Thursday, February 25, 2010

Name That Baby!

In 1965, the name Traci didn't make it onto the list of Top 20 Most Popular Baby Names so I'm not sure how my parents came up with the moniker. My middle name, Marian, is in honor of my grandmother who, oddly enough spelled her name Marion. So, it was like my mother said to her, "Okay, I'll sort of name the baby after you but not really."

As far as I know, there's not one Traci, Tracey, Tracy or Tracee anywhere in the family history. Perhaps I was named after Dick Tracy which would be appropriate since I make my living telling dick jokes. If there hadn't already been a Dick Tracy in standup (he was Chubby Checker's brother... seriously) it would have been my stage name.

Most of the girls I grew up with, however, had a first name from the top 20. My elementary school was bursting at the seams with Mary's, Patricia's, Sandra's and Deborah's.

These days, it seems, parents reject popular names more often than they did in the past. According to a Live Science report, only 8 percent of little girls are given names from the list. The rest are named after strippers and characters in fluffy Tom Hanks' movies. (Madison? Really?)

Quoted in the article is Jean Twenge, author of the book "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before". Twenge claims that this trend towards giving your child a name that stands out leads to narcissism. Although I think any child born to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin would have narcissistic tendencies even if she weren't named Apple.

I once met a woman named Latrina. I find it hard to believe that being named after a bathroom would lead to high self-esteem. Of course, we all know a cocky guy named John so go figure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2-1/2 Brain Cells

Charlie Sheen and his wife have both checked into rehab. Call Jerry Seinfeld! I think we have two more celebrities for The Marriage Ref!

It's being reported that Social Services have been checking in on the couple's two young sons. In the past, I've offered to raise the children being cranked out by the Spears' girls. Am I going to have to make the same offer to the dysfunctional Sheen clan?

Filming on 2-1/2 Men (which should be called 2-1/2 Laughs), has been suspended until Sheen can get his act together... again. When you're on a money making, hit show, networks are willing to give you more than 2-1/2 chances.

Mrs. Charlie Sheen must have the dumbest uterus on the planet. Why would anybody want to mix DNA with the train wreck that is Charlie Sheen? Was she attracted to the fame, the money or the age old challenge or turning a man into a better person? Or perhaps it's just another case of good old fashion stupidity.

I've watched the ex-Mrs. Sheen's reality show Denise Richards: It's Complicated and I can tell you, it's not.

I think Sheen and all the women he has knocked up should just live together and open a cake decorating business. It could be Big Love meets Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab meets Cake Boss. Add a couple of little people and they'd strike ratings gold!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Marriage Ref

If you've spent the last nine days lying on your back watching the Olympics like I have then you've seen the same six commercials over and over and over again. I swear, if I have to sit through The World's Greatest Spokesperson In The World ad one more time, I'm going to write The World's Greatest Complaint Letter In The World.

NBC has also been using the downtime between Bob Costas' smirking to promote their latest lineup: The return of Jay Leno to The Tonight Show, a game show called Minute To Win It hosted by Guy Fieri who looks like he's been eating at way too many diners,drive-ins and dives and Jerry Seinfeld's latest creation, The Marriage Ref.

When I first heard about The Marriage Ref a few months ago, it seemed strange to me that a man who pursued his wife while she was married to somebody else would have the stones to give anybody advice about matrimony. I'm sure Mrs. Seinfeld's first husband will not be Tivo-ing this show.

The premise seems simple enough. Jerry Seinfeld is joined by "celebrity friends" who, with the help of host Tom Papa, referee disputes between dysfunctional couples.

Featured in the promo are, among others, Kelly Ripa, Tina Fey, Martin Short and Alec Baldwin.

Did they just say (this might be a good time to imagine the sound of a needle being dragged across a record) Alec Baldwin?

As in Alec Baldwin, Alec Baldwin? The same Alec Baldwin who had a knock-down, drag-out divorce with Kim Basinger? You mean, the Alec Baldwin who was just taken to the hospital for a pill overdose and blamed the incident on his ex? Are we talking about the same Alec Baldwin who famously called his own daughter a "rude little pig?" That Alec Baldwin?

Having Alec Baldwin referee a marital dispute is like having Mahmoud Ahmadinejad judge a Klezmer battle of the bands.

It's just wrong on so many levels.

What isn't wrong on any level is this Funny Or Die video from two years ago where Dora The Explorer gets a phone call from her dad, Alec Baldwin. I wonder if they'll play this clip on The Marriage Ref?

Monday, February 22, 2010

84 Hours Of Ickiness

By the time our Delta flight touched down in Minneapolis on Thursday, I had a full-blown head cold. I was pathetic with my little red nose, watery eyes and arm in a sling.

After checking into our Native American-themed hotel, we dragged our bags down several long corridors to our room which I dubbed "The Trail of Tears."

I threw myself on the bed, only rising long enough to get ready for my shows and to perform. I even went back to bed between sets.

Somehow the shows were great. Minneapolis is a great little comedy town and I will forever be grateful to the audience for not making me work hard.

Now I'm home. The sneezing has been replaced by coughing and my arm hurts worse than it did a few days ago because I'm out of the good drugs.

Oh well, there's no place to go but up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bollygood

Prior to doing a pratfall on an icy sidewalk, I had successfully embarked on a low-carb diet. I had eliminated toast from my breakfast menu, substituted mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes and switched from sandwiches to salads for lunch. Within the first week, I had lost four pounds. I was happily looking forward to a carbless winter.

Then, after diagnosing me with inflamed fat pads, my doctor wrote a prescription for Naproxen and said, "You absolutely must take these with carbs."

Damn.



Enter Lay's Masala Potato chips!

Oh sure, I could have consumed nothing but "good carbs" but I'm already depressed. I haven't been able to style my hair or shave my arm pits properly for 11 days. Double fiber wheat bread just isn't going make this cranky girl smile the way a salty Indian-flavored snack can.

And, yes, I've gained back the four pounds.

And, no, I couldn't care less.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lower, Slower, Weaker

I spent the better part of this evening on the sofa bed watching the Olympics. Three nights of performing with my arm in a sling coupled with nine days of powerful drugs coursing through my delicate system turned me into a zombie-like creature.

This morning hubby cut me off from all prescribed medication. He then put me back to bed with my childhood teddy bear that he freed from our closet. Oh yeah, I was so cranky today I needed Sick Bear. I have no pride.

Later, he changed my shirt after I accidentally covered myself with tahini sauce during dinner. It seems like he changes my shirt for me a lot these days. I really suck at eating with my left hand.

He also acts as my food cutter and bra put-er on-er. Luckily, I've regained enough use of my right hand that I can at least don my own socks.

This is officially getting old.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So, What's Your Name?

A few weeks ago, while performing in Boston, I asked a woman sitting up front how much she weighed. Since she didn't want her boyfriend to know, I had him put his fingers in his ears while she told me, "I weigh 135." When the boyfriend removed his fingers, I told him, "She weighs 115."

A few minutes later, when she refused to answer another one of my highly inappropriate and overly personal questions, I leaned close to the boyfriend and said, "It's really 135."

Hilarity ensued.

Last night, I tried to recreate the magic, only this time the confused female audience member put her fingers in her own ears while she gave me the figure.

I died laughing.

She was a good sport.

That's why I love doing crowd work.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Get Well, President Clinton

I didn't vote for Bill Clinton but, unlike many of my counterparts on the left, I never wish ill on people I disagree with. (Although, admittedly, I didn't exactly shed a tear when Jack Murtha died. I didn't pray for his death, however. There's a big karmic difference.)

So, when I heard our first black president was admitted to a New York hospital today with chest pains, I sincerely hoped he would recover. Thankfully, it appears he has.

If Bill Clinton and I were social networking buddies, I would send him a link to the following clip just to cheer him up. But, I have a feeling it's already one of his favorites.



In my own medical news, I still can't use my right arm. Typing left handed causes lots of growling and cursing. Yesterday, my husband had to cut my food which was romantic in a completely humiliating kind of way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Never Sunny In Philadelphia

We've had over 40 inches of snow in 4 days. Plus I fell on the stupid stupid ice and hurt my stupid stupid elbow.

In Hawaii, it's 80 degrees. To quote the fictional Liz Lemon from 30 Rock (which I always call 30 Rock From The Sun), "I want to go to there!"

GOP Laughs

Hubby (aka Brian McKim) and I have teamed up with Jim Mendrinos and a handful of other standup comics to create GOPLaughs.com.

So, now I'm helping to maintain three sites with only the use of one hand. I'm going to need more drugs!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fat pads: "Everybody has them"
--Guest Blogger Brian McKim

Traci can't type today... not well enough to post and not without a whole lot of swearing. So I, her husband, am guest blogging.

As you may know, our corner of South Jersey was in that band that received the second-highest snow totals after D.C. So, after the last flake fell, we donned our weatherproof gear and ventured out into the neighborhood to survey the havoc.

As we headed back to the abode, we rounded the corner down at the library parking lot and encountered some of that vicious snow-covered ice. I was about six feet in front of my lovely wife when I heard a faint whoosh and a mid-level swear word hissed through clenched teeth-- the sound of Traci hitting the deck hard.

We don't fall much. We say that with some degree of pride and wonder, because 1) We have pretty good balance and a decent amount of athleticism and 2) We don't really shy away from activities where one might be expected to fall.

And on the rare occasions when we do fall, we don't sustain much injury.

As Traci thrashed away on the ground this time, however, she was convinced that she had broken a bone. She broke her fall with an outstretched right arm... a no-no. And particularly embarrassing for her as she "knows how to fall." (That is, she knows how to tumble without making the rookie mistakes that most folks make... the ones that result in fractures. So her swearing and lamentation was mixed with a lot of disappointment in herself. She actually moaned, "I should know better! I should know better!")

I propped her up and ushered over the slippery terrain as fast as was practical.

When we stripped off most of her snow gear and inspected the throbbing limb, we saw none of the classic signs of a break-- no swelling, no blood, no discoloration. We did R.I.C.E. The pain persisted. Well, at least we were confident that the evening's show would be cancelled.

About a half-hour later, we received an email informing us that the show would indeed go on.

Ever the trooper, Traci did the show, her armed Ace-bandaged into the Les Paul, 110-degree crook, a sweater hiding the unsightly wrap.

She iced it right up until showtime, joked about it onstage, then iced it again while waiting for me to close out the show.

Next morning, we headed over to Premier Immediate Medical Care where she was examined, diagnosed, slung and sent home with prescriptions-- all in about an hour... and all for a grand total of $249 (if you count the $50 enrollment in their "Urgent Care Medical Savings Plan," which gets her reduced rates on care and procedures for a full year).

Turns out there was no fracture (see x-ray above... that's really her arm!), but, the doctor said, there was trauma to her "fat pad." (The doctor woman, ever careful not to offend her female patients, was careful to explain that "everyone has fat pads!" There are two. And in the fall, Traci traumatized her anterior intra articular fat pad, causing an effusion-- it went where it wasn't supposed to. And it caused excruciating pain... which continues 48 hours later.)

She's resting uncomfortably now-- arm in a sling, downing the occasional 800 mg cap of Naproxen and applying warm heat.

So, remember: If you think you broke your arm, it might just be an elbow effusion. Check your fat pads.

Typing Left-Handed

Fell on the ice. Right arm is in a sling. I have an elbow effusion aka inflamed fat pad. Pain is pretty awful.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Unisexy!

It appears the toe-tapping Larry Craig isn't the only one who gets to have sex in a public bathroom.

The following story out of Toronto makes you want to say, "Oh, Oh, OOOOOOOOOH, Canada!"
Mildred's Temple Kitchen is inviting customers to have sex in its bathrooms."
Kind of gives new meaning to the phrase, "I'm in here!"
The Valentine's weekend promotion takes uncomfortable but electrifying sex from the close confines of an airplane and transfers it to the unisex stalls of the Hanna Ave. restaurant.
How many times have I been having "uncomfortable but electrifying" sex in the close confines of an airplane bathrooom and thought to myself, "If I could only have comfortable but electrifying sex in a public restroom on the ground?

The answer is never!

I can barely pee, pull up my pants and wash my hands in an airplane bathroom without causing a massive head injury. Besides, the smell of blue liquid is a major turnoff. It ranks right up there with roofing tar, broccoli water and stale Doritos as serious olfactory mood killers.
The Liberty Village restaurant proposes its modern bathrooms become one of the "101 places to have sex before you die.
This reminds me of that clssic Newlywed Game clip where the contestant is asked, "Where's the weirdest place you've ever had sex?" He said, "In the butt."
Toronto Public Health says as long as there's no sex in the kitchen and the restaurant keeps its washrooms clean and sanitized, it's not fussed. "As far as bodily fluids, it's pretty much similar to the other human functions going on in there," says Jim Chan, manager of the food safety program.
Similar to other human functions going on in there? Really? What kind of sick, twisted sex is Jim Chan having?

I'll never understand people who want to force their private lives on others. Can't they just stay home and have sex in their own bathrooms?

Although, it's probably the only time in your life you'll see a line of men outside a restroom.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jim Treacher And His Busted Knee

Poor Jim Treacher. It's a terrible thing to wake up with a knee that's not broken yet go to bed with one that is. It's even more frustrating when the break was caused by a hit and run driver.
One last thing: I’m told by multiple people that the SUV that hit me was Secret Service. If this is true, I want to know why that happened. I was crossing legally, and they just left me there. At the very least, I want an apology. What happened to me was wrong.
I feel so bad for him. We had lunch with Treacher aka Sean Medlock a few weeks ago. He had just moved to DC to start his blogging gig with The Daily Caller. He's such a nice guy, really kind yet sardonic in that midwestern, Johnny Carson kind of way.

Right now, he seems super pissed off but who can blame him. I'm sure Tucker Carlson and the rest of The Daily Caller staff will work hard to find who did this to him.

Hit and run is a crime. Unless the driver was a diplomat with immunity (boy, that would suck) this person may be in big trouble.

The worst part is, now he won't be able to ski in the Olympics. Of course, he had no intention of skiing in the Olympics but that's what I would tell people. "Damn, my Olympic dream is over."

Treach should put on his panda bear PJ's, take lots of prescription drugs and rest up for what I think will eventually become a big story. This isn't over.

We... I Mean Me... I Mean Us

From LiveScience:
Couples who consistently refer to themselves as "we" may get on the nerves of singletons everywhere, but spouses who use this "couple-focused" language may fare better during conflicts than those who don't, according to a study announced this week.
And husbands who say oui (aka yes) also fare better during conflicts but that's a whole different study.

Well, this might explain why my husband and I have been married for 21 years. We've been together for so long, often we say we when we mean I and I when we mean we. Perhaps we fare better during conflict because we're in a constant state of confusion.

We're not the only ones who are befuddled. We've (there's that damn "we" again) found that others will refer to the two of us as a singular unit. When our friend's son was little he used to call us each BrianTraci. He'd say to me, "BrianTraci, where is BrianTraci?" Oddly, it made perfect sense to everybody who knows us (there's that damn "us" again).

Yes, I are definitely "couple-focused. (I said I on purpose. Or should it be we said I on purpose?)

Anyway, the real key to avoiding arguments is to just become one person. Because who really wants to sit around and yell at themselves?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

It's a strange thing when you receive an incredibly stupid email from a friend who you thought was an intelligent person.

My friend-- who for other reasons is now an ex-friend-- told me that she was considering skipping vaccinations for her young daughter because of a fear of autism. Apparently, she had just seen Jenny McCarthy on Oprah or Tyra or Dr. Phil or one of the many daytime talk shows designed to scare the piss out of women, spouting ridiculous nonsense (my assessment, not hers) about the connection between the two.

I wanted to write back and say, "Jenny McCarthy is a moron and you're an even bigger moron for believing anything this woman says." Instead, I sent her a few links to medical journals that refuted everything the ex-Playboy model claimed.

The kid got her shots.



Sadly, many other parents choose to skip the vaccinations leaving their children and the rest of society vulnerable to horrible diseases.

Today, Vaccinegate, has been exposed.
A renowned scientific journal has formally retracted a paper that linked the popular MMR vaccine to autism.

The paper has been blamed for the drastic drop in the number of children getting the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in Europe and the U.S. Last week Britain's General Medical Council accused the author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield of presenting his research in a "irresponsible and dishonest" way with "callous disregard" for children.
According to my local newscast, Jenny McCarthy issued a statement supporting the disgraced Dr. Wakefield. Of course, she did.

I had the measles when I was eight. Unfortunately, I was one of a number of kids who received a bad batch of the vaccine. To this day, I vividly remember how sick I was. My ears have not been the same since.

I hope the cause and cure for autism is found one day. But, to make children suffer because of bad science is reprehensible.

To let a B celebrity affect how you care for your kids is mind-boggling.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Doppelganger Week

It's Doppelganger Week on Facebook which just means many of us are proving that we have waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on our hands by changing our profile picture to a celebrity look-a-like.

I decided to put up this classic photo of Britney Spears because, as I always say, I only look like Britney when she has either let herself go or is having a nervous breakdown.

Just one problem. Folks think it's me! Now, all my Facebook friends are under the mistaken impression that I've shaved my head.



Although, they also must think I look 26, so it's not all bad.