Did you know that iconic, fashion-blogged, architectural shoe designer Jeffrey Campbell has put out some of his most iconic, glam, fabulous models in vegan versions this Summer, available exclusively on Convert? Well, now you do, you silly rascal! Thanks, J.C.!
I know it’s no longer mother’s day, but I just got off the phone with my mother, whom I love to distraction. She is always an inspiration and frequently makes me laugh until I pee myself. I wanted to share some of her more quotable quotes with you before they vanish into the Ether.
1. My mother asked me, “Have you heard of the Flight of the Conchords?” My fucking hipster Mother. I told her that not only was I pretty familiar with them, I had met pretty much all the supporting cast on the show, including the amazing Rhys Darby, the lovely Kristen Schaal, hilarious gents Todd Barry, Eugene Mirman, and Eddie Pepitone, and the amazingly funny and lovely Arj Barker. She is not impressed by this. She wants to meet Bret McKenzie.
2. “I found my favorite turtlenecks at Wal-Mart for a dollar!” My mother is famous for wearing a particular kind of spun poly interlock turtleneck, which usually has a scatter print on it, whether seasonal flowers, holiday holly, or spooky jack’o’lanterns! Apparently, she hit the fucking Wal-Mart turtleneck jackpot, and the things, usually priced at 7.99, were down to one dollar apiece. At that price, she could pick one out, try it on, buy it and leave it in the store, and it still would have provided a dollar’s worth of entertainment. She could murder an animal and bury it in a dollar turtleneck, one per night for a month, and still laugh all the way to the bank. I posit that it’s not worth the caloric burn to put on a dollar turtleneck. I have advised her that I will title her biography “Dollar Turtlenecks: The Donna R. Story.”
3. My mother told me that wops had attacked her on her porch, and when I asked, wops? She said, sorry. Wasps. I guess I’m glad her porch isn’t really covered in hostile wops.
4. The fourth and most important thing my mother told me: She has been working at an adult care home, which is not as sexy as it sounds, and one of her patients was permanently physically and mentally damaged when he smoked meth that had been laced with rat poison. Apparently, six people who had smoked the batch died, but he didn’t die. My mother tells me that he is quadriplegic, and that I should not, under any circumstances, smoke meth. I’m actually really glad that this came up, because I’m always looking to put a few more hours back in my day, and one of the things I had been considering was developing a meth habit, because I could stay awake and lose my teeth, which are really just trouble anyway. I don’t believe in playing to stereotype, which is something I think I got from my mother, because it’s very possible that I would say, “I plan on leaving my corporate job, driving my new Jetta downtown, and finding some Meth to smoke, so that I can watch all of Lost in one sitting.” Words of wisdom, Donna!
Since my relocation to glamorous SoCal, it has come to my attention that some of my sassy trousers and dresses had gotten a little tighter than they used to be, so I have re-installed a small chirping robot on my arm called the Bodybugg. After losing 20 lbs with the Bugg last year, I abandoned it when I started going out on dates. Something about the psychic magnetism of people’s hands means that whenever anyone touches my arm reassuringly or in a flirty manner, it lands right on my robot. I move the robot up, it gets touched. I move the robot down, it gets touched. Awkward when making out. People don’t expect to find a robot when they touch a lady, because they don’t live the future and they don’t love ELO the way I do. It’s always off-putting when a stranger accidentally grabs your robot, so here are the following lies I have told about it:
1. It’s for diabetes
2. It’s a symbiotic parasite that allows me to read minds (half true)
3. It’s for house arrest.
4. My car won’t start without it.
Bodybugg is a shiny black square on an elastic band, and let me tell you, nothing looks better on a person carrying more than their ideal weight than a little tourniquet on their arm to emphasize the fat bulge above and below. It uses a pedometer, thermometer, and skin conductivity (sweat, bitches) to measure the actual calories I burn every day, so if I want my ass to be smaller, I will know precisely how much to feed it.
I was born of Irish potato-eating stock that prepares for the ever-looming threat of famine generated by the ruling British class every day of my life, so I have to watch what I put in my face pretty closely. I think that the real meaning of adulthood is not paying taxes or volunteering to help the aged, but looking at a chart on a computer that lets you know you can’t eat a cookie until you’ve finished doing your sit-ups, or else you’re not going to get to wear the jeans you want on Friday.
All that being said- this is the only weightloss thingy that has consistently worked for me. It’s hard facts, no flinching allowed- Robot+food logging (UGH what can be duller)+math. Also, it has kind of a Tamagotchi element- (do you kids remember those?) when I take it off to shower or sit in a hot tub (both pretty bad for the Bodybugg’s electrics) it lets out a little “where are you” chirp, and when it is back on my arm, it sings a little self-congratulatory song of being where it belongs. That makes me feel like the little robot is happy to live on me. It may be sucking energy off of me like a vampire. I can’t be sure.
Please note: don’t wear the Bodybugg to have sex, or don’t if you’re a girl, because it appears to burn a very depressingly small amount. Not as little as watching television, but only slightly more than being asleep.
Had sex at 10:15. Really thought I was going after it more than that.
(Actually I was walking my dog.)
(and we had sex.)
While wending my way home from Portland, I stopped into the De Young Museum in San Francisco to see the Gaultier exhibit that originated in Montreal last year. JPG was a favorite designer of mine through my highschool and college years, and it’s neat to see so many of his couture pieces mounted as an art exhibition.
The show also features artists that JPG has worked with/for/collaborated with, including Herb Ritts, Andy Warhol, Pedro Almodovar, Pierre Cardin, Madonna, Pierre et Gilles, Luc Besson, and others, both more famous and more obscure-
Creepily animated JPG introduces the exhibit- his face is projected on a white mannequin, and looks amazing!
Jean Paul Gaultier loves Leigh Bowery , and so do I.
Punkity punk punk!
The show also has a very wonderful coffee-table book with some amazing photographs and essays about Gaultier’s influences and collaborators that I recommend highly.
If you distill it all down, Gaultier’s design career has been made of:
7. The Madonna
At the exhibit, I was reminded of the obsessions of the amazingly multitalented illustrator/musician/dollmaker Dame Darcy:
6. Dark Fairies
7. Saints & Goddesses
8. The Madonna
9. Siamese Twins!
I think this sounds like a collaboration in the making-
At any rate, I heartily recommend them both!
Although the concept of writing down nice things that people have told me is anathema to my whole personality, I need to get a press kit from somewheres!
“I don’t know why she tells jokes at all, when she can dance like that”- Bryan Cook
This is very sweet, and also lets me know that I should start dancing for money, which there are many opportunities to do in my previous home, Portland, OR. I mentioned this to Rylee Newton and she advised, “It’s not too soon. Nobody’s gonna say, who’s that teen stripper?”
“Virginia will take any excuse to take her clothes off at a party.” – John Graham. Not a compliment exactly, but still, it was said.
“You’re very funny!”- Maria Bamford. An unexpected bit of kindness from a mad genius that I have the utmost respect for.
“You have timing, and that can’t be taught”- Ron Bennington, of the Ron & Fez show
“Formerly known as the queen of Portland Comedy!” -Whitney Streed
“Oh, she’s not a genius. Did she tell you that?” – My mother
“Virginia doesn’t wear too much makeup- just enough that it looks like a parrot exploded in front of her face!” -Richie Stratton
It’s true, and I feel bad for the parrot.
I’m also pleased to report I have been nominated by Barfly Magazine, an esteemed and revered publication, as Portland’s Funniest Comic for the second year running, despite not living in Portland any longer.
Well, thanks for listening. It’s almost like having friends!
Well, we’re all winners, because we all got to tell jokes and hang out at the 5th annual Bridgetown Comedy Festival, which was widely regarded as The Best Yet, but here are some of my random thoughts on the event:
My Shortest Attendance Of A Party, Ever: The promotional shindig for the Riot, LA’s alternative comedy festival- I got there at 1, I gave Pete Holmes a hug and watched Lachlan Patterson pretend to play the harp, the cops busted it at 1:10 and we were bringing our noise disturbance to the street.
