Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This Moment-

"Shiny, laughing, perfect, golden...gone." - John Bucchino

It is 6:25 on Monday, and Lily and I are on the R train heading to Manhattan. She is sitting on my lap, eating a Sesame Street cracker.

About an hour ago, I realized that both strollers were sitting in the rain, and that the carrier was in the car. I then knew that I would need to carry Lily from Forest Hills to downtown Manhattan. Not just Manhattan. Downtown Manhattan.

A few minutes ago, we sat on the stationary train for fifteen minutes as I grew more and more anxious. I knew that this meant fifteen more minutes of entertaining her on the subway. I also knew this delay would make me late for rehearsal.

A few minutes from now, Lily will choke on her Sesame Street cracker. I will have to reach into her mouth and pull it out, and I will worry that the surrounding passengers will think I am a bad mother for giving her a cracker that she obviously could not handle.

A few minutes from then, I will exhaust myself with every baby game I know, trying to keep her amused- sometimes it will work, sometimes it will not- and a few minutes from then I will consider stopping at the Starbucks just one block from rehearsal, calling Jackie, and telling her that someone would need to come and get us, I couldn't make it any further. But I will keep walking. I will see Ryan standing in the doorway. I will hand him Lily. I will go upstairs to rehearsal, apologizing as I walk through the door for being late. I will realize that I am interrupting someone with my apology, and will sit down- quietly feeling defeated.

But right now, in this moment, I am sitting on the R train. Lily is on my lap- her little feet covered in her little white tennis shoes that she allowed me to put on her today, her soft curly hair resting under my chin- and she is eating a Sesame Street cracker.

And it is this moment, right now, that I know I want to remember.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"At the End of the Day..." Part Two: My Already-Did List

I write a lot about tools I have to deal with depression, and how the Flylady system has helped me. And it's great to  have a list of routines to follow. When I start to get really anxious, I can look at my list and know what to do next. Unfortunately, there are two aspects of my life which get in the way of my routines:

- I am a freelancer
- I have an eleven-month-old

Since Lily keeps getting bigger (they'll do that I suppose...) and Momentum Rep keeps getting busier, I have had my routines interrupted more and more over the past week or so. They're generally great interruptions. Art-making, and opportunity-seizing, and family-conmecting. But I've felt like I'm constantly putting out fires, and it's starting to make me really anxious. Then a few minutes ago I remembered my sociology experiment from March. While I don't think it's necessary to write another day-in-the-life entry, I do think it would be helpful to make an "Already Did" list, to supplement my "Not Yet Done" list. 

So here it is. My Didn't-Know-I'd-Hafta-Do-But-Already Did List for today:

- Taught the Balladeer all three of his ballads. (one of which changes meters every measure or so...)

- Submitted a proposal to be Artists in Residence. A long-shot, but the turn-around time for this submission- between finding out it was a possibility, writing it, and submitting it- was about two hours.

- Answered three emails from my Mom about her visit for Lily's birthday.

- Answered two emails, four texts, and a facebook message, all work-related.

- Got Lily down from the shelf four times. Loves climbing up, doesn't know how to get down.

Whew. I feel a little better.

Or, in other words...

"I simply remember my already-did things, and then I don't feeeeeeeeeel so bad."

Now, if I only had a big yellow notepad and a red magic marker, I'd mark those suckers right off.

What have you already done today?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Night Ramblings from an Exhausted Mommy

This one's gonna be long and rambly. Sorry, Tom.

I had a rough Mommy week. Not a monumental, epic, change-the baby's-future kind of rough Mommy week. A teeny little things rough Mommy week. Haven't eaten, have food in front of me, but can't get to it because Lily is eating and I'm holding her on my lap and she's getting hummus everywhere and she's getting hummus all over me and I have to sing soon and I have to eat and there is no one around to hold the baby. Left the umbrella stroller in the car, only have the giant offroading stroller, need to get to rehearsal, have help getting stroller down stairs on this end but not up stairs on other end so I go to a station with an elevator fifteen blocks away from rehearsal planning to walk and when I get to the other end it's raining way too hard to walk that far and I am stuck stuck stuck with a cold wet baby in midtown Manhattan. House guests- I love having visitors, and these were very special visitors- but Lily can't sleep in her own room so she is grouchy and that makes me grouchy and she can't sleep so I can't sleep. Finally have a babysitter so I can run this errand, and I can't find the paperwork- errand cancelled. No clean towels because I can't get to the laundromat.

Oh. And doing it all while going through Lexapro withdrawal. Side effects include "brain shivers," (when my skull and brain feel unattached, so my head turns, and then my awareness turns later) ringing ears, and bursting into crying fits which may or may not be related to anything. But I am busy, I have responsibilities, so I will not cry.

Then, Friday morning. My sister and nephew were visiting, and we had a playdate scheduled with someone who I barely know but we didn't have anything planned and it's the park, so sure. We tried to get out the door in time. But with two toddlers each sleeping away from their own cozy beds and suitcases and toys everywhere, we ended up leaving the house when we were supposed to be arriving. I sent a text to my- friend? No, I really didn't know her very well- to let her know we would be late. What happened next can only be explained, I believe, with an annotated transcript (from memory, and cut-and paste texts) of the conversation that followed.

*moments after text is sent, phone rings, caller ID tells me it's Crazy (that's what we'll call her)

Me: Hi, Crazy!

Crazy: (literally screaming) OK, I don't mean to be a bitch, but do you hear that sound in the background? That's the sound of my five-month-old son screaming in the background because I woke him up early to meet you on time. (1) The last time we were supposed to meet, you were an hour and a half late picking up Lily, (2) and now this. I mean, are you seriously this flakey? Is this seriously who you are as a Mom?

Me: (week-long efforts to hold back tears no longer effective) Wow, Crazy. I cannot even believe how hurtful you are being right now. You know what? I'm gonna have Ryan drop that swing off to you tomorrow. (3) *hangs up

Text from Crazy moments later:
you have set a prescedent of being late. i woke a sleeping infant 2 get here on time. there r 2 of them and i 1 of me and i managed 2 be on time. annoying to say the least.

My text response:
Ryan will drop off your swing tomorrow. Please send your address. I wish you knew me well enough to make the judgements you made and it's unfortunate that it happened twice because that's actually not usual at all. But I don't really have room for someone to talk to me like that. I apologize that you had to wake the baby, I know his naps are valuable.

Crazy's text:
i dont have room 4 someone who will not respect my and my children's time.

Then, forty minutes later, a text announcing she was leaving.

(1) If he was screaming at the precise time we were supposed to meet, I'm not following how that part was my fault.

(2) She watched Lily for me once. She tried to call three times while I was teaching to see when I was leaving because she needed to put her son down for a nap.

2A- I didn't answer because... I... was... teaching.
2B- I had been uncertain about when I would be able to leave. I was "late" for the time determined in her head.
2C- Lily is the world's quietest, easiest baby. She has never, to my knowledge, stopped another baby from taking a nap, especially when she was an infant. If he needs to take a nap, put him down for a nap.

3- We were meeting primarily so I could return the jumper I borrowed.

Now. Some reactions, a day later.

I cried for the rest of the day. Since then I have had two people tell me in unsolicited, unrelated situations that I am a good Mom. I also had a student say something like "see, you make me feel better about life and my voice." Another student replied "yeah, that'll happen with Mindy." I believe these things to be true. Yet this is the moment I hold onto- the moment I became the victim of a bipolar episode. (I promise I would never throw this term around, it's something I know to be true about Crazy, she told me herself.) The thing is, I have people in my life who have bipolar disorder. They do not talk to me like that, and if they did, I would be willing to discuss it because I care about them. I feel no need to repair relationships with toxic people I hardly know.

In other news:

My sister and I took the kids (one 11 months, one 22 months) into the city via subway yesterday. Getting up and down those stairs was an interesting trick. Sometimes people offered to help. Sometimes people glared at us for taking too long.


My sister and nephew got on the airplane to go home. It was a turbulent flight. She had to keep him on her lap. Have you ever tried to hold a two-year-old still? Flight attendants and other passengers were yelling at her. She cried most of the flight. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen my sister cry.

So. *trumpet fanfare* Here's my point. Being a parent is difficult in the best of circumstances. Sometimes we have less-than-pleasant moments in public. Babies cry. Toddlers throw tantrums. Mommies are late. Maybe even really late. I guarantee you this does not bother you one-tenth the amount that it bothers us. Further, I have never-ever- met a parent who was not doing his or her absolute best. Calling someone a flakey mother feels right up there with "dude, I just slept with your Mom" in the Never-Ever-OK-to-Say category. Rolling your eyes, staring in a judging way, making comments about a kid's behavior... Guess what. Not helping. So please. Keep it to yourself. Dig way down, locate that tiny little heart of yours, and give us a break.

