Been & Going

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Jersey Joe’s Funny Bathtub Thoughts

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Everybody thinks about all kinds of strange subjects in the bath and the shower.  Jersey Joe is no different.

THE 411

What: bathtub thoughts

Why: the mind goes wild when unwinding in the shower or tub


Admit it… we all think about things in the bathroom.  Should we do toilet thoughts, next?

Asian style jacuzzi in spa room

[Citizen Filter] A Brief Guide To Grieving With Dignity

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I’m going to tell you a joke:


My dog’s dying!




Well, I tried. No, but really my dog is dying, and not my second or third dog, but my first dog, my childhood dog, the dog that made my father ruin innumerable photo prints and led my mother to discover the joys of buying chicken necks from the butcher, my dog who is beautiful and perfect and once chewed up an amazing pair of leather sandals when I was thirteen and she was still a puppy.

My mom texted me last weekend (hey, that’s why this is a week late! I HAVE REASONS FOR THINGS) with an adorable photo of my 16-year-old dog and the message the she has 25% kidney function and about two weeks to live, because she had stopped eating. That was my Saturday. Doggy suicide via hunger strike. Can’t even tell you how great that was. Can’t. Even. (Sidenote: Let us all take a moment to appreciate that my mother now knows how to send a group picture text. A moment of silence for her lost innocence, and a moment of laughter because anyone who thinks previous generations were innocent clearly has never seen a statistical chart teen pregnancy over the last century, nor have they read Shakespeare.)

So here’s my handy guide to dealing with your dog’s imminent demise:

1. Cry at the wheel while you’re driving to get gas on the way to your boyfriend’s mom’s birthday party.

2. Call your mom while you’re getting gas and cry on the phone with her. Marvel at her calm attitude. Realized that your mascara is running but you’re also running late so screw it, you were going for a smoky eye look anyway and how the fuck are you going to get through a party with a bunch of people who ask how you are and with whom you usually tell the truth?

3. When your boyfriend tells you that he is definitely driving the rest of the way, concede gracefully and climb over the parking brake, exposing your underpants to the whole gas station and (this is very important) Don’t Give A Damn because you are Grieving and No One Understands.

4. Sniffle all the way to Hipster Neighborhood, where your boyfriend is practicing a song to sing for his mother.

5. When you get there, ask your boyfriend’s brother for bourbon. Drink a healthy amount. Touch up your mascara.

6. Realize that they took your suggestion of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, a suggestion you made pre-dog-dying text. Realize that it is the Wrong Song to listen to when you are saying goodbye to an old friend. Sob quietly in the kitchen, using up all the eco-friendly paper towels to blow your nose. Wobble unsteadily to the living room when they’re done, finish your bourbon, and touch up your lipstick.

7. Cry when the roommates come home with their adorable dog.

8. Cry in the car on the way to the party.

9. Touch up your mascara again. You are going to run out of mascara.

10. See your boyfriend’s sister’s new puppy, who looks a lot like your dying dog, fenced in the yard. Hold back tears and pretend the last two hours didn’t happen.

11. Spend the whole party with your boyfriend’s brother-in-law’s brothers, who don’t talk much and mostly to their mother, in Spanish, when they do. Finally be grateful you forgot most of your Spanish.

12. Drive home. Debate going out. Decide against going out, go to the 24-hour Mexican and breakfast food place and get a burrito. Get teary-eyed because they are out of pickled carrots and radishes, and you don’t even eat those.

13. Eat your burrito. Drink a beer. Sleep.

14. The next day, text all the friends you have left in your hometown and strongarm them into going to your parents’ house and petting your dog. Succeed in annoying your parents, your friends, and your dog, who just wants to sit in the yard and sample the olfactory delights on the breeze. Hope your dog hasn’t learned to text in her old age, although that would be an amazing miracle that might compel God to keep her around a little longer, but would also make you the worst person ever because you annoyed your dying dog so much that she learned to text.

This is my dog. She is the best. This is her sniffing the breeze for interesting smells, including but not limited to: Squirrel, Other Dog, Bird, Milkman, Mailman, Delivery Man, School Children, Sad Lost Deer in an Urban Setting

15. Put up a weepy Facebook status, including the fateful first picture of your dog.

16. Get a barrage of concerned texts from your older sisters, who are channeling their grief into worrying about you. Thank the Lord for the consistency of the world, in which there is a time for life, for death, for change, and for always getting so much goddamn attention when your family members are trying to forget their own feelings. It is your duty to accept their worry graciously. It is your right to bitch about it to your boyfriend. It it your fate to be simultaneously happy that you are surrounded by Loving Concern and grumpy because all that Loving Concern is Stifling.

