• So I did my three minutes (plus) on stage on Wednesday at The Hub in Eindhoven. You can see my set in a video on my timeline on Facebook. I’ll post it to the front page of this site as soon as I’m not cheating someone else’s internet. Hope you like it.

    It went well. It went well mainly because I hung out with the professional comedians before the show and they gave me tips. The microphone was cutting out and they showed me how to hold it so it wouldn’t. One of them had the staff readjust the speakers because half of the room wasn’t hearing things properly. And most important to me personally, they told me to ignore the “keep it to three minutes” guideline and just do my jokes. They knew the venue and the MC wasn’t going to throw me off the stage if I went over. In fact, when I was finished, he wasn’t even ready for me to hand the mic over. So my worries about not getting my jokes into such a small time plot were alleviated. Thanks boyz!

    Opportunities to do stand-up comedy are small down here below the rivers. But I’m networking and there are opportunities up in Leiden and Amsterdam for English language open mic nights. I just have to motivate myself to get on the train and go. At the moment, I’m feeling that mid-winter lethargy and will probably not plan anything until March or April.

    In other news, things are progressing. The long road to getting a bank account continues. I have all the right paperwork now, but the bank’s machines can’t read my passport. *rolls eyes* I was like, “Here! I’ll read it to you!” But they have all kinds of security shit they have to do. And this ain’t Amsterdam. Cute little villages near the border of Belgium rarely get US passports at the local bank.

    In other news, I’ve upped my game with my fitness trainer this week, starting to work out every day at home as well as with him at the gym on Mondays. And I’ve added a nutritionist (my trainer’s partner) to my team. I am hoping this will help me because I’ve been dealing with serious boughts of lethargy too. Of course I wanted to jump in to everything at once, like I always do, but my trainer restrained me. Now that I’m on week 4 of my training (and week 9 of living in the Netherlands), I have the brain space to add in new things. It’s true that I simply wouldn’t have been able to devote myself to eating right before this week because I was too busy running around trying to beg, borrow, or steal a WIFI connection just to do my work!

    Shmi is recovering from her ACL surgery. Her surgeon says she’s growing new bone in all the right places and the screws are staying put. We get to increase our walks from 15 mins to 30 mins over the next month.

    I have to admit to a certain amount of depression just now. Part of it is “the party’s over blues” that you get after a show is over. Part of it is that it’s dark and cold and winter and I ran out of vitamin B-12. And part of it must be that I’ve been here for two months now and I still don’t have the basic thing I need to do to pay my bills — a bank account. And whose fault is that? Not mine. I’ve had all the right papers all along. Everyone I’m involved with doesn’t seem to see the urgency with which I’d like to pay my utilities and get internet at my house. Even my frickin’ lawyer said to me, “There’s free WIFI at every McDonalds.” I live in Brabant. I haven’t seen a McDonalds for two months. I mean, there’s a Burger King near IKEA up in Eindhoven, but it’s not like there’s a McD’s in downtown Eersel. Idiot!

    Then add to that the fact that we shipped most of our order backlog on the 15th and according to DHL it’s “in sorting” since the 16th. Yes. Twelve days and it hasn’t left the country! My customers are all going to talk shit about me and then I’m going to lose my business and then what am I going to do?

    Friends, it is not a good week.

    This morning I woke up and switched on my bedside light and it didn’t go on. None of the lights in the bedroom or the hallway went on. The breaker was flipped. And every time we tried to flip it back on, it flipped again. Luckily my landlord has a handyman we can call night or day and he is sending the electrician over to us around noon today.

    But that moment of panic when the lights wouldn’t go on… that moment of “They turned off the lights because it’s the end of the month and we don’t have a bank account to charge”… It was awful. I hate feeling like I can’t pay for things. It harkens back to my childhood when not having money meant you were some kind of loser/spendthrift/you weren’t “living right”. It doesn’t seem to matter that I can pay them with a US account or I can hand them cash. But it’s the end of the month and I have to pay my damn bills!

    I really wanted to write about learning to speak Dutch today. But I can’t get my mind off the bills and my lack of a bank account. I know that by the time I post this, I could suddenly have everything sorted and all of this frustration will be a dim memory. But right now, it’s all I can see or feel.

    So here I am, struggling with things that can be fixed in an eye blink and trying to have patience. But truly, I just want to rage and stick my fist through a wall or curl up in a ball on the floor and cry.

    See you next week.

  • 12 comments

    (((Hugs))) you got this.

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    Thanks Lisa. I know I do. It's just such a slog right now.

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    (((HUG))) saying a prayer for you today.

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    ty

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    Hugs. Having just survived a 5 weeks of government shutdown hostage, I have had the "I know it'll be okay and we'll get sorted but all the things about all the bills... argh" hamsters in my head. It was awful, but creditors were super helpful. I am sorry about the bank struggles - so. very. long - and the shipping struggles - 12 days?! But Shmi is getting stronger and you are getting stronger and it will all come right eventually. Waiting on the eventually sucks large.

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    Thanks, Wendy. I totally felt for you guys with the govt shutdown. For me, it wasn't not having the money. It was not being able to get it from point A to point B. Although I suppose that amounts to the same thing in the end. Honestly, it truly is always darkest before the dawn. By the time this post went live, I had a bank account and the bank manager was joking that the helicopter we heard outside was "the FBI coming for you". And the internet guy comes on the 6th. We're getting there! By the time you and Rob come to visit, we might actually have a clue.

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    Hugs. Remember to breathe. This will get better. It's this year's manifestation of the shitty January stuff.

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    Yup. Already better than when I wrote this. =)

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    That is a lot of stress. I say skip the floor and just sit on the sofa and have a good cry. It's a release. Bottling it all up isn't healthy. It will all get sorted out. Congratulations on your successful set! You did good. You were prepared for what they slotted you for but knowing you can fudge a little let's you read the room.

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    Right? Reading the room is so important. And responding to what people yell at you takes precious seconds that you can't afford when you only have 3 minutes. I don't know how anyone does 3 mins. I mean, the reasoning is if you really screw up, you won't be on for long. But three minutes is hard. Five was much better. I went to the store and got some new bath salts and soaked in the tub. Then I took a nap with my sweet little doggie. And then Bob took me to the opera for our 18th anniversary (his college friend sings at Place de la Monnaie in Bruxelles and the dress rehearsal for his new show just happened to be on our anniversary!).

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    How frustrating. You can do this! Have you seen the American television series "The Amazing Mrs. Mazel". It's about a woman standup comic in the 1960s. You will be able to relate...and laugh! Best wishes!

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    Oh yeah! If you read back in the posts, I wrote a bit about how the show presents honing a "tight ten". It's a great show. I also, of course, love the clothes.

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