Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nice To Tweet You, Joe.

I had no fricking clue who Joe Bodolai was when he followed me on twitter.

I saw his picture, and naturally assumed he was some creepy guy who just wanted to tweet at someone whose user icon was dishonestly taken several years before. And when he tweeted me, I searched for whatever the social media equivalent of a rape whistle is. Then he told me why he had found me. Some random internet posting I had made some years earlier. A 10 minute play I wrote in my early twenties, about a man and a crazy cat lady sharing space in the last few minutes at the end of the world, had him in stitches. "Dark, but funny." he said. "Imagine my luck," he said, "when you turned out to be a babe."

So I was right about him being creepy. But he insisted on talking to me about writing, because that's what he knew. He was the epitome of the washed-up writer, and he owned it. So we talked, via direct message and email for the better part of a year. He told me I had (and Jarrod Hunt will appreciate this) "snark and sugar water" running through my veins. He begged me to go meet his friend Sarah Hyland (the comedian) and attempted numerous times to arrange a date for us whenever she came to Louisville. Given my propensity for laziness and I assume Sarah's propensity to not want to meet random people, nothing ever came of it.

I didn't know who Joe Bodolai was. I knew he wrote sketches. I knew he was a vehement believer in conspiracy theories. He rambled a lot. I never really researched the man. He shared my love of France and would occasionally talk about being in Paris in May 1968 (if you don't know what happened then, look it up.) I knew he once had one line in a Monty Python sketch. When I asked if he was sorry he didn't have more than one line (And I regret now not asking him what the one line was), he said "Are you kidding? I can say I shared a stage in a Monty Python sketch with John F***ing Cleese and not be lying."

Some of you may say that I just relish the emails because I had someone complimenting me. I would agree. I mean, I like compliments as well as any woman. Some of you might same I'm trying to put myself in the thick of things by writing about it. No. Just in shock. Some may say "Eww. He was old.Why were you emailing back and forth with him?". I would agree, tell you he was totally creepy and tell you I have no clue why I did, sometimes you just feel compelled to answer. I had no clue who he was. I still don't. There is something really validating when the universe sends someone to you whose only purpose is to say "Hey. You're a pretty talented dame." Yes. He used the word "Dame".

He hadn't been working for years. Not steadily anyways. He had alcohol abuse issues. He was depressed. I knew he had been sick. The most prominent sickness among comedians is the rampant inability to be happy. I told him once that "the greatest joke anyone ever played in the history of the world, is the fact that the funniest people are the most miserable." He only responded with "Ain't that the truth?"

Joe passed away on the 26th of December. He left a rambling note on his blog, which read more as a manifesto. I didn't check his blog regularly. Apparently it went viral and I missed it. I only know what happened because he sent my stupid play to someone who said, "Hey this is rough, but funny. Do you have anything else?" And I sent a tweet to him and one of his fellow twitter buddies last night to ask, "What the heck do I send?" and his friend basically said "No clue and Joe is dead."


I hate that the darkness got him. Depression is an everyday war and people who try to write it off as self-pity are terribly misinformed. But despite the way he died, I feel so amazed by the life he lived. The main lesson to take in this life is that you simply go where the doors open. Live. Live. Live. It doesn't matter if you're the star of the Monty Python skit, so long as you got to be on stage with them. That's life in a very funny, very perverted nutshell. Much like Joe.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New posts and a blog swap soon

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I've just had a few of those weeks where I have felt under attack by the universe. Somethings I have just brought on myself (being absent minded or careless at work) others have just been unfortunate (cars not working) etc. I have tried to refresh and reset with yoga and the occasional glass of riesling, but I decided to just let nature take me where it will.

I promise to feature a blog swap, with my 20something blogger blog swap partner. If you don't poke around on 20sb.net, you should really take a look. It's a great resource for bloggers. I am a bit behind...I prefer to think of it as fashionably late...but I'll introduce you to Angel soon!

Here is a good quote about rough times. I also need to apply it to forgiving myself!

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; BE KIND ANYWAY. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; SUCCEED ANYWAY. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; BUILD ANYWAY. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; BE HAPPY ANYWAY. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; DO GOOD ANYWAY. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU'VE GOT ANYWAY. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY. -Mother Teresa

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm a Featurette!!!

Sweet Bre over at Bre's Baubles did a very cool feature piece on her blog about me. You can read about it at her website!!

She's an awesome, fashion savy chick with a great sense of style and a great wit. We go way back (all the way to high school) and she's a blogger I def. recommend you check out!

More blogging excitement soon! I promise!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MissMandine Swavorski Jewlery

You know when there is a girl who is so beautiful and perfect (and in this case, French) who you want to hate but she is just so damned nice that it's impossible. Amandine is that type of girl. I haven't seen her in years, but I met her during a theatre production at the University of Kentucky where she was reading a copy of Vogue in the Green Room and I was sitting there wondering how she got her hair to lay like that.

In addition to teaching French to Americans who can't speak it very well, Amandine makes GORGEOUS Swavorski crystal jewelry. She made me a gorgeous pink and white ring, which I still wear to this day and I am planning to order a matching necklace from her website MissMandine where she peddles her wares. Obviously the items are in good condition because I *still* wear my ring six years later. And for Swavorski, they are reasonably priced.

Here are some photos of her work! She is AMAZING! Check it out for yourself!!

This is the one I am going to buy soon!

I hope you enjoy! Also, see if you can get her to tell me the secret of her perfectly coiffed hair. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Flavor vs Scent

I am not a perfect person. I make too many grammatical mistakes to count. In fact I could have written that sentence as "I make two many grammatical misteaks too count." I didn't, but I easily could have. I suck at proofreading. Also there are words I can't pronounce, let alone spell. So, I just want you to know I am not writing this to be condescending to anyone who reads this and thinks "Oh. I do that." I just want to improve your (not you're) life.


Here's the definition of flavor:


Noun: The distinctive quality of a particular food or drink as perceived by the taste buds

Here is the definition of scent:

scent/sent/Noun: A distinctive smell, esp. one that is pleasant:

Here is a conversation I have heard in a yankee candle store recently:

Salesperson: Can I help you find a candle?

Shopper: Yes. I am looking for that Clean Cotton Flavor.

What?? A 'flavor' of candle? My first instinct is to turn around and make sure the woman isn't eating the candle. I mean, granted, those cinnamon swirl candles do smell pretty appetizing, but as I learned from being the weird kid who ate my chapstick in school, wax does not taste good. I stop short of warning the lady that candle wax will not taste as good as it smells, but then I realize she isn't going to eat the candle. She is going to light it and enjoy the smell of clean linens without having to actually do laundry.

It's a mix-up I have heard my entire life and it's incredibly understandable. Our sense of smell and our sense of taste are intertwined. It's all right there in the mixed up anatomy of the mouth and nose. However, despite the important role they both play, one is specifically related to smell and the other is specifically related to taste.

Things may smell but they may not always have a flavor. I know this also, from being the kid who secretly licked her smelly sticker to see if they tasted good. They tasted like paper, so it may be from this "mouth-on" experience that I learned the difference.

But, perhaps the more normal people in the world didn't try my eating things that smelled good. So world, learn from my mistakes to improve your vernacular. Candles have scents...popsicles are flavored.

Don't eat these candles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Stories of Old Houses in Old Louisville

I made it my goal when I moved back to Louisville, to live in the historic section of town. I've always been fascinated by old victorian houses. One of my favorite destinations is Savannah, Georgia, home of the largest preserved Victorian Districts in the United States. Here's a pic of the Mercer House I took in 2005.

I finally got an apartment in one of the old Victorian Houses near historic Belgravia Walking Court. I love it. Occasionally you see the random ruffian making his way from the bad parts of town...but mostly the houses are owned by retired persons. Some are fully restored and others have been divided into multi-family apartments.

It came to my attention that one of the Security Guards in the museum used to own a antique business, which opened the door for him to restore some of the more beautiful older houses here. He was telling me that he was the person who restored the "Columbine" bed and breakfast here in town. This, coincidentally, is one of my favorite Old Louisville buildings. I have never stayed there, but the exterior is beautiful and the interior is other worldly.

Mike, the guard, loves to tell me about the days when he was younger and more able-bodied. When he talks about the houses he has restored (especially the Columbine) he tears up. It always so awesome to me to find someone who really loves what they do.

He told me about how he came to the restoration of the Columbine reluctantly. Apparently at one time, it was a wreck, as were most of the houses downtown. They sold cheaply, and were often occupied by drug dealers or occasionally squatting vagabonds. The city of Louisville became dedicated to the preservation of these homes, and investors flocked to purchases homes to restore and rent.

The Columbine was at one point a school for young girls at the turn of the century. It was fitting that it was purchased by a retired teacher and his wife ( a former nurse). They shopped around for someone to repair the Oak stairwells and eventually came across Mike. At first he was reluctant to do the woodwork (which had been painted over and was in disrepair), but he quickly changed his mind when he entered the building, because as he so nicely put it "I couldn't say no because I realized what it could be...truly marvelous."

And this is the part that is too technical for most of us to understand: the stripping of paint, inch by inch, The scrubbing, the plastic sheets on the floor. But what appeals to me most is the human aspect of his story. Mike was a young man, doing what he loved. And the he talked about the retired nurse, and how she made the best cup of coffee for him in the morning and how they would sit over the plastic covered table and talk.

It took about a year to finish everything. And a few months later the man's wife passed away. Heartbroken, he sold the Columbine. Mike said that "She was a gentle old soul and a damn good cook. I mean, Lord have Mercy." I think that's what I love most about historic homes, not the decor or the work that goes into the restoration, but the stories of the people who were there. Think of all those girls who roamed the halls, or the little lady who fixed coffee for the people restoring the house that her husband bought to please her. The people are the best parts of old houses.

Ye've got t' sing an' dance fer years, ye've got t' romp an' play,
An' learn t' love the things ye have by usin' 'em each day;
Even the roses 'round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they 'come a part o' ye, suggestin' someone dear
Who used t' love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em jes t' run
The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun;
Ye've got t' love each brick an' stone from cellar up t' dome:
It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home.
Edgar A Guest

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pan Am, and other Mad Men style shows

I have always had a fascination with the 1960s. It was just a decade rich in contradiction and diversity. I love the style (as evidenced by my most recent purchases from Modcloth. More posts on that later). I love the people. I love the history.

So it goes without saying that I am a huge Mad Men fan. But with the show in hiatus for the next foreseeable bit, I am sort of excited about the new show Pan Am. My friend Brittany brought this show to my attention on her blog, Where the Hart Is. Click the link to follow her!

If it weren't for my debilitating fear of heights and flying, I would make an excellent stewardess, oops, I mean flight attendant. I think I love the sixties for that whole romanticized American Dream (which we all know is kind of bull). But I would have loved serving martinis in a pillbox hat.

In case your next question was "Melissa. Where, can I find one of those adorable Pan Am flight attendant bags?", I am already ready to answer that. Pan Am brand still produces them and you can find them on their website here.

They have different styles to suit your carry-on needs for your out of town trip with your business man lover.

Let's have a viewing party, ladies! Martinis and Manhattans all around!!