Sunday, February 17, 2019

Well apparently I’m never going upstairs again.

Bitch Kitty’s powers are so strong that not only have they imprisoned me in my basement dungeon until a handsome prince (preferably wearing a speedo and singing show-tune duets in a comfortable key) comes to rescue me, but they’ve also turned our staircase walls into shiny molten caramel.

I made a meme ...

I thought I had a six-hour rehearsal for 9 to 5 yesterday and then a six-hour rehearsal today

But now that it’s all said (sung?) and done and I’m double-checking my math, it was six hours yesterday and a mere four hours today. My bad.

The show is really going to be spectacular. And exhausting. If my tired old ass can even keep up. And after this weekend’s (mere) ten collective hours of rehearsals, I’m dead. But it’s a happy dead.

As usual, my friend Dale nails it

“I see it in the Facebook feeds today and hear it in the locker room all of the time, you know the 'both parties are wrong, all politicians are crooks'. Nope sorry, not having it, there are differences. Let’s just talk about El Presidente, I mean Individual One. How about: attacks the Intelligence services, praise dictators, sides with White Nationalists, fails to disavow the KKK, attacks women based on their weight and looks, uses twitter to conduct foreign policy, asks foreign enemies to hack into a Presidential candidate’s email, fabricates a racist story about the former President’s birthplace (birtherism) , already has played more than 138% more golf than Obama, failure to criticize the Saudi Prince for the killing of an American journalist, on pace to beat Obama’s travel record (bigly), failed to release his taxes like he said he would, Trump’s use of Executive Orders, lied about Inauguration crowd size, lied on his business dealings with Russia, said Mexico would pay for the wall and then claimed he never said it, criticized a former decorated Prisoner of War, criticized the family of a deceased Gold Star family, criticized Navy admiral, William H. McRaven the former Navy SEAL commander who oversaw the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, talk of grabbing women by their genitals, made fun of reporter with disabilities, attacks the media daily, pulling out of International Treaties on Climate Change, Nuclear weapons, and International Trade, attacked a Judge because of his ethnicity, virtually curtailed press conferences, large swaths of executive time, wait I almost forgot about lying about paying off porn stars and now a fake National emergency. I mean what will it take? This is your guy? Thirty-six indictments, nine guilty pleas so far, campaign chair going to jail for the rest of his life. These are all great guys, the kind you want running the country, right? Please don't say both sides do it ever again...this is not apples to apples, this is comparing apples to treason. There are differences and they matter."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

When you went to bed an hour ago

but you stumbled into a click hole of Disney-secrets videos and now it’s late and you’re tired and you really need to turn the damn lights off and go to damn sleep but first you take a totally staged helicopter selfie in which you look totally unconvincingly tired and JUST PUT DOWN YOUR DAMN PHONE AND GO TO SLEEP, JAKE. Sheesh.


Today’s episode of Surviving Leg Day was brought to you by, the dating site where everyone else is half your age and going through life on a supermodel scholarship; the How Not To Light Your Gym Selfies podcast, which we promise to listen to one of these days; a grant from the Black El Camino T-Shirt Badassery Council; the words “abductors” and “lumbar region”; and the generous support of thousands of don’t-skip-leg-day memes posted by social-networkers like you.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Behold my newfound normalness!

Two generations of the Full Monty diaspora, now populating the 9 to 5 bass section

Or if you want to make it creepy and weird, you could call us Malcolm and the Brotherhood of the Harold Sandwich. But don’t call us that. It’s creepy and weird.

God, I hope you get these

Bendy people try to stand out so they can dance like clones.

The way you do your hair is a metaphor for the idea that it doesn't matter what you look like.

A group of women with 50 years of age differences who've never worked together and who've probably never even met somehow simultaneously remember the choreography and staging to a generations-old song. Oh, and something about a coffee cup.

All the neighbors' cats disappeared so ...

Dude can't commit.

Mom makes too many sandwiches and moves out.

Dude dots Dot, dies.

Cats with stupid names pretty much do nothing.

Pray for a tech malfunction if you want to see some dicks at the end.

Six boobs and a garage-door opener.

Tons and tons of plotlines about French people--half of whom are poor and uneducated--who for some reason all sing in perfect English.

