Laugh It Off- in the Chico News-Tribune

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Laugh it off
The trial-and-error comedy of Virginia Jones

By Robin Bacior

This article was published on 04.06.17.

Virginia Jones, one of 50 comedians coming to the Chico Comedy Festival.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGINIA JONES
Preview:
Chico Comedy Festival, April 8-9.
April 8: Early evening shows, 8-10 p.m., at Duffy’s Tavern, LaRocca Tasting Room, B Street Public House, Has Beans and Trucker. Late-night shows, 10 p.m., at The Pageant and Blue Room theatres.
April 9: Headliner show at Sierra Nevada Big Room, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Free to $20 (depending on event)
More info at www.standupsantacruz.com

The life of a comedian can be glamorous, but often it’s far from that. Lately, comedians have started to shed some mainstream light on the latter reality, such as Mike Birbiglia in his film Don’t Think Twice or Pete Holmes and his new HBO series, Crashing, both centering around how endlessly challenging it can be to tell jokes for a living.

“I had a conversation with a musician friend of mine a couple years ago,” said comedian Virginia Jones during a recent phone interview. “He said, ‘You know, when you’re playing music at a bar, people are at least gonna clap, they’re going to do something in between songs. And when you’re doing comedy at a bar, you not only need a response, but a positive response a couple times a minute.’”

Jones, originally from Texas, got her start doing comedy in Portland in 2006.

“It had always been a bucket-list thing,” Jones said. “For a year I just wrote down anything that I’ve ever said that I thought was funny, and then tried to edit that down. It was a really long process.”

She now lives in L.A. (where she’s been since 2012). The move allowed Jones the opportunity to sharpen her skills in one of the industry’s hubs, and a more competitive community.

“I felt so much truth in La La Land: [Emma Stone’s character] puts everything into one show and nobody shows up and it breaks her heart,” Jones said. “If you do that times 600, that’s what doing stand-up in L.A. feels like. I knew that struggle: Something you do resonates with someone and you don’t even know why, and you didn’t know why the other things don’t work. It’s maddening.”

Jones delivers jokes with slow, deadpan ease, often with a confessional tone. She has toured the West Coast several times, including performances at Portland’s Bridgetown and All Jane comedy festival
s, and the San Francisco Comedy Competition (in which she was a semi-finalist in 2013).

“Stand-up is where my heart is. It’s an art form that I’ve always had a lot of passion for, and I’m out here doing it,” Jones said. “If I do get national recognition, if I ever get to headline clubs on the road, no matter what happens I know that I’ve really worked on my craft and really committed to it, and that’s a really good feeling.”

After she performs at the Chico Comedy Festival (doing sets at Duffy’s Tavern, LaRocca Tasting Room and the Naked Lounge on April 8, and at Sierra Nevada Big Room on April 9), Jones will return to L.A., where she’ll continue her pursuit. It’s not always easy, but at the very least, it’s comical.

“In real life, Pete Holmes lives in my neighborhood,” Jones said. “On Saturday night, I was doing a show—I have a nightclub act where I’m a goth girl and sing songs. Anyway, I’m going to the show and I’ve got a big pink wig on, and the one white Marilyn Manson contact in, and I’m driving down the street and I kind of notice this guy who’s wearing a hoodie that’s pulled all the way around his face. He’s got it all closed up like a kid. I realize it’s Pete Holmes and he’s trying to go incognito, and I stare at him and he’s staring at me and I thought, ‘No, I’m not the weirdo; Pete, you are the weirdo. Nobody does that with their hoodie.’ That’s L.A. life.”

5 Love Lessons I Learned Driving for Lyft- From LOVE.TV

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5 Love Lessons I Learned While Driving for Lyft

 Buckle in for some magical ride oversharing.
Like a lot of LA denizens, I write and act and also drive passengers for Lyft rideshare.  I meet all kinds of people with all kinds of love lives, which many times they tell me about.  Here’s a selection of lessons I have learned from my passengers.The Ride With The PuppyDude gets in the car holding a pink box and a puppy, but looking sad.Me: Oh wow! A box of donuts and a puppy! Are you gonna make someone’s morning or what?
Sad dude: well, I wanted to, but she threw the donuts back in my face.
Me: oh.
Sad dude: and the puppy. She also threw the puppy in my face.
Me: I’m sorry, man.
Puppy whines slightly.Lesson: Sometimes even donuts and a puppy won’t save you. If that’s the case, either it’s too far gone or you’re just not a good match.  You’ve tried the nuclear option and it’s time to move on, but do raise that puppy.