Oh. And if you see us with a stroller in the subway station looking at the stares with bewilderment, don't wonder if we need help. We do. Don't wait til we ask. Just offer.

And don't forget. Mother's Day is just around the corner.

The Ides of March Part 3: The April Fog

People are often shocked when they find out I have depression. I am a generally happy person. I look on the bright side. I was a college cheerleader for goodness sake. And it's true. People with depression tend to have periods of time when they're, well, sad. And it's also true that I have those times. But when my depression is strictly chemically based, the way it is in the spring, it doesn't feel much like sad. It feels more like what I like to call The April Fog. 

In my absolute laymen's perspective, we live in three states of mind:

1- Actively and purposefully thinking about something.

2- Actively engaging with the outside world.

3- Somewhere in between.

While we spend most of our time in the "somewhere in between" state, a healthy person can move between the three states at will. However, when experiencing The April Fog, I am stuck. Stuck right between. It takes such incredible effort to move into actively engaging in anything that I often give up, choosing instead to live underwater- looking at the thoughts and ideas and people that live above the surface, unable to push through to see them clearly.

One of the most frustrating parts of The April Fog is the way it directly opposes my personality. People who know me well describe me as being outgoing, and as being a thinker. Being stuck, then, as neither an extrovert nor introvert, unable to have a truly connected conversation with a friend, unable to gather my thoughts for a blog, unable to follow through on my to-do list, often leads to the sadness that is so often associated with depression. I end up depressed about my depression.

In the past week, several things have happened which have helped me shake off The April Fog.

1- April is almost over, my body is nearly adjusted to the extra sunlight.

2- I have lots of people who are in seriously hard times right now and need my help. It's just not my turn.

3- Momentum Rep is in full swing with our next season. I am doing character study for Squeaky Fromme, learning a score, and planning a fundraising event. Earlier this week I accompanied a cabaret. Since I have so much experience doing these things, I am able to do them on autopilot. But once I have started the task, my consciousness eventually follows, which I am then able to carry into other tasks. Anyone who doesn't think art saves lives probably doesn't know any artistis very well.

So. The April Fog is lifting. Hopefully you'll be hearing from me more often now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We've Come A Long Way, Baby...

(a shameless plug)

December of 2007. Jackie called me and told me to "make her a show." She had had enough of the haphazard, unprofessional ways of NYC community theatre. She had also had enough of the cold, hard atmosphere that is professional theatre in NYC. There had to be something better. Talented artists with strong work ethics who were *gasp* nice people.

Momentum Repertory Company was born.

Our first full production was "Godspell." The cast was made-up of Jackie's friends and my friends and my students and one random dude who I met at a wedding. It was funded entirely by my husband and Jackie's then-boyfriend-now-fiancĂ©. The actor who was cast as Jesus had to drop out of the show two days before our two-week-and-only-two-week-rehearsal-period started. We cast a new Jesus, who had to learn more lines faster than I had ever seen. We practiced on my front porch in Forest Hills in 90 degree weather. Some of the neighbors loved it- they brought out their cups of coffee every day and watched and clapped. A few neighborhood boys rode their bikes every day and watched from the sidewalk. My next-door neighbor liked it less, yelling "musica, musica, musica! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday!" before throwing a sandwich at me and hitting me with it. For the record, we weren't even out there on Monday. But despite our *cough* interesting beginnings, Godspell was a smash hit, artistically and personally. 

Our next full production was Barefoot in the Park. Did you know there are a lot of lines in Neil Simon? And that props, costumes, and sets are very specific and important? We were just starting to get the hang of the show when I learned I was becoming a Mommy. My Lily arrived six days before we opened, and Lily was not allowed to leave the state of New Jersey. Jackie and the actor who was playing Paul drove to our hotel so we could run lines. The production came together and was a lot of fun. But man. 

Since then, we've done two more full shows ("The Unlikely Adventure of Race McCloud, Private Eye," and "Urinetown") and today we have auditions for a few roles in "Assassins." the show will be rehearsed entirely in a rehearsal studio. It will be an Equity Showcase. We will invite industry. We are getting to be kind of a big deal.

Which brings me to my shameless plug. We have entered the Space on White contest by posting a very silly video on YouTube. We can win a whole lotta rehearsal space. And it could make a huge difference to us.

Please. Watch the video. Share the video. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell strangers on the street.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exceeds Expectations

There is a scene in Michael Cunningham's "The Others" during which Laura Brown is preparing for her husband's birthday. She wants it to be perfect. She wants to greet him with breakfast in the morning and have a beautiful table set for dinner and make an elaborate birthday cake. Instead, he brings her flowers while she sleeps in, and there are crumbs in the icing of her homemade cake. Embarrassed and feeling defeated, she throws the cake in the trash and starts over, while her young son looks on.

It's one of the most powerful scenes I have ever read in fiction. In so many ways, I am Laura Brown.

Yesterday was Ryan's birthday. Once upon a time (last week) I had plans to make him breakfast. But a video shoot for MRC Sunday evening put a stop to those plans- there was no time to prepare. Then I thought I'd make him Cincinnati chili for dinner. But I forgot the tomato paste, so I made one of our favorite salads instead. We barely had time to say hello during dinner- he was busy feeding Lily who was deciding how she felt about spinach, and I was shoving food into my mouth as fast as I could to get to a lesson in the city. (a lesson which I considered cancelling, but it provides all of our money for the week, so this was not an option) I did successfully make a delicious Martha Stewart strawberry ice cream cake, though. I tried to make it a surprise, but Ryan could smell that I had been baking. Crap. I always forget that other people can smell things. Ryan woke up enough to have a slice when I finally returned from the city. Then Lily started screaming. And screaming. And screaming. (sorry, neighbors)

And I asked him to take care of it.

I had wanted to accomplish so much yesterday, and I had such high hopes for the kind of birthday wife I could be.  I was exhausted and defeated and feeling very much like Laura Brown.

Looking back, there is very little that went wrong yesterday. It just fell so short of what I wanted it to have been.

Which brings me to Easter. 

I had visions of frilly dresses and beautifully dressed tables. Homemade side dishes and a ham I cooked all by myself. What we had instead was a little girl in a cute cotton dress that just happened to be clean. We didn't have a table cloth. I made green bean casserole and scalloped potatoes from a box. And I did cook the ham all by myself, but it turns out there's a reason people buy their hams precooked. They taste better. And I never even made my dessert.


Lily found all of her eggs. How did she do it? I have no idea. Of course, I took all of her other toys away so that the eggs were the only interesting thing in the room. But still. She found all of her eggs. 

And she played with her new purple bouncy ball- she can even sort of pass it. And she was amazed by the bubbles in her basket. And she absolutely loved the Elmo puppet book from Grandpa. In fact, it helped her understand the concept of books, and we now look at two or three a day together.

At church, Lily's dress was a hit. (as were her shoes. Lily is known for her shoes.) And she found two other little girls who together nearly stopped the worship portion of the service as the three of them crawled to the center of the floor, sat in a circle, and shared their toys. And Ryan and I experienced a financial miracle which reminded us that God really is there for us. (this story available on Ryan's blog...)

So, given all that, our Easter far exceeded my expectations. Who needs tablecloths, anyway? And as for Ryan's birthday, we had already agreed that we would celebrate both of our birthdays with a family picnic on Saturday. Maybe we'll play pass-the-ball with Lily. 

And that will most certainly be enough.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I think every married couple has one. That one issue that eludes you. No matter how long you're together or how much you discuss it, or how hard you try, you just can't make it work. For us, that issue was Easter.

Ryan and I have been together for nearly fourteen years. We have made so many happy memories. Very few of them involve Easter. Here are a few highlights.

-1999: I went to my family's Easter celebration in Lima, Ohio. Why wasn't Ryan with me? I have no idea. I complained bitterly the whole time that we were never- ever- getting engaged. My sister wanted to smack me because of course Ryan had a ring and she knew it. We were engaged four days later.

-2003: I had an enormous mental and emotional breakdown on my birthday, which was the Thursday before Easter. I spent that Sunday on the sofa sobbing. Absolutely not Ryan's fault, he handled it the best he could, and it lead to my finally getting treatment for depression. But at the time? Really not fun.

-2006: We knew it would be time to try conceiving soon, but we were not entirely agreeing on the timing. I insisted we color eggs. Ryan bought the eggs, and then left them out in the counter overnight. We threw them away. I was furious. He told me I was being silly- Easter eggs were for children anyway. (I'm sure he would take this statement back now if given the opportunity...) My therapist suggested Ryan was "neglecting my eggs." I don't know about all that. But I was pissed.

