Monday, July 31, 2017

Don't worry, guys. You can always get jobs in China making #MAGA hats.

Modern-day presidential

You want "extreme vetting" of millions of immigrants but you can't even look up from your golf clubs long enough to figure out how to do cursory drive-by vetting of your top officials. Though you find plenty of time to whine on Twitter about how your professional, moral and personal catastrophic failures aren't your fault. You suck as a president, you suck as a leader, you suck as a judge of character, you suck as a thinker, you suck as a human, you suck as a husband and father, and you especially suck at sucking at everything. There is more value in my toilet than in the entirety of your existence. Gather up all your "best people" and stand in front of your "Second Amendment people" and finally bring your inevitable bloody end to all your sucking bullshit. You owe us.

I just want someone to hold me and love me and never spill me the way Chris Christie does his nachos

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Awesomeness beyond American Gothic

Grant Wood, best known for his iconic "American Gothic," lived and worked most of his life in and around my home town: Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His legacy in the area—in addition to an exhaustive collection of his work in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art permanent collection—includes an annual art festival, a grade school (my alma mater!) and even the entire region’s public education agency—all in his name.

Of course, no Cedar Rapids student’s education is complete without thorough coverage of Wood’s stylized, iconoclastic, humorous and sometimes political oeuvre. And this Cedar Rapids student came away with a lifelong love of his work.

Grant Wood was a pioneer in a loosely coordinated artistic movement called Regionalism, which eschewed modernist, abstract trends like Impressionism and Cubism in favor of stylistic, romanticized views of everyday rural life in the 1930s. The Regionalists were less concerned with the trendy politics of 1930s Social Realists than with renouncing the hegemony of popular European art and culture and celebrating the honest work ethic and modest demeanor of the Midwest.

In 1928, Wood received a commission to create a giant stained-glass window for the American Legion in Cedar Rapids. In preparation, he traveled to Munich to study ancient stained-glass techniques under Germany’s famed master craftsmen. The window he created, featuring a 16-foot Lady of Peace standing over six life-size soldiers representing the Revolutionary War through World War I, was a masterpiece of technique, form and color. Though as far as Google and every search term I can think of are concerned, it never had a name. But you can see it in all its nameless glory right here:
Fun fact: The model for the Lady of Peace figure was his sister, Nan Wood Graham, who was also the model for the female figure in "American Gothic."

Despite the window's unmistakable American themes, it drew fire from misguided patriots who criticized Wood for studying with the Germans—the enemy!—so soon after the first World War. One of the most vocal groups was the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.

Wood’s elegant response: "Daughters of Revolution," a satirical painting showing three dour spinstresses standing self-righteously—one, pinky extended in haughty indignation, holding a teacup in my grandmother’s china pattern—in front of Emmanuel Leutz’s famous "Washington Crossing the Delaware."
Wood’s point, lost completely on the knee-jerk reactionaries the painting so elegantly mocked, lies in the fact that "Washington Crossing the Delaware"—that beloved icon of American patriotism—was painted by a German.

I loved this painting before I even knew its story. The delightfully smug women drew me in because their spiritual progeny hung just a few branches over on my family tree. The Blue Willow teacup fascinated me because its cousins served as my grandmother’s everyday dishes. (Have you ever eaten green Jell-O from a blue plate? It looks off-puttingly brown.) And that shape—that relentless horizontalness—made the painting such a challenge to display in any setting.

My framed print of "Daughters of Revolution" along with one of my grandmother's teacups that I've always displayed with it are currently not challenging me to do anything but pay for their storage in a giant and impeccably tidy storage facility at the edge of town. But they are quite literally among my favorite possessions and they will see the light of day again soon. In the mean time, I am proudly and dutifully as a Cedar Rapidian sharing the works here so you can enjoy their oft-overlooked brilliance and awesomeness.

You do know your random, illogical use of quotes makes you look illiterate and not sarcastic, right?

Yes. Of course you don't.

One container of leftover Jell-O

7,985 lids that don't fit.
Catastrophic existential futility.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming!

Believe it or not, it took us three tries to get a selfie this woke.

Some people have magical superpowers to see into the future

This one can't even manage to see into the past.

I forgot to post this bitchy twofer yesterday

I hope I'm not too late and he's suddenly become competent. Boy, would THAT be embarrassing.


Bitch Kitty is storing energy and dreaming up her next strategy for divebombing my ankles as I walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Look who doesn't have a mustache anymore! 

Look who is still wearing his shirt from last night at 10:16 the next morning! Look who's about to crawl under the covers in his wrinkly last-night shirt again and take a lazy-person nap!

Stop looking at me, everybody. I'm talking about the cat.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Just killed a man

DAMNIT! I finally learn how to pronounce Reince and his career is suddenly over faster than a trump marriage. Or a Scaramucci marriage. *THUNDERBOLTS AND LIGHTNING!*

Speaking of having an off week, ol' self-fellatin' Scaramucci also carelessly let everyone on Twitter know today that he follows gay porn stars -- which I'm sure has NOTHING to do with his wife filing to divorce him -- so as soon as I learn how to pronounce HIS name, maybe I could do some of that sweet-talkin' we all know he likes and he and I could do the fandango.


Someone just killed my chest. And those meddling kids are probably going to figure out who did it.

Flashback Friday: Granny Socks Edition

Back when I was running enough races to have chronic running injuries, someone suggested I spend some stupid amount of money on compression granny socks to stabilize my shin splints or whatever meaningless verb they used. My verdict: spend the money on hookers and porn and just run with your shin splints. Because otherwise all you'll get is a passing resemblance to Marcia Brady on the first day of school. Case in point:
Judging by the bag in my hand, this picture is also from back in the day when even the littlest races loaded you with tons of cool swag. Now all you get is coupons for store-brand sports drinks and the ever-present sample of some Icy Hot knockoff. But you also still get abs. So I hear. Which is why running season starts this weekend and my first 10K looms just a month away. Onward!

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Our most-presidential president is faithfully carrying on his modern-day presidential tradition of forcing parents to have awkward conversations explaining to their kids what grabbing pussy means and then draining the swamp by surrounding himself with the best people who force parents to have awkward conversations explaining to their kids what sucking cock is. And that, in a nutshell, is the entirety of his fucking strength as a president.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You started the day lying about meeting with "the Generals"

You're ending the day lying about "potential for up to." You're too stupid to use a dollar sign. You are worth less than nothing.

Look! Who's! Visiting! 

Except she's in full herding mode so she's sitting with her butt facing me to protect me from marauding intruders instead of her face facing me for a smiley picture.
Also: super-cute plaid shorts

Reflections on a summer evening dinner with a friend

1. I have some truly lovely friends.
2. Pizza is good.
3. 2017 is shaping (ahem) up to be the summer of the athletic round butt tucked neatly but distractingly in tailored, architecturally supportive above-the-knee shorts.
4. This entire post is just an elaborate pretense for me to faux-offhandedly describe our waiter's butt as though it happens to be a random line item in a numbered-list description of my evening.
5. You know I wouldn't lie about something like this.
6. Also the guy's butt at the table next to ours.
7. We Iowans sure know how to throw a torrential downpour, amirite?
8. Our waiter also had a massive tattoo on his forearm.
9. We also had a pan-size cookie smothered in layers of ice cream, chocolate sauce, regret and despair.
10. Butt butt butt.

Jesus fuck. Get assassinated already.

With all your catastrophic bullshit #InfrastructureWeek and #MadeInAmericaWeek failures, THIS is what you focus on? Lying about medical costs to hate transgender soldiers?

Transgender soldiers actually serve our country in the military. Chickenshit pussies like you run away because your heels hurt.

I somehow put my shirt on inside-out this morning

Which means I'm way too stupid to even dress myself.

But hey -- look at the size of my crowds.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The verdict is in!

