In twelve days I'll be performing at Steppenwolf for a special WRITE CLUB showdown on FRIDAY, MARCH 24TH ONLY. (There are three nights of performances, but the line-up is different for each show.)
--> Buy tickets here.
On April 8th I'll be returning to The Paper Machete. Consistently (for me) the toughest show to write for, the Machete is a weekly live news & pop culture show that takes satirical aim at all the things we hold dear. With a different line-up every Saturday, the Machete is at the historic Green Mill cocktail lounge, 3pm, free. As always, get there early, the place fills up to standing room only every single week.
Yesterday I wrapped a new episode of Tomefoolery with Host Cody Melcher and co-guest Charlie Baker. We dove into YOLO Juliet, an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet told via text messages & emoji. The book is as "good" as it sounds, which is why I won't even link to it here. I believe the episode drops this week, but if you're curious about Tomefoolery in general, you can check out previous episodes I guested on by heading over to iTunes, or any other podcast platform. Warnings for foul language and seriously heinous books that should never have been written, let alone read by human eyes. We read them so you don't have to.
In Other News:
Somewhere in mid-January I started calling my senators and my congressman. I was a ball of nerves and each time I got the voicemail instead of a person I was relieved af and stuttered through my messages. I'd post about who I called and which issues I called about on fb to show that it's not THAT scary. On Feb. 3rd, I started hashtagging my daily call posts with #phoneactivistlunch, because I figured if a nervous dummy like me could do this, then maybe I can help embolden others to do it, too. I found a site that provided names, phone numbers and scripts for the issues I cared about. I saved my representatives' numbers in my phone--for ALL of their offices, not just DC--and began getting bold enough to try each office until I got a person, or unitl I could leave a message, since often the DC offices' vm is full. It's been almost two months of Monday-Friday phone activism, and surprisingly it flew by. I don't use the scripts as much, and I've started calling the numbers without exactly planning what I need to say, but knowing what I feel strongly about. I've added the Mayor's office to my contacts now, and started calling the Dept. of Homeland Security, and House Committees. It's all baby steps, and by no means am I under the delusion that I'm making huge waves of difference on my own. But I'm so glad that I'm not doing nothing, because depression over the state of this country, and over the treatment of its people by those in power would eat me alive if I just sat through it.
If you can call, do it. Make it as habitual as breathing. I like to call around 8:30am my time, when the DC offices have just opened and the staffers are still free to answer phones, I get more live people that way. I know technically that's #phoneactivistbreakfast, but it's too late to change the hashtag ;) I use 5calls.org if you're looking for scripts & numbers.
Thanks for all the support, friends.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (Yes, still reading, because it is so important and there is so much to take in.)
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
(Honorable mention because I love it so: Recently read Binti:HOME, the second installment in Nnedi Okorafor's Binti novella series. Slim, delightfully complex characters, and scifi told beautifully.)