Podcast Episode 8: Don’t Fear Le Reaper

Are you afraid of death? My old friend Doug Marshall asked that question of me recently, so we saved the discussion for the podcast. Doug’s PhD thesis addressed this very topic, trying to understand how we find meaning in life and death through the tradition of the New Orleans jazz funeral.

This may be a heavy topic, but true to form, we definitely got plenty of jokes in there. This topic fascinates me in general, so I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed the conversation.

Click here if you prefer to listen on iTunes.

00:00 Intro
- Meet Doug, a church camp friend of mine from TWENTY YEARS ago. Gross.
- Doug gives a little background on the topic and his personal experience with it.

04:36 Pod Pourri
- Learn why Doug selected this topic for his dissertation (SPOILER: it’s the music).
- What exactly is a jazz funeral?
- Doug mentions a New Orleans jazz album by Hugh Laurie (yes, THAT Hugh Laurie), which you can find on Spotify.
- I share some responses I got from Facebook friends when I posed the question, “Do you fear death?” Some of them surprised me…
- Doug and I get into some “would you rather” hypotheticals about dying and SHIT. GETS. REAL.

49:38 If I Were You
- Doug tells you where to go if you visit New Orleans!
- He then explains how even YOU can confront your fear of death for only $19.99 if you act now!
- I stump him with the “what song(s) would be played at your jazz funeral” question, but he has PLENTY of answers for what to play at mine…

53:48 Outro
- Doug can be found on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @DJMuddy.
- Post-podcast, he shared some of his favorite New Orleans brass music with me. You should check it out on Spotify:
Magnificent Sevenths – Authentic New Orleans Jazz Funeral
Rebirth Brass Band 

Thanks for tackling this taboo subject with us, everyone! I hope we entertained/offended you all equally.

Down with a Sickness

Dudes and lady dudes. The weather? I am under it.

I always feel slightly delirious when I get sick enough to be couch-ridden. I start contemplating what life will be like as a vegetable, which is kind of ironic because I typically don’t like vegetables and I’m super picky about the ones I eat. I mean, I like raw carrots but not cooked ones, and I like cooked asparagus but I don’t eat it raw. I like broccoli and cauliflower both ways, but now that I say that, it sounds kind of perverted so maybe forget I mentioned it.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, I’ve jotted down some of my thoughts over the last few days of misery. And by misery I mean slowly burying myself in an avalanche of tissues and despair.

  • Bathing is overrated! I hardly miss it.
  • What’s that smell?
  • If I could just relieve this congestion, I’d feel so much better!
  • If I could just stop my nose from running, I’d feel so much better!
  • If I could just get rid of this cough, I’d feel so much better!
  • If I could just get a complete respiratory system transplant but without having to have any actual surgery and just skip that whole part about taking drugs so that my body doesn’t reject it, I’d feel so much better!
  • Ahhhh, a little steam on my face feels really OH GOD MY NOSTRILS ARE SEARED
  • I bet seared nostrils are considered a delicacy somewhere in the world.

Know what? That’s probably enough for now. I should get back to my Mucinetflix.

Podcast Episode 3: Love Your Body Day (Fabulous Junk)

This episode’s guest proves that the third time’s the charm. Last year she introduced me to Love Your Body Day. Let’s talk about our hot bods!

Or listen on iTunes if you prefer!

Warm welcome to Robin Hitchcock of hitchdied.com! She’s a brilliant writer and an inspiration to me personally in MANY ways, including blogging and podcasting!

03:11 Pod Pourri
- It’s Love Your Body Day!
- Some listeners sent in thoughts about their own bodies. Others had theirs shared involuntarily…
- Robin and I talk about what makes us such hotties.

27:35 If I Were You
- Segment jingle REMIX!
- The Great Cupcake Comment Debacle of 2012
- Another awkward advice song!

48:14 Games People Play
- New segment! I heart games.
- Robin is the trivia QUEEN, but I manage to stump her.

54:47 Outro
- Visit Robin’s website (where her podcast lives!) and follow her on Twitter.
- You should vote, but only if you agree with my political views. Just kidding! (Sort of.)

Some folks submitted their thoughts for discussion on the podcast, but our pal Vicki didn’t make it on the air so I wanted to include her thoughts here. When asked what she loves about her body, she says:

1.) My boobs. They are convenient.  They are the right size for my body.  I can wear the crappiest sports bra from Target and it is fine, and I can go running without my boobs hurting. I can wear those wonderful built in bra shirts.  They seem symmetrical enough!  I never have to worry about them popping out.  I never have to use “boob tape.” I can sometimes get away without even wearing a bra.  I never feel like they are too small.  I love them.  They are the best!
2.) My lips.  By default they are a pretty red, no lipstick needed.  I didn’t even realize this was a thing until a friend pointed out how much she envied my lips.  Since then I have appreciated that I basically only have to wear chapstick for them to look nice.
3.) My back.  I always think it looks sexy in backless dresses.


