Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Guess who got presents!
These guys!
Guess who went to New Orleans?

These guys!(Smells like we didn't have a picture of us together in New Orleans and a little like Hugo Boss for Men)

Guess who got a tattoo?

ME! (This is a picture of me and the socks I got from Santa...actual tattoo pictures at end of story)

So you know whats coming right?

Its a Biztastic Picture Holiday Wrap Up Post! I'm like the Dick Clark of this website.

Let's start with PRESENTS! Stefan and I were apparently very good this year so I will only select a few highlights of the gifts we recieved.

Look who got a door mat that looks like a NYC subway manhole cover!


And I got the most rad gift ever! A POLICE SCANNER!We have already heard a police chase of "4 suspects on foot in the weeds, copy, one is armed and they are in the weeds." