It's not funny, anymore.

At first, it was like, 'Am I in an SNL sketch right now? Donald Trump is running for President hahaha yeah, RIGHT.' 

Then it was kind of shocking. Omigosh, he's still here. Wow. Well, I'm sure before the primaries, he'll throw his votes to the highest bidder, and bail.

Now, I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. No, I did not eat the whole Costco Party Bag of M&Ms stop bringing that up!

Here's what alarms me: the lack of empathy displayed by these candidates. Donald Trump yelling at the protestor, "Get outta here! Put him out in the cold. Take his coat!" Even more disturbing? Everyone laughed and cheered...at another human being locked outside in the freezing cold WITHOUT HIS COAT. 

It's not just Trump, it's all the other candidates *throws shade at Carly Fiorina*. Women's reproductive rights, Syrian refugees, Mexican immigrants...their position on just about every issue demonstrates a lack of empathy that goes waaaaaay beyond the narcissism typical of most politicians. These candidates seem absolutely devoid of empathy.

You guys. We could have a freaking Sociopath as our President. Not hyperbole.

What truly frightens me is how many Americans want Trump to win. Right now, he leads the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Why? What part of his message appeals to us? Here it is, and I hate this about our country -- we are still intolerant, exclusionary and racist. We've just been QUIET about it. Trump gives us permission to be loud, be proud (but not in a good, gay way). 

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that a man so blatantly intolerant and uncaring has so many fervent supporters. He's like a litmus test for empathy, and the results are horrible.

That feeling in the pit of my stomach is an unpleasant mix of sad and scared.

Pass the M&Ms.


Princess Dorkwang and the Frogs

*tap-tap-tap* Is this thing on?

I see some of the regulars are still here. Hey, Kevin? Can you give everyone a free round, on me? Whatever they want. And you know my stash? Bring that out. Yes, I'm serious. Dude. I didn't buy 37 Costco Party Bags of M&Ms for no reason. THIS IS A REASON. Nobody likes pretzels, and peanut allergies is a thing, and this is my blog and STOP LOOKING FOR LITTLE BOWLS, Kevin, just PUT THE BAGS ON THE BAR!!

You guys.


What kind of space-time continuum-leap just happened?? I mean, five years ago, I was married, had kids in middle school. ***Ka-BLAMMO!!*** I'm divorced three years, and my son is headed to Milwaukee School of Engineering.

I'll spare you the divorce story. That chapter is over. In fact, let's close the book, and put it way up on the tippy-top shelf in the deepest stacks of University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library.  I don't even live in Michigan anymore; to open that book would mean at LEAST 6 hours driving in Summer construction and vacation traffic, and NOPE.

I'm online dating (segues are so over-rated). I can tell by the blank stares that's like, *so* not a big deal to you Young and Hip Beautiful People.


I was married for 18 years. During that time, the Internet happened. Cell phones happened. Texting, sexting, face-timing your Twittersnap InstaTinder happened. I'm Rip Van Winkle waking up to a world of arrested-development men and Twerking.

I joined Match, EHarmony, JDate-and-I'm-not-even-Jewish... Dates happened. Some good, some bad. Some made me want to lobotomize myself with a Crazy Straw.

I have yet to "match" with my "soulmate." Dear EHarmony, which of the "97 points of compatibility" paired me with the 86 year old gentleman who wrote me to tell me his real name is "Thor?" Oh, 
I have stories.

Scamper over to Facebook, and check out  "Princess Dorkwang and the Frogs." Join me on this bumper-car ride of ridiculousness. Read my tales of WHAT IS SHE EVEN TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW. Share your stories.

Everyone has a story. No, really. Oprah said. You guys, do NOT mess with Oprah. Stop it stop it right now. You know she has a Book Club. The first rule of Book Club is DON'T TALK ABOUT BOOK CLUB. Shit. I just talked about Book Club. Here come the Oprah drones FOR THE LOVE OF GOD clutch your Oprah Book Club Bible, and say 20 Hail John Travoltas.

And please to enjoy, "Princess Dorkwang and the Frogs." May my misadventures in dating make you feel much, much better about yourself.


Forget Comfort Zone; play in your Uncomfortable Zone.

I'm a mom, nurse, technically "middle aged" woman and Michael Gellman is teaching me Improvisational Comedy at Second City, Chicago. Pinch me. Make it hurt.

As I told Godman at last week's class, Improv has been "the most fun I've had in my adult life." His quick response: 'The most fun in your adult life? ... Are you dating??'

These classes are a gift, really. I started "Improv for Beginners" at Second City last year. For fun. Because my life was in crisis and something made me Google "Second City + classes." Boxed wine made me sign up. The fun I had with Improv made me sign up for Standup. Standup pushed me past fear, through terror and into strength. Possibly delusion. Hot holy Hell, y'all -- I  did five minutes in front of 70+ people. And got laughs. Suck it, shyness.

Michael Gellman reminds me of my Dad, but with extra cussing. Humorous bordering on brilliantly hilarious, intuitive bordering on uncanny, foul-mouthed bordering on George Carlin. Is this Heaven?

Wait. What? I signed up for what?? I'm not a theater major, as most of my classmates are. Hell, I have two degrees (Journalism and Nursing) and barely use either. I'm a mostly stay-at-home Mom who subs as a School Nurse. I'm shy by nature, have no idea what 'real acting' is, and never set foot on a stage before this (except as a Dogpatcher in a riveting Middle School production of "Li'l Abner"). I don't know how far I can go with this, but that's not the point.

What I know is that Improv has changed my life. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. It taught me to be in the moment. It made me trust my sense of humor.

I've made many great acquaintances and one cherished friend. I've laughed harder and more often than I have in many, many years.

Why is that? In Improv, there is no judgement, no saying "No." The mantra is "Say 'Yes' and the fun will follow." Yes to everything. Accept, agree, trust, release, surrender. On stage, it works. It works better than saying no, or contradicting, or negating. It moves the scene forward. It creates a positive vibe felt not only by the players but also the audience. Negativity and criticism kills. It's "death by a thousand cuts," in my experienced opinion. In Improv and Life.

It's about relinquishing the need to control, to micromanage, to keep the focus on yourself. Fuck that shit. Focus on your partner. Focus on what's happening RIGHT NOW. What is your partner SAYING? What are they DOING? What is your RELATIONSHIP?

Yes, it's Improvisational Theater. It's also Life. Stop the Movie In Your Head. Look at who you're communicating with. Listen to them. Watch their body language. Appreciate how they are different from you. Appreciate them.

Appreciate who you are. Be aware of how you move through space. Listen to your voice as you speak. Look at yourself in the mirror. Be aware of what you're feeling at this moment.

Now live.


When God Closes a Door...He's being a real jerk.

Ok, so in the movie in her head, Whippy fancies herself a Funny Person. Yes, it's an epic film with lots of plots; subplots; an awesome protagonist; one or two antagonists; a tragic flaw or two or seven; even a Christ Figure. Who drinks boxed wine and moonwalks on water.

I've been taking comedy improvisation classes for over a year and having the most fun I've had in my adult life. Some of my buddies and I auditioned for something awesome and none of us got it. We were told, 'Hey, even Tina Fey didn't make it her first time around.' 'Hey, most people don't.' 'Hey, take another class and try again in eight weeks.' 'Hey, yadda yadda.' It was absolutely a positive albeit slightly humbling experience. Not to mention an amazing teaching opportunity for Whippy's little Whiplets.

Buddy Boy and GirlyGirl watched Mom's facial expression and sensed every emotion as I read the "We're Sorry But..." EMail. I'm a horrible liar and even worse at faking emotion. It's served me well. Except for that time my brother and I stole loose change out of our Mom's purse to buy candy at 7-11. Ok, it stopped me from pursuing a violent life of crime to feed my Wacky Pack and Slim Jim habit; I should be grateful.

Woah. Where was I? Right. Teaching moment. So, I explained to the Whipplets, "Hey, ya know what? I'm happy. Because I tried something I was afraid to do, I learned a ton and I had a blast! And ya know what else? I'm going to try again!"

Later that night, GirlyGirl gave me this:

Ok, so I had to pry the window open and remove the frame to get my rumpus through, but at least I was able to spot the opening. With a little nudge from GirlyGirl. Thanks, God (hey, your son's an awesome bartender, btw. Can you ask him to lay his hands on the office water cooler?)
*runs serpentine to avoid lightning storm*


When Chakka Comes Marching Home

GirlyGirl is 10 and loves to sing. She sings all day long. She delights in turning our morning getting-ready-for-school routine into a musical. "Motherrrr...can I have some breakfast please...Oh, nooooooo!! This milk is sour-what-will-I-dooooo..." She's a wonderkind.

Her chorus teacher exposes them to all kinds of stuff, which GG then exposes us to. For days. Lots. of. days. Do you know the complete lyrics to Benny Goodman's "Sing! Sing! Sing!"? I do. Oh, I DO.

When I'm feeling down and blue, I flash to the visual of GG standing on the arm of our good leather sofa, shimmying like a fiend, belting, "Sing, sing, sing, sing...everybody start to sing...Hi-dee-hi, ho-dee-ho, now you're singin' to and fro..." *shimmy-shimmy-shimmy*

This week's musical theme? Civil War songs. Not quite the feel-good raucousness of Big Band, but still. But still -- PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY SHOOT ME IN THE PART OF MY BRAIN THAT WILL MAKE ME FORGET THIS:

GG: When Chaka comes marching home again, hurrah HURRAH! hurrah HURRAH!
When Chaka comes marching home again, hurrah! HURRAH! hurrah! HURRAH!!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all kill dinosaurs
When Chaka comes marching home... hahahaha




Li'l Ro Ro and Joliet

So, this morning I'm helping BuddyBoy study for his "Illinois Constitution" test. Not only does he insist on pronouncing Illinois with a hard "s" at the end, but he keeps saying "Juliet," instead of Joliet. Uh-oh. That's like tossing a ball in front of my dog. Or distracting a raccoon with a shiny object.

ME: Joliet is Juliet's street name. hahaha

BRAD: What?

ME: Li'l Ro Ro and Joliet! hahaha

BRAD: What??

ME: Yeah, instead of "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" it's "RoRo! WHERE YOU AT??" hahaha

BRAD: Mom.

ME: And instead of the Montagues and the Capulets, it's the Montys and the Fat Caps! Instead of drawing swords, they have a dance-off! hahaha

BRAD: *rolls eyes*

ME: And "Were that I a glove upon that hand that I might touch that cheek" is "Don't MAKE me smack you with my glove..." hahaha

BRAD: Can I have breakfast now?


I want me a toddler.

Whippy is on a little Summer Hiatus.  I'll be posting, but not as often.  
I have a deep, thought-provoking essay in the works...stay tuned!!

In the mean time, please to enjoy this: