Friday, April 27, 2018

Advice: Wahhh!! Of legacy and controlling my offspring!

LuLu Lays It Down: Advice, Death-Match Style

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I are expecting a baby girl. For professional and personal reasons, my husband and I both kept our own last names. My father-in-law, ["Phil"], has absolutely lost it upon learning that we plan to hyphenate the baby's last name, reportedly crying and fuming every day. His concerns are not even tangentially related to the welfare of the baby, but to his rights as patriarch and the destruction of his legacy, to paraphrase.

It has been months, and the bottom line is that if we hyphenate he wants nothing to do with us or his granddaughter.

-- Baby Name Drama


***



Dear "If You’re An Adult, Please Don't Use the word ‘Drama’ Unless You're Referring to a Written Work,"

Ugh this letter sure did get my bile up early in the morning.

Firstly, Lulu must advise that all you need to say is "My husband I both kept our own last names."  No need to justify your reasoning (“For professional and personal reasons"). And, if you simply can't get through life without justifying yourself to others, Lulu grants you permission to state "My husband I both kept our own last names. Because reasons." [Don't insert a reason. Literally say, "Because reasons."]

Secondly, you said your kid is slated to be a girl, right? Guess what? Then it doesn't matter WHAT her last name is!! Because, my poor, naive, dumpling, if she gets married and starts spawning, her last name will (most likely) be changed or disappear! Poof! "Legacy" gone! It’ll be like she - and thus your father-in-law's contribution - never even existed! (Seriously, does anyone know the last name of their great, great, great grandmother, maternal side? Didn't think so.) Tell your Father-in-Law this; a girl is just a spawning vessel. For “legacy” (ie: enduring name), what he REALLY needs is a MALE. This truth-bomb might un-twist his panties.

Alternatively, for legacy, he could do something of value for humanity that will never be forgotten like George Washington, Mother Teresa, or Edgar Allan Poe did, but if he wants the easy way out by leaving a legacy of his crotch fruit, then that’s his prerogative.

And, finally, to address the last bit of your letter: "He wants nothing to do with us or his granddaughter." Looks like y’all were given the gift of banishing a certified “Crazy” from your and your child’s life, so be ETERNALLY thankful! Cutting out crazies is one’s life is the greatest gift that can be given.




Sincerely,

Lulu, always looking on the bright side

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

My Experience at Saturday Night Live dress reherseal!!!

This is my experience at Saturday Night Live Dress Rehearsal on April 14, 2018. The host was John friggen’ Mulaney. People. My ghost is typing because I have died of joy. Attending SNL dress exceeded my expectations, and shattered any grand hopes and dreams I could ever conjure!

First of all, I entered the August lottery and won tickets.

You can read some details about the lottery entrance process, winning/notification, and seating here.

The anticipating had been building for me FOR DAYS, and after waiting for about a half hour in “The Peacock Lounge,” we were finally directed to freakin’ Studio 8H. We filed out the elevator and down THE hallway! (To confirm, an atmosphere thick with the stench weed hung heavy in that  hallway.) Then, up a few steps, AND I’M in the flipping studio (top level)! I die as my eyes and ears lay on the SNL band with friggen’ Lenny Pickett WAILING on saxophone! It’s cliche, but the excitement was palpable! A heavy, exciting fog blanketed the place!

By the way, SNL band is completely HOT and kept the whole show glued together and the crowd revved up for the entire two hours.They are, simply, amazing and without them there’d be no SNL.

We were seated in the back row center (great seats!), and continued to listen to the band and watch as the pages ushered in more guests. I sat in my seat nicely, silently freaking the hell out.

When we first walked in, the first thing I spotted was THE clock, but as I looked around from our seats, I couldn’t see it anymore. Turns out, the clock is raised and lowered from the ceiling at the beginning and end of the show!

Just seeing the set walls stacked up in the wings was amazing! The cold open was already set – a presidential looking room (not the Oval Office) and an interrogation/lie detector room.