-2007: We were in Myrtle Beach celebrating Ryan's Dad's 60th birthday. We tried to go to the church of friends of ours who happened to live nearby. We got lost. I also found out on this day that a family member was pregnant. 

-2008: I have no memory of Easter 2008. Self-protection? Selective amnesia?

And then, there was Easter of 2009. About a week before, Ryan looked at me and said, very calmly, "I seem to remember that Easter is important to you." Last year we colored eggs with our friend Kimberly and did an Easter basket exchange and wore pastel colors to church. It was finally the Easter I wanted. An Easter that reminded me of my childhood. 

And I know Ryan did it for me. Last year his birthday even fell on Easter. But he knew it was important to me. We needed that Easter. We needed to "get it" before Lily came. Because babies do not fix marital issues, and I am convinced they can sense when they're expected to. 

So this year, we were able to have our happy family Easter with Lily added to the equation. And how did it go? I'll tell you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Ides of March, revisited

I'm out of sorts again today. We had an extremely busy day in the city- play group and a brief rehearsal, then back home for a lesson. Lily fell fast asleep at 7:00, and I'll probably be in bed before ten. I was disappointed in myself for a few minutes. I wanted to finish everything on my to-do list. I wanted to write a beautiful blog about our Easter Sunday. And I don't want to have trouble focusing for no reason. But then I realized a few things.

1. I've been devoted to my to-do list since my Ides of March post. Therefore, the house is relatively clean. The dishes are done. The carpets are vacuumed. The bathroom is sparkly. Skipping one night will not hurt anything.

2. Recognizing that I'm exhausted and out of sorts is an important skill.

3. I am exhausted because I took my daughter to play group, rehearsed for a fund raiser, and taught a lesson. I earned it.

4. It is important to be well-rested.

So. I'm going to bed soon. My blog about Easter Sunday can wait until tomorrow. I'm going to rest, and I'm not going to feel guilty!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

I've wanted to be a Mommy for a long time. For the past several years I've daydreamed about taking special family trips to the park or the beach or the zoo. And since I've been so anxious for so long, our little Lily is occassionally taken on such trips prematurely. It doesn't hurt anything, of course, but it can be a little bit of a Mommy let down when my ten-month-old doesn't run to the slide or say "Look, Mommy! A monkey!" 

But I'm usually able to be fairly reasonable about Lily's reactions to things. So when my Dad bought us all tickets to the Ringling Brothers Circus at Madison Square Garden, I prepared myself for a grouchy, sleepy baby who wouldn't sit still.

What I got instead was the greatest show on Earth.

The moment we entered the arena, Lily clapped her hands. She could hear the music and see the lights and sense the excitement. Ryan and I took her down to the floor for the pre-show where she looked with a gaping mouth at the stilt walkers and jugglers and balloons. And once the show started, she alternated between sitting on her Daddy's lap, awestruck, and standing on his lap with uncontainable excitement- jumping up and down, clapping her hands, and squealing in delight.

Who knows what she was thinking. I doubt it was "wow, how do they practice riding seven motorcycles in a cage without crashing?" But whatever the thought behind it, she loved it.

The circus was pretty cool for the grown-ups, too. I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the singing, and the scene changes along with the amazing acrobats and elephants. But my favorite moment of the day was when Lily, after fighting to stay awake for thirty minutes, cuddled up on her Daddy's lap, looked at me with a giant smile, and completely zonked out, still smiling in her sleep. A few weeks or months from now I might not remember what happened in the center ring. But I will always remember that face.  

Monday, April 5, 2010

Liar, liar

I didn't post a blog on Friday. It was a holiday, and I was preparing for the weekend. My sister said she didn't know about the no-post-on-holidays rule. I told her they were my rules and she would just have to deal. We are so very loving toward one another.

But never fear, the past four days have given me an entire week's worth of stories, from April Fools, through the circus and Easter, to Mets opening day.

