Never Roast A Child At Her Bat Mitzvah
2020-11-19, 9:47 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Work: The big work meeting today was per BigBigBoss, BigBoss said that we are all supposed to tell her ASAP whether or not we'd choose to stay working from home forever vs. hybrid vs. coming into the office like "usual" ("this is post-COVID, when it's theoretically safe that one could"), because BigBigBoss wants a total. I don't really know what I want on this one so I didn't write back (and probably won't until forced to), but my group privately agreed over chat that we were more into work from home with some hybrid "come in sometimes" come in because now we can wander off and cook and do laundry and stuff like that (and in my case, sleep) better from home. Other than that, just did Important Document stuff all day, it was pretty quiet other than chit-chatting away with coworkers a whole lot.
I did talk to Christine for a bit about my angst with contacting theater people in general. She said it's probably not me, but sometimes we have to check on the people we care about even when they don't ask so they know they are cared about. Also, "This 2020 thing is really getting in the way" and "people are hitting their boiling point with the world." Also, "I bet they are sulking and most people that I know don't reach out, they wait for someone to message you. Most people I know have the thought, "I didn't want to bother you," but it's the opposite, we want you to reach out because we are probably in the same thought process" and "who's going to make the first move?"
After work I watched a storytelling show called "Rachel Bloom and Friends: A Cathartic Night of Humiliating Coming-of-Age Stories." She wrote a book (which I had to order for this, but I figure it's a slam dunk that I will like a book called "I Want To Be Where The Normal People Are"....too bad it'll take three weeks at least to get here) about what I am guessing is her teen angst, and invited three friends, two of whom I hadn't heard of and one was "White Josh" David Hull, to join in.
The instructions said to log in fifteen minutes beforehand and what's playing when I do that? "Hackensack" by Fountains of Wayne. Which I had not heard before, but here's the lyrics that were on:
"But I will wait for you / As long as I need to / And if you ever get back to Hackensack / I'll be here for you."
Anyway: the show was a delight, featuring many photos/videos of the storytellers from their awkward teen years. Rachel had a photo of herself winning the "grandmother and granddaughter look-alike contest" and showed video of herself getting BOOED as a kid in a talent show. She told a story about the popular kids harassing her by pulling the ol' "popular guy asks you out for five minutes and then shames you in front of the entire school" gag. Which is exactly how I technically got my first boyfriend except then he bailed after five minutes and Rachel's strung it out for a day and also said, according to her, "Please take these Cheetos as a token of my affection."
Oddly enough, the next day she was treated like a popular girl--'I had two hours of not being the school pariah"--before he did the inevitable public dump. However, more like in the movies and not like my real life experience of that shit at all, everyone else thought the guy was a complete asshole for doing that, and this led to Rachel's popularity going way up. "It's not on brand for me to have a happy ending to this story, so in the book I said sad ending TBD." Also, pulling this stuff makes you look like a movie villain, and later one of the popular girls apologized to her. Also, "Did no one see Carrie? They cover her in a substance and they DIE."
Mano Agapion (I'm guessing on the spelling, Rachel was doing kr8tive Israeli saying of names and I didn't see them written) the gay Greek guy was talking about being turned on by the hot priest and the hot altar boys at Greek church camp and having to hide in the bathroom with his boner. The theme of the camp that year was "Jesus will return like a thief in the night" because "we gotta go full scare tactic...."
David Hull (a.k.a. "White Josh" from the show) talked about working at a Paramount Studios-themed part in Ohio, doing a bunch of bad singing shows with interesting plots and ridiculous songs. He deeply enjoyed it. Mano: "When was the first time you realized you might not be cool?"
Then there was Gilly Navin (again, guessing on spelling), who told the story of her gumball-themed bat mitzvah, which was going well until "My mom hired a Columbo impersonator to roast me." The tradition at these things is to have the parent give a loving speech about their child. Her mother hires a guy who calls up all of Gilly's friends asking for dirt on her, and then her mom started harassing their mothers for dirt for this when the friends wouldn't comply, leading to stories about Gilly swimming topless being blabbed to all in public. Her mother's opinion on this was "You weren't roasted, it was a personalized comedy routine!" Later she thought she'd tracked down "Columbo" to yell at him, but she instead got a different Columbo her mother had used for a mystery show. Rachel was all, "thank you for letting me exploit that to sell my book."
Rachel also mentioned that she has a musical chapter in the book, which you can listen to on her website. I look forward to this.
After that I went to a Tellebration (for storytellers, it's that time of year, or at least the month), which was a group mingler between the Delta Wordweavers and a SoCal group. I will note that the rather formal-sounding English lady emcee actually pronounces the word "decades" as "dickheads." OH MY. Also, someone in the meeting is literally named "Deb Downer." BWAHAHAHAHAH.
I didn't find all of the stories memorable exactly or at least I gave up on taking notes (honestly, I'm not blown away by the yumminess of tortillas and I zoned out on that one), but the memorable ones were:
"Lariat Larry" had a story about a condemned man who was getting photographed before he died, he uses the opportunity to try to escape, The sheriff stops him by shoving his finger up his nose very painfully. Dude ends up having his sentence commuted.
Brother Ben told a lively story about Mary Ellen Pleasant.
I enjoyed David Whiting's story about how NOT to plan a Christmas vacation trip with your girlfriend, her rat, and her ex. Whaaaaat? He went to Berkeley, was a bio major, and his girlfriend was doing what she called "her Satan Rat Project" in which she wanted to breed a rat with red eyes and black fur. I guess this never succeeded, but she did bring her favorite rat, Sydney, with her and the boyfriend to the "Southern California Fancy Rat Convention," in her pocket the entire time. They went via Amtrak and David realizes too late he forgot to buy his own ticket, so he keeps hiding in the bathroom from the train conductor. Then later on the two of them run into her ex, Todd, who she considered to be "possessive" and keeps trying to get her back...so then SHE ends up hiding in the bathroom. They finally get back home and Sydney has 8 babies. Adorable.
Doris Hand made up some historical figure and created a character named Emma who was a colonel's wife who made a general sleep on her floor (after someone throws a fit about them borrowing a bed from the hospital) and he took it very well. I was kinda disappointed that wasn't real.
Betsy Mosier told a story (probably not true) about a girl who adopts a baby turkey named hank at grandma's house. One Thanksgiving, Hank the turkey saves grandma from a bobcat attack. Adorable.