Archive by Author | Genevieve Blau

Consider Me Dead

I have been taking improv classes because, as you, my loyal readers know, I am a gimundo ham and I really like to perform. That said, improv has always been something that has intimidated me, so I figured it might be neat to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. It’s super fun, but a lot of times I find myself in the shower the next day, thinking of a line that would have been much better. Now you’re picturing me in the shower. You’re welcome.

But I digress. A part of the class involves going to see improv shows at UCB with the intention of studying the craft. It just so happens that my class on Sunday afternoons lets out at a perfect time for me to go over and stand in line for ASSSSCAT, the free show at 9:30 every week. To get tickets, you wind up sitting in line for almost 2 hours, but it’s worth it because it is always so funny. You usually get to see writers and some performers from SNL and other UCB shows, as well as some TV actors. Amy Poehler was one of the four founding members of UCB, and legend has it that every once in a while she shows up to perform, but you never know the actual line up until you are there. I have always maintained that if I got to see Amy there, I would straight up die. Well, to paraphrase Reba, consider me dead.

This is a referenence to my third favorite Reba song, and this image is a still from the video.
"But Gen, should you really use references that you have to explain?"
Shut the fuck up.

After waiting in line for 2 hours last night, my friend and I went in and took our seats. We were just sitting there gabbing, and Adam Scott and Rashida Jones came in and sat down 2 seats away. Rashida Jones had on very hipster glasses. I tried to play it cool, but honestly I have never been so star struck. At least , I hadn’t been so star struck until Amy came out at the start of the show (and that’s saying something because I once walked behind Mad Men’s Roger Sterling for like 3 blocks, which is probably enough to give ANYBODY a half-chub). I screamed like a 13 year old at a Beiber concert. I honestly didn’t know that I had that kind of reaction in me. I lost my shit. It made my Law and Order meltdown seem pathetic.  But the show was amazing. Seth Meyers and Bobby Moynihan from SNL performed, along with Sue Galloway and John Lutz from 30 Rock, Adam Pally from Happy Endings, and a bunch of my favorite regulars from ASSSSCAT. I can’t overemphasize how excited I was/am.

Oh, buddy.

I am taking away a few lessons from this experience. 1) I should always try to go to stuff. Earlier in the day I felt so tired and hungover that the thought of going felt painful. Thank goodness I was meeting a friend there because if I hadn’t gone and then found out about the line-up, I would have been so mad. 2) Amy Poehler is just fantazmo. Super funny. I can’t even. 3) Maybe- just maybe-  13 year olds have something going on here with their unbridled excitement for things like the Jonas brothers when the Jonas brothers were still a thing- I can’t help but think that if I could capture the enthusiasm I felt last night and harness it for evil, I would be unstoppable. And kids get that excited all the time! Just saying, we should probably all beware. Amy Poehler taught me that.

BEWARE

In the Criminal Justice System…

On Friday evening, I was taking my laundry to the wash and fold, and I saw this sign taped to a lamp post.

Immediately, I lost my shit right there in the street. My roommate looked at me like I was a total nutcase. I do realize that this brands me as a naïve transplant- real New Yorkers growl and mutter angrily about things like this- but frankly, I don’t give a flying turd. I love Law and Order SVU. I LOVE Mariska Hargitay. I was devastated when Chris Meloni left the show. The first episode of this past season when Captain Cragen tells Benson that Stabler is not coming back and she starts weeping in the crib at the station house, just ugh. Heartbreaking. He really owed her more than that.

If I weren’t at work today, you can be sure as shit that I would be out there trying to see what’s going on. In my fantasy , Dick Wolf himself would see me and be like “Hey! You! You look like somebody who should be on this show!” I could play any part he could think of; sorority girl wannabe at Hudson University with a sluttily dark secret, disgruntled shopgirl who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, terrified nanny who never meant for anything bad to happen, and the list goes on. My small part would be so memorable that it would turn into a recurring role, and Mariska and I would become buddies. I would start helping with her Joyful Heart Foundation, and we would totally bond over that.  She and I would have wine nights all the time and take Pilates classes together.