Person Who Is The Best Partner For An Extended Interpretive Dance: Jono Zalay
Person Who Is More Handsome Than His Headshot: Jono Zalay
Best Sex Talk: Jon Glaser
Most Multi-Talented: Mary Mack
Most Amazing Dancer Besides Me: Guy Branum. Way to play to the stereotype, baby.
Least Surprising Winner of a Trivia Contest Who Is Nonetheless Very Fun To Play With: TV Geek Paul Goebel.
Third Person To Get Engaged At or Near Bridgetown, That I Know Of: David Cope
Most Amazing, Most Giving, Most Funny, Most Worshipped: Maria Bamford
Dummy Most Likely To Have Her Badge And ID Stolen By Drunk Sluts At An Afterparty: Me
My Hero, For Getting My Badge Back From Sluts: Richard Bain
Best Combination Of Funny and Good Hugs: Tim Harmston
Hottest Person With A Fiftieth Birthday: Dwight Slade
Most Incredible Sensual Bird Mime: Kurt Braunholer
Funniest Person I Can’t Believe I Hadn’t Heard Of: Dave Hill. Smart, surreal, and very rock-and-roll- seriously, he’s amazing.
Most Talked About In Reverent Tones Of Adoration: James Adomian
Best Impression Of An Effeminate Southern Coin Collector: David Crowe
Show Which Had No Indication Of Being Well-Attended And Great: Hawthorne Lounge Portlandia Show, where we did comedy to the sounds of Guitar Wolf being played next door
Person Who Most Worried Me That He Would Fall Off The Large Thing He Had Climbed Onto, And Mar My Show With His Death: Patrick Keane
The Best Erotic Fiction About Star Trek And Mythology (lifetime award): Mike Drucker
Best Place To Meet Other Comics on a Delta Flight: The SLC-PDX leg from the Mormon-infested west coast hub. I met one comic I knew and three I didn’t, but whom I identified from their bitching about being asked to host shows.
The Most Disturbing Portrait of Dora The Explorer: Aparna Nancherla
Most Amazing After-Party DJ: April Richardson
Most Likely To Be Mistaken For Each Other: Whitmer Thomas and Christian Ricketts
Least Twinlike Brothers: The Walsh Brothers (FLIPPING HILARIOUS)
Most Adorable: Alex Gavlick
Most Excited Fans: Tim Heidecker
Most People Showing Up For His Show Who Were Sad That He Was Stuck In Yakima, WA: Joe Frice
Most Hilariously Upside-Down Show: The Closing Show at the Bagdad, where Doug Benson, Todd Barry, and Matt Braunger opened so that they could run to other shows
Simply Wonderful: Rory Scovel
Most Discussed Panel: The Humor Code, where scientific mind Myq Kaplan and Superstitious Wunderkind Pete Holmes discussed theories about what makes things funny, and Mary Mack was kept down by the Man who would not supply her with a microphone. Because The Man is afraid of The Truth!
Person Who I Stalked At The Coffeeshop The Most: Jake Barker
People I Most Wanted To See And Did Not Manage To See (aka The Bridgetown Curse): Janeane Garofalo and Claire Titelman.
Almost Too Fun To Hang Out With: Janine Brito
Strangest Internet Distinction: Bridgetown Comedy Festival has the odd distinction of becoming Twitter spam: bots are tweeting “BRIDGETOWN COMEDY FESTIVAL BLOG: THE WRAP-UP” today.
Hardest-Working Behind-The-Scenes (TIE): Volunteer Coordinator Charlene Conley, Logistics Manager Rylee Newton, Hospitality Manager Helen Vank, Transportation Coordinator Amanda Pants, and Organizer and COO Andy Wood. Thanks everybody!
the “ha” in hawthorne:
Bridgetown Comedy 2012
Portland’s biggest comedy fest is next week! Preview top acts!
Can you believe Bridgetown Comedy Festival is turning five?
In some ways, it seems too soon; on the other hand, the four-day, 200-act laughathon has become so essential to springtime in Portland that the Pre-Humorous Period seems practically Jurassic. Who among us can even remember what the Hawthorne district was like before it rang with hearty guffaws?
The Founder’s Favorites
Festival co-founder Andy Wood is a recent PDX-pat now living and working in the LA comedy scene. He has a refined comedy palate that savors the absurd and the sardonic, and though he’s excited about all 200 guests, here are his can’t-miss picks.
“Such a comedy legend,” says Wood of the well-known actress, comedian, and liberal talk radio maven who taped her last standup special, If You Will, at Seattle’s Moore Theater. We’ve no doubt the tatted-out bespectacled feminist will find Portland similarly welcoming.
You know The Tim & Eric Awesome Show? Well, this guy is that Tim, which makes him partially responsible for a seemingly endless barrage of blue lampoons and low-budget visual absurdity. Let’s see what he does live onstage.
You probably won’t recognize Jon Glaser from Adult Swim Network’s misanthropic and multi-layered comedy Delocated, even though he’s the star. Playing a character under witness protection, Glaser sports a black ski mask and speaks through a voice changer. He’ll appear in character for The Delocated Witness Protection Program Variety Show and join a panel discussion about his one-of-a-kind program.
A well-recognized no-nonsense stand-up with tons of TV and road cred, Barry will join the Delocated events and also do a couple sets.
Described by Wood as “a comedy jack-of-all-trades, and a scene-stealer in every movie,” Gelman is a regular with Upright Citizens Brigade and Chris Elliot’s costar on Adult Swim’s slapstick action show Eagleheart.
Our Own Particularly “Portland” Picks
While Andy goes in for maximum cred and novelty, Culturephile must admit a different bias: We tend to love people who speak to us. We also favor comedians who call Portland home, and those who, despite not being from here, seem deeply committed to “keeping it weird,” particularly in a wordy, nerdy, Portland way. Hence, here are the acts that earn a flourish from PM’s highlighter.
Bridgetown’s mastermind isn’t just a booker, folks; he’s also a comic who got his start in Southeast Portland, bravely bucking the mainstream back when indie rock still seemed the only coin of the realm. Though he’s too modest to make a big deal of it, without Wood there would be no Bridgetown, and probably a much smaller Portland comedy scene. So go buy this guy a drink.
“The Bammer” hates day jobs, does a pterodactyl impression, and jokes about being chronically single and in love with her pug. How is she not from Portland? Give this woman a key to the city.
Braunger won us over last October, sitting down for an interview with PM correspondent Rebecca Waits on the eve of taping his Comedy Central standup special at the Alberta Rose Theatre.
Even funnier than his name makes him sound, Mr. Funches was featured in our latest March issue. “People can steal your jokes, but they can’t ‘out-you’ you,” muses the endearingly distinctive comic. Read article…
Full disclosure: Our own bar pilot John Chandler was one of the judges last summer at the Helium Comedy contest that deemed Karmel The Funniest Person In Portland. Though that’s an ever harder title to hold, Karmel continues to prove his prominence with appearances on Portlandia and gut-bustingly good sets.
One of our Fall Arts issue featurees in 2010 and a participant in PAM’s Shine a Light event last fall, Ms. Jones was at the forefront of Portland’s comedy groundswell before migrating to the warmer climes of LA. The woman who impertinently retitled one of PAM’s priceless abstract bronze sculptures “The Scrunchie” is back to flip us even more lip.
Noteworthy Theme Shows
Think Bridgetown is all standup? Think again. Like many great fests, conventions, and consortiums, Bridgetown mixes in panel discussions and collaborations. The tent is even big enough for standup’s wacky cousin improv.
The Humor Code
Professor Peter McGraw and a panel of comedians including Pete Holmes, Myq Kaplan and more assess comedy culture clashes, from the infamous Muhammad cartoonist to Jewish jokes told in Palestine, hoping to figure out what—if anything—is universally funny.
Set List In this improv challenge, comics are given a never-before-seen “set list” of outrageous topics to perform on the spot, while the audience follows the list on the projection screen behind them. “This has been a huge hit at Edinburgh and everywhere else they’ve put it on,” says Wood.
The Super Serious Show
An LA-based showcase hits Portland with special guests, including Dave Hill and Conan writer Andres du Bouchet.
Bridgetown 2012 takes place APRIL 12-15.