Monday, July 1, 2019

Flight delays, jokes and sitting on the beach!

This week, I got to visit one of my favorite places: the Outer Banks. I first started coming here when I lived in Virginia. And despite having some hurricane mishaps, it has remained one of my favorite places. The club owners of the Comedy Club of the Outer Banks, Ed and Leslie, could not be nicer! Plus, I got to work with my good pal, Andy Beningo. So it was a ton of fun!

Getting there, however, was quite the adventure! I decided to fly into Richmond, where Andy would pick me up. We'd then do four hours in the car, maybe try to squeeze in a nap, and then hit the stage.

Yeah, um, that's not what happened.

Apparently, there was really bad weather on the East Coast, so my flight got rerouted three times! I ended up on an entirely different airline, and despite the reroutes, both of my flights were still delayed.

I suppose it wasn't all bad in that I got a voucher to get overly priced airline food.

Andy was a saint and despite the multiple delays, still managed to get us there before our 8 pm showtime. I was amazed when we pulled in the parking lot at 7:53! So thankful for the traffic clearing up...and for being able to apply eyeliner while driving.

We stayed in some pretty sweet digs for the week.

The view from my deck.

And we also got some time on the beach.

Days in Rodanthe, a sequel to Nights in Rodanthe, staring me and my all-black beach attire.
Some on-stage pics:

On Saturday, we drove up to Williamsburg to perform at the Comedy Club of Williamsburg. But, first, we made a pit stop in my old stomping grounds of Norfolk, Virginia.

I haven't had a vegan egg salad sandwich from Yorgo's in nearly ten years, and it was just as incredible as I remember!

On Saturday, Andy and I shared the stage with Big Vino, who was super funny! That's us along with Ed, the owner of the club.

We woke up bright and early on Sunday and hauled all the way home. Luckily, the trip home was much less stressful!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

More firsts...this time on the beach!

This weekend, I worked for the first time at Gregory’s Comedy Club in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It was my first time at the club, and I had a lot of fun!

And after Michigan’s freezing spring, these were a site for sore eyes:

 Can’t beat staying on the beach! Of course I had to dip the ol’ dogs in at least once.

 I worked with my good buddy, Andy Beningo. PS Can you tell whose idea this pose was?

 After Thursday - Saturday shows, I rose early on Sunday (hello, 3 am wake-up call, how are ya?), and headed off to Japan!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Mother's Day

I was fortunate to spend Mother’s Day with my mother and daughter at SASHA Farm. If you’re not familiar with SASHA, it’s the Midwest's largest rescue for farmed animals. The sanctuary currently shelters over 300 animals. Some were dumped and discarded, some left to die. They have come from unhappy circumstances, often mistreated or neglected, but now have a safe, permanent home at SASHA Farm. The work they do is truly incredible.

I first went vegan because of how female animals are treated simply because they are female. I realized that I could no longer support standard industry practices (such as forcibly impregnating turkeys, separating cows from their calves, forcing sows into gestation crates, and confining egg-laying hens into crates so small that they cannot even flap their wings) that specifically target female animals because of their abilities to create life and create milk for their young. I remember thinking about if these practices were to happen to human women, and being horrified. I also realized that all animals have the ability to feel pain and suffer just as we do, and as a woman, I could not support this suffering any longer.

Becoming a mother reaffirmed my commitment to veganism. Since cows, like all mammals, only produce milk for their babies, they are constantly impregnated, made to have babies, and then those male babies end up being taken away from them and consumed for veal. Hearing calves bellowing for their mothers after being ripped away from them shortly after birth so humans can consume the milk that was made for the calves broke my heart. Watching cows frantically search and scream for their missing calves was gut-wrenching. 

But it wasn’t until I became a mother that I could begin to truly imagine the unfathomable pain it would be to have your child taken from you. In fact, I can think of no torture worse than being forcibly impregnated (a truly violent act in itself), only to have that child ripped from you and sent to live in shackles in a tiny, dark box (as veal cows are forced to do).

While we spend the day with our human families, I share this to expose what literally billions of non-human mothers go through. I hope that we will educate ourselves where our food comes from.

And as Natalie Portman recently said, “So now lots of people make fun of vegans, right? Lots of people make fun of anybody who cares about anything deeply, right? But I’m here to say… it’s the most beautiful thing to care, to have your heart open so much that someone else’s pain feels like your own, to care so much that you’ll spend your time making sure that change happens.”

Spending time with the animals at SASHA today reaffirmed my shared belief that it is a beautiful thing to care. And it made me hopeful that change will happen soon.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

First time in Boise

I just returned from my first time in Boise, Idaho, and I had an absolute blast! I love traveling to a new city for the first time. There’s just something exciting about the possibilities of getting to explore it.

I traveled with my friend, Andy Beningo, who headlined the shows. Our early morning flight required a 3 am wake-up call, which was a bummer, but I was just pumped to be headed out west so adrenaline kept me awake.

Yes, I always travel with a pink donut around my neck.
When we arrived, we explored downtown Boise a hit. I was struck by how much it reminded me of Ann Arbor in that there were a lot of breweries and quaint restaurants with outdoor seating. We settled on a place called Fork and sat outside and enjoyed some local draft beer. I absolutely love people-watching, and Boise didn’t disappoint.

In addition to noticing how nice everyone was, we also picked up on a look a lot of folks seemed to have, which Andy seemed “mountain punk.” Like people were fit and city-ish, but also had a lot of tattoos paired with camelbacks and looked like a hike may break out at any minute. I quite enjoyed the look, actually, and wished I hadn’t only packed oversized Old Navy shirts and workout clothes. 

We were working Liquid Laughs, and it was such a fun club. I had a really good time sharing the stage with not just Andy, but so many funny local comics like EJ Sullivan, Sophie Hughes, Jynx Jenkins, and some other guest sets throughout the week.

Telling jokes and making hand claws on stage.
On Friday, we got out early and explored the area near the river. Turns out, there are really nice parks in Boise. There was a beautiful lake along the river that emptied into a lovely park, complete with bathrooms (you know my small bladder digs that!) and a ‘borrow a life jacket station’ near the lake.

We also discovered a place called Americana Pizza. It was right behind where we were staying, and it featured vegan pizza by the slice. Even better? It was cheap...and GOOD! As we were leaving, we vowed to return.

On Saturday, we watched a free concert as part of Boise Music Week before heading to the capital building to wander around it. Of course, another stop to a brewery was in order as well.

I was way more excited to nerd out about where laws are made than my face indicates.

Sunday was pretty relaxed, and my main mission was finding vegan donuts. Mission accomplished in the form of Guru Donuts. I couldn’t believe all of the selection they had! Wow! Andy and I both got the Alice and Wonderland, which was truly heavenly.

On our walk downtown, we also stumbled across this very scary slide that would take a serious amount of money and a serious amount of vodka to get me to go on.

I closed out my trip by waking at 3 am and catching a super early flight home. I watched the movie “Free Solo” on the plane, which I highly recommend. Until next time, Boise.

Monday, April 29, 2019


VegFest is one of my favorite days of the whole year! No, and not just because I get to eat my weight in vegan donuts (I only spent $17 on them this year). It’s because there’s literally thousands of people who come together to learn about, promote, and discuss the ethical, health, and environmental benefits of plant-based eating.

This year, I helped table for Attorneys for Animals.

Two of AFA's awesome board members.
And I also MCed one of the presentation rooms. I was inspired by all of the speakers I saw, but I was particularly struck by one of the documentaries that was shown. Allison Argo’s “The Last Pig” is truly a stunning film (and we were also treated to a Q and A all about her process of making the film). Not only was it visually really beautiful, but it was so moving without being preachy. I was just blown away it. And I had tears in my eyes nearly throughout the whole thing.

I also got to see several friends there, which was a treat.

Representing MSU Law!
And of course...the food!

These nachos and coney dog are from the Old Shillelagh in Detroit, which now has a vegan menu!

From attending my first VegFest 15 years ago, when it was hosted at a school and there were maybe 500 people there, to seeing it hosted at a with thousands of attendees is so mind-blowing! Knowing the number of people who have embraced a more compassionate diet makes me so hopeful, and I just love every second of the festival!