17. Cry. Drink a beer. Cry.

18. Watch cute dog videos on YouTube. Cry.

19. Get a text from your mother the dog has started eating again. She’ll be fine for awhile. Cry.

20. Realize that your bathroom is leaking water from the ceiling, walls, doorjamb, and windows. Cry, then eat a Bay Cities sandwich.

See how you too can dealing with the crippling sadness of losing a beloved pet and de facto family member in 20 easy steps! Fill your larder with booze and Kleenex and you’ll be just fine.

But don’t forget about the crippling guilt for moving away from your hometown to find education, love, and happiness! There is nothing more reproachful than the eyes of a dog who is old and sick and sad that you’re leaving, and that was last January, when we thought she had at least another year.

Happily, I’ll back in ye olde homesteade in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping she holds out long enough for me to say goodbye. Because the only thing worse than your dog dying is when you miss saying your farewells by a day or two!

[TRENCHES] So you’ve decided to see a friend’s show!

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Bless your heart. You’re a saint amongst sinners, a dessert amongst dinners, a steak on a friday Lenten vegan lentil hellhole and a breath of fresh air in a stale locker room of morning-after beer farts. You have elected to do the impossible, step up and offer yourself as sacrifice to Dionysus.
You have agreed to see a friend’s show.

Already, you’ve outed yourself. You’re not clever enough to invent rapidly convincing weekend-evening plans to distract your theatrical friends. Like a chorus of corpses reanimated by nefarious radiation, they’ve closed in on your hiding place and pounced, fervently masticating on the warm, stringy tendons of your no-longer-free time.

[NOTE: I apologize for any Walking Dead references I may make for the rest of this piece, because I’m very impressionable and watched the entire series in the last three days.]

All is not lost, true believer! You may, in fact, suffer an experience that might cause you to have an honest reaction. Admittedly, this reaction will most likely be revulsion, despair or fatigue of the soul. Despite all this, you may yet encounter an inspiring moment.
When struggling through the least-crafted, no-budget dreck you’ve been dragged into by someone you casually slept with, feel free to play this game: What Outstanding Thing Can I Comment On? You may please yourself simply with your own ingenuity in devising things to harmlessly compliment.

For those in a less happy predicament, allow me to offer you some guidance. First off, you’re going to want to rely on Prefabricated Compliments. This is an advanced Jedi negotiation tactic that states irrefutable facts in a strictly complimentary way. For example:

  • That was an effectively dark black that you painted the stage with!
  • When those lights turned on, they stayed on until they were turned off!
  • I certainly believed that all of the actors were capable of walking across the stage at times!
  • Entering the theatre proved surprisingly effective and effortless!
  • Wow! That was a show!

If that doesn’t fully satisfy the awkward postshow conversation, you can rely on the next level of preparation, the Impossibly Positive Question. You must not ask questions that can have anything but a positive answer. Examples of What Not To Do:

  • Fantastic! Will you be extending?
  • How are the houses so far?
  • What have your reviews been like?
  • Where will you be touring?
  • You pay your people super well, right?

Good Questions to Ask generally fall along the same lines as good first date questions:

  • Have you worked with (select an actor, designer, etc) before?
  • Do you work here often?
  • Did you have trouble finding the place?
  • Who’s your hairstylist? I’m very impressed.
  • Try the fish. It’s lovely; I had it once with some friends at a birthday thing.

Should the worst occur and you get caught badmouthing the piece, perhaps around the creative team or fragile actor types, you can rely on these quick solutions:

  • Immediately begin talking about someone’s hair.
  • Set fire to something. Most small theatres are laughably non-compliant with emergency codes and should readily combust, providing an effective distraction. Many theatres, however, do not have a ready means of escape (despite legally mandated preshow announcements) so this is not a first choice.
  • Ask if anyone would like a drink. Take advantage of the ready yes to pardon yourself and escape.
  • Ask if anyone would like to smoke some weed. Take advantage of the ready yes to pardon yourself and escape.
  • “But at least it’s not Andrew Lloyd Webber!” – this is especially effective if it is, in fact, Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Congratulations! With this handy guide, you’ll suffer as little as possible from your terrible decision to befriend/take pity on/sleep with that incredibly attractive theatre person. In the future, never admit aloud that your plan for the evening is eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and watching all of The Walking Dead. Also: don’t watch all of The Walking Dead in one sitting.