Ha Ha Ha Comedy.

  1. I decided to link my blog to my Twitter again so just LOOK OUT! You finally will get to find things out about me! My apologies if this saddens your eyeballs.
  2. Actually, I’ve been working on a kind of lampoony, passing-the-buck, disclaimer song. It’s pretty droll. I like that word, ‘droll.’ Why does it feel like Christmas?
  3. Maybe Santa Claus is droll? Or his elves? Maybe I should move on.
  4. No news on Nur Ein. (I’m DJ RangerDen)–I am neither DJ, nor Ranger. It takes too long to explain. No news is fruit juice, right?
  5. Except aaaaaaaaaack. I actually have already written a poem that is exactly the instructions for the next song title and challenge. Weird. I don’t think it would have made it through, not for a second–it’s way way too oblique. But it satisfies it for me so I will maybe set it to music if I am booted out of here. It’d be my first Nur Ein shadow, at any rate.
My gorgeous handwriting, hello kitty notes, and favorite tiny game on a mug. I work real hard, kids. Go team go.
  1. I am not going to get too into doing more song contests because I have to set up in other ways. Already behind on other projects and am panicking-but need to find a deadline-centered work ethic which feels different from “Be here at this place now at this time” which is calendar-like and something I understand. I understand gigs better than projects.
  2. Grow up, self.
  3. I am writing comedy right now and I am noticing the key to doing this is thinking of it like music, with rests and breathing and dynamics.
  4. I am way behind because I have actually been writing music. But this is actually because I was doing standup so one thing being good for the other is a success story.
  5. I am blogging again too so this is also a success.
  6. I decided to stop blogging and go back to writing comedy. Because of work ethics and all. Later, I will be giving dating advice to friends–which I am in no way qualified to do for so very, very many reasons.

just keep blogging

Let’s keep this goodness going.

This was when we parodied Cats at the Long center for Over the Lege.
  1. My brain is fried. I feel like lava does when it has broken up with someone. You want to explain but you really can’t go back now, can you?
  2. I have to finish writing a stand up comedy routine, of all things. I do not feel very funny today, or even silly. I open my mouth and this strange whiny noise comes out.
  3. I have not worn makeup in many a moon so I found a mascara-laden portrait of myself which I took in a dressing room.
  4. I like when I practice piano but I will go on and on with that and it’s not really constructive the way I do it, like I’m trying to board an enemy ship.
  5. I’m concerned about my hands because they go numb a lot and I don’t know why. I’m trying not to over-do the elderly schtick.
  6. I do miss working the way I used to and I miss the theater.
  7. I miss doing musical improv. I didn’t think it would happen. Maybe I will do some soon. You can do that over the internet and you can even do it with other people. I just haven’t been wild about trying with anyone in particular–and I know that this is really on me.
I’ve been making random font photos in instagram but I think I’m just doing it to be a jerk.
  1. I have a person who is annoying and I have complained about this person before. Apparently they are on facebook again, taking credit where credit is don’t. This should be like that Far Side cartoon. Like acid off a duck’s back?
  2. I have been way too caught up in old mentalities. There are so many of them to choose from. They make me dusty and unfunny. I do not think to speak in funny accents and it wouldn’t occur to me to put on a jaunty hat. I wrote about important things before but I also did so while I was reading far too many news articles. I think coming across as stodgy for the sake of stodge is not very important. No one wants to wade through a lake of word brick. I think I have strong opinions about this.
  3. I sound like an old movie that did not make the list of better podcast options.
  4. I have a new fear of the old vampires. Not the sexy kind either.
  5. If I’m out of the contest that’s all fine. I need to get used to the fact that the thing about a list of things to do is that it has items on it and that one ought to do them.
  6. I’ll just fix my song in a leisurely way and do things that are the most important as the priority. Move toward what will get me paid first. Song contests feel good and you meet deadlines but you are not getting money to do this. Of course, if I did not do all the things that did not give me money, I would die in obscurity and no work would be done at all ever.
  7. have actually been putting things up on the internet more than I used to so there is a small line of credit going into my self-satisfaction pig bank.
  8. I have most assuredly been drinking too much. I am most definitely too old to be doing so. I’ve never even been that much of a drinker. But beer tastes better when you ought to stay home. Hey! That’s on an unlucky number! :O
  9. Gardening is more difficult for some people than for others.
  10. Don’t even ask about dental floss. It’s insane to speak of these matters.
  11. I think this blog right now is meaningless. But I don’t care. I need to start just doing things for myself or I am going to disappear.

This Is Fine

I wrote a song yesterday (last day/night) which I have not done in ages.

some scratch-lyrics I did in prep that week. Before recording started.

It was written in a very brief amount of time. I don’t know how close I am to making it something I feel songfully about. I don’t know if I got this blog entry about it right. I don’t typically write “song bios.” I was thinking about starting to make videos about my process. Before I didn’t. It seemed self indulgent. But maybe I ought to get over this, and get out here. I ought to admit that I am interested in myself, because people are interesting and I am actually not a cynical person.

I wrote this blog entry last night in the dead of night and hit publish quickly–much like I rushed to get my song entry into the Song Fight people last minute. This time, I am going to say I got my point across through mood and content rather than through production and flash. Now I don’t believe that mixing properly is bad, not at all, I just think that in my case the pursuit of perfection holds me back from the actual composition of the thing.

I was going for a feeling of detached concern and a deeply passionate but distanced advocacy. Sort of surfing the breakers of white guilt.

White guilt is a fraught, bullshit topic and there is really no pretty way to be frank about it. Its awkward how atrocious my presence is in this conversation, no matter what I would say, even if it is helpful. This is not about me in the least. I wanted to try to explain this last night, because if you don’t say anything you are just wearing your fuzzy blanket, really.

I have wanted to explain it before. But wanting to explain a horrible thing and NEEDING to explain a horrible thing and having a responsibility either to DO or to JUST SHUT UP or to Show Up quietly is sometimes a thing that it is on just each Individual to navigate. Thusly, this is a song TO me, and for my sake and feelings. There’s a “you know why” line that’s an elephant in the room. And it’s addressing people like me because we know why all of those things in the song and we’re “sure that…” Ellipsis. Because what can one add to the conversation?

In the song I talk about being at the end of a life but paradoxically knowing you’re “not going to die.” This basically means that there’s a likelihood of a long life and statistics are kind if you are privileged in society. I used a lot of words like ‘lies’ and ‘smile’ and ‘sneak’ and ‘teeth.’ Words that make my voice sound tinny and cause hastily applied last minute effects to jar a bit. I wanted some more little treasures I may add later and help with proper mixing and of course a real master. I had a metallic piano and some scrapes. I’d recorded some dripping water from my kitchen and a steam sound and I have an immersion microphone in the mail coming to me; and I was going to do some things with that. The song is worthwhile, so sauce will be added later. I have a few songs like this so maybe they can make an entire recording. You never know…

The more I listened to it, the more I liked the presentation. I like the pauses. My recording itself is cleaner and my ears are improved, I think. I didn’t worry that it needed a bridge and rush to clutter the song with more and more changes. It feels songwriterly… again. My other recent material does not. It feels like part of shows, which is different.

I almost didn’t need to blog about it, but you come to a realization that it is your blog, at a certain point. So I have to stand for something and report my whereabouts even if I am vague and quiet about it. And to say that I do not support the wanton carelessness of one group of humans toward another–let alone the violence–that’s necessary. But if every effort I make to even feel towards a thing is lost in a sea of pleasant couch cushions, this is also an issue. It’s problematic if we are silenced by the huge reality of our own insultingly mundane unimportance in the scheme of things. We are raised to feel exceptional. We are not, and we are not necessary. And it’s dangerous … to feel -unUnique. For ANYBODY.

It’s a hypothetical that isn’t so hypothetical. It’s about a shade of gray that is actually quite black and white in this case. It might mean different things to different people, but this is what it means to me. In any case, it would be about personally showing up morally unprepared and trying to put a cartoon bandaid over a gaping hole and showing up to a funeral in your stupid party dress. So making excuses.

It’s hard to explain my emotions. The recording was like this. I was in half a new room setup. I was setting up a new machine and the last times Ive tried to do a round of one of these on a brand new machine I’ve taken collaborators down with me because the sound’s been off. At the end, I had to swap machines to get a vocal down because my newer machine didn’t want to talk to my legacy interface and was having assignment and routing problems. These things make me feel like a dork, particularly after getting quick at routing and problem solves–but at I’m a little better at slapping apology demo FX on things now. She says this after sending a mildly distorted track 🙂

After some self-flagellation on the forums which I did not need to do, I regretted saying anything because I think now this track has sort of grown on me. I like the chords I chose and the ebb and flow of intensity like it’s also a musical option to just opt out. I feel like I ought to give myself more credit for making good musical choices and having the intent there in the beginnings of things. It’s important I respect this songwriter thing in myself or I’m going to get into a bad habit of abandoning my work again at the first sign that someone thinks a negative thing about it. Maybe they are right about me, I will think, although I ought to know better by now that the opinions of others do not really matter and this is a head game. Making songs for other people will always leave your work sounding contrived and fake-ish (at least for me). Even if you have a commission or an assignment of some kind or a fan base to please–they have requested YOU, and so you must show up with your whole mind and body.