Those are some PRIT-TEE awesome things to love about your body, Vicki. Rock on. What about the rest of you? Leave ‘em in the comments!

Add It Up with Your Best Friend Addi! Episode 1: Hello, I Love You

Happy first anniversary, Add It Up! My very first blog post was published on September 30, 2011. Thank you for still being here with me, one year later. You guys are the best.

As an anniversary gift to myself, I am delivering roughly 20 minutes of podcasty goodness with friend and comic Eric Donaldson right on up into your ears! And just FYI, this is probs not suitable for the kids due to language and certain content. You do know me, right?

- First podcast! We’re #1!

01:38 Pod Pourri
Space instruments! Omnichords and Qchords are for cool kids.
Why am I podcasting a’TALL? (Hitchdied gets a mention!)
- The moment we start talking politics, GarageBand shits the bed. AWKWARD.

07:05 If I Were You
- Hey, Breast Cancer Awareness Facebook Memes? STOP IT.
- Visit www.breastcancer.org AND www.womenheart.org, you dopes.
- Ladies, are you wiping properly?
- I make Eric uncomfortable by forcing him to improvise advice songs, which leads to us ending on a morbid note. WORTH IT.

20:12 Outro
- I play the outro music too soon. Rookie bullshit!
- Catch Eric at FNI on Friday, October 5! Also: tumblr and twitter!
- See Bait & Switch at FN’Improv on Friday, September 28!

I need to become more comfortable with silence. It is WAY better than hearing “um” and “soooo” a gazillionty times. I AM SO SORRY.  I really do love you all. Hope you’re willing to listen next time, rookie bullshit and all!

Holler at me if you’d like to be a guest in the future, or if you have any topics you’d like me to discuss. I’m also accepting scenarios in which I can provide unwanted advice to someone. I recommend taking screenshots of terrible Facebook posts.


Why I’m Mad At Madge

I’m mad at Madonna.

No, it’s not because of her ridiculous fake accent. Or the snotty comment about Mother Monster. It’s not the fact that at 53, she’s more fit than I’ve ever been. You guys, it’s not even how blatantly boring and unimaginative her recent single is. Nope.

It’s her face. It’s her sunken-cheeked, tautly-pulled, creepishly glossy ol’ mug.

When I was little, Madge was untouchable. Zero f*cks were given about others’ opinions of her. As an artist, she did what she wanted and offended on purpose — even her fans, and unapologetically. She wrote a whole song about how she’s not sorry. On American Bandstand, she famously told Dick Clark she wanted to rule the world, stating, ”I think I’ve always had a lot of confidence in myself.”

And “confidence” is still the first word that comes to mind these days!
Right after “No.”

Our parents once made us cut up a CD of hers because it was too suggestive. Yes, we literally cut it up with scissors. And now that’s what surgeons do TO HER FACE.

I resent the notion that men get better with age but women have to fight to stay young-looking, and it disappoints me that Madonna succumbs to that crap. Idiots like Heidi Montag don’t surprise me, but that’s because they’re idiots. I suppose I held the Queen of Pop to a higher standard, perhaps because she seems like such a health nut. And true health nuts don’t implant themselves with foreign objects and chemicals… right?

Cosmetic surgery has become so common that I could probably learn to forgive a nip or a tuck here and there — but have you seen her cheekbones? It’s like they got jealous of her kneecaps and overcompensated for it. That’s not just a nip/tuck, that’s a whole season of it on DVD.

You know where this will eventually lead, right?

‘Cept glowier. Probably.

To me, the biggest letdown is seeing a woman I once thought was practically invincible to the world’s standards of beauty suddenly bowing down to them. Those unruly eyebrows! That gap between her two front teeth! She wasn’t just ahead of the curve, she was setting it.

The Material Girl’s penchant for “pushing the envelope” (to use her own words) seems at odds with giving in to peer pressure on a matter as heavy as cosmetic surgery. But it looks like the only envelope she’s pushing these days is one filled with cash, toward her plastic surgeon.

I wonder if she knows he’s not REALLY a doctor…

It’s like Madame says. “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly is all the way to the bone.” And that goes triple for the ones in Madonna’s cheeks.

Head to Toe: A Gal’s Guide to Being Socially Acceptable (Maybe Even Desirable)

I’m tired. I’m only 32 years old and I am overwhelmed by maintenance. It is hard being a girl if you want to be considered socially acceptable, let alone desirable. And even if you have your bodily sh*t together (okay fine, not the best turn of phrase), what about your lawn or your car or that leaky something-or-other you swore you’d fix when you moved in or YOUR KID? None of it will maintain itself. It is, I’m realizing, our purpose in life to just keep maintaining sh*t little by little until we die.

And can I just say I am SO OVER showering daily? Unfortunately, showing up in the office looking like I’m on the run from zombies isn’t the best career strategy, so I at least shower before work.

But if you must run from zombies, sleeping with
the boss is a valid strategy.

What follows is, from head to toe, a collection of things women are assumed or expected to do to our bodies in order to be seen/heard/smelled in public. By all means, feel free to add to it. Our culture has been doing so for centuries!

If we’re being good little girls, we will show up to work/happy hour/dates/parties with all of these things accomplished. I have to admit I’ve never had my ears pierced or dyed my hair, but I’ve felt pressured to do both. Also, I am [ahem] slightly behind schedule in my hair removal routine. What do you want from me? It’s frickin’ January, people.

At some point in my life, I have felt pressured to do every single thing on this list. And ladies? I. Am. EXHAUSTED.

Yep, seems about right. Especially the sound effects.

So, I’ve taken the liberty of drawing up what I believe to be a slightly more accurate depiction. At the very least, it’s closer to what goes on in my own head.

What about you? Which part of your daily/weekly/monthly routine do you find most irritating? What can you think of that I am forgetting (or maybe just in complete denial about)?

Save Our Soles

My lovely friend Abby commented on my first shoe-porn post to ask if I had any tips for wearing heels. Here they are, in all their glory.

I don’t remember when my obsession with shoes began because it was before the memory part of my brain developed. Ok, I’m exaggerating (A LITTLE). As a kid, I could not get enough of my mom’s or her friends’ high heels. I was constantly sneaking into their closets to steal them, even into my pre-teen years.

That’s right. I ride bareback, b*tches. 

Now I’m 32 and my stamina just ain’t what it used to be. I’m not ready to give them up just yet, so I do what I can to make them as comfortable as possible. Here are my tips, in no particular order…

Shoe Structure
If you like ‘em high, look for something with a platform to give the illusion of height without the discomfort. I have several pairs like this that are far more comfortable than they look. For example, the shoe pictured here might look like a medieval torture device, but it is shockingly kind to my feet. I also recommend shoes with straps when possible. Your foot doesn’t have to work as hard to stay in the shoe. And yes, I am fully aware of how stupid that sentence is. Just go with it.

This is a no-brainer, but the kind of pads you buy might be a little tricky. I highly recommend the grippy rubber kind over the clear gel pads. Foot Petals are great for the ball of your foot because they add padding and grip. Buyer beware: the Target knockoffs fell apart under my feet. I mean, I know I’m a fatty but COME ON.

I also swear by heel liners, which help prevent blisters and keep your heel from slipping out of the shoe. I’ve put them in pretty much every pair of heels I own. You can find the Dr. Scholl’s version of these in drugstores. for ~$5.

Friction Reduction
A lot of brands make what you’d basically call chapstick for your feet. The Dr. Scholl’s version is called Rub Relief. You can find it in any drugstore. It reduces discomfort from friction and helps prevent blisters and other irritations. The only rub (HA!) is that it sorta, um, lubes up your feet? So depending on the shoe, you could find yourself sliding right out of them.

Backup Flats
Dr. Scholl’s makes Fast Flats, which you can also find in drugstores. I don’t own these, but a few of my friends do. They’re nice because they can roll up into a compact little ball in your purse. Wearing flats to commute is smart because it spares your feet and prevents unnecessary wear and tear on your pumps. When I have a gig, I often try to wear flats until the very last second before we go on.

Sitting Pretty
Have a seat. No, seriously, sit the f*ck down. This might seem stupid and/or obvious, but if you’re in killer heels and you know you might be on your feet a lot for an event, sit down anytime you get the chance. Even if just for a minute or two. At the bar, at the bus stop, WHEREVER. And while you’re down there? Streeeeeeeeetch those f*ckers.

The best remedy I’ve found for relieving my feet post-heels is soaking them in a hot bath and massaging/stretching them. Or, you know, get your husband to do it…

In my experience, there is nothing you can do to eliminate discomfort 100%. No pain, no gain. Right ladies? For now, the pain is worth it to me. If you prefer, you could always opt for total comfort:

Personally, I think the mental anguish of
wearing these would make plantar fasciitis
look like a friggin’ picnic. 

What tips do you have for pampering your piggies?