The Ride With NicolePicked up a drunk couple from a bar, they were on a Lyft Line so I headed to pick up the next person.Girl: You’re going the wrong way.
Me: Oh, we’re gonna go pick up Nicole real quick!
Girl: Who is Nicole?
Guy: Oh, honey, I did Lyft Line.
Girl: What’s Lyft Line?
Guy: It’s like Uber Pool.
Me: Save a couple bucks, reduce traffic!
Girl: You cheap F**K.
Guy: Hon, are you really mad? We’re not in a hurry…A few moments pass, she seems to forget about it, we talk about other stuff.
Girl: Why are you going east?
Me: We’re…gonna pick up Nicole real quick?
Girl: Who the f**k is Nicole?
Me: She’s… The next rider on the Lyft line?
Girl: What’s Lyft Line? She sounds, sorry to say this, like a c*nt.
Guy: Um… don’t say c*nt?
Girl: And you can ignore him. He’s never even been in a three-way. I’ve been in like 30.
Me: That sounds like a real calling!
Girl: Plus, he’s the only dude I’ve dated who hasn’t wanted to move in after six months! What the f**k is that?
Guy: Uh.
Me: (Trying to lighten the mood) Well, I’ve dated guys for six months before I put their names in my phone!
Girl: WHAT are you SAYING I want to GET OUT.
Me: Oh, here’s Nicole!
Girl: Hi Nicole, where are you going?
Nicole: To No Vacancy!
Girl: Oh cool that’s a cool place to go to get f**ked by a 27-year-old white guy with no job
Nicole: OK?
Me: Ok, you guys are almost to your destination!
Girl: I don’t wanna go to his house.  Can you drop me at my house (gives address)
Me: Well… I can’t actually change destination on Lyft line, because, you know, we have to head near where Nicole is going.
Girl: You cheap f**k!
Me: (Last attempt at humor)No fighting in the cab!
Girl: I don’t want to go to his house EVER AGAIN!
Guy: (whispering) are you serious right now?
Girl: AND NICOLE THERE’S BAR LUBITSCH IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO GET F**KED BY A RUSSIAN DUDE.
Nicole: I don’t think I’m looking for that.
Me: (silence)
Me: (screeching brakes) OK here you are! Thanks so much!
(They get out, fighting because she wants to break up with him)
Nicole: What was that
Me: Sorry, I know!Lesson: If you’re a nice guy and she walks all over you, she’s not worth being with.  If she loves you, she’s gotta love your spend thrift ways!

The Ride With The Lyft ValentineMy first ride of the day was a lady who grumbled a little when I told her happy Valentine’s day.Lady: Sheesh. Not for me. I just broke up with my dude of three years.
Me: That sucks, man. I’m sorry.
Lady: Yeah, my girlfriend banged him, so they both suck.
Me: They do, they suck. That sucks.
Lady: And the incredible thing is, this is her second time pulling this shit! Like, there are so many dudes, why can’t she stop screwing my dudes?
Me: You still kept being her friend after the first time?
Lady: Yeah, well, she said she was sorry and that she wouldn’t do it again.Lesson: If your girlfriend bangs your boyfriend once, it could be an accident.  Twice, it’s a hobby.

The Ride With The Late Night RomancersI picked up a cute, fairly drunk guy at 2 a.m. in downtown Pasadena, and he gave me an address. We picked up a cute, fairly drunk girl and the magic began.Guy: Let’s go to [name of bar].
Me: Uh, I think they’re closed, it’s 2 a.m.
Guy: I think it’s open?
Girl: I just think I’m a… real easy going person.
Guy: I know, I know. I try to live in the moment.
Girl: You just… have to.
Me: Guys, this bar is closed.
Guy: (to me) Oh! Let’s go to [restaurant]. Have you ever had a conversation this amazing happen in your cab before?
Me: (dryly) Sure.
Girl: You just came up to me and asked me to dance, and I couldn’t turn you down!
Me: OK, I’m sorry to say this restaurant is also closed.
Girl: I don’t even need to eat. I’m good.
Guy: OK, we’ll just go to In-N-Out and get a shake.
Girl: It’s like, you just… you took down all my roadblocks.
Guy: I know, I know. You told me.
Girl: All my defenses, just gone.We get to In-N-Out. It is also closed.
Girl: OK, I guess… Take me back to my place?
Me: OK.
Guy: Naw, we can get out here.
Girl: Oh… OK?
Guy: My house is right over there. We can hang for a little while and get another car later.
Me: OK, here we are then.
Guy: Isn’t she just so cute?
Me: Yup. Here we are!
Girl: I just can’t believe how strong we vibe on each other.(Moments pass. They’re just sitting in my car talking)
Me: You guys… Can you go fall in love in someone else’s Lyft?
(I find this hilarious. Nobody thinks it’s as funny as I do.)Lesson: If dude was in love with you, why is he hitting you up after the bars close?  You’re a late night hook up, girl.

The Ride With The Family Man
I pick up a dude who is holding a Starbucks coffee and a phone and looks shell-shocked. He gets into my car and says, “man, you’re gonna hear a conversation that’s kind of intense but I have to have it right now.”
Me: No problem!
Dude: (on phone) Hey, baby, it’s me! You’re pregnant?! I’m so stoked! I mean it, I want to have a baby with you! You didn’t want to tell me? Come on, I’m your man! I’m your DUDE, I’m WITH you! Do you wanna get married, I mean, what’s your mama gonna say? Are you excited? Are you scared? Baby, I love you. I want to get married. I want to have a baby with you. I mean, I’m 40, what the fuck else am I gonna do? I mean it. I love you. I’m coming over. Yeah, I’m in a Lyft. Yeah, my driver is getting an earful. Yeah, it’s magic and it’s real and I can’t wait! I’ll see you soon!
Me: Wow, congratulations man!
Dude: God, I can’t believe it, but man, we were just at my friend’s house and he has this two year old girl and she’s so perfect and we were saying, man, he’s doing it, we can do this, and then she finds out she’s pregnant a week later, I mean, it’s magic time, man!
Me: How long have you guys been dating?
Dude: Six months, but I know, I KNOW this is my lady. But she’s a passionate lady, and we were together this afternoon but she flipped out on me and left, and now I know it’s because she was scared to have this talk. She just found out this morning.
Me: And when did you find out?
Dude: (Crying) She texted me that she was pregnant, and then I called you. I found out literally a minute before you got there.
Me: You can do this, man. This is sometimes how babies come. You can do it. (Also crying)
Dude: Yeah, I mean, I always wanted to be a dad and now we’re gonna do it! I’m scared shitless but I know we’re gonna be great!Me: Good luck. Be good. Here’s some tissues.
Dude: Five starrrrrs!
Lesson: Sometimes amazing things happen by accident.  If you’re with the right person, look in your heart and see if you’re ready to roll with it.

I, Sexbot!

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The next generation of interactive sex robot will be available starting next year. New tech includes warm skin and warm sex organs, the ability to have simple conversations and to have simulated orgasms, something that is hardwired as sexy and desirable for men. And it’s scaring the crap out of us.


Sexy female robot bite lips portrait artificial intelligenceWe’re so worried about it that there’s already a website about the campaign against sex robots, (campaignagainstsexrobots.org). There’s also an international meeting taking place in London in December promoting and exploring the problems and benefits of sex and love with robots.

We’re so worried that over and over articles go up saying “Holy crap sexbots!”

What is it that we are we afraid of?

We’re afraid of men becoming accustomed to, or preferring, asymmetrical relationships with a robot, who is never in a bad mood or busy or tired, and who never rejects them. A sex robot is always up for anything. How will this affect men’s relationships with real women? We’re afraid that sex robot use will make men forget about consent– a sex robot has no boundaries and doesn’t say no.

And the proposed user is universally male- just as the existing sex doll market is aimed at straight men. There are male dolls for gay male customers, but the sex doll market is not a big one for straight women, just as there isn’t a huge market for straight male prostitutes.

We’re afraid that sex with a perfect, endlessly pleasing, endlessly servile, endlessly sexy robot will replace sex between humans, eventually reducing our birth rate.

We’re afraid about our expensive sex robots getting out of date- imagine how embarrassing it’ll be when your friend’s new-fangled robot can speak in four languages and flutter her eyelashes and your robot can only moan and point at stuff!

We’re afraid of the end of human intimacy, that men will fall in love with sex robots. We’re afraid that men will become addicted, never leaving their house, ordering all of their groceries online and filling their days and nights with computer games and dirty robots. We’ll be a world of single people, men at home with their sex robots, and women making and sharing increasingly intricate Pinterest pages and Etsy crafts.

Women are afraid of being jealous of sex robots, who don’t gain weight or sweat or have body hair, unless you have requested some on the order form.

The fact is, technology has always been scary in the bedroom. Vibrators were originally developed as an easy way for doctors to give women orgasms as treatment for “hysteria”, which was medical talk for women being stressed out by a life of responsibilities without the release of orgasms, because their spouses didn’t believe women could have them. The vibrator has existed since the 19th century, and men still regard them with suspicion, worried that women prefer them to sex with a partner, instead of being used along with or in the absence of a partner. I think sex robots will be much the same- no matter how good they get, they won’t be the same as sex with a person. When we say people are “in love” with their sex robots, that’s the fallacy. They may enjoy their experience, but it’s not love. I like my vibrator, but it’s a tool. I don’t connect with it. Even if it was attached to the Hugh Jackman RealDoll I have been asking the RealDoll company to send me as sponsorship for advertising, I wouldn’t love it. I don’t care if silicon Hugh Jackman has an orgasm or experiences pleasure, and I can’t connect or bond with him, and that’s a big part of having sex with another person.  There is no eye contact with the Hugh Jackman RealDoll, who also doesn’t exist, because I just made him up.  The smell of another person, the feel of their touch, the look in their eyes, the condition of being desired by another person– these won’t be replaced.

When we examine these fears for a second, and are rational, we can say: there will be outlier men who are so challenged and frustrated with human relationships that they will purchase sex robots and only interact with them. But they will always be a minority.

Sex robots could be a practical comfort on long trips, during space exploration, during breakups or between relationships, or when you are otherwise unable to be with a partner, but to say that all men want from relationships is subordinate sex is to grossly oversimplify what relationships are. To believe that sex equals love is childish. Having a realistic sex robot doesn’t stave off loneliness. Like legalized weed won’t make for a world of marijuana abuse, sex robots will only add to the human sexual experience, not replace it.

– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/i-sexbot/2/#sthash.IMVtii6G.dpuf