The Octopus, the Robber’s Mask and the Art of John Boehner’s Tan



My participation in Girlfest this year was particularly gratifying.  I’ve been working my ass off creating this Martha character for ‘House’ while trying to write some new pieces, renovate my place in Venice and get the neighbor’s hummingbirds to to cheat on their bird feeder with my bird feeder.  “Forget that bird feeder, Redhead!!  Mine’s got agave AND Sweet ‘n Low!!!”  I’ve also named my hummingbird (Redhead, because it’s got a head.  That’s red.)  What have you done, neighbor?!  Nothing!!!!!!  (disclaimer:  Sweet ‘n Low was a joke.  Of course.)







The shows at Girlfest were incredible and the best so far I think.  Charlyne Yi was very funny and a perfect addition to Mindy Nettifee’s and my poetry sets.  It was like 3/4ths of the Golden Girls, if the Golden Girls were drunk and into the song “Apple Bottom Jeans”.  Tomorrow Mindy’s and my Hawaii Women’s Journal cover hits the virtual stands.  It’s a fantastic interview.  Read it. 






injuredWhile in Honolulu for this festival, I and my boyfriend and some friends went skydiving.  I’ve been once before so I knew what to expect.  I had forgotten how great it can be to be utterly terrified of something and to feel completely out of control- the power in the freedom of just letting go.  After the parachute opened, I floated to the Earth like a rare bird, thinking of all the stupid things I had complained about over the last year or the things that I was stressed about.  It was as if dropping 14,000 feet out of the sky had literally knocked all the nonsense out of my head and made me clear.  Not clear in a Scientology way, but clear in a non-cult way.  Free.  Open.  Calm.  I try to do this to myself once a year.  Force myself to do something that terrifies me.  It’s a good way to live.  





After the skydiving we all went and had one of my absolute favorite dishes- shrimp from Giovanni’s shrimp truck.  Incredible local dish with garlic rice and spicy shrimp.  For any foodies that might be reading this, if you are ever in Honolulu, rent a car and go find this truck on the North Shore.  It will blow your mind.   





The next day I went scuba diving for the first time, which wasn’t a real dive, but something they call “Snuba” which is a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving.  You can go about 20 feet under water with a long oxygen tank line that goes up to a tank on the boat.  It’s diving for beginners.  Our dive master plucked an octopus off of the coral and handed it to me after it had inked everywhere, which is something they do to look poisonous to other marine animals that might be hunting them.  The dive master rubbed his finger across it’s forehead and between it’s eyes, calming it down.  It was only then that I realized that it had eyes.  It blinked at me.  The dive master put it on my arm and it’s tentacles clasped my fingers like we were holding hands.  It sat there on my arm, starring at me.  Blinking.  I’m not joking.  Blinking.  I swam down to the coral to let it go back to it’s hiding place but it wouldn’t leave my arm.  We swam around together for a good 15 minutes- it starring up at me, me starring down at it.  Finally It uncurled it’s tentacles and swam off.  I told my mom I would never eat calamari again.  She informed me that calamari was made out of squid.  Who’s a dumb Venice Beacher and has two thumb?!  This guy.


Lastly, while laying on the beach under some shade and trying not to burn my shin Scottish skin, I found myself really wondering why the new House Majority Leader John Boehner is so damn tan?  What part of Ohio is Jamaica?  Does he spray tan to make his baby blues stand out more?  Does he think it makes him look more alive?  Does it make him more relateable?  Or more unobtainable and exotic, like Versace was? Is John Boehner the new exotic?

Let’s all contemplate these questions, get bored, then go drink a beer.