Mariska: I need a drink.
Me: You got it, gurrrl!

Alas, I’m just a receptionist with big dreams who has a mild to moderate obsession with this show. Oof. Still sounds kind of like an SVU character.

Hey, You Never Know ®

I started a new job this week, which is made possible in part by the fact that I got let go from my old job two weeks ago. Losing that job was interesting for several reasons. First, despondent as initially I was, my friend Malka pointed out that it wasn’t really that I got fired, it was just that I didn’t get hired. She was right, because it was a temp to perm job, and they just decided not to perm me. Second, the more I think about it the better I feel about it, because my hatred for that place was only offset by it’s abundant supply of free club soda.

Still, when the temp agency called and told me I wasn’t working there anymore, I was bummed, but I think I handled it like any person with 85% of a grip on their life would.  First, I was surprised. Then, I got a little weepy, first out of disappointment, and then out of fury. I called my friend and complained. Then, I got Thai food. Then, I got drunk in my apartment. Then, I didn’t get out of bed for 18 hours. After that, I went on vacation and got a haircut. And now I have a job again. See, things have a way of working themselves out right when you really need a new pair of jeans.

The whole experience got me thinking about the differences between working and being out of work. At this stage in my career, I don’t have a career and if I’m being totally honest, I don’t find answering phones all that fulfilling. So I’m not really sacrificing anything in that capacity. But a job does allow me to buy things, and I noticed that the second I became unemployed, all I wanted to do was order take out and get manicures. Alas, those things are luxuries, and not really justifiable ones when you aren’t getting paid.

Oh thank God.

So naturally, I was THRILLED on my first day at this new office (where there is no club soda, but also no assholes who steal my club soda), when my coworkers invited me to join the office pool for New York’s Mega Millions lottery. Everybody kicked in 5 bucks, and we bought a bunch of tickets.  As I’m writing this, the NYMM website reports the pot to be at $640,000,000. So if we win, all 19 parties involved will receive $33,684,210.53.

I have been temping a lot at financial firms, so I have been around a lot of people with really severe amounts of money. I’ve had the opportunity to think about what I would do with $33 million. I have decided that I would put most of it away for at least a year or 2 so that I don’t go nutzo all at once. I’d probably come up with a system where I annuitize it for myself, but I digress. I would put MOST of it away, but the first thing I would buy would be a really killer mattress. I don’t hate the mattress I have now, but I would definitely buy like the best, most fantastic Tempurpedic mattress ever. Also, probably some sheets that cost more than $17 to put on it. Because, yes, I am currently sleeping on sheets that cost $17. Totally not fit for a multi-millionaire. Bitch, I could BUY that K-Mart.

Oh, I know I won’t win. I had better not get ahead of myself. The cable subscription is still on hold. It’s still nice to dream. And like the New York Lottery slogan goes,

Love for the Useless

I really hate watching Sports Center, and yet somehow I seem to find myself watching it several times a week. Whenever I go to the gym at my office (which I primarily do because there is cable there), it is ALWAYS on. If I ask to change the channel, I am asked “to what…” in a voice filled with confusion and fear of any potential Kardashian viewership. But 30 minutes never feel so long as when whoever and his friends blah blah blah something about baseball. Ugh.

Ugh, shut up.

I am not a super girly person. In college, I was often referred to as the queen of lounge wear because I wore almost exclusively waffle print thermals in a variety of unflattering colors. Fashiony, I am not. But there are certain things, like my media intake, that I do girl out on. I love E! I love Kardashians. I LOVE wedding- oriented reality television. Man, did I have a field day with the Royal Wedding. I wish every day were the Royal Wedding.

That's me in the middle. This outfit got a lot of shit, but in my defense, it was a road trip. And only Julia is together enough to wear a dress in a car. Come on.

As an aside, I would like to use this blog as a platform to say that among my many hopes for the future, I wish that one day, my daughters will live in a world where they are not called psychos for being 23, single, and going out of their way for a good marathon of Bridezillas. A day when they will not be judged for how many times they have watched Kim’s Fairytale Wedding special, but rather commended for their ability to intelligently discuss the problematic societal issues it highlights and also how stupid Kim’s headpiece was. I hope that they will feel no shame if, you know what, it’s really cold out and they think they will just sit there and watch Say Yes to the Dress with a big old glass of white wine, thank you very much. That day, my friends. That day…

Can we all agree on how stupid that headpiece was?

But I digress. Please don’t think me vapid for my taste in TV. I would ask that everyone remember that when I find it useless to listen to some ex NFL players talk about where Peyton Manning might play if he leaves Indianapolis, it’s exactly like how some might have found it useless when Randy from Say Yes to the Dress hosted a special where he speculated what Kate Middleton’s wedding dress might look like. But don’t you see, guys at my office? It’s all the same! It’s all useless! I wouldn’t put you through the latter, so I wish you’d think twice before subjecting me to the former. Let’s just find something we can all agree on.

Law and Order: SVU, anyone?

Conflict Resolution

I’d like to wrap up the week by reflecting on the art of the passive aggressive note. As young people, we move from home to more socially diverse environments, and it can be tricky to try to develop the skills to appropriately handle conflicts that come up with coworkers, roommates, and cab drivers alike. I believe this can be especially tough for women, as we sometimes don’t want to appear too aggressive or bitchy even if the truth is that we have the word “DEMON” branded across our very hearts. I, myself, have participated in more door slamming, stomping, and aggressively loud music playing more times than I would like to admit. Come on ladies, we all do it. It’s a girl thing, am I right? Like our periods!

That said, my favorite tactic that some young women employ to manage conflict is the passive aggressive note. You know what I’m talking about.

Ugh, I remember I wrote the worst one ever to my freshman suitemates who never cleaned the bathroom. In hindsight, it really is no wonder that my roommate hated me so much. I was just the worst.

Still, we mature. And today, I am faced with an issue. See, in my office everybody likes club soda. What no one knows is that I love club soda more than any of them and I dare them to cross me about it. But I digress. To set the scene, you must know that I have a mini fridge below my desk where I keep water bottles for guests. Employees aren’t supposed to take the waters, but they often do. Now, the office always runs out of club soda around lunch time, so, when freshly stocked in the morning, I like to take extra cans of club soda and put them in the mini fridge. I feel as though it is my right to do this because I have a mini fridge. Agree with me, please. Dissent on this matter will not be tolerated.

You might understand, then, how I am upset when one particular coworker of mine comes back to the mini fridge, apparently goes “OOH THE LAST CLUB SODA,” and snatches it away without the slightest consideration about how why it might be in the fridge in the first place. ‘Cuz now, all the club soda is gone and I have no club soda for HOURS until they restock! Ugh.

I won’t be mad in a few hours. It will be OK. If the problem arises again, I will address it like a normal grown. But at the moment, I’m feeling like a passive aggressive note might be just the ticket. Minus the passive part.

Yeah, I poisoned the club soda.

(46) Days

Happy Mardi Gras!

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, I have snacked literally all day. I upped my usual daily intake of white cheddar popcorn from two little bags to three little bags, and let me tell you, it has been great. I’m eating a bowl of lucky charms as I write this. What kind of adult eats lucky charms at work? The kind that hopes to receive dental insurance someday soon, that’s what!

But like any perpetually-guilt-ridden-mostly-Catholic-semi-grown, I know that it would not be prudent to embrace the socially endorsed gluttony of this day without committing to a sacrifice that would counterbalance how gross I’ve been today. The issue that I come up against is deciding what to give up for Lent.

Here are some of my options at the moment, together with a concept of what this sacrifice would mean for me:

  • Thai food- This would mean no Thaiday Friday. Thaiday Friday is a holiday that I made up and celebrate with myself every week where I order tofu red curry for dinner and eat it in my bed while I watch the NBC Thursday night sitcoms online.
  • Wine- This would mean that my veins might flow with blood, for a change, instead of the Sauvignon Blanc that fills me now. It would be a trial for me, to say the least.
  • Professional manicures- I guess I don’t really get enough manicures to make this a legitimate sacrifice.  Plus, if we’re operating under that old “Sunday is a break day” rule, I probably wouldn’t be giving up anything at all.
  • Weekday drinking- This would mean me altering every single plan I have made for the next 2 weeks. Maybe I should take a critical look at myself.
  • Kardashian related media- Khloe and Lamar season 2 just started. Come on. It would be a big deal for me.
  • Carbs- This would make Thaiday Friday a little complicated too. Weekday carbs maybe? Is that a thing? Ugh, I know, I know. If it were easy, it would not be a sacrifice.

