; even women who were pushing their toddlers in a stroller. Can you imagine how awkward that “Mommy what’s a…?” conversation must’ve been? They’re only words but they’re disrespectful words and who wants to be disrespected? Nobody, that’s who. It doesn’t always stop at words either. I’ve seen guys cat-call a woman then proceed to follow her for multiple blocks. That’s not creepy at all. (<=Heavy sarcasm) Words aren’t the problem. The problem is the mentality behind those words.

What street harassment says to women is, “You can’t even walk down the street without being reminded that some view you as ‘just a woman’.” Add walking down the street to the long list of things women can’t safely do in America in 2016 which also includes going for a jog, going out to a bar or club, having a drink on a date, speaking during business meetings without beginning every statement with “I’m sorry,” and of course getting paid the same amount of money as a man to do the same job. Yes, men have held the power in our society for time immemorial, but we so need another reminder. People, please it’s 2016. Drop the caveman mentality already. Women are rising to prominence in businesses and governments the world over which is amazing when you consider the fact that women didn’t receive the right to vote in America until 1920.

The mentality behind street harassment speaks to anger at the fact that women have made great strides toward equality. I get it. You’re upset because this means that your safe little world is changing and your behavior is going to have to change with it. Please do us all a favor and CLIMB DOWN OFF YOUR CROSS, USE THE WOOD TO BUILD A BRIDGE, AND GET OVER IT! The mentality behind street harassment is closely related to if not exactly the same as the mentality that drives violent crimes against women. If you don’t think that’s a problem, please stop reading immediately and go take a long walk off a short pier.

The sad truth is that saying this will probably get me called a feminazi bitch. You’re certainly welcome to that opinion and I’m sorry you feel that way, but I’m not saying that all men are terrible people or even that men who participate in street harassment are necessarily terrible people. Put yourself in the shoes of the woman you’re harassing. Would you really feel good about some guy saying filthy things to you or following you for several blocks down the street while you’re just trying to get somewhere? The world would be a better place if we could all learn to be more respectful and considerate of others. Guys, cat-calling is not sexy. It’s a huge turn-off and it’s never ever going to get you laid. If you want a lady’s attention, treat her with respect. Respect is hot. Seriously if you’re going around cat-calling, stop. Just stop.

Friday Night @ Take 5

Friday night was a truly epic performance for me, but not just because I got to meet and connect with other comics I hadn’t yet had the privilege of working with before, but also because I got to help inspire the next generation of funny.

Monday night, I went over to the Zimmerman house and I helped his daughter Katelyn work on her material. She’s got great stuff so it was a pretty easy job. I was excited for her all week. She had an advantage that I didn’t have the first time I went up and that was time to prepare. Kurt, being the great friend he is threw me on stage spur of the moment. I did it because I knew that if I didn’t that I would continue to talk about doing stand-up as opposed to you know actually doing stand-up.

Friday when I walked into Take 5 Katelyn didn’t quite see it that way. Sure she had time to prepare, she told me, but she also had time to panic. Kurt pulled me aside and asked me to talk to her because she was trying to back out and nothing he said was having any real impact because she’s a teenage girl and he’s her dad. There’s a long-standing history of teenage girls not really wanting to listen to their dads. I’m sure my family will attest to me absolutely being a typical teenage girl on this front.

Being a comic and having been a teenage girl myself, I worked on talking Katelyn down and getting her grounded back in this reality, not the big, scary world of “what if?”

“What if I forget all my material?”

Use your cheat sheet. Nobody’s going to give you a hard time for that.

“What if I didn’t write enough on it?”

Let me see. Okay take a breath and start your set. At this point, she rattled off the first 2 minutes of her 4-minute set without me prompting her from her index card cheat sheet once, but she was still afraid. At that point I said probably the most adulty thing that she’s ever heard come out of my mouth. Fear could stand for 2 things. Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.

“I like the first one.”