I spotted Lorne skulking about the set, assessing and looking menacing; thus, I shall be graced with creative luck for the rest of my days!

Then Che, in street clothes, comes out to give the ole legal ”Leave if there’s an emergency” spiel and warmed up the crowd for about four minutes. (He was terrific!)

Next, Kenan comes out and sings…get this… Gimme Some Lovin'!! I’m dying because I have a Blues Brothers CD that I’ve been listening to non-stop since high school and it closes with this song! Kenan has an amazing voice! And Melissa, Cecily, and Kate came out as back-up dancers in sparkly gowns!!

Then it was time to start the cold open. Kate comes out as Jeff Sessions and Beck comes out as Pence. They did a little slow-dancing to the band’s music while they waited for the show to start.

***

Here are my reactions to the sketches. I’m listing them in the order we saw them rehearsed. The sketches in bracked in "[ ]" were cut for time and didn’t air. 

Cold Open: Yeah, a vein almost burst in my neck when first Ben Stiller, then DeNiro came out!

Monologue: John Mulaney is THE MAN! I only knew him as a previous SNL writer and was aware he did standup and had a TV show. At first I was upset that the host wasn’t a “big celebrity,” but then I realized that this might be a gift! I mean, this dude HAS CONTRIBUTED BEFORE! Has created brilliant characters and, as I discovered later, had sketch ideas that didn’t fly back then, but wanted to try again (Lobster Diner). So I lucked out because this was one of the funniest episodes all season! I was cry-laughing at his monologue. In all, John Mulaney was an amazing, hysterical, talented, and perfect host and writer.

Gun Walkout: Disappointed that this was the only sketch Leslie Jones was in. I friggen love her!

[1920's Circle of Wit]: Funny! The premise: a lowly writer (Mulaney) barges in on a table full of famous 1920s authors to trade some barbs. But his retorts aren’t witty - they’re flat-out insulting. Eg: “You’re a douche!” It was pretty funny.

Hollywood Update/Switcheroo: This was funny and upsetting! They definitely tightened it up and cut some content for air.

The Real Intros of Reality Hills (pre-recorded): 

Drag Brunch: Ha! This was brilliant! I loved the concept of the hired-to-insult waitress in drag randomly getting SO DARK with one of the guests. I didn’t think they’d ever reveal a motive - and I thought that was hilarious. But, the sketch concluded by revealing the waitresses’ motive and it lost some of the humor to me. One of the jokes was changed for air: On air, Beck’s line was: “The waitress couldn’t possibly know that the Dyson vacuum guy is my godfather.” In dress it was…”He couldn’t possibly know that I’m Blake Shelton’s Lawyer.”

[FishMan (Pre-recorded)]:  I didn't get this one. A man with a fish head was a star in a superhero fish movie called “FishMan”. But the actor really wanted to be a photographer instead so he left showbiz. One of his fellow fish-headed friends took the role as FishMan in his place. Then original Fishman becomes poor/a derelict because no one likes his photography. His fish friend rises in popularity, riches, and stardom, and eventually buys one of original FishMan’s photos for his son (with Adam Driver). Not my type of humor: It smells like the work of Kyle Mooney.

Jack White Song: “Over and Over and Over” Um, so apparently I really like Jack White.

Weekend Update: I was shocked to see they cut the (Beck?) Conor McGregor bit! It was probably the second funniest thing in the entire show (second only to Lobster Diner ). Beck played Connor McGregor as an over-the-top, probably drunk braggadocio who was regaling the crowd about his time in jail and his reasoning behind throwing a handtruck through a bus. It was HILARIOUS. I died when he called for a rematch with the bus!! I also enjoyed Kenan’s bit as Levar and loved when Kenan, almost breaking, was going on about there never being enough Band-Aids to prevent sandal chafing.