We begin with April Fools Thursday, and a story I like to call "Liar, liar." Believe me when I say I wish that was an indication that this was a joke. But nope. This really happened. First, a little background info:

1. Our basement has a laundry room.

2. We pay $50 a month for unlimited access to this laundry room.

3. Laundry is, for whatever reason, my least-done chore.

4. The dirty laundry piles-up down there in ridiculous amounts.

5. Our landlord asked us to clean it up.

6. I did not.

7. Our landlord unplugged our washer and drier.

8. I have a ten-month-old.

9. It is nearly impossible to go to the laundromat when Lily and I are home alone. I just legistically cannot get clothes and baby to and from the laundromat without a car. By the time Ryab gets home from work I am exhausted. Which leads me to Wednesday night. Plans Thursday. No clean clothes.

I got an idea. I'll hand-wash them in the sink! Which worked beautifully, I must say. Of course by the time I finished my hands were raw and cramped, but I looked at the 33 articles of clothing hanging on the rack to dry, and I was extremely proud of myself.

Thursday morning I went to the kitchen to check on Lily's teeny little clothes. They were soaking wet. Discouraged but not defeated, I picked up a pair of pants and a onesie and hung them outside on the banister. I took a shower, cleaned the house, and checked on them a few hours later.

Soaking wet.

OK, no worries, I can figure this out. I got the hair drier. Ten minutes of hand drying one pair of stretchy pants and they were no longer soaking wet! They were, however, steamy and damp, and we were supposed to leave to visit a friend in am hour. I needed a way to dry these clothes in a hurry. 

Then, inspiration struck. The microwave. I will put Lily's pants in the microwave. One minute should do it. And they're cotton, so I'm sure this is perfectly safe. Hooray, I'm a genius!

One minute later, the ding of the microwave told me it was time. So I opened the door, and was hit in the face by a combination of smoke and steam that knocked me back a few inches. (while I don't have a sense of smell, my nose still physically reacts to things like noxious fumes. I know, it's confusing. Full blog on this someday, I promise.)

Carefully, I reached into the microwave to retrieve Lily's pants. They were dry, that's for sure. So why the smoke?

Then I noticed the red embers on the waistband. They were around the edges of a giant hole right through the elastic.

Ah. The elastic. Oops.

I took the pants to the sink, ran some cold water over them while I opened a window, and tossed the pants into the trash. (after being absolutely sure, of course, that they were no longer burning.) Fortunately I was able to find a pair of jeans that I hoped were clean, (again, no sense of smell.) and I little blouse that was hanging in her closet. 

But the really funny part of this story is that this was not my first flaming-clothes-in-the-microwave story. The last time was in college, and it involved a sock full of sugar. I think I'll save that one for another day. But feel free to laugh at me.

So I learned a lesson on Thursday. Don't put the baby's pants in the microwave. Feel free to pass this message along. It's an important one, I think.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Party Pooper

I really hate practical jokes. I spend every April 1 in an exhausting state of readiness, determined not to be fooled. This is probably because I have a profound fear of looking foolish, but generally speaking, I just don't think it's funny.

But it's important to note that there's a difference between looking silly and looking foolish. I am a performer and a Mommy- I look silly most of the time. And I have seen a variety of April Fool's Day jokes over the years that are silly. A few favorites:

-Martha Stewart does an April Fool's Day show every year during which she gives ridiculous tips like how to cover an overstuffed chair in gold glitter and how to char a steak all the way through. 

-Improv Everywhere has sent out updates about their newest missions on April 1 for the past two years. Last year the "mission" was about surprising people at a funeral, this year it was a no pants, no underwear subway ride. (complete with doctored photos, blurred out of course, which were fairly convincing.)

What cracks me up about these particular jokes is the reactions they got. People emailed Martha confused, certain they had done something wrong, because their husbands really hated the charred steaks. And was there a way to keep the glitter from falling off? Should the seal it with something? By 1:00 this morning people had flooded the Improv Everywhere website with comments expressing both awe and horror. "Wow! I would be way too shy to do that!" and "Man, you guys have gone too far. Kids ride subways."

These jokes are silly and outrageous and funny. Think, people. If you don't like burnt steak, don't make it just because Martha says so. And really? You think they rode the subway naked? REALLY?Really.

Less funny? Simply making fools out of people. Hahahahaha! You believed a perfectly reasonable scenario and reacted the way any rational person would! Haaaaaaaahahahahahahaha! I cannot watch shows like "Punked." You thought someone stole your car! You were SO MAD! Of course they were mad- it's a nice car, and cars really get stolen every day.  I didn't even like "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes." I get so uncomfortable- making "fools" of people is just mean.

So this Apri 1, two pieces of advice: be alert, and be nice.