Today, I am annoyed about Annie

Annie live

Seriously, how is Annie a good idea?

I have never liked the musical Annie. Maybe it is because my dad was a sociopath and it would have been nice to be adopted by a rich guy who was not. Or it could be because the Annie I grew up with had red hair and I have red hair and people always said, “You look like (insert redhead here)!” My reasons are deeper than that.

Have you ever actually thought about the plot of the play/movie? Rich, single guy sends a minion to the local orphanage to pick one up for the holiday. Let that sink in. He needs an orphan for the holiday. Since when can rich people just go pick up a child for the weekend? Isn’t Ghislaine Maxwell on trial for doing that for Jeffrey Epstein? Wouldn’t every rich pedophile in the world be hanging out near the local orphanage? How is this a good message?

So, the minion picks Annie because Mrs. Hannigan, who runs the orphanage, is so mean to her. Oliver Warbucks (what kind of name is that? I get Oliver is an homage to Oliver Twist but Warbucks?) gets upset because he thought all orphans were boys. Hey, I wanted a boy to play with!

In any case, Warbucks learns Annie has never been to Manhattan to they walk 45 blocks in December. Who does that? No one. Average people take the subway. Uber rich people like Warbucks take a car. What are you taking her on the Bataan Death March?

Oh, and in the description of Mrs. Hannigan, I read she “doesn’t care for children but loves alcoholic beverages.” Yeah, sounds exactly like the kind of person you want running an orphanage. Never mind that this story takes place during the Depression (though the play came out in 1977) and they get FDR involved because he had nothing better to do, I just don’t think this is a positive message for anyone. Ever.

Are you in NYC? I am working on two events.

  1. Harry Winston protest. This will be one week from today — December 9, 2021 at 10:00 am. This is also World Genocide Day. We will walk from the US Mission to the UN to the Harry Winston headquarters and flagship store. Learn more about this here.
  2. In January, I am working with Two Joke Minimum, No Business with Genccide, the Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda Foundation and the New York Comedy Club to host a fundraiser for Paul’s legal defense fund. The night will be headlined by Nore Davis, see on the Tonight Show. Wavy Maguire will host and it will feature Jenae Boston, T-Storm, Jason Ox-Horn and me! You can get your tickets here. There will be an option for people who are not in NYC to donate and watch later. Get in touch if you need more information about that.

The LIRR sucks (sometimes)

lirr sucks

I get why people complain about the LIRR

I grew up taking the LIRR into the city. It takes the exact same amount of time to get from Stony Brook to Penn Station today as it did when we moved to Long Island when I was about three years old. Seriously. In general, I like taking the train. I have probably driven into the city four or five times in my life. Maybe not even that. I hate driving into the city and there is no reason to do it with the train less than a mile from my house. I can see people in their cars and they all look like they are millimeters away from committing mass murder. Who wants to get that angry? Not me.

Yesterday was different. Part of a track on the Port Jefferson line (the only line they haven’t fully electrified) was broken and that happens but the confusion that ensued was nuts. We stopped on the track for a while and no one said anything. We just sat there. I had taken an earlier train so I could do some things in the city before I met someone but that time was eaten up sitting on the track. Finally, someone announced the problem and assured us that a train would be waiting to take us to Penn Station at Hicksville. When we got to that station, there was a train waiting but it was headed for Ronkonkoma. Not exactly where we were going. The LIRR staff member said a train was coming in 15 minutes, which was met with all the enthusiasm you can imagine. I am not the only inpatient New Yorker.

The good news is that person was wrong (surprise!) and a train came right after the Ronkonkoma train departed. But it was annoying. Things break, we all get that but get your shit together, LIRR.

Then on the way home, there was some issue. We were about nine minutes late getting to Huntington (maybe the same track issue?) and then once we were at Huntington, we all had to wait until the train we were on left. For some reason, this took about 15 minutes. We kept seeing people walk up and down in the train we had just exited. What the hell were they doing? No idea but it was super cold on the platform and no one was happy.

It seems the Port Jefferson line is the red-headed stepchild of the LIRR system. I don’t get it. Stony Brook University is often called the flagship school of the SUNY system (the largest public university system in the country) and it sits on the Port Jeff line. Why not make it easier for people to get to and from this university? I get that Stony Brook, the town, has mixed feelings about the university (across the street from the university is a sign, “Welcome to Stony Brook! Home of the Stony Brook School!” — that school is a private school housed in the middle of the Three Village School District, which is a great school district, but I digress) but shouldn’t everyone see the benefit in improving this line? WTF?

I am hosting a show!

If you are in the Mt. Sinai area on December 10, you will be able to come see me host a show! How awesome is that? Very! Check it out!

Happy Hanukkah

The festival of lights started early this year

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. I saw a Washington Post article yesterday that talked about the “dark side of Hanukkah” but, just as Thanksgiving has a darker side, can’t we just focus on the positive for a minute?

When I was a kid, I learned about the holiday in school and immediately wanted to convert to Judaism. I mean, Christmas is one day. Hanukkah lasts eight nights! Eight nights of presents! What kid wouldn’t want that? I have since learned that it is hard to convert and I don’t have that kind of energy. A neighbor converted and she had to do a lot. Plus, I used to love bacon and still love shellfish. That’s kind of superficial but I am lazy and not at all religious. I used to go to s secular Buddhist temple in DC.