This is a highly edited entry, as I said before, and I probably should try a little harder with song bios next time. This is probably true of songs as well. All I know is that my sleep is off and I have comedy to write-write for a class I am taking; and also.must cook and bake and get back to normal. There’s bread, I hopped on that train. And who knows if I’ll be back in here to change more of the record. Or not. Maybe I’ll just make a list-ier one later about other random stuff (no one believes).

To close (finally! :D) I honestly don’t expect much or to get through to be top 25 of 41 people with my rushed little offering, no matter that it was earnestly performed. But you never know because sometimes the weirdest things of mine get liked the most. I made second place with an educational “bad rap” about a piranha track I did in less than 2 hours. I think people were surprised. No one will be surprised about exposed vocal and sparsely emotional piano. Either way, this could be me making personal history fizzling out of Nur Ein in a Round 0 or even just skating thru to an ultimate and unlikely stupid win (HA!)…so we’ll just have to see.

Secrets and Songs

Hi it’s me.

(this is not the song the post is about)

I wrote a song once years ago for that song contest I have historically done (Song Fight!) called Colorblind. So not recently. Recently-now I am thinking to finish a song called ‘This is Fine.’ At the moment, I don’t know that they’d have a title like “colorblind or Only I think it is meant to be spelled in the overseas sort of way with what I think of as ‘vacation vowels’—so with the ‘U.’ Like in the improv game Be More British.

Anyway, I did this long ago. Because it was the given title and we were told to. This had to have been sometimes between 2009-2011. I think I was supposed to not have a chorus and sort of meander along or maybe tell a story or I don’t remember. Typically for me at that time, I wrote it about a super secret almost-relationship I had had which was frustrating to me. I wanted to write about this thing that had happened so briefly that nobody in the entire universe even knew about so much so that I often forget it was there. Now, this is decades ago and I was so different.

In songwriting, not even five-ish years ago, I used to be vague but also forthcoming. I wrote in metaphors. But always, I look for signs. Maybe I’ll do this #songcontest I used to do again and maybe I will not. It seems to be a deadline my songwriter clock respects for some reason. The only other way I hustle is for an opening day or money.

I found these old lyrics, looking for paper. These were not the ones I used. These were full of flowery metaphors and obfuscations about what I was going through then. And my songwriter muscles are a bit out of whack after the switching gears into improvising and not sitting and crafting scenes and moods and a musical agenda. But there has to be a balance, right?

Hi again.

This is a photo of something bloggish and relaxing so that your eyes are not bored. I saw it when I had a lunch break from doing something exciting.

Is that cryptic? I’m really sorry. I’ve gotten really burnt out on the internet and social media in general. I could blame a lot of things. The political climate just…everywhere. The general level of discourse. Cyber overcrowding. My basic moodiness. But I’ve been good and fine and happy and stuff. Just normal me. And I’ve been busy and the things I used to complain about here are mostly mischiefmanaged and all that.

I’m not ready to get into specifics. I’m really just kind of feeling “why”ish and lazy about it. I want to do the stuff that might get me paid and/or that promises emotional or experience payoffs that benefit me or people I care for in some way. I don’t want to type into a vacuum. But there was something that this blogging did for me. I’m trying to remember it. Maybe when I do and I can form a sentence about that, I will do more of it. Stay tuna-ed…

#nobodybelievesthis

#untilnextyearthen…

casual update

Today I am going to post in this blog. It is not going to get overly cerebral. It is not going to get weird. I am not going to write an apology, or a long treatise on where I’ve been and why I havejourneyed there. I’m not going into long metaphors about dental hygiene or my cats.

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I actually don’t know what I’m going to say.

I used to know the purpose of blogging. It was like a public diary. Of course people wanted to know everything about me. I’m terribly interesting. Right? Of course. Now that we got that out of the way.

The problem was when the internet got mean and no one thinks other people are interesting anymore. It’s what my great (possibly great-great) aunt Mamie used to call “making the game schmeary.”