I reminded her of how good her jokes were and I told her that if you keep putting it off for next month, you’re going to be saying “I’ll do it next month” for the rest of your life. Her friend and I kept talking her up until she agreed to perform and guys, she was INCREDIBLE! Off the cuff she told the crowd that if they didn’t laugh, they were going to make a little girl cry. Kurt, her mother, and I exchanged a look and high fived when she came down off the stage after totally owning the room. They both thanked me for talking her into performing and I know they were both proud. I’m pretty darn proud of the kid myself. She was part of a line-up that was stellar despite having me in it.

Steve Schwartz hosted. There were great sets by Johnny Smallwood, Tina Marie, Tom Mongielli, Greg Rapport, James Camacho, and Dan Lamorte. Tim Eli came out to support us. As much as I say I’m not that funny, the other comics and the crowd seemed to like my set, but you be the judge. Friday night set @ Take 5

My Insanity Max 30 Adventure Part IV: I’m Not on the Floor!

I did it!!!! That’s right. I completed the Insanity Max 30 workout and I am still alive. I conservatively estimate that I’ve poured enough sweat over the past 60 days to fill a freakin’ swimming pool. Not a kiddie-sized swimming pool. No I’m pretty sure I can fill at least a full-sized pool inflatable pool. I quite literally worked my ass off. Seriously! I caught a look at my shadow on the wall the other day and it appears to be a bit flatter and I couldn’t help but think that it’s going to make so many things so much easier.

I even started doing moves without the modifier! Yeah I know. I’m as surprised as you are. Jacked up spine be damned! I can successfully manage high-impact moves that only involve a small hop. If you’re saying, “So what?,” screw you! I’m counting that as a win.

Here’s my before pic once again. Note the smile.

So what did I get out of this? Well first there are the results. While I appreciate my junk in the trunk, I also appreciate not bumping it every time I try to navigate a tight space. That was getting to be quite literally a pain in the ass. I lost a few pounds which is nice, not that I think of my weight as anything more than a number that tells me how Earth’s gravitational field interacts with my mass, but hey it’s still a win. The muffin top has significantly decreased in size. I have an appreciable difference even from my last entry, so suck it, muffin top! I’ll see you in hell! Or maybe I won’t since I put myself through hell over the past 60 days.

But it’s not just about the surface results. I’ve learned the value of range of motion to avoid injuries. I’ve also managed to re-define failure in my mind. Failure isn’t being unable to reach a certain goal. Failure is lack of trying. Instead of taking it personally when things don’t go well, I take it as a challenge to improve the next day.

Now most important: did I cross the finish line on my own two feet or did I crawl across it? Actually I didn’t cross the finish line. I mean I finished the 60 day program, but I’m not seeing this as a finish line. No, folks this is a jumping off point because dammit I am going to run a 5-K this year. My stubborn little Irish ass is committed to achieving that goal and yes, you will hear all about it. If Eddie Izzard can complete 27 marathons in 27 days, then dammit my scrawny, pale, comedic ass can run a freakin’ 5K. Seriously, much respect to Eddie Izzard.

And here’s the after. Note the bewildered expression as I try to process what’s happened to my life.

So what happens when I cross the 5K finish line? Simple, I pick up the finish line and move it out further. Maybe I’ll do a Tough Mudder…in a hazmat suit because well eww! I may even do a Spartan Race. Who knows? The possibilities are pretty much endless once you stop seeing finish lines as stop points.

Many thanks to my boyfriend for picking up the DVDs and intriguing my morbid sense of curiosity. Many thanks also to Shaun T for making my life a living hell for the past 60 days. It’s called Insanity for a reason. Dude, you are batcrap crazy. Don’t ever change, you sick, twisted, brilliant man. You and George RR Martin should do lunch. Thanks to the readers for hanging in there with me. I hope my snarky descriptions of this workout have both entertained you and challenged you to complete it. Seriously, it’s totally worth it if you really want to make a change. I’ll be cheering for you. I’d be remiss if I forgot to thank the bastard who invented the burpee, wherever you are. Just know that I will find you.