Lobster Diner: Omg. I can't with this one. It was by far, my favorite, and I think I'm dead because of it. When they first rolled out Kenan, the tank got stuck going through the door!! Everyone lost it. I eventually picked up on the fact that it was Les Mis, and that makes the whole thing better because I DETEST that show and this is the only version I ever loved! I died, then came back to life at “Clawsette!” Pete was breaking the entire time, and Kenan wore his near-break face and Kate chuckled. The bouncing claw over the lyrics was in-sync during dress and it broke my heart to see it off during live. That we got to see this IRL will forever be a highlight for me. Always.

Jack White: “Connected by Love” Jack White is my new weird emo/goth boyfriend
I wish my hair looked as good as his. When he left the artist’s stage and went backstage, there was all this hooting and hollering and applauding. I wonder what that was about.

Wild Wild Country: "Rajneesh Netflix Trailer" (Pre recorded): 

[Mar-a-Lago]: This sketch sorta fell flat, but the setup for it was involved! It poked fun at the cheesy, vapid, new money who stay at Mar-a-lago. It required two sets: 1) One with singers (Luke and Heidi) with a fake band singing a cheesy Mar-a-lago theme song (a la “Days of Our Lives”) in between scenes and 2) The interior of a ballroom at the resort. Mulaney would come out as a butler/host and make ridiculous announcements like “Don’t flush the beach towels down the toilet” and “We found a Bo Derek style wig in the pool. If it is yours, it will by drying out on the chaise lounge.” Chris Redd went around as a waiter offering stupid things like “Bacon-wrapped Cheez-It” (which, upon reflection, doesn’t sound half bad). Cecily, Beck and others played rich couples. (Eg: the most followed chiropractor on Twitter.)

Horn Removal: This sketch was PRICELESS. They added the “It’s not me, it’s the building” line for air. They also changed the following joke: For air: “Are you keeping your butt crack a zipper?” For dress: “Are you keeping the goldfish in your nutsack?”

[Parents/”I'm up”]: This was, cute?, but my least-favorite sketch. A group of college kids return to Beck’s hometown for the weekend. They’re hanging out at Beck’s parents’ house late at night after a concert. The parents (Melissa and…Alex?) are half-awake and trying to hang out with the kids and are not making any sense. Melissa kept saying  "I'm up,. i'm up!"  and tried to make them food, while the dad kept saying "I fell asleep in my chair.”

[Wedding]: Cecily and Mulaney are getting married. The best man (Luke) gets up to give a toast and breaks out into song (Dark Side of the Street.) We eventually catch on that he’s singing directly to Cecily and, when she’s into it, we realize they are both having an affair. Cecily gets up, with a mic and joins in on the song. Then they reference how they’re scared that “the three of us will get caught” and Mulaney asks “Three?!” Then Cecily and Luke start referencing a “Jack” in their song. Mulaney asks “Who’s Jack?!” Then Jack White gets on stage, joins the duo and does a guitar solo with them.

Closing/Outro: Ben Stiller was SO TINY. So is, for that matter, Robert Deniro. The closing for dress didn’t have the same energy as it does for air; I guess it probably feels a bit ‘fake’ for them to be all sentimental at dress. Mulaney is so gracious and is such a creator, he knew to thank the behind-the-scenes folk


***

All I can say is..I am in awe. Awe that as of last Monday morning, NOTHING ABOUT THIS SHOW EXISTED. Sure, perhaps a pitch or two had already manifested, but aside from that, this entire hour and a half of creative work sprung to life within six days - the sets, the costumes, the surprise guests, the camera blocking, the lines, the STACKS and STACKS of cue cards!

I mean, the sets alone were a work of art. As I remember back, I'm not recalling particle-board walls; they seem like actual entire rooms to my memory. And next week, they have to do it all again. It's impossible and crazy and amazing!!

And the organization kung-fu that keeps this ship afloat was astounding! From the notifying, managing, and seating of the audience to the seamless set-ups of the sets – it was mind-blowing. Studio 8H features three (small!) stage areas, and as soon as one stage was finished being shot, they  immediately set the other. The wings sheltered stacks and stacks of set walls, all organized so they could be stored, used, the stored away again in order seamlessly.

At one point, something (wardrobe?) had gone wrong, and the A.P. said “Don’t worry, you have 45 seconds.” Forty-Five seconds is a comfort to someone who is in a distressing situation at work!? That’s insane and gives me anxiety just thinking about it!

I’m also in awe of the changes that occur between dress and live. At 11:15 PM, they’re still at it, using Lorne’s notes to tweak, perfect.

Anyway, at its essence, SNL still exudes the “Let's put on a show! We’ll make people laugh and maybe save the barn” vibe and I will never NOT get behind that. I hope the show’s dedication, creativity, and pure nerve never dims and disappears in this world of criticism and cynicism.

I want this show to last forever and I will be forever grateful that I was part of SNl's 43-year legacy!

I won a MAJOR AWARD!

I WON TICKETS TO A SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE "TAPING"!

People! I've been waiting for this for TWENTY YEARS! And it happened today! And I teared up and hyperventilated at work with joy, and unfortunately a bunch of co-workers witnessed that hot mess.

But, BETTER YET! Up until this year, SNL tickets could ONLY be won through a luck-of-the-draw lottery. You could not beg, borrow, buy, steal, transfer, hustle or StubHub your way in to Studio 8H (unless you got VIP tix from the cast/staff).

BUT THIS YEAR! This year! They're like "This lottery is getting unmanageable, what with 100k or so entries. To narrow down the pool, write a few sentences explaining why YOU should win these tickets."

So I wrote a heartwarmingly funny ditty about why I was their woman.

AND I WON. And not by pure dumb luck. I wanted something, so I sat down, and convinced them with my words that I should win! 

The pen is mightier than, uh, wishing really hard.

This is next-level Bucket-List shit, people!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lulu's Advice Column: The Virginity edition.

I am ADDICTED to columns. I read them daily. Sometimes I feel I missed my calling – I can do this too!

I’ll post my advice here occasionally in response to letters I read from Amy, Hax or Abby and will answer them with my own Lulu twist:

Lulu Lays it Down – Advice, death-match style



DEAR ABBY:

I'm a 29-year-old female and still a virgin. This decision is mostly based on my religious beliefs, but also because I haven't met the right guy. Rather than feel proud of my virginity, I feel ashamed.

At this point, I'm worried that if I tell a guy I'm a virgin, I'll be rejected. Throughout my teens and 20s, I believed that waiting for Mr. Right was the best route for me. Now that I'm older, it has become a constant weight on my shoulders. At 29, it seems I have failed in some way.

I'm concerned about my future. I'm afraid I won't meet the right guy and that I'll make a bad decision with the wrong guy. Any advice or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

 -- WAITING IN THE MIDWEST

******************************************************** 

Dear Waiting,


Let me start by including a bit of advice from that darling ditz, “Dear Abby: “Virginity is a gift that can be given only once.”

A gift!? I nearly vomited all over my computer monitor with that one. “Virginity” isn’t a gift. In fact virginity isn’t anything! It’s a void! - like anti-matter. It shouldn’t even be a noun! Our language doesn’t include nouns for everything else we DON’T do in life, does it!?

"You've NEVER played water polo!? Outsider!! You should be mortified, you mutant! You must now, in all instances, refer to yourself as “A vag-oist-er”…for you are not quite human, having never played water polo. And, here, pin this scarlet “W” on your clothes so everybody knows  – like Laverne’s “L” of “Laverne and Shirley,” but for ridicule and exile, and not because you’re adorable and quirky. You're a vagoister, of course, only until that moment when you give your sacred “gift” of trying water polo for the first time. After which you must, naturally, announce the fact that you did “it” to the world and make a big deal of it because you have transformed from a vagoister* to a real, live human!”

   [*I was trying to create a new worst-sounding word in the English language and thought           combining the words “vagina” and “moist” and then adding some flair (the “er”) might work. ]


Like, isn’t that simply an INSANE way to treat somebody because they HAVEN’T done something? What a joke!

Smart people don’t let NOT DOING something define them - especially in this case wherein the label "virgin" determines how society approaches and treats them. So, my darling nitwit, please move past this and don't let your lack of getting-it-on define you. Honestly, having sex (or not having sex) is not really a big deal (unless you fall pregnant). And - spoiler alert! - sex is sorta overrated.

Hold up, dear ones – Lulu just can’t get over this “gift” thing: let’s revisit. This GIFT is, like, a fucking skin membrane, right? Like, one that may or may not be in place anyway due to various lifestyle choices. THAT'S your gift?! Gross. No thank you.

Also, if we're talking more figuratively than the physical component of virginity, Abby, then isn’t virginity simply inexperience? And do you REALLY want to make a huge deal about your “gift” of inexperience in this particularly sexy scenario!?

"Hey honey, I've got something amazing for you... I have no idea what I'm doing!"

Seriously, inexperience in this case is the opposite of a gift; it’s more of a detriment.

So, Waiting, I’ve got a strategy for you! Follow my advice and there is no need to worry about being “rejected” when you reveal your massive, dark secret while in the intimate throes of de-clothing each other: No one will know that you’ve never done this before! And, pro-tip - you're not obligated to tell anyone!! If you feel the need to justify anything, just state that you’re a bit shy because you haven't had much experience (which is true). Without going into detail or proclaiming yourself a mutant, this would explain any....reticence, confusion, or shrieking from sheer horror on your part!

And, may dear Waiting, you say that you feel like you failed. True. But, the only thing you’ve failed at, at age 29, is getting an STD! So, congrats! You’re, genitalia-ly speaking, ahead of a majority of the population! Instead of “a Virgin,” society should brand you as “not an STD carrier,” if they feel they MUST brand you. And they DO feel like they must. Trust me. Society LOVES categorizing and branding people – especially women. If you’re not mother, virgin, or whore they simply don’t know WHAT to do with you, and they get all confused! Get used to it, dear readers! You might even be lucky enough to get branded a “witch” or “cat lady," as Lulu has, if you don’t easily fall into their other tropes! Yippee!

In addition, my dear, na├»ve, pristine flower, please, PLEASE stop referring to anyone on this planet as Mr. Right– ESPECIALLY someone you have yet to meet. There IS no Mr. Right. There’s a guy out there who you’re compatible with and for whom you will bite the bullet and be like “Fine. This one. Yes, hopefully forever.” The "Mr. Right" thing is sexist toward men and delusional and lays weak, crumbly, romanticized foundations for long-term relationships. Ie: It's a lie.

And finally, my dear cherry pie, you also fear you’ll make wrong decisions. The only “wrong decision” you can make with the “wrong guy” is falling pregnant, deluding yourself into thinking he’s NOT the wrong guy, or, uh, getting an STD.

Hmm…Lulu is really stuck on this whole STD thing. Why is that? Maybe it’s because of this... this unbearable itching…. Uh, oh....gotta run!


Best,
Lulu

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Advice Column: Lulu Lays it Down


I am ADDICTED to columns. I read them daily. Sometimes I feel I missed my calling – I can do this too!

I’ll post my advice here occasionally in response to letters I read from Amy, Hax or Abby and will answer them with my own Lulu twist:

Lulu Lays it Down – Advice, death-match style

***




Dear Amy:

Our son is engaged to a lovely girl. We have known her for over a decade.

We love her and think she will be a wonderful wife. We already consider her family.

My problem is that whenever she writes us a card, she signs it “Best” or “Sincerely.”

To be honest, I am a little hurt that she doesn’t feel close enough to us to sign “Love,” which I always do with close friends and family.

The last card she gave us, she signed “Best” from her and my son.

Is there any tactful way of letting her know we would like to be more than business associates?

— Future M.I.L.

