Monica Nevi

Comedian

Month: May 2016

Our Team

It is known about me that I don’t usually show extreme emotions but there is one thing that is fail proof to make me cry liquid drops of anger and that is blatant acts of hate. Not even just towards me, I’m a white woman so upon first glance people may assume I fear brown skin and run a charity for cancer. Not true but I do donate. This post has taken me numerous days to write and rewrite because of many extreme emotions. The following is lacking humor and prompted by a horrific story of the actions of some high school football players in Idaho. This story left me in tears and in emotional shambles over the last few days. These are things I have been meaning to say for a long time. This is for EVERYONE to read, people who agree with me, people who are on the fence and especially people who disagree with this.

You Don’t Need a Reason

Why do social justice issues make me more frustrated than anything else in the world? Some people chalk it up to my background. Sure, I grew up as a white girl who liked to play sports and hang out with the boys and those boys happened to be a mixture of different races than myself. I have a diverse family and come from a diverse area that allowed me to build relationships with people from all different races, religions, family dynamics, peers and authority figures alike. So much so that it became impossible to use uncontrollable differences as a reason to dislike someone because then I would be left with no friends. Yes, I played a sport that allowed me to meet and build life-long friendships with all different kinds of women and men also interested or in love with basketball. Then for 7 years I worked with kids of every different backgrounds in different areas of the Northwest. I assure you those are NOT the reasons I don’t hate people.

I once mentioned to a peer-who was white-that I had started doing jokes about my brother on stage. For those who are unaware, I have an older half-brother who is mixed race, half African-American and half whatever mixture of white I get from my mother. She responded to the announcement of my new material about my brother with “oh good, that will explain to the audience why you are the way you are.” I’m not sure I have ever been so angry and confused in my life. Here is a hot tip: you don’t need a reason not to be racist. You don’t have to explain why you aren’t full of hate. You don’t need to justify why you are not a piece of shit. Feel free to be a good accepting person without a back story of why. You can just do that. It’s allowed and welcomed. If you stand up for an injustice, it doesn’t have to be because you know someone who that could happen to. You can just support justice. I don’t know your struggle and you don’t know mine, but you can still empathize with the possession of a struggle. I don’t know what it is like to be a gay man, black woman or someone who was born in the wrong body but I can see how that would be difficult and I can acknowledge you and your pain. I can offer to help or just treat you like a human being. I don’t have to be bleeding to give someone a bandage from the box I keep in my backpack.

Fear

I understand the fear of something different and something new, but pushing past those fears are the only way to expand your life or find success in any way. No one asks you why you would try sushi if your parents didn’t make sushi at home, but that can still be your favorite food. No one asks what happened in your childhood if you decide you want to go sky diving for the first time, just strap up. You don’t need to tell the gate attendant “it’s okay, because my cousin is gay” when you board your first airplane ride ever. You should apply for the job you are qualified for regardless of how many people “like you” are or aren’t in that industry. You can be afraid and still do things you should be doing. You don’t have to have an excuse for those things and it is no different with people! Why do I cry every time I read about a woman getting murdered walking home from work or high school kids threatening or attacking the few minority students that go to their school? Well I don’t have to explain that either, but it hurts me down to my core because I feel for other human beings.

Our Team

Why are people so hateful? How can someone hate something so much that it projects onto a person who had nothing to do with them in the first place? You may not understand or think I need some excuse for why my life has always been based on the inclusion of every type of person, but I too need some clarification. How can someone hate anything so much, let alone solely based on their outward differences that would lead them as far as physically harming or even killing someone? It keeps me awake at night. I worry about my friends’ children and how they are going to be treated throughout their lives. I worry about the people in my life and how others are treating them. In every horrific news report I read I see someone I love in those headlines and it’s painfully scary. I see myself in the stories and feel so deeply for the victims and their families. It makes me so sick to my stomach, I can’t talk about it without crying, which really adds some time on writing something when it is through tears.

I don’t need to tell you how many friends of different races or religions or orientations I have so I can prove to have some perspective because they are just my friends. They’re not a fucking category. I’m more than blessed to have so many people in my life that have shown me so many different, beautiful things about the world. That invited me and my family to their homes, took me to their churches with them, took me out to their favorite bars knowing perfectly well I was different. Just because someone else has not been blessed with diversity that I have doesn’t mean that should turn into hate. I am embarrassed and ashamed and I honestly pity those who let such a trivial and rooted hatred compel them enough to act on it outwardly. Hate is a waste of time and energy.

I struggle constantly with how institutionalized and structural most of our social barriers are, let alone still having to be consumed by the hatred of individuals. America is an Anglo based country and as much as people think amending the language of the past changes the present, it doesn’t. If you vary at all from a white Anglo male, there is some type of obstacle that is embedded in society for you. Some far bigger than others. However, cis-gendered, white, straight male is the golden ticket. It’s infuriating enough that many white men can deny their privilege, but to then take a step to harm someone because they are so full of hate, keeps me and I’m sure a million other people awake at night. Save your comments about it not being all white dudes, we know. Just being a person of privilege that acknowledges that and doesn’t treat people poorly is not enough. You need to be mad, you need to be on our team, you are the only thing that is going to promote awareness among the privileged that don’t accept it. It bothers me everyday that when people see me they group me in with the insensitive and unaware, but I get it. Why take a chance? That chance could very well hurt you in irreversible ways. We have to do something, we have to be vocal, we have to be a team. Hate and sex crimes HAVE to be reported and convicted, expand your social groups, help people less fortunate than yourselves and stop telling people Monica Nevi doesn’t like it when people use racial slurs because her brother is black. I don’t need a reason. That’s not my reason. I don’t like hate speech because I don’t find comfort in anyone else’s pain.

What’s Next?

I hope in my heart of hearts there are way more people with this mindset than not, but I fear everyday that I am wrong. If you love yourself you can love other people. You can find connection in life with anyone. Which leads me to believe if you hate others you must also hate yourself. We are far more alike than we give ourselves credit for. You have to be vocal. Intervention is the most important step. If you see something happening, stop it. Why would football coaches let a young, disabled, black student get raped in the locker room? Silence is just as dangerous.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

If you have questions I will be on my soap box, flipping through MLK quotes trying to calm my emotions.

The End All to the Bathroom Debate

As we all sit alone in our homes or offices trying to navigate the whirlwind of emotions surrounding the debate about stores (namely Target) allowing customers and employees to use the bathroom that they identify with, I give you these thoughts. This has really stirred up a lot of rage, mostly from conservatives, who are concerned about people using the policy as an excuse to prey on the opposite sex. A concern none of us had until they brought it up. I am one to sit pretty far to the left and so I was impressed with the decision to include people’s identities in their short pee-pee times while shopping. I frequently shop at Target, it allows me to buy passable clothing at a lower price while also getting snacks and gardening supplies in ONE PLACE. I try my hardest to understand both sides of an argument although yelling and holding up bibles are my two least favorite ways to express opinions. There is always a compromise, always an understanding, always a solution. I believe I have found that solution.

I think that most people have a problem with using public restrooms, why would you want to do the most private thing possible around other people? If we can avoid it, we do. It’s gross and also the least sexy part about humans. Most relationships are built on years of hiding bodily functions before you get too tired of it and there is a mass exodus of flagellation that brings with it any fucks one might have given. So I think the solution to all this drama really does lie within ourselves, within our holes. How many times have you waited for someone to dry their hands before you pushed one last time? How much water has been wasted with extra flushes? Bathroom silence is the loudest sound. One of my favorite professors in college went before me in the school restroom during our class break and she let out a bowl toot that changed my relationship with authority forever.

Here is my proposal: all public restrooms should be neutral gender and full door, single stalls. There are a plethora of ways to do this. Swimming pool family style restroom, with a big door and room that can be handi-accessible. More than one would be desired for line control. Another option would be porta-potty lines, although gross anyone can use it and there is a vortex that sucks any shame you would feel out as you enter. There are different variations of these ideas that I think could work but my favorite is actually a reality. In a cafe in San Francisco, which is where most of my dreams live, there is one restroom area with a communal hand washing place and then a hallway of fitting room style stalls with full doors and walls. The small rooms line the hallway down either way from the washing area, keeping in sounds and allowing everyone privacy without regard to identity or anything. A cat you taught to open doors can use one of these if you they so wish.

I know this may have simplified some reasons for anger and stifled some excitement to hate people in a fit of boredom. Fear not! This only allows people privacy to do their business while you simultaneously mind your own. You are free to internalize the hatred you will not be face to face with in the comfort of your own home. Also, you can rest comfortably knowing your emergency shopping poop will not be heard. I think we can all get behind private poops. Nevi for President 2020.

If you are still questioning if this is a valid solution or not:

It's Legit

Make (Tweet) Your Own Happiness.

I greatly enjoy tweeting celebrities and companies as if we are personally friends… or maybe more ;). I always tweet my boo, Alaska Airlines, every time I fly. Which is what I fly because I am painfully loyal to all Northwest based companies. They are safe and give me a free checked bag, so I don’t want to hear it. Also, they always tweet me back, we have a special bond. Nothing has ever really moved forward with Alaska though. I have been friend-zoned by Alaska Airlines. They might be a little out of my league.

I have had a similar relationship with a good place to eat in the neighborhood, Applebee’s. Happlebee’s if you’re glass is half full. We have always had a casual relationship, whenever I was hungry and usually single I would hit them up. But I finally reached a step further and slowly I feel them reciprocating. It has a been a long time since I have felt like this but here is the whole story.

It took a bit but they finally got back to me the next morning.

At first it was just nice to have the attention so I felt I needed to show my appreciation for them.

Then a little small talk, you know how that is.

AND THEN THEY STARTED TALKING ABOUT OUR FUTURE.

I was so excited, it’s been a long time since I have seen a future with anyone, I may have moved a little quickly.

But… It’s not a no.

I was into it and there is definitely a future…

Then I just needed to clear up my insecurities before we continue to move forward.

We are looking good. So to everyone who has been so worried for all these years about my relationship status, worry no more. Obviously things are moving forward and I am totally emotionally supported by Applebee’s.

However, if Alaska does come around, I will reconsider.

Follw me on Twitter @MonicaNevi for all the updates.

Seattle Arena Deal – All the Ladies!

I’m disappointed. Like any other sports fan from Seattle but this is going to hurt female sports fans and athletes more. If you haven’t heard or didn’t care, the Seattle City Council voted against vacating space on Occidental Ave today which again thwarts the hopes of building a new sports arena that could house new NBA and NHL teams. Why am I bringing up gender? It’s the cool thing to do of course. It was quickly brought to my attention that 5 of the 5 no votes came from female council members. Thus throwing anyone with a woman card under the bus for this because the internet.

I am personally disappointed because females with power should be looked up to and relied on by the women they represent and I think that 5 out of 5 women voting no to anything that would bring a team back to Seattle is a poor representation of women in Seattle. Unfortunately, that is exactly what all sports fans are seeing. Women hate sports! They want to ruin the plans to bring a team back. I am of the belief that we should be doing anything we can to get a team back in Seattle and I know I am not the only one. Some dudes will tell you stories of how much the Sonics meant to them and how they used to go to games with their dads. I have those stories too. I used to watch every Sonics game at home and if we were lucky enough to get tickets we would go. It was the reason I became an athlete, the reason I stayed in school, the reason I have a college degree. Why would it matter as much to a girl? Because there was no WNBA when I was little. In 1998 I went to Sonics Basketball Camp, the first of a million camps I went to. I was this little white girl that they couldn’t find a jersey to fit. I had a hard time in school when I was that young, terrible at paying attention, never did my homework, got in trouble quite a bit. When those guys talked you could have told me I was on fire and I wouldn’t have flinched. After I found basketball, everything changed. The Sonics were the only reason for that. I came out of Sonics camp with ambition, doing agility drills at home with all my Dr. Suess books set up as cones and the most awkward polaroid ever taken of a tiny, tiny Monica Nevi with very large Dale Ellis’s arm around me. I wanted to be Gary Payton, I still have posters of him in my room to this day, it’s how I weed out the gentlemen callers I want to date or not. I still rather be Gary Payton.

Basketball made me who I am and the Seattle SuperSonics started this mess. Yes, I am a Storm fan as well and I think opportunities in sport are one of the most important things for women in the future. Getting an arena would be amazing for the Storm as well, so that’s a non-issue. I know there are many women just like me, who love sports, love playing them, love watching them, put their kids in them, met their spouses at them. Conversely, I know there are a lot of women who may not care either way. Seattle is one of the greatest, smartest and most supportive cities in the world. As a comic, I love performing there and as an athlete I loved playing there. Bringing an NBA team back to Seattle isn’t about having a team to support, it’s so much more than that. It’s about the little girls and boys that don’t know what they are supposed to do. It’s for the girl that would have given up on everything if she didn’t fall in love with this game. It’s for the kid that feels all alone until he finds his place on a team. It’s for the girl that wants to be just like Gary Payton, so she went home to do her homework and practice her ball handling because he told her to.

It’s not just another team to support. It’s an organization that creates a future for everyone. Seattle has produced from great NBA and WNBA players that come back home and give back their communities each year. Get a team here to keep that tradition going. 5 out of 5 is a poor representation of how women in Seattle feel about getting a team back, don’t blame us. It was those specific votes that kept this from going through. I’m asking you not to blame all the ladies in your life, just those ones. There are plenty of women who would have voted yes or would gladly carry an NBA player’s baby to keep the tradition of great players coming out of Seattle. Also, this is the only thing Portland thinks we are envious of that we actually are and fuck Portland.

Follow Your Dreams #2

I have extremely vivid dreams, that are super weird, all the time. This is a short story based on a dream I had so that we can analyze what they mean and how that will help me in a journey for a more successful life. Every dream means something important, I’m sure. I also read an article that connects vivid dreams to mental illness. Names have been changed, except for two that I think are important (one is me).

THE START

It was a Friday night in Los Angeles, dark enough to know it was showtime but warm enough to forget a jacket. I was dressed in a leather vest, with a white v-neck underneath and a gold star badge on the vest. Sheriff Nevi had arrived. I walked up to the venue on Santa Monica Boulevard, an awesome venue I had wanted to work at for a long time. I walked up to the venue and it was FULL of people! The inside of the room looked cooler than anything I had ever seen, extremely inconvenient for comedy but super awesome looking. The stage was basically an island in the middle of the room but it had a wall in the middle so there was essentially two sides of stage. If you were performing on one side the other side of the room couldn’t see you. However, there were TV screens on either side. Both sides of the stage were slanted and full of people in the seats and sitting on the floor.

There were three bars inside and one that was outside of the venue on a porch area. I walked up to the outdoor bar and no one was there. So I did what anyone would do just started making my own drink. Using any of the equipment that was unnecessary. There were two different containers full of ice, one was crushed and the other was in these little cute thimble shapes. I put some of the crushed ice into the silver tin thing, added orange juice, champagne and vodka. I shook it up accordingly and strained it into a glass. As I poured it out of the tin the amount that went in the glass was less than you could drown in. Confused and frustrated I began to pour the same ingredients but triple.

As I poured a sufficient drink amount into my glass my best friend Barbara came out of the venue, he hugged me and without asking any questions of why I was behind a bar I did not work at, asked to have one of whatever I was having. I began to pour the orange juice, champagne and vodka into the tin as his face began to show low levels of disgust. “Here” I said “I call it the Rich Stepmom.” Although I felt like the true rich step mom needed some sprinkles of Xanax and cigarette ash, I handed it over and started into the venue to find the show producer.

“Hey, Rich! Place looks packed, do you have an order for the performers, so I know when I am up.”
“This is just what we do, you know that” Rich said “there is no list but there will be.”

Rich didn’t make eye contact with me the whole time he spoke to me and then he walked away into the blue and purple lights of the packed house. I looked up and the show was starting. Having no idea when I was on I went outside to try and find a hat to go with my rural Sheriff’s outfit, hoping to run into the other performers that could tell me more of what was happening. The performers were wearing costumes but no one in the audience was so it couldn’t have been Halloween. I was looking through buckets of costume accessories, trying to find something that would work. Another lady was doing the same thing and found a hat that would be perfect. I looked at her as she put it on. Two weird things happened at that moment, we looked at each other long enough for me to realize she was Last Man on Earth‘s Kristen Schaal and then we realized we were dressed as the same character, only she had a ballet tutu on. She smiled at me condescendingly and introduced herself. She didn’t seem to like me but we were “wearing the same dress.”

I ripped off my badge as I walked away toward the outdoor bar. What was I going to be now? I needed another Stepmom. As I approached the bar I realized Barbara was now behind the bar making everyone drinks. Selling Rich Stepmoms left and right. I walked up to the entry way of the tending area but as I began to pass the break in the bar a conveyor belt took its place and began to rotate breakfast foods around the bar. Mostly pancakes at this point but soon enough hash browns and sausages would follow. Confused and flustered I told Barb I would be back to which he didn’t respond because he had a line and was now also serving breakfast. I went back over to where Last Man on Earth‘s Kristen Schaal was in order to find something else to wear. She was still there and as I approached she reached down into a bucket to pull out a new outfit idea for me. Or so I thought. Next thing I knew something sticky hit me in my face and in my hair. Last Man on Earth‘s Kristen Schaal had thrown a syrupy pancake at me. I wipe as much off as I could and Last Man on Earth‘s Kristen Schaal looked at me and said “I love you” with a big smile. She did like me after all and even more lucky there was a bucket of syrup with some pancaked in it right next to me. I reached in and we started a best friends pancake throwing war. We laughed and giggled and finally she said she knew where more of the costumes were and we should easily be able to turn my outfit into a pirate. I wish this was the end but it is not.

NOT THE END

We entered the venue and went into a greenroom area that was full of buckets of costumes and we started to vigorously look for some pirate gear. As I was looking we noticed the performance list had finally been posted. There were two performers, Last Man on Earth‘s Kristen Schaal and then it would be my turn. I went to watch some of the acts on stage to see how the oddly configured room would work for performance. The TVs showing the opposite side of the stage worked well, so if that performer wasn’t on your side you could still see them. The crowd was awesome, the side watching the TVs was just as enthralled as the side with the performer on it. I turned back to look into the buckets and become a pirate. Right as I turned around I heard “your next comedian is blah blah blah she is the greatest blah blah… Monica Nevi” I looked up from the bucket completely shocked, grabbed a Mariners baseball hat I brought with me put it over my syrupy hair and ran to the stage. I got up on one side and realized it was the wrong side, so I around to the other side and I was still in the wrong place. “Monica, where are you, we’re over here” I heard over the speakers. Furious at this point I ran to the back of the venue where there was more seating and an alcove that had the host, another comic and a two corn hole boards set up, ready to play. “What the fuck is going one right now!” I thought to myself.

I finally made it over to where I am “supposed to be” and stand next to what I assumed was my side of the corn hole game. I am ready to swear up a storm and really throw out some low blows during this game. I fucking love corn hole! Giggle all you want. Quick recap, now I am ready to play this game against some nondescript white male beard in front of a ton of people under blue and purple lights where I thought I would be doing comedy 20 minutes from that time. Right as I look at my opponent in the eyes and am ready to yell out whatever obscenity comes to mind my high school health teacher, Ms. Blocker, leans forward to say she finally came to a show and that her husband and their two VERY young children were there with them. Full family leans forward and waves to me as I try to keep the horror inside my head off of my face, I wave back. Immediately I start to reevaluate what I was going to say and then my whole life. There are kids here, I can’t run around with my syrupy hair yelling swear words! Or can I?

I win corn hole, by a lot, grab that wireless microphone from the host and start running around this oddly shaped venue, in my syrupy Mariners hat, high-fiving anyone and yelling inappropriate things into the microphone.

Best set I have ever had. Mic Drop.

THE END

Although the meaning of all of this is still lost on me and any ideas you have would be helpful. I think the moral of this dream is always have a wireless mic.

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