This is a situation of playing Uno and you keep getting all the skips and reverses and draw fours (none of the other wild cards where you can just peacefully change the color and move on). And the person to your right (where the direction of play is heading) keeps getting slammed by what they think are your dastardly dealings of death and pain. Draw 2. Draw 2 again. Oh. A Skip. Then someone else skips to you then you lay down a Wild Draw 4. You’ve said “uno” every time. In fact, one time you said it slow and they viciously said “UNO” at the same time but everyone at the table said “nooooooo,” that you got it in in time and now player-to-the-right is turning into a thunderous raincloud right before your eyes and the living room is about to be a category 5.

Scores are tallied. You’re only 3 rounds in and you were going to play 5. or six. But player on your right THROWS the cards into the air (you find the one of the missing Blue 4s two weeks later, chewed up by cats) and storms out and that’s the end of this metaphor. But did you MEAN to draw all those cards? Were you supposed to be NICE about it and just rack up the points so that they could win? Apparently so …….. apparently you’re supposed to let the wookie win or he tears your arms off.

This is not the way that things should work, and I said that I wasn’t going to do this but this is why I don’t write much internet anymore or post and why nobody can have nice things or coffee and pie in public. Unnnngh and flargh. You have all heard this before. “Go brush your teeth, Denise!”

Obviously the card throwers of the world are making the game schmeary and if you hold your breath and kick and scream in the cereal aisle because mommy won’t buy you Count Chocula then you are a SPOILT BRAT, right? This should happen across the board RIGHT? RIGHT??!?!

Does it happen? No. Some people can just have and do whatever they want. Some people can just WALTZ down fifth avenue and…

no. I wasn’t going to do that. Who cares? Who listens? Does this even HELP. So no. Not from me …

NOT TODAY! (throws improv dagger)

I will talk about improv tomorrow. I will talk more about myself, soon. Because I will come back here tomorrow (or soon) and write here in this blog some more (or soon).

#Noonebelieves.

Improv-i-versary

Yesterday was my “Improv-iversary.” That means it was the first time I went and did Improvisation with other human beings. My life changed.

I thought I was a performer before. But not really. After a slow series of failures and private humiliations in which I slowly lurched from one group of people to another trying to do subsistence level music; I finally got to the point where my mind said ‘enough. You probably suck.’

An artist. Maybe a sort-of musician. Sometimes I didn’t think I was any of those things. Other people in my life certainly were, and I certainly know a lot of very, very cool musicians who in turn know really cool, sometimes famous musicians. But despite a degree, years of training in several disciplines, and many legitimate experiences–I questioned my basic right to call myself what I in fact basically was. And it became something that wasn’t about that. It was about who was where and looking like what and knowing who. Not about how I FELT or the sounds I liked or wanted. Not about what made me happy.

Any simple criticism could set me off and make me feel like a poser and a charlatan. It took years to get over the feeling of constantly feeling on the verge of having my musician’s license revoked. Now, I don’t want it. I don’t need it anymore. I am happy to say I have never heard of that song you think I should have known since I was three. But I’m happy to listen. 🙂

After years of never fitting in anywhere, I have been hanging around new people and waiting for a shoe to drop. The shoe is on my foot. I have on both shoes. They are clown shoes, and I’m no longer afraid of clowns. And I’m also no longer afraid of musicians because I’m a musician and sometimes I play one on stage. 🙂

Happy Improv-iversary to meeeeeee.

Diagnosing Politics

I have been quiet about politics. For one reason. 
The “c” word. 
If people at the top of politics are “crazy,” then they are being labeled. Okay. Fair enough. If people at the top of politics are being called *mentally ill*…or *unstable…* that’s alarming.

It took me a LONG time to discuss anything about myself. I made a post on Facebook about a thing that happened to me at the department of public safety that was invasive and embarrassing. Now I’m thinking ‘oh geez…’ and “should I erase this?!” 
I fear that “mentally ill” or “bipolar” or “schizophrenic” or ” manic depressive” may soon become code for “unhinged” or “white supremacist” or “bigot” or “racist” or “unstable.”
I am not this. I don’t want this.
Please don’t mistake me.
For future reference, please don’t turn me into a sheep*, or lock me up. 

I do have a “mental illness.” I am under treatment. I am not a joke.

I don’t know what the political compass has to do with any of this, but i needed an image … and people are crazy.