Bill -- who once started an interview with an atheist on a topic that had nothing to do with atheism by asking "Why do you hate god?" -- here makes an argument based solely on a completely irrelevant and highly subjective opinion, in 10 words converts it to "fact" and one comma later uses it to be the first person ever to prove a negative using a single empirical opinion.

Well that's all the evidence *I* need. In Betsy DeVos' education system, high-school-senior Jared probably can't even spell treason, much less commit it. Plus he's kinda white!



Monday, July 24, 2017

This is the little game we play: 

She waits by the top of the basement stairs for me. I approach her cautiously from the other side of the planet. She growls lowly like a power drill without enough torque. I casually creep closer without making eye contact, as though all of my interest lies with a random sock that fell out of the laundry pile near her. She amps up her growling to sound more like a Kitchen Aid mixer struggling with its dough hook and a particularly hearty bread recipe. I make eye contact. She makes eye contact. I slowly, s l o w l y, begin the process of maybe kind of thinking about someday possibly squatting in her general vicinity to facilitate the hypothetical scratching of her ears. She shifts her growling into third gear, this time sounding like a vacuum with a strip of raffia stuck in its roller during post-Christmas clean-up. I get brutally murdered by a suspiciously nearby surgeon who promptly disarticulates my arms, rendering me profoundly incapable of living, breathing or furry-ear scratching. She shifts into overdrive, sounding almost exactly like the steamroller that all-too-conveniently appears from behind the aforementioned laundry sock to crush my disarticulated remains flatter than the the aforementioned bread, which, in my selfish hurry to pet her, I completely forgot to do the part where you fold in the yeast and let the dough rise for three hours. I softly sing "Nothing's gonna harm you. Not while I'm around," which, through the restorative power of show tunes, revives me and rearticulates my arms. She rolls onto her back and does that adorable Fosse thing with her front paws (pictured here), all of which is the international symbol for "I trust you and I unconditionally love you so I'm showing you my vulnerable underbelly in the expectation you'll stop what you're doing and come rub it nonstop until President Hillary rightfully takes office." I, blithely trusting her yet again, reach out tenderly, gingerly and gratefully to overcome my crippling yet understandable trust issues and finally - FINALLY - rub her soft, furry tummy in servile gratitude. She draws me in with her calculating eyes and her deceitful body language. I, emotionally scarred and spiritually broken by years of this unceasing abuse, finally - FINALLY - make finger-to-tip-of-tummy-fur contact, tears of grateful joy and social acceptance streaming down my face like healing waters spilling forth from the nose of a centuries-old Madonna statue in an Italian grotto. She, once again reaching the triumphant climax of our emotional Grand Guignol, rolls away from me, hisses like a steam brake struggling to stop a runaway train, waddles maybe three feet away, plops her geriatric belly firmly on the carpet, softens her hate-filled eyes to a dewy, inviting semblance of friendship and love, and meows plaintively as though to invite me closer to pet her. I approach her cautiously from the other side of the planet ...

Always > cat

Mom's shoulder surgery > borrowed recliner for her to sleep in for her eight weeks of recovery > assorted sheets and blankets draped over the recliner footrest > cat fort

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tapped out

Go back in your cubby and rest among your vast extended shoe family for now, my awesome kick-ass tap shoes. I'll be back to get you the minute I find an awesome kick-ass adult tap class (ahem) or get cast in another awesome kick-ass tap show (ahem).

The Billy Elliot set is struck

The stage is bare. The fingernails are dirty. The free pizza is eaten. The cast key fobs to the building are turned in (which somehow was the thing that made the end of the show feel the most final). But the three guys in green shirts still found time to pose for one last picture at the bottom of the steep and very narrow stairway that will always lead from the humble dressing rooms to the beautiful spotlights.

Guns and man-buns

My finally-humanoid haircut's first trip to the gym didn't land me a husband or a physique modeling contract or even a secret Putin meeting that's all Obama's fault. But my secret gym boyfriend was there after a months-long disappearance, though he was sporting a man-bun and haircuts and man-buns are not a mutually exclusive zero-sum equation and are therefore immutably incompatible so I am once again seeking qualified applicants for the position of secret gym boyfriend.

I have to note, though, that losing 40 lbs of hair makes your head cool faster and your body sweat less, and when your internal temperature-regulating system is working at optimal performance, you can give yourself a really swole workout. Even though your deal-breaker-man-bunned secret gym boyfriend never even looks up to notice.


But when did I get wrinkles around my mouth? And why is it so breezy?

CedaRound: 12:17 am

Regency-style bas-relief cladding. Cedar Rapids Hotel Roosevelt grand entrance. Glazed terra cotta. 1927.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

That's a wrap on Billy Elliot

Nothing left but the fondant logo cookie.

But it was home

The steep and very narrow staircase leading from the Theatre Cedar Rapids dressing rooms to stage left. Walking down them in tap shoes carrying an armload of costumes is a recipe for certain death. Mark my words.

Billy Elliot final presets:

Sailor suit for tapping in a big gay fantasy dance sequence with two boys in dresses. Stripper jeans to be ripped off without warning in front of an impressionable young boy and the woman who played Sandy in Grease with me 25 years ago. Deeply dented billy club used repeatedly to beat crowds of striking miners' collective will to live into bloody submission.

Last show

Much excitement. Unbridled joy. Anticipated sadness. Enduring pride.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Mustache Farewell Tour

This thing eating my face dies a swift and violent death this weekend, and you have only two more chances to come watch it perform astounding feats of magic like play the piano without looking, tap dance in a sailor suit and lift a small child without dropping him.


Flashback Friday: Flood of Emotion Edition

Here's my beloved Theatre Cedar Rapids -- where I'm currently thrilled to be doing Billy Elliot -- drowning in Cedar Rapids' heartbreaking 2008 flood. The flood devastated the entire downtown, but now TCR has been restored to a gorgeously updated version of its original splendor with a huge new bar lounge, multiple rehearsal spaces, a second black-box theater, actor-friendly dressing and green rooms, and even stunning chandeliers in the auditorium that had been hidden away and lost to the ages.

You have two more opportunities to see our insanely wonderful show. Get your tickets at

Thursday, July 20, 2017


WHY are we glorifying OJ Simpson by televising his appallingly softball parole hearing when we have a catastrophically inept, arrogantly treasonous dumpster fire of a presidency to expose and analyze and humiliate out of existence in the legitimate media?

Man-boy's Twitter archive is like the Hallmark aisle at Walgreens

There's an accidentally prescient arrogant douchebag tweet that's tailor-made for every one of his inevitable failures as a human being.

Burnham Wood

This -- THIS! -- is why I'm so in-demand with the ladies that I have to wear tear-away pants in the show. You have two more chances to behold my feral mane and disco-fantasy mustache on stage this weekend. Because I'll be waiting by the door of the haircut store first thing Sunday morning, and once the forest has moved to Dunsinane -- if I may desperately force an illogical theater metaphor -- Macbeth is dead and gone forever. Which, of course, is the logical conclusion of that desperately forced illogical theater metaphor.

Anyway, get your tickets now at Theatre Cedar Rapids.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

THIS is what's happening

1. I just got my mom a smart TV for her to watch during her shoulder surgery recovery
2. I also just subscribed to Netflix on our new smart TV, which finally dragged our family kicking and screaming into the 21st century of television watching beyond basic cable
3. I have been dying to see the documentary "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened" since well before the directors and producers even thought to make it
4. I have "Someday Just Began," which is a quote from "Our Time," which is a song from "Merrily We Roll Along," tattooed on the inside of my left biceps
5. I kid you not
6. Because I would never joke about Sondheim
7. Because I can quote the sacred Book of Sondheim by chapter and verse
8. Which I do often
9. Especially in random texts I've been exchanging with my ex since the day we met 10 years ago
10. It's our private shorthand for sharing pretty much everything that happens in our lives
11. Oops -- I wandered off
12. Anyway, I just found out last night that "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened," which is a documentary about the creation and heady experience of being a part of "Merrily We Roll Along," is available on Netflix
13. Which, I remind you, I now have
14. On, I remind you, our welcome-to-the-21st-century new smart TV
15. I have no plans tonight for the first time since the Carter Administration
16. My mom and dad are gone tonight
17. Which means I have the house and the smart TV and the Netflix all to myself
19. Since I've been planning on seeing this documentary someday, someday is definitely just beginning tonight the second I get home
20. Commence Total Sondheim Geek Out In 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


It's a shame he had to downgrade his Make America Great Again slogan, especially after he put it on all those Chinese hats. #ThisNewSloganIsABigFatLieToo

Monday, July 17, 2017


I just auditioned for Grease by singing "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" with a mustache and reading for Kenicke with a rogue Southern accent that popped up out of nowhere and WOULDN'T GO AWAY.

So I'm pretty sure the role of Li'l Abner is mine for the taking.


Is #MadeInAmericaWeek the same lie as #InfrastructureWeek except with physical proof that it's go-nowhere propaganda to manipulate man-boy's gullible moron base?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

1:46 am

I hate it when the bottom drops out and I have a sudden-onset bipolar depressive episode that abruptly shuts down my night and robs me of the opportunity to spend time with my friends and cast members.

I hate it when I keep getting crushes on straight guys.

I hate it that the arrogance and corruption and immaturity and willful ignorance and daily manifestations of ineptitude coming from Trump and his vile, insular orbit are so pervasive and so ubiquitous and now so normalized that we all just roll our eyes after each bombshell and wait a day for the next bombshell, which somehow STILL doesn't land them all in prison.

I hate that I'll read this in the morning and be embarrassed that I posted it. But it's what's in my head, it's why I'm sitting at home in the dark right now instead of enjoying a late cast party, and it's my free therapy. And somehow I feel less bottled up and alone when I dump my thoughts and troubles out in the universe so I can sleep.

Good night.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Flashback Friday: Grant Park Music Festival Edition

When I lived in Chicago, this was my view at least two nights a week every summer as I picnicked with friends and enjoyed free music and relished in my good fortune to live in such a magnificent city.
If you're ever in Chicago -- or for goodness' sake if you live IN Chicago -- go to the Grant Park Music Festival website NOW, find a night or two or ten this summer with a free concert that sounds appealing or is even just a good fit for your schedule, pack a picnic, stop by the bean (officially named Cloud Gate) on your way for an obligatory selfie, get to the Pritzker Pavilion lawn early to claim a good spot preferably right in the middle, marvel at Frank Gehry's gloriously messy blooming-flower explosion of a stage that lives in harmonious counterpoint with the graceful latticework of poles that curve over the lawn and -- more importantly -- ingeniously and almost organically hang speakers right over your head without interrupting your view of the city or the sky, and then let the concert wash over you like waves of oasis-in-the-city summertime happiness.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cognitive Dissonance Theater: 

A Four-Act Fantasia on Lies, More Lies, Even More Lies and Cripplingly Inconvenient Stupidity


Sexy level: WOKE

1. How on earth did I manage to cut my forehead taking a shower this morning?
2. Does anyone have a comb I could borrow?
3. Or a weed whacker?
4. I am not a human mustache. STOP. OBJECTIFYING. ME.
5. Should I follow my dreams to become a teen model or be in a boy band?
6. Teen model. I'm probably too cookie-cutter dreamy to be in a boy band and I'd hate to get stuck singing backup with my androgynously non-threatening boy-band clones.
7. If Tom Selleck calls asking who stole his sex appeal, tell him I'm not here.
8. Ditto for Burt Reynolds.
9. By the way, "Cop and a Half" ruined both of our careers. I will never forgive him for that.
10. Seriously: soap + water. What part of that equation caused me to cut my forehead?