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I Am Not Hanging Out with Wild Mountain Gorillas, No Matter How Cute They Are!

January 30th, 2012 by Cyndi Freeman

One of the latest viral videos is of happy gorillas in the jungles of Uganda taking in a tourist as one of their own. Now this is an amazing video, so sweet, so heart-warming, and it got me cruising YouTube for gorilla videos – and there are plenty. That being said, I am personally not going to be hanging with the Wild Mountain Gorillas.

I am not saying you shouldn’t hang with wild gorillas –  if you want to. Go ahead, it looks like fun.

It is just that they are both intelligent and they are wild animals, plus they have ideas on how things should go.

*Note to self – do not take your pet baby orphan gorilla into the jungle.

Personally I think I understand gorilla culture and etiquette, as it looks a bit like the culture and etiquette in my family. But as my husband knows, I avoid hanging with my family because they behave like mountain gorillas. They are cute and cuddly until you challenge them. You never quite know what you said that got them all riled up, all you know is that they are suddenly screaming and somehow its your fault …

Also a Safari into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is like $300 a day, and I’d like to see what $300 a day could get me in Vegas.

I know that someone reading this might be thinking, “but  - but –  but….have you seen Koko the talking Gorilla who speaks sign language? Bill Shatner has!”

And I say to the imaginary Koko loving person in my head, “Oh yeah but what about the story of the Petronella Yvonne de Horde, she loved gorillas! She was convinced that the Gorilla named Bokito, who lived at the local zoo in Rotterdam was her friend…and so she went to visit him almost every day.  She would make kissy faces at him and he would make what she thought was kissy faces back….

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My show HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE is back, starting this week!

December 25th, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

My show HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE is finally back and I could not be happier. I have been running around doing all sorts of things this year, like my solo show and loads of story telling. But what I missed most was dancing naked on stage (or at least semi-nude, there are laws about such things). I also missed the world that Hotsy Totsy is part of. If you could imagine the Muppet show, but instead of puppets you have funny hot naked girls, you are almost there…Hotsy Totsy takes place at “The Home For Wayward Girls and Fallen Women”

It’s an all-girls hotel that has gone through many owners. It was originally incorporated by a religious order called “The Righteous Order Of Frustrated Spinsters With Too Many Cats” and envisioned as a reformatory residence for girls gone bad.

See, the spinsters believed that if you took a girl away from her nefarious environment and surrounded her with cats, she would no longer crave illicit temptation as there would be so many warm friendly pussies to snuggle up with.

I will hosting this week’s show & the cast is:  Jenny C’est QuoiGal Friday, Calamity Chang, Go Go Harder and more!

Hotsy Totsy is is part of the Burlesque Blitz: A week of burlesque at the Horse Trade Theater Company in NYC. We will be performing at The Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Ave (Between 2nd & 3rd Ave) NYC – Dec. 28th – 8pm – for tickets and info go to - http://horsetrade.info

And we have a new sponsor: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, who will be supplying awesome swag and drink specials!

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Welcome to the Club – A Few Words About Having Cancer

December 6th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon



Doctor

Originally uploaded by Jeff.Simmermon

You know, there’s an awful lot of cancer going around. I’m not sure that it’s not catching.

Or, you know how people used to smoke cigarettes with asbestos filters and X-ray their feet at the shoe store to see if they had a good fit? I think we’re doing something like that right now, something our grandkids are going to find so shocking and appalling when we tell them about it. They’re going to say “well of COURSE you all had cancer.”

Maybe it’s plastics.

A friend of mine got diagnosed with breast cancer last week. And before that, other friends and other friends. The words that follow are for anyone that’s been diagnosed with cancer and is really, really freaking out about it. That should cover pretty much anyone that’s been diagnosed with cancer, period.

I’ve just found myself emailing versions of what follows out to a number of people recently, and I thought maybe I’d put it out here so strangers could read this and share it.

