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@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
AC (Part I)
Dear Blog Readers,
Welcome back! I can’t believe you’re here! No, really, I can’t believe anyone reads this at all (besides my mom). I didn’t really know what to write about this week, and the blog I had on the back burner was kind of a bummer (though aren’t they all? “Lori’s Blog: Kind of a Bummer” could be the title). So I’m writing a road log in two parts for my week performing in Atlantic City. This is the first, as you probably gathered. Tune in for next week for part II. Surely, it will be better than this one!
Sunday morning, I was slow to get up. Lazy. Tired. And for no reason whatsoever. I did nothing the night before. In fact, I was in bed by 9pm and watched Jurassic Park and Matt Groening’s new Netflix show, “Disenchantment.” Jurassic Park is a perfect movie. Groening is a genius.
It probably would have been a good idea to go out on that Saturday night and be social, since I’d be staying at the Borgata for the next 6 nights, and while the beach is close, and I love comedy and I get a lot of writing done on the road, that’s still a long time to be away. By day three, shit will get weird in my head (well, weirder). I was even trying to coerce friends/family members to come for a night (something I usually never do and usually strongly discourage). I need a fucking drinking buddy. Eh, I don’t need one, but I would like one.
In the morning, as usual, I beat myself up about what a loser I am. Broke, alone, career on life support, narcissistic yet self-loathing… the worst! Even on the morning going to one of the better gigs of my entire career, I’m this way. And still, it’s an improvement from the past month where every morning I woke up pissed that it’s too soon for me to take my own life. The slight uptick in my disposition is because I caved and went back on meds. I like to take hiatuses from taking them, and the summer is the best time to do this, because I can cheer myself up by simply going outside. Despite the fact that as the day went on and I would feel better, waking up suicidal gets old really fast. It was getting to the point where I almost asked a couple of friends to call me in the AM to say, “did you get out of bed, you piece of shit? And did you stop calling yourself a piece of shit?” That’s the script I wrote, but I’d encourage them to use some improv. Instead of bothering my friends, I figured going back on the meds I didn’t think were working that actually were working was a better option than annoying the shit out of the few close friends I have.
It was an easy going morning, and I hit the road by noon, which is excessively early, but I’m excessively early for everything because anxiety. I’d get there early, explore and write.
Reviewing the booking email, I was overjoyed that I got to check in on the VIP/Gold line or whatever, because the regular check in line was insanely long. “Fuck yeah motherfucker,” I said out loud leaving the regular line in front of a small child, which, for a second I felt bad about, but then I thought, “what kind of an awful parent takes their kid to a casino?” So then I didn’t care. Fuck those motherfuckers (the parents, not the poor kid, to be clear).
Thank Jesus, or whomever, that gambling is not one of my vices. I have too many already, and I’ve been broke my whole life, so I don’t need anything in my life to make me more broke.
Also, I hate casinos. More specifically, I hate the people who come to casinos. Overweight people who’ve given up on their lives and don’t love their partners anymore as they blankly drop coins into machines and shop. No one is even smiling. Couples snap at each other. The layout is confusing and the sound of machines drowns out the otherwise sucking sounds of the black holes of the empty people who frequent here. Casinos are America at it’s worse.
As for being a performer? I’ll work casinos all the time! Fuck yeah! I’m the talent! I’m the true winner in this casino. Even if I’m a loser in real life. Casino’s aren’t real life. I’m stoked to be here, as a working comic, and not at my shitty day job. Life is good!
The art work in the lobby and the bedroom at the Borgata are these sexy, abstract paintings and photos of women. It was almost laughable to be me because there couldn’t be anything less sexy about a casino to me. God, how I want to do mescaline with Hunter S. Thompson.
I brought my life partner with me (my surfboard) even though there was no surf predicted for the week. But I figured, if I’m here and there’s ridable swell and I didn’t bring a board, I would punch myself in the face. I was pissed I didn’t bring any booze. What was I thinking?
It’s a coveted gig, and those who’ve done it say good things, besides those lonely blues that will set in at some point. As a performer, I get access to the employee cafeteria, which I was told, will get boring after a few days as well. Having three meals a day is one more meal a day than I usually have, so I’m sure I will by fine by it. Being a starving artist sucks a lot of the time, until I’m at the beach in my bikini, showing off my “body by anxiety.” Being broke is something I’m good at. Squirreling money is something I’m good at. And I’m not blowing the money I’m making at Atlantic City in Atlantic City. Oh no, I have bigger and better plans.
The other comics on the show with me are cool, so the shows will be fun, but I don’t really know them well enough to hang out with them. I also always assume that no one ever wants to hang out with me and that I am in the way, if not a chore (the fact that the day before the only time I spoke was to a cashier to buy food being the perfect example of this).
To get my bearings, I walked around the casino. I’m notoriously horrible with directions, so it was important I do a few laps to get a feel of the layout. More importantly, what were the games that you could play that they bring you free drinks?
Relax, the show times aren’t until 9pm, and I won’t drink or smoke until after the gig. Comedy is the only thing I’m wholly responsible about. Everything else in my life I’ll set on fire, but when it comes to stand-up gigs or whatever writing project I’m working on, I take it seriously and I’m a professional. I’m a degenerate, but I’m not a fuck up. Write all day. No getting loaded till later.
But I am stuck in this casino, at night at least. Atlantic City is a sketch town, and one of the cons of being a pretty girl is it eliminates some exploring I’d like to do. This is also true for traveling. Being a solo female traveler eliminates like 85% of the world. Sometimes I’ll look at a map and go, “where do you want to go Lori?” And I’ll say (to myself), “for starters, no where that we will get murdered or raped,” (sometimes when I talk to myself I say “we” which I think is a sign of mental illness) and just like that my options have become limited. At this point in my life I’m not sure I want a boyfriend as much as I want a guy to travel with to make sure I don’t get raped and we both listen to music on our headphones and seldom speak to each other. My best friend told me this is attainable.
A friend/comic suggested I look at the line-ups of other comedy clubs in town to see if there’s anyone cool, and it turned out a good suggestion. I may have drinking buddies after all.
Exploring the casino only confirmed how awful people are. Given the body types on 90% of the patrons, I’ll be the only one in the fitness center all week. From a former nursing home employee, I can tell you that casinos are the prelude to a nursing home. But don’t let that get you down… these people are already dead on the inside.
Perhaps the only thing more depressing than the old people are the people my age. You’d think I was 65 the way I respond to 20-somethings taking selfies. We’re going to look back our lives and not have any real memories, just the ones we posed for. But casinos were meant for such a thing. Posing.
I ran into John, one of the other comics on the show in my wandering and we bullshitted for a little while. Then I lamented there wasn’t a liquor store in the casino (only a wine store) and retreated to my room where I started this blog/public diary entry. With over three hours to showtime.
Alas, my brother driving up from the south was going to make a pitstop here for the night. Rejoice! He’d arrive during the show after I went up. The crowd was fun. The show is three comics, one hour, everyone does 20 minutes. Easy. 20 minutes is a sweet spot. It gives me a enough time to let the audience warm up to my twisted mind, and I’ve got 20 minutes of A material. I went up first to a cold audience which can sometimes be hard, but they were laughing from my first joke. The room seats 1000 people and it was mostly full. People always ask if going on stage makes me nervous. Going on stage is really the only time I’m ever confident.
The show was fun. My brother showed up and we went to the casino where I relentless mocked the clientele. At least I had an audience of one to hear my witty complaints about my disappointment in humanity. We hit the roulette table where John (comic) was also at. My brother placed a bet and I watched, though I was really looking out for a waitress to get a drink in my hand. When we wanted to bow out, my brother merely took his chips so we could migrate to another table. Neither of us knew that wasn’t allowed, so when we returned, the dealer, a middle age asian women yelled at my brother, “DON’T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!”
I burst into laughter for about 7 minutes. It was so goddamn funny. She was so unnecessarily mad at my brother. We then hit the slot machines in hopes that a waitress would come by and get us drinks. Where the fuck are these waitresses? Slot machines are the worst. And while I continued to lose money (and not be drunk), my brother continued to win money. It’s always this way.
Slot machines are boring in about 90 seconds and I’m in awe when I see people there for hours. We eventually gave up on the slots/waiting for a waitress to come and got our fix elsewhere.
Since the show went well, it takes a little bit a pressure off from how the rest of the week will go. A guy recognized me from the show in the elevator and complimented me, which is hell for me, because I both hate being in elevators and being complimented.