*previously, I had asked not to hypothetically be harassed in other nasty ways. This has happened to too many others I know before. And me a little bit sort of almost but I backed down and hid and would again in a heartbeat. I’m a coward online and in real life. I think there’s no shame in self-preservation. This is mostly because of my illness. This is why I would systematically go back through and erase my whole life, or any evidence of “thought crime.” Because you don’t know who is dangerous or what will happen in the future, sadly. 

My bipolar checklist:​DO:

1. journal

2. drink water

3. take meds

4. make lists

5. phone a friend 

DON’T 

1. pull out of Paris climate agreement

2. murder and pillage

3. Tweet storm at both friends and enemies

4. Stare into sun

5. light tiki torches and march down street yelling “blood and soil.”

Hell in a

I thought I’d write a blog, as I haven’t in a while and my whole personality feels changed and like stars that aren’t allowed to live in space.

1. The fact that my blogging came to a grinding halt around the month of that Particular Election and then just gross weird sputters is not a coincidence.

2. I have not been on social media much. But everyone is done past hearing about this. I get on twitter sometimes to check in and sometimes post things about issues I care about.

I cared a lot about coming out day, and thusly said nothing. Paradox? Maybe. It’s a little confusing.

I went to the capitol and participated in some government enough to notice the futility of such things. Remember government? It’s REALLY hard to do government. The rules are always changing and if you want to do anything to make a difference you have to spend a lot of time researching stuff that they are trying to sneak past deadlines at the last minute in the dead of night and change at the eleventh hour. Nothing is sure and nothing is permanent. And the odds are always stacked. It takes lots of money and lots of time. That’s my take on absolutely every single issue ever that matters. Its all very crooked and not at all honest, seemly, or above board. It’s all dirty pool and immoral as hell. And nothing you want comes to pass except failure and evil triumphing. (not always, but hell….) And I’m sorry I just feel tired and cynical a lot now after mostly silently trying and just failing to make a damn bit of difference.

3. As usual, my breath could improve.

4. America as a nation is living on borrowed time. I have no idea if we can work out our differences here and survive as a nation. I don’t see an America as we know it even existing in fifty years (maybe less). The post apocalyptic worlds we acted out in my improv class during the summer intensive program I took felt eerie, like something cresting just over a possible horizon. And this probably is true in other nations as well, it just might look slightly cosmetically better or maybe way worse…. Or maybe other countries are probably also just kidding themselves and its all probably just a matter of time before everything goes to hell as humans are all shitty people to one another.

5. I tried to go on a diet, “for my health.” It didn’t go well. I’ll try this again next week. This has been a stupid year for food and me. This is a long series of dumb stories I’ll discuss later in life.

6. Back here at home, the only thing to wonder over is whether or not there will be a United States of anything at all, or whether it will be torn apart completely by warring extreme factions and then will descend entirely into anarchy. I’m not personally invested in any outcome–hoping only that as many humans as possible can continue to view one another with compassion and dignity and not break down into a state where we are hunting each other through the streets for food and sport. I hope if those days come, I am not marked as an enemy just because I’m not loudly present in some mob calling for heads and blood.

7. I have some seriously intelligent cats. Genius level. A lot of peopl THINK their cats and children are this level of smart. But mine actually are. They invented a cat language to talk to me, and their own games with complicated kitty rules. Make of this what you will.

8. I have not written any songs in well over a year, except for one in which I am sarcastic and talk about how corn is nasty. Because of my 😂vast😂 and diverse audience I shouldn’t link to it–as it has an Extreme Swear Word in it and I do try at times to be Seemly.

It feels frivolous to make music, like I should be making social commentary instead. Then I read my social commentary and think that my point of view is irrelevant and privileged.

9. I started doing improv, about six months ago. Only doing things that were entertaining and spontaneous and ready-made, DIY sorts of productions … only that seems real and relevant in these times. This is not the right way to think about the subject of improv at large…and is not the point of improv at all. The point of improv is fun and child mind…at least I think so.

I felt like soon we shall all be in roving bands of survivors and will need people with Art Memories. People who could call to mind dramatic form or the ways of storytelling or who could record quickly into any phone or tape or format or play/dance/act any collection of ragtag materials. Anything to tell a tale or song or some semblance of the way things were. The tellers of tales. As we sit by fires in whatever we can scrape together. Mourning the loss of all we were in the last days of our precious “civilization.” Sorry. That got weird. I’ll try again later. I’m crusty at this.

Also, everytime I try to do a thing these days I am interrupted often because these are the days of almost constant interruption. This is why you see less of me. It is as though I have forgotten I have a butt and cannot remember how to sit down!