Dancing guys in tight jeans take a stab at cultural harmony.

Slinky Fosse choreography makes the plot irrelevant.

Drag queens overcome adversity and teach everyone a valuable lesson about discrimination and tolerance.

Then, 40 years later, the exact same plot happens again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


If a guy in a perfectly broken in Banana Republic circa 2010 faux-1978-throwback compass-and-fleur-de-lis-crest-collection cornflower blue crewneck T-shirt crafted from 100% soft, breathable cotton (I’m being purposefully vague here to protect everyone’s privacy) bench pressed 3 sets of 10 reps at 185 lbs without a spotter in his uncharacteristically empty gym so there was practically nobody there to see it, would it still make a sound on social media?



(Confidential to whomever inflicted this abomination on the world: “Darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” is neither creative nor clever nor meaningful nor of intrinsic or extrinsic value nor worthy of the music-listening population’s attention. Especially in a would-be headbanger gym. I hate you with the white-hot fire of a thousand competent lyricists.)

Hey, big spend-purr!

I’m working from home in my ultra-plush, super-cozy basement office today, and I figured that since Bitch Kitty liked sitting on my laptop bag so much the last time, I’d set it out again for her—and this time arrange it so she also had a space to sit inside the shoulder strap if she wanted to mix it up a bit.

She hadn’t even shown her face (or her bitch ass like last time) by noon so I sweetened the pot with a crisp $5 bill, but she apparently can’t even be enticed to sit by me with the allure of untold lifetime wealth.

I’d admire her willpower if I could just find my dignity first ...


* Bags of plastic bags hanging on the back doorknob

When you work from home on a charmingly snow-covered day, you constantly have to fight the urge to photograph your charmingly snow-covered back deck

I’d love to say that’s a rustic, charming wagon wheel in the corner to play up my all-Iowans-live-on-charming-farms cred, but it’s just our patio table turned on its side and pushed close to the house because we really have no other options for storing it in the winter.



Monday, February 11, 2019

Note to all the foxy ladies out there: Somehow I’m still single

But you should see my legs.

#SparksOfJoy: A weekly post about something that makes me happy

"Sunday," Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim: Never has a song captured me on so many levels and left me with goosebumps every time I hear it. Sunday in the Park with George is one of the first shows I ever saw on Broadway, and "Sunday" finishes Act I by bringing together all the characters we've met as individual people as they stand and relocate and adjust as a growing ensemble and ultimately form a living, singing, haunting, as-close-as-humanly-possible re-creation of Georges Seurat's defining painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The score of the entire show is peppered with quick little notes that evoke the peppered-dot painting style of Pointillism, and the dreamy lyrics meander through the endless combinations of colors Pointillist painters used to create light and shade and depth and movement in their work. And the last sung lyrics--"... on an ordinary Sunday!"--stand in gloriously stark contrast to the shimmering, fortissimo, every-possible-note chording in the orchestra that is powerfully, thrillingly anything but normal.

Good morning! Does this Vogue-does-Disney-princesses art installation in my bedroom make me look gay?

Or does it just make Belle’s hand look like something you’d find on a Gold Lobster sampler platter?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The bows are bowed,

the set is struck, the goodbyes are hugged, the nipples have been recaptured and reincarcerated after their escape, the show socks and underwear and complimentary tearaway thongs are in the wash ... and what is one of my all-time favorite show experiences has finally, bittersweetly, proudly and very-happy-memoriedly come to an end.

Good night!

So this awesome thing just happened from our awesome cast and crew on our awesome final performance of this show I absolutely adore where I may or may not have squeaked out an actual sob in the bows

We’re badger hot in our Michael Jordon hats!

And I’m vagueblogging some Full Monty inside jokes!


The show’s at 2:30. I promise you’ll love the way these ties look on us.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

The dimple in my tie is totally on point tonight and I don’t want to ruin it so I won’t be doing any stripping

Also: Have you met my lovely stage wife? Shhh—don’t tell her I’m a feral jungle-beast stripper. I have a rep to protect.

Secrets of theater magic: Strippin’ Stuff!




Am I a backward-baseball-cap kind of guy? Because I’ve never thought I could pull the look off.

