Best Birthday Ever

Well, you guys… my birthday curse seems to have been broken. Cause I just had the best birthday I’ve had in my 21… OK, 25… 34 years on God’s great earth! Just got back from Boston where I attended the 4th Annual Women In Comedy Festival. What an amazing weekend! Funny ladies (and a few guys) from all over the country doing what we all do best. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I was selected as one of the festival’s headliners — along with my good girlfriend Kelly MacFarland, Erin Judge and the fantastic-mazing Wendy Liebman and Carol Leifer. What an honor! On Saturday afternoon the five of us sat on a panel where we talked about great moments, challenges, and our creative processes. I clearly have no delusions of being in the same class as Ms. Leifer and Ms. Liebman, but it was cool to pretend for an hour and a half. I told the panel and attendees how, when I was no more than a month or two into stand-up, I e-mailed Wendy thru her website with a ton of newbie comedian questions. She took the time to e-mail me back and answer each one and even offer words of encouragement. She didn’t have to do that obviously and I know now just how annoying I must have been, but I’ll always heart her for it. In addition to being super hilarious, she’s one of the nicest ladies on the planet — no wonder she’s been so successful!

Lets see… other things that made it the best birthday ever:

1) When I was leaving the panel I got back to my car and there was a police officer writing me a ticket because the meter had expired. He said “This your car?” Well actually it sounded more like “This yaaaaaa caaaaa?” I nodded yes and he told me I was too late. I told him it was my birthday and he said “Oh yeah? Show me your license as proof.” I gave it to him and he ripped up the ticket. Yaaaaaay!

2) Got to hang out with a friend I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, and see some really cool places in Boston — including the neighborhood where Mark Wahlberg grew up. Yeah… I said that.

3) I lost my brand new Droid Razr Saturday nite… and got it back about 10 minutes before I left for the airport on my way back home.

4) Red velvet cheesecake with whipped cream and sprinkles from Cheesecake Factory.

5) Oh… and Carol Leifer and Wendy Liebman said they thought I was funny. I guess that was kinda nice too. #PlayingItCoolWhileScreamingOnTheInside

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE WOMEN IN COMEDY FESTIVAL TO ALL MY LADY COMEDIAN FRIENDS!!! GO, GO, GO NEXT YEAR. I GUARANTEE YOU’LL HAVE AN AMAZING TIME! I’m definitely going back. In fact, I wish I had a time machine so I could travel back and attend the first 3 festivals. Thanks so much to the organizers: Michelle Barbera, Maria Ciampa, Hillary Buckholtz, and Elyse Schuerman, all the other folks behind the scenes, and all the hilarious comics I met and got to work with for the first time. I had a blast! See you guys next year. Same bat time. Same bat place.

Old friends, new friends and a very cool birthday

Try not to sweat my du-rag too hard…

Yesterday was my birthday! I turned 33. Which no matter how you look at it is better than the alternative. I’ve been on the road for about a week and half now so I spent the first part of my birthday in NYC and the second part in Hazelton, PA. I had a show in NYC on Wednesday nite and I was staying with my BFF Loren who lives in the city. It was sleeting and gross outside and I had to trek all the way across town and back in it. I hadn’t eaten anything all day so on the way back to her place after the show I stopped at the pizzeria on her corner to get a sandwich. The guy in line in front of me was buying desserts and I said I deserved a piece of chocolate cake too because it was my birthday. So the cashier gave it to me for free. SCORE! Who says New Yorkers aren’t nice?

I got back to Loren’s at about 11, jumped into my PJs and crashed on the couch. But at midnite she cued up Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” and we danced around the apartment til the song went off. Then she put a tealight on top of my cake and told me to make a wish! Pretty cool start to a birthday…

Yesterday afternoon I got up and drove to PA for a college show. After spending all afternoon on the road and then going straight to my show, I decided to find the nearest Applebees — there’s always an Applebee’s — and have a few birthday drinks. I ended up sitting at the bar where there was a great bartender named Nicole. We chatted for a bit and then a few minutes later this really nice guy named Brandon comes in and sits down next to me. The three of us ended up talking for hours about family, pets, our favorite books, and eventually our jobs…

Turns out Brandon is an amateur MMA cage fighter. Brandon “The Mixed Breed” Cruz. In the video below, he’s the one in the white shorts.

It was so cool talking to him about what it takes to make it in his industry. There were some similarities between his hustle to advance as a fighter and mine as a comic, but at least I don’t get pounded in the face on my bad days. For years I did (and often still do) comedy for no money. But I can’t imagine going thru something like this and there not being a check on the other end. Man that takes some serious dedication. And also some serious guts. If the test of how much we all wanted to achieve our goals was measured by our willingness to be pummeled inside a locked cage, I think we’d all — yes you too — look like quitters.

All in all I had a pretty good birthday.When I had a day job, I never worked on my birthday. In fact my co-workers used to laugh at me because I’d say it in the third person: “Erin doesn’t work on her birthday.” But now that I don’t get paid for my days off, working is the best kind of birthday gift I can give myself — the gift of mortgage. Hahaha.

Til next time…

Taking the big leap

My birthday is in about a week, and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try skydiving. I looked into it some and I don’t think I’ll be able to do it this year because I’m too puffy right now. They’d let me jump but I’d have to pay a surcharge. And there’s nothing like paying a ‘fat tax’ to ruin birthday fun.

I’ve got a few more days to come up an alternative way to celebrate. All suggestions are welcome.

Happy Birthday Bob

This is truly the intersection of genius.

Stevie Wonder singing Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song.’ I figured that having my favorite artist salute my other favorite artist (they’re tied for my affections) by covering one of his most important songs was a fitting way to honor his memory. Had he lived to see today, Bob Marley would have been 65 years old.

I remember how excited I was when I first bought this CD: Song Review: Greatest Hits and heard this remake. It’s at the very end of the second CD and it’s just perfect — the perfect way to do a remake. Because I believe that if you’re going to bother, you should take the song and make it your own somehow. What’s the point in singing someone’s song exactly how they did it? This is so rich and one of best remakes of a classic of ALL TIME — though I’m admittedly biased. :)

I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Birthday, Bob!

Why my mom is awesome and also it’s my birthday

People often ask me where I get my sense of humor — if my parents are funny, what kind of household I grew up in… Below is the card and present my mom sent me for my birthday. And I’m gonna let you be the judge:

Notice her 'revisions'

Notice her 'revisions'

She did not bother to buy a “from us” card. Not Linda Carol. She made one. And that is awesome! I’m gonna excuse the fact that her ‘editing’ resulted in some bad grammar (where we am) because it is hilarious ;)

I already told y'all my middle name is Rashida, so no need to comment on that.

I already told y'all my middle name is Rashida, so no need to comment on that.

This part isn’t actually that funny. It’s kind of become a little tradition of ours. She sent me a check for 31 dollars because I am turning 31. Last year she sent me 30 roses… you get the picture. My mom’s hilarious. Even when she doesn’t mean to be.

Love you Mommy. Thanks for making me! Oh yeah, and Daddy too ;)