Here it goes:

_______________
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Huffing The Past Off A Digital Photo: M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures at Brooklyn Flea

November 16th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I live near Brooklyn Flea. Most weekends I go over there with my girlfriend and gorge myself, then wander around and drool over stuff that I absolutely do NOT need to bring home. My favorite booth belongs to the guy that deals in ’70s and ’80s toys, naturally. When I saw the box of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, I fell back into a hole in time. I wanted to buy a bunch and just huff nostalgia out of a plastic sack.

That would be pretty much the only thing harder to explain to my girlfriend why I spent a hundred bucks on M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in the first place.

Instead, I took this photo. It turned out to look pretty Juxtapoz/La Luz De Jesus, and I’m pretty alright with that. Hope you dig it, too:

MUSCLE figures, Brooklyn Flea
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It’s Okay.

November 14th, 2011 by D.Billy

Marjory Garrison's practice window at home

Spotted on the blog for the in-production Sign Painter Movie (which I am really looking forward to seeing), this was done by self-taught sign painter Marjory Garrison, who uses her large windows at home to practice her technique.

I’ve been falling more and more in love with the art and craft of sign painting, and I latched onto this piece in particular because it’s a great reminder that… it is okay. And if it’s not right now, it will be.

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Cherry Pitz is on NBC Saturday and in And I Am Not Lying (Live) Wednesday

October 1st, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

I performed at the awesome new Paris Burlesque Club in Red Hook and NBC was there, doing a story about the venue! So my burlesque alter ego, Cherry Pitz is going be featured in the story airing tonight!

The show is called LX.TV 1stLook NY. To be specific, I’ll be on WNBC, channel 4 (channel 704 in HD) on Time Warner Cable, Saturday Oct 1 at 7:30pm and rerun on Sunday at 1AM after SNL. Catch it on TV if you can, or find the piece on their site http://lxtv.com/1stlookny/.

The segment covers the show Moonlight Rendezvous, produced by the gorgeous Lana Firebird. It will feature David Slone, Cherry Pitz, Ivory Fox and The Lady Aye, all at Paris Cabaret Club! Many thanks to LX.TV.

And naturally, Cherry and I will be in our live show at Union Hall on Wednesday — hope we see you there!

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Sleeping Beauty – The Sexy Version

September 28th, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

This summer I got to host Storybook Burlesque as they presented burlesque interpretations of The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales.

This led to researching fairy tales. Which was hours and hours of eye opening fun. Now, I was raised on the fairy tales the way Disney told them.
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Ten Years After

September 11th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon



9/11 Lightbeams

Originally uploaded by Tim Sklyarov

Everyone who can remember September 11th, 2001 has a story. That includes me. I wasn’t in New York or DC or rural Pennsylvania, so mine’s not that dramatic. But if I went around trying to win suffering contests, I’d imagine that my life would look a lot different than it does now.

Both the phone and the electric company caught up to me on the morning of September 11th, 2001. I had a story due to Richmond.com at the time, a freelance project that had been filling a hole in my tattered writing income. I didn’t really need the electricity that morning anyway — I didn’t own a computer in the first place. I’d sneak into campus computer labs or squat at friend’s places when I had to, typing down handwritten notes in order to get the thing written as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So I did what I always did when the deadline was tight. I climbed out my bedroom window onto the row house roof and jimmied open my neighbor’ Kate’s office window with a credit card I didn’t deserve. Then I climbed in, turned on the dialup modem and made my final edits while the connection hissed and fused.

I sent the piece in and then cleaned her cat’s litter box to show both gratitude and penance. Then I called the office. Kate answered – she was a writer there. “Who is this?” she asked, recognizing her own number on her caller ID. “Uh, sorry” I said. “Listen, we’ll talk about this later. Turn the TV on, now,” she said, and hung up the phone.

I turned it on and watched a few minutes, trying to make sense out of it. Then the second plane hit and everyone in the world realized what really happened. A few seconds later, the station feed jumped to a scene from a Frank Zappa film. Cotton smoke boiled through a cheaply made model town, cars crashed into styrofoam gravestones and Zappa’s face hovered over top of it, grinning. Then whoever it was at the TV station fixed the problem and the news came back on.

I’m not sure if any other Richmonders saw that too, or not. I’ve never discussed it with anyone, actually. That was far from the strangest thing that happened that day and pointing it out never seemed that important.
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There’s a Slim Chance I’ll Be on The Daily Show Tonight

August 15th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon



Samantha Bee

Originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good

I had to hustle home and meet the cable guy last Friday, which had me out and racing through the sun on Columbus Circle at about one o’clock. Whenever it’s beautiful out and I’m wearing a three-piece suit (which is often) I’m hit with two conflicting emotions:

1) Get out of the cursed sunshine before you rehydrate the last set of sweatstains you left this thing
2) My God, what have you BECOME?

So as I’m hustling between pockets of shade, fast, but not so fast as to break a sweat, I see this woman. And I just kind of stop and stare. She looks so, so familiar. I can’t figure out if I know her from college radio, or she worked at a bar I used to go to all the time in Richmond, or we’ve been in the same show before, or what. I’m running the facial recognition software in my head at a million miles an hour, but it’s not fast enough. Because she sees me staring a little, and does the polite little sidle that any smart woman in New York does when some creep is just staring at her with sweat beading up on his forehead.

Then it hits me. It’s Samantha Bee from The Daily Show.

So I went up to her and said “Hey, sorry about that. I was staring for a little there because I thought I recognized you from college somewhere, and then realized that I know your face from TV. And I actually really like your work.” I do, too.

My mom and I watch the Daily Show together whenever we can, and we laugh hard at Samantha Bee’s stuff.

She said “Oh, that’s really sweet, thanks! Hey, do you want to be in a bit for the show?”

Duh.

So there’s a chance – a slim chance – that I’ll be in a montage of man-on-the-street interviews on the Daily Show tonight.

I find that if I keep my dreams small enough, they can come true a lot more often.

**UPDATE**
I watched last night – didn’t make the cut. So it goes.

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Stop Going Numb: And I Am Not Lying Live at Union Hall 8.28.2011

July 30th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon
 


Union Hall 4816

Originally uploaded by Shameel Arafin

Those of us that have blogging access and an itch to get up on a stage here at And I Am Not Lying (Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and me, Jeff Simmermon) are putting on another live show with some pretty exciting talented friends at Union Hall on Sunday, August 28th. The doors are at 7:30 PM, show starts at 8.

You’ll see storytelling from Brad and I, both folks who have been in a few Moth Grand SLAMS – Brad even won a few. I had a story on This American Life two years ago, and I don’t mind flogging that fading moment of glory a little longer. Cyndi’s a fantastic and accomplished storyteller and burlesque performer, and she’s coming off of a run of her one-woman show “Wonder Woman: A How To Guide for Little Jewish Girls.”

I’m exceptionally thrilled to announce that we’ll have a burlesque performance from Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas. I can honestly say that I’ve never, ever seen anything on a stage like the duet they’ll be doing, an interpretation in dance and song that perfectly sums up my love/hate relationship with the South.

This is an entirely different (and completely NSFW) duet that they’ve performed before. It’s kind of a stylistic marriage between this and this.

We’ll also have a visit from Adam, The First Real Man — an accomplished sword swallower and performer of various feats of strength, along with a comedian who’s yet to be determined.

At one point, this thing was meant to be a live version of this blog. But really, let’s be honest about things here — posting’s been a little slack for the past few months, and we might all be okay with that.

As David pointed out to me the other day, it’s not really a live version of the blog. It’s just a good show.

Basically, I find that I spend a LOT of my time hunched in front of a glowing rectangle, breathing shallowly through my mouth. Lately, I’ve been performing more, working on a book project too. After all day in front of a computer, I just want to FEEL something and experience a connection with other human beings that reminds me that I’m alive.

When I do post here, that’s usually what’s driving that — FEELING something. And we’re putting on a show that’s designed to pack the maximum amount of sensation and excitement into the shortest time possible. We’ve all got a short time here, and I’m trying to keep as many people from going completely numb for as long as possible.

Hope you can join us.

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