But the choreography at today's 9 to 5 rehearsal has a lot of port de bras (movement of the arms) that keeps knocking it (the cap) off my head (tête) (or cabeza) (or noggin). And I have five-alarm (humanity-endangering) hat hair, so I really have no choice but to keep it (the cap) on in some position.

The entire family is up at the sparkle fingers of dawn to volunteer at MoShow, the epic show choir competition at my (and then my sister’s and eventually then my nephew’s and now my niece’s) high school

Every year I end up volunteering in the kitchen, which is next to the gyms, which are where the trophies and athletic-hall-of-fame pictures are ... and my state-winning gymnastics team photo still hangs in all its glory there, where generations of fully wowed students have paid homage at this fading shrine to my JV-lettering pommel-horse athletic grace and stylings:
That’s right, kids: In addition to my award-winning high-school sparkle-fingering, I’M ALSO A SPORTSY LETTERMAN.

You may all now bow and exalt.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

I’ve been singing choral music for 35+ years

and I STILL get tripped up reading a bass line that’s scored in the treble clef. WHY THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT, MUSIC-WRITER-DOWNER PEOPLE? IT’S STUPID. AND DUMB. AND STUPID.

That said, read this bass line in G-major treble clef—WHERE IT’S STILL WICKED-FREAKING HIGH—and you’ll have my favorite belty four-count phrase in all of 9 to 5. After one week of rehearsals, at least.

Does anyone else think this snow we're covered in is weird and probably haunted by ghosts?

It's light and fluffy, but solid and not-blow-around-y. And when you shovel it, it falls like sand exactly where you put it. THIS IS NOT NORMAL SNOW, PEOPLE. It's like pie-crust dough before you add the last two tablespoons of ice water. It's the clumping cat litter that sifts through the scooper when you dig out the rocks of calcified cat pee. (For the record, I try my best not to get those two things mixed up when I'm baking.) It's white Play-Doh that you accidentally left the lid off of overnight. It's those tiny freeze-dried marshmallows that you find in packets of shitty powered cocoa mix. It's driveway dandruff mixed with street scabs. IT'S FREAKING ME OUT.

I’m working from home today

(because I’m a big chicken about driving on thick ice embedded with chunks of hail and no doubt shards of glass and the wailing souls of long-dead children) and OF ALL THE COZY PLACES IN OUR COZY HOUSE THAT BITCH KITTY COULD CHOOSE TO SIT, she’s chosen to sit on my not-at-all-cozy canvas laptop bag. With her bitch ass aimed directly at me, natch.

It’s back!

Three years ago when I was a lonely Twitter novice trying to get followers using every devious means I could figure out, I posted anything I could think of under the trending hashtags (a strategy that still has yet to reel in any followers) in an attempt to charm strangers across this flat earth of ours with my weirdness.

To wit: #igot7selcaday. Your guess is as good as mine what the hashtag means, but that doesn’t matter when you’re desperate for Twitter validation. I had to ask a LOT of tweeters-in-the-know to explain this to me, but it turns out—and I swear on the Gospel of Sondheim that I am not making any of this up—that selca day is a weekly thing for Korean teens—stay with me here—where they Photoshop themselves—I'm still not lying—into pictures of a designated-for-that-week Korean boy band—which in the case of the above hashtag is Got7—and post them online for endless fun and meaningful enjoyment.


Surprisingly, I was not able to figure any of this out on my own from the #igot7selcaday hashtag or from the millions of pictures people were posting under it. Still not wanting to be left out of the party though, I posted a photo of ... me and Bitch Kitty.

Then I turned off my phone and went to a four-hour Follies rehearsal. And when I turned it on as I walked back to my car it all but exploded with the multiple thousands of likes and retweets and comments praising me for my brilliant parody and my clever thinking and my apparent dominance over the entire Internet. I still didn’t know what the hell was going on, but attention is attention and little red “like” hearts are little red “like” hearts and I WANTED ALL OF IT.

As with all drunken power orgies though—so I hear—the frenzy came to an end within 24 hours and I unceremoniously toppled from my Internet-celebrity throne and rejoined the world of all you common people. But be assured, you common people, that my legend lives on and it still sparks random flare-ups of eternal praise ... like this comment I got out of the blue this morning. Which I think is eternal praise. Or just seben praises. Whatever. It’s still praise. So shut up.