If you have any other ideas, I invite comments and suggestions. Regardless, you can bet that I’ll be drinking plenty of wine this eve. It’s always good to prepare for spiritually cleansing deprivation, no matter what.

The Plus Sides of Single-Hood

Valentines day is upon us, yes, so it can seem as though those of us unattached are meant to feel hideously bitter left out of the loop. But I think the whole “hag” thing is played out for me this year. Instead, I choose to be upbeat. I choose to still wear pink today. I choose to remember that there’s always a lot to celebrate even if you’re the one stuck with the responsibility of buying yourself roses and chocolates and vibrators this time of year. And so, with unbridled (and only a little bit forced) optimism, may I present, what I consider to be The Plus Sides of Single-hood:

  1. You get to wear your crest white strips at night without complaint. Who’s really trying to deal with that in the morning?
  2. You get to litter half of your bed with your computer and ipad and purse and trash from when you went shopping earlier when you go to sleep.*
  3. You get to proudly tell your gynecologist that you are not sexually active.
  4. Wanna watch 6 episodes of Say Yes to the Dress in a row on Netflix while eating an entire family sized bag of white cheddar popcorn in your bed? Go ahead! Just me? Ok!

    White cheddar popcorn has likely never touched this woman's lips. I weep for her. She's missing out.

  5. You get to gratuitously fart in bed.
  6. You get to smile sweetly while that dude you met at the bar 6 minutes ago tries everything short of physically dragging you to get you to his apartment (My advice? Marry. Him. Tonight. Then you’ll never be alone again).
  7. Wait, you bought your underwear in a 3 pack at Walmart too? The kind where the print looks like it should be on a toddler’s bedspread, but instead it’s on your thong? Oh my God, we HAVE to get drunk together coffee. We have so much in common.

    There is no bra in the world that these would compliment.

  8. Kardashians. No apologies.
  9. You get to know the real you. The you that happily eats brunch alone at restaurants. The you that buys fresh produce with the best of intentions but ends up eating delivery Thai food in bed at least twice a week. The you that weeps openly by yourself in the theater at The Muppet Movie. The you that, lets get real, is worth getting to know. Because, you know, she’s going places.

*You can also sleep dead center on your mattress, which carries it’s own redeeming value. I, however, recommend the litter avenue; helps guard against that “crater of loneliness” that will form if you sleep in the middle long enough, which is a turn off that bi-annual night you manage to land somebody there. Also, flip your mattress. Ah, but it’s kind of a two man job…

Will You Pizza Me?

Hey, everybody, want to look at my favorite thing that I found on the internet today? Are you ready for it? You have to get ready for it. Because it’s this:

Once I got over being furious that I was not the one to come up with this campaign, I got to thinking. I want to take a few moments to break down why this is the best idea ever in the world:

1)     Pizza is a perfect metaphor for love. One person is the dough, one person is the cheese, the sauce is the commitment, and all the stuff you might put on top of a pizza is everything in your life that makes your relationship great like your kids and your shared friends and the stuff you like to do together and all that shizz. See? Boom.

2)     Nothing screams forever like pizza. Why, you ask? Well, stupid, it’s not just because of America’s (read: my) unfaltering love for the saucy, cheesy awesomeness. Pizza, at its very core, is simultaneously indulgent and familiar. It is special and fun to order pizza on a Friday night, but also comfortable and not a huge to-do. Pizza, in that way, represents all that a marriage should be: a love that affords both variety and realism. To expect doves and romance all the time probably isn’t reasonable. After all, no one except for passengers on the titanic eats “romantic” food like champagne and caviar every day. And, anyway, let’s look how well that worked out for them:

  • Billy Zane was terrible and pretentious from the start- but do you think Rose would have Split a New York style pizza with Jack the second they got off the boat? Nod that head!
  • Everybody on the titanic died.