*****************************************

Dear Future M.y I.dentity L.ies (in others),  

OH, M.I.L. - get a life! I was HOPING this would be a “My future daughter-in-law is a STD-ridden, money-grubbing, ungrateful slutty whore-bitch!" complaint! I simply ADORE those kinds of letters! But yours, dear twat-face, was, at first boring, and then infuriating:

“She's lovely! She's family! SHE DOESN'T SIGN HER CARDS THE WAY I WANT HER TO.”

Oh, your poor, deluded dame! Shut that gaping pie-hole of yours and be thankful that she's “one of the good ones” who are thoughtful and good and actually DOES send thank you cards. Then, try to think outside that giant void in your head and loosen your fucking grip on people. Otherwise you're not going to have whatever stupid, delusional vision of a future relationship that you're, uh, hallucinating.

If you have such a big stick up your ass that you want to control how somebody fucking signs off on a card, I’d HATE to see whatever else you try to control.

Please tell me you haven’t busted into their bedroom yet to tell them “You’re doing it wrong.”

Let it go and, please, cultivate your own identity that doesn’t rest on moving humans in your circle  about like chess pieces.

Best,
Lulu

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Dining Dead

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." ~Simon Weil

This quote hit me particularly hard today.

M and I went out to breakfast yesterday and had a grand old time. But as I looked around the diner, I noticed that a lot of people looked absolutely miserable: Young. Old. Couples. Parents with kids.

"What is going on?" I wondered. "Did they rescind the Lombardi trophy, or something?"

After some more observation, I noticed that at least one member of each miserable group was glued to their goddam shitty cellphone - the "dining dead."

A little girl pushed the placemat she had been doodling upon toward her father to show him her masterpiece. The only response she got for her efforts was a silent top of dad's head as he bent over the phone.

A couple in their 70s dressed to the nines sat across from each other in tight quarters. What should have been an intimate morning of "How was your sleep? Are you enjoying your eggs?" turned, instead, to a vignette of some poor dude staring at the top of his partner's head. I could see her phone screen and she wasn't even doing anything in particular. She was just flitting from app to app looking for her next hit. He looked dejected.

It made me so sad. Even when M and I don't have anything new to say at the moment, it's nice to just sit, eat, observe and think..

People, please pay attention to those around you - especially during special occasions like dining out. (I'm not suggesting you be attentive 100% of the time to 100% of those around you. That's impossible and will take you to the next stop to Crazy Town.)

Otherwise, you're just empty shells consuming food while sitting across from each other, or people sitting in a living room wasting time and life as a mute separate unit. And I'd bet that at least one person in your party is sick of looking at the top of your head and is wondering "Why the hell did I leave my house/room for THIS?" And if you happen to be hanging out with me, I guarantee you I'm thinking it.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Time Keepers

My dad was always the one to adjust the clocks at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time, and I always envied his task.

Even though I DETEST springing ahead, the whole ritual of altering time caught my imagination as a youngster. Plus, I was often enamored with shenanigans that occur in the dead of night. (I'm looking at you, Santa Claus.)

Back in the day, I imagined that dad performed his time magic precisely at 2:00 AM…because I'm a rule follower. I envisioned him huddled in the dark living room, eyes alert and glued to the big wrought-iron 70s sun clock, waiting for the exact moment. And of course, I figured that he was able to change all the clocks in the whole house AT ONCE.

There had to, I assumed, be some sort of...creature or being...involved in this annual practice: A Father Time-type figure who manifested, and with a wizened voice, proclaimed "ahead!" or "back!" at the precise moment, and then vanished. Or maybe little time devils sprang forth from each clocked device and ran amok with cloven hooves and round clock-face eyes until dad made the necessary adjustments, after which they were sucked back to the correct time plane in which they belonged.

And now it's my turn as official timekeeper of our household! And although I'm not going to give any secrets away about what occurs during this timely ritual – after all, we, the take-charge folk of the house who assume this task are a sacred brotherhood - it's every bit as whimsical as I imagined it to be.

Except for those timepieces that require me to climb up on a chair, require an unnecessary amount of button pushes, or is the friggen car radio…because who can figure that out? Then I'm like, "Screw dis."