Anyway, the key takeaway here is that I’m huge in Korea. And Bitch Kitty is in a boy band. And though this experience garnered me zero new Twitter followers, IT STILL GOT OVER 10,000 LIKES. And that’s way more than seben.

You may all now bow and exalt.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Mental Illness Theater

I’m very, VERY busy alphabetizing my dryer lint in order of who has the cutest boyfriend tonight, so I’ll be understandably unable to watch Derp Fuhrer waddle through the indignities of end-stage syphilis as his collective stink of ineptitude, racism and borschtburders wafts across the House chamber like the frothy spittle of married siblings pulled from their confederate bedsheets and forced to think about gays eating cake in the harsh light of day.

But have fun holding down your dinner if for some reason you find value in sitting through the STFU. Or however you spell it.

What's a meta for?

When your super-cute T-shirt HAS A SUPER-CUTE T-SHIRT PRINTED ON IT but it’s TOO BIG TO CAPTURE IN A GYM STEALTHFIE but it gives you a valid opportunity to say META and OTHER CAPITALIZED WORDS and then YOUR REHEARSAL GETS CANCELED so you stick around in the gym an extra half hour to BLAST THE LIVING HELL OUT OF YOUR BICEPS which is MAKING YOUR ARMS ALL SHAKY and TOTALLT MESSIMG UP YOUR TYPINB.

Let’s do it for our country—the red, white and the blue!

I'm dilated to meet you

PRO TIP: Never get your eyes dilated on a sunny day with snow on every surface of the world that reflects the sun's rays from every direction like white-hot lasers burning holes in your unprotected retinas.

If you're dumb enough to not heed my warning, at least bring some decent--REAL--sunglasses to wear home.

O Fortweeta

Fun fact: The very first CD I ever bought--out of all the CDs in the entire canon of recorded music to date--was Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Rutgers University Choir under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. I bought it along with Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Caballé's "Barcelona." Because why buy Paul Simon's "The Rhythm of the Saints" or Green Day's "39/Smooth" or even Madonna's "The Immaculate Collection" like all the cool, well-socialized kids in 1990 when you can start your CD collection with obscure music that is totally weird-ass for a 22-year-old to listen to on a 5,000 lb. boom box in your parents' dining room?

In totally unrelated news, why am I still single?

Monday, February 04, 2019

So THIS is happening ...

WARNING: Not yummy. Not even a little bit.

Unless you’re jonesing for the taste of amoxicillin. Because you’ve caught Valentine’s Day gonorrhea.

#SparksOfJoy: A weekly post about something that makes me happy

Grant Wood: Daughters of Revolution (1932): This relentlessly horizontal painting features three dour spinstresses--one holding a teacup in my grandmother's Blue Willow china pattern--standing self-righteously in front of Emanuel Leutz's painting Washington Crossing the Delaware. The local Daughters of the Revolution chapter was furious with Grant Wood for studying the art of stained glass in Germany--the enemy!--soon after World War I as he prepared to create a massive stained-glass window commemorating the soldiers of America’s last six wars. So he painted the DAR spinsptisses standing in front of a cherished Revolutionary War painting depicting a cherished moment in American folklore ... that was painted by a German. It was a brilliant political cartoon encapsulated in a masterful Regionalist painting by Cedar Rapids’ still-celebrated native son.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Movin' the chains

I’m home from another delightfully exhausting weekend, I have the house quietly to myself and an ice-cold cherry-lime La Croix on a coaster next to me, and I’m going to spend my evening listening to Mozart and reading a book. And being thankful for many, many things.

Program insert:

At today’s matinee of The Full Monty, the role of Horse (usually played by Omarr J Hatcher Sr.) will be played by Jake Stigers, and the show-stopping song “Big Black Man” will be replaced with the irascibility anthem “Old White Guy.” Theatre Cedar Rapids apologizes in advance if you’re asked to get off of its lawn.

Christopher Schubert will, as always, continue to photobomb every social-media post and distract from its super-funny narrative.

Mic check!

We checked, and none of us is even playing a character named Mic.