3)  I would never mean to imply that pizza isn’t romantic. It is very romantic. It’s just the restrained, acceptable kind of romance that doesn’t make me want to puke everywhere. Let’s keep anything heart shaped out of the picture.

4)     Moreover, pizza, like life and love, is wont to change. Though one’s love may change and evolve from a zesty pepperoni style love to a sweet pineapple kind of love, the root of it never changes. Leave it to cheese to remind us all why we fell in love in the first place. Hm.

5)     Is there anything sexier than grease? Yes. It’s watching me eat a slice of pizza. Other than that? No.

These are just a few of the hundred million reasons why I think this pizza proposal thing is an amazing idea. Plus there’s a limo! And pictures! And a professional home video you’ll never watch! Ugh, does anything sound more perfect?

Future husbands take note.

Plus, hey, it’s refundable.

Kitten Therapy

If you haven’t gathered from my previous posts, I love cats. I just really love cats. Sometimes I make my friends take me to the animal shelter when I feel blue so that I can hold some cats. It’s a surefire way to help me feel better in no time, because I just love their little faces and paws and tails and slinky attitudes.

The summer before my junior year of college was pretty miserable. I was living in Williamsburg, VA, in a house with drafty windows and a broken air conditioner, so it was constantly a million degrees. My roommate was going through a bad breakup and I was on a diet where basically all I could eat was grass. There are no carbs in grass. This diet made me pretty unpleasant. So between the semi-constant crying, and the totally constant sweating, it wasn’t the fun-filled environment you might hope for if you were, say, a nice girl from Missouri just trying to take a few summer classes. Sorry, Sara. Also sorry, Jules. Just…sorry, everybody.

I worked as a nanny that summer, spending most of my days in silence as my 9-year-old charge rarely wanted anything to do with me. One afternoon, I got a text from my roommate Taylor saying she had a surprise for me later. My interest was piqued, since my carb-and-fat-free ways meant that it had to be something other than pizza, which was usually what we meant when we told the other we had a “surprise”.

SURPRISE!

Several hours later, I was weeping into a rapidly melting tub of fat-free cool whip when Taylor walked in with a carrying crate. She opened it up and a long hair torti kitten wandered out followed by the tiniest, lankiest, cutest little booger I’d ever seen. Immediately, I named the kittens Basket and Bruner, and commenced snuggling. Taylor maintains that those were stupid names, but she let me call them that because she’s a really good friend.  She had found the one thing in the world that would make me happier than pizza.

Amelia, me, Bruner

Basket and Bruner had the cutest little colds and the sweetest little eye infections, but they would never get better if they had stayed at the humane society, with all the cat germs floating around there. So we gave them their little medicine and hugged them and made them chase string, and soon they were ready to go back and get adopted. By then we had realized that this rent-a-kitten thing was too good to abandon, so we got more.

Next, we got four gorgeous polydactyl tabbies who needed to be socialized. At the start of their 2 and a-half weeks with us, they all hid behind the couch all the time and hissed whenever you looked at them. By the end, I didn’t even have to chase them to get them to sit on my lap! One time, Taylor made some cheesy potato soup, and all four kittens started shouting and climbing up her shoulders to try to get to the soup. In that moment, we knew they would have no problem finding families, so extra toes and all, back to the shelter they went.

Cuddle Pros

After that we had Phyllis and Angela, who also had colds.  They were with us for a few weeks before they were healthy and went back to the shelter. Soon after, we brought home the detectives. Detective Elliot Stabler, Detective Olivia Benson, and B.D. Wong were about 5 weeks old and needed some socialization. They were adorable, and if you’ve ever had any doubt about how cute it is to act out scenes from Law and Order: SVU with kittens,  I am here to confirm that it is very, very cute. The only downside to the detectives was that they had a serious flea issue, but they were too little for flea medicine. We gave them baths, to no avail. Soon, the whole house had fleas.

Detective Elliot Stabler; dreaming of killing perps, infesting my house.

A note about fleas: fleas don’t latch onto humans, but they do bite. Also, they get into your clothes and carpet and are just terrible. Also, people make fun of you when they find out you have fleas. Also, exterminators are expensive, but DIY flea bombs don’t really work, especially when your house has a bunch of holes in it.

At that point, school was starting, I was skinny, and our sub-letters were leaving. We were getting back to reality, so the stream of kittens ended. I think of those little guys often, though, and I completely attribute my weight loss success to them, distracting me from my misery. I could try to market it, but “The Kitten Diet” sounds a little sinister. I’ll work on it. I speak of those kittens fondly, and whenever I bring them up in conversation, whoever I’m with always is in awe of my kindness for helping foster and rehabilitate kittens in need. But to paraphrase Sandra Bullock from The Blind Side, “No. Those kittens were fostering me.”

Angela

A Ham is Born

Those who love me will readily admit that I am a big ham. They will happily spend at least an hour telling you how charming and adorable my insatiable cravings for attention and affirmation are. They’ll also tell you how worth it putting up with me is because everything that comes out of my mouth is so clever and amazing that they would never want me to deny the world the joy of hearing it. Those who love me will tell you this because they know if they don’t, that I will light myself on fire and that they’ll be next.

I exaggerate (or do I?), but it is true that I love to perform. I have been known to start acting a little weird when I haven’t been on stage for a while. If I have ever done a dramatic monologue loosely based on Mufasa’s death scene from The Lion King for you, all I can say is that you really should have known what you were getting yourself into with me.

Dad! Wake up Dad! We gotta see the Savanna!

I guess I hadn’t given much thought to the roots of my hammy ways until recently, though, when my childhood best friend Kelly sent me some old home movies that her mom had transferred to DVD and put online. I spent an hour and a half watching old birthday parties, choreographed dances, and random play dates that we had insisted on filming. It was adorable, and I came away with several observations.

First, I guess have always been a camera hog. At one of Kelly’s birthday parties, everyone took turns during cake time playing camera man, giggling and filming the rest of the girls at the table. Can you guess who dodged camera duty? That’s right, this bitch. Instead, I followed the camera around, repeating, “This is Genevieve reporting for NBC live from Kelly’s dining room” for about five minutes before I began  scream-singing “Everybody Wants to be a Cat” from the movie Aristocats. Yeah, you’re welcome, everyone.

Though I tried my 9-year-old damnedest to dominate birthday footage, my love of being on camera truly reached a fever pitch one afternoon when Kelly and I filmed a movie that I had written starring my four stuffed cats, Mizzy, Pickles, Soft Classsics*, and Fluffy. The basic plot of The Mizzy Movie is that all four cats are sisters, but Fluffy, the oldest, is a total bitch-diva. Fluffy leaves the others alone one night, and they order pizza, get a little rowdy, accidentally burst a gas line in the house, then accidentally light a match and the whole house explodes. Fluffy arrives home to discover the destruction, and as punishment, locks Mizzy in a shed, ties Pickles to a tree, and traps Soft Classics with a net. When the three heroes naturally escape, they retaliate by tying Fluffy up. Cuz that’ll show her. And, scene.

Left to right: Me, Fluffy, Mizzy, Pickles, and Soft Classics

It wound up being a very rough, Blair-witchy type film. I acted as master puppeteer, narrator, and voice talent for all the characters. If there are any producers out there who think the The Mizzy Movie could be a success, I’d be happy to develop it further. My only stipulations are that it is still filmed with a hand held camera and I still get to play all the parts. Also, the gas leak is non-negotiable.

Kelly, I love you for sending this to me. Not only was it extremely cute, but it gave me some great insight into my present day personality, and allowed me to reach an important conclusion. Those who love me have no choice but to embrace the ham. It’s never going away.

*Soft Classics, or S.C. for short, is named so because the toy company had attatched a tag that looked like a collar with the brand title printed on it, and I assumed that was the cat’s name. Hammy, I was. Creative with names, not so much.

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