THIS WEEK in INSPIRING LADY ARTISTS: Janeane Garofalo's Stand Up WORKED IT OUT

SINCE I’M NOT GETTING ANYWHERE with all this sharing of emotions stuff, I’ll just go ahead and tell you about my weekend with Janeane Garofalo at the Arlington Drafthouse.

Mar 22, 2013 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

I’ve been a having a rough time lately, my honey bunches. And I’m the kind of person who doesn’t abide by that “water off a duck’s back” mentality. No, I stew and simmer in the juices of my own negativity and self-doubt until I just can’t take anymore.

Aaaaand I’m bugging myself with how melodramatic I sound. Do any of you roll your eyes at yourself when you try to get all sincere and introspective? I bother the hell out of myself with that shit. And then I never get anywhere productive in regards to my emotional and mental stability. THE CIRCLE OF BLAH. 

AND SINCE I’M NOT GETTING ANYWHERE with all this sharing of emotions stuff, I’ll just go ahead and tell you about how Janeane Garofalo is the light at the end of my tunnel.

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I saw her stand-up at the Arlington Drafthouse last weekend and it rocked my little brain, guys. She is PERFECT and SMART and stylish and sassy, equal parts self-depracating and uber confident. I think I’m in love.

Correction, I think I’ve BEEN in love ever since I saw her brandishing her amazing Fluevogs, fringe bangs, and kinder-whore dresses (along with all her endless SPUNK of course) in "Reality Bites." Or, like, anytime she looked like THIS. Or THIS. Or acted like THIS.

I remember catching snippets of her stand up as a youngster here and there; maniacally muttering to myself about how on point and cool she was throughout every joke.

So it was kind of perfect when my mom (the cool mom to top all cool moms) presented me with Janeane stand-up tickets this past weekend.

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Isn't she a DOLL?! I should do style posts about her stuff. She's a thriftshop FIEND. I'm wearing all of her clothes here too, BTW. 

I needed a healthy dose of laughter and cynicism and, BOY, did I get it. I won’t say that my spirits were completely lifted (they were pretty low, guys), but I will say that I felt a much-needed sense of angry lady solidarity with Janeane. Which is what I needed! Someone else who feels like everything is shitty and people are shitty, and most of all, we can feel shitty about ourselves. AND THAT’S OK. NORMAL, EVEN.

I mean, honestly, there’s nothing that pisses me off more than people who chirp that “Everything will be alright!” when they see me crying, venting, or panicking (panic attacks are NOT THE TIME to get me to see the bright side of things, dummies). And I feel like she’s just the kind of gal who gets where I’m coming from.

All realism, none of that new-age, Secret, envision-your-goals-and-you-shall-achievebullshit, nah mean?

AND NOW I’M OFF TRACK!

Would you care to hear the best parts of the night?

She came out wearing a winter coat, because OBVIOUSLY she is a master at DGAF’s all over town. Girl was cold, girl rocked a coat. She had bundles and bundles of crinkled notes clutched to her chest, with her big ol’ statement nerd glasses gleaming in the limelight. Then, she started bad-mouthing O.A.R.

O.A.R, for those fortunate few who don’t know, are a local band from Virginia who kinda, sorta hit it off with some generic, yet innocuous, elevator soft rock music. Like, a less abrasive Dave Matthews. Like, frat bro barbeque music.

Anyway, she started making fun of their strategically ripped jeans and statement graphic tees, and then she asked, completely and almost innocently bewildered: “Can someone explain this state’s fascination with O.A.R to me?”

Oh, the uproar. One dude screeched out a drunken “UM, EXPLAIN YOUR OUTFIT” and one chick walked out. I’m telling you, some people really, truly suck. And Janeane acknowledged.

She took off her coat with a slurred “Um, sorryyyyy I was cold. And it’s shorts, tights, a T-shirt, and some boots, what’s not to get?” The whole fiasco was rocky, kind of uncomfortable, and entirely mesmerizing. 

And the rest of her set consisted of Red Bull-induced, hyper-intelligent tangents about, like, hieroglyphics and the CPAC and how people lie about watching "Breaking Bad" and gun control.

Then she’d spiral into talking about her alcoholism; sharing intimate and dark sound bites in that husky voice of hers, punctuated with an exasperated “whatever.” Or, better yet, a “Where was I? Seriously, someone remind me," which happened a lot.

Even though the whole thing was awesomely disconnected, free-association, lady talk, it was TRUTH talk, people. And, as I am wont to do with most movies and books, I gauged how much I liked her performance (holistically) based on the fact that 0.00 men were laughing.

Oh, sure, they laughed and guffawed at the opening guy who talked about a Japanese bidet-style toilet pleasuring his butthole for a solid 20 minutes, but Janeane’s in-your-faceness, her sheer AUDACITY in mentioning the nonsense behind America’s bureaucracy or her defiance against Brazilian waxes, stilettoed shoes, and thongs (a “nod to the patriarchy,” in case you were curious), garnered little more than audible gulps of watered-down beer.

BUT Janeane persisted. Amidst clanking glasses, squeaking chairs, and rude side-talk (I really hate side-talk, let people do their thing and THEN discuss, obviously) she persisted. And, more importantly, it was FUNNY and relevant despite it having that on-a-whim-ness about it.

So, my top favorite jokes?

1. Being worried that she’s endorsing “Teens for a Whiter America” every time she blows off those youthful “clipboard activists” that stand out side of super markets by saying that she’s already a member of their cause.

2. She advised ladies to: “Keep some fur on [their] maiden head” and to “ditch the thong and heels” for the inevitable Walking Dead-esque apocalypse that people keep obsessing about. Survival of the fittest. And the most hygienic, probably.

3. At the very end, she called out “you young people” in the front row for texting DURING her segment. Don’t even get me started. Don’t even get HER started. She replied with a swift: “Something’s missing from your generation. Because I’m narcissistic, don’t get me wrong, but at least I have the DECENCY to hate myself.” UH-MAZE-ING.

Pretty inspired stuff, if you ask me. Which, in turn, inspired ME. In a dark time. To keep WRITING, and creating, and working, and appreciating myself in all of my messy, angst-ridden glory.

So, ROCK ON JANEANE. I FEEL HONORED TO HAVE SEEN YA.

What lady artists do you feel inspired by? Were you ever in a dark place and thought, like, Evanescence totally “got” you? I could write an article on THAT, let me tell you.

Also, SIDEBAR, I cannot believe I forgot to mention this! Someone recognized me in the bathroom! Like, as a writer! HEY, XOJANER OUT THERE! What did you think about the performance, girl? It was cool peeing next to you.