One thing I have noticed is how committed so many Jewish people are to helping others, preventing genocide and other mass atrocities and oppression. Jewish World Watch is very active in this space working to raise awareness of the plight of the Uyghurs and the Rohingya, among other projects. I think a lot of people only view how Muslims and Jews interact through the prism of Israel and the Arabs in the Middle East but it is more complicated than that. On World Holocaust Day, Jewish leaders in the UK took to the streets to protest China’s treatment of the Uyghurs. Wherever I look, it seems there are Jewish leaders speaking out for people who are being pressed or worse.

Maybe I am being simplistic but I heard a Jewish leader in New York City talk about how Hanukkah should be for everyone. That we should all be the light for each other. After so much darkness from the pandemic and all the hate that has reemerged in the world, can’t we use it now?

If you missed this, you might like it.

Cat foam and other randomness

Cat foam

I never thought I would want cat foam on my coffee but now I can think of little else

Cat foam cappuccino, who knew such a thing existed? I didn’t but I am glad I learned about it because it kicked what I had been obsessed with out of my brain, if only for a few minutes. Last week, I learned about another product. Someone created a vibrator with Pete Davidson on it. It turns on when he is on TV, like when he is in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. When the iPhone was invented, no one knew they needed it but then no one could live without it. I have to wonder if one day we will say that about the Pete Davidson vibrator. I can’t see you but I can sense you are skeptical. Time will tell.

Now I am a Pete Davidson fan. The parody of Walking in Memphis Walking in Staten is amazing. I keep trying to watch the King of Staten Island but I am working up to it.

Karma and travel

I have an Airbnb in my house and, for the most part, the people have been great. I just had a couple stay for five days and I think they had a good time in the place. They told me they liked it and asked for some things that I was able to get for them. Over the past 18 months, I have hosted people from all over the world. I have been thinking lately that when someone complains about my space or my house, it may be karma from when I was traveling all the time and may not have been the nicest person.

Why I hate Annie

Truth be told, I am not sure why I have always hated the musical Annie. Maybe because the original girl was a redhead and I am a redhead and was compared to her a lot as a child. I have no real reason but the story is kind of annoying. A rich guy, who may or may not have made his money as a war monger (Daddy “Warbucks?”), goes to an orphanage and is like, “Hey, I need an orphan for the holiday, which one can I have?” And they’re all, “Sure, take one!” That’s how orphanages work? It’s harder to adopt a cat.

NBC is showing Annie Live in a few days with Harry Connick, Jr. as the character, Oliver Warbucks (his real name, it’s an homage to Oliver Twist, which is the one part of the play that doesn’t make me want to rip out my own eyes). I am a fan of the singer/actor but with a bald cap on, he looks like a pedophile, which means he really shouldn’t be able to borrow an orphan.

PS. When Warbucks learns Annie has never visited Manhattan, he takes her there but they walk 45 blocks. WTF?

This cat knows what’s what.

Panic attacks, #GenocideGems & Diet Coke

I drink too much Diet Coke. I have had friends tell me that it is bad for me to drink it at all but the chances of me giving it up hover around “never gonna happen” and “when monkeys fly out of my butt.” I am cutting down because I think it is causing panic attacks.

Of course, they also could be caused by other stresses. Like the rest of my life.

Stop selling #GenocideGems

In less than two weeks I have a protest scheduled in New York City. (New York City! Where Pace salsa is made!) Working with No Business with Genocide, the International Campaign for the Rohingya and the Campaign for a New Myanmar, I hope to meet up with activists in front of the US Mission to the UN and march to Harry Winston’s HQ and flagship store where I will present them with the petitions we have collected telling them to stop selling #GenocideGems that fund the brutal Myanmar military. The Associated Press contacted me and they want to come and get some good video visuals to include in a piece they are doing on oil and gas sanctions on Burma. So now I have to make sure there are some decent visuals for them to get. Now, truth be told, a group of people with the signs I am having made up with the UN as a backdrop would be a pretty sweet visual but I need there to be those people to hold the signs.

No, I am not nervous at all. That’s why when after a night where I got a whole 41 minutes of sleep, I took a nap and woke up to Ari Melber on TV and thought Fuck, Ari Melber is on TV. We are all going to die. Never mind that I have nothing against Melber, I actually like him, but that made my heart rate climb to some speed approaching that of light and I thought I was going to die. Eventually, I changed the channel and did some breathing exercises and no one died (at least not at Chateau Squirrel).

I am still working to #FreePaulRusesabagina

That’s not my only event. On January 11, 2022, I am hosting (along with Two Joke Minimum and the New York Comedy Club, No Business with Genocide and the Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda Foundation) another comedy fundraiser for Paul. I desperately want this to go well. My stress level here is high because I just feel like I need to do more for him and his family and don’t think I am doing enough. Not nearly enough.

To make matters on that front more stressful, I fell asleep watching the King of Queens and woke up to Hotel Rwanda. At first, I thought I was having some kind of auditory hallucination as I think about Rwanda a lot. I thought is this so much in my head that the movie just plays randomly in my brain? Then I turned over and it was on the TV and I was relieved that I had preserved at least a tiny amount of sanity.

No more #GenocideGems!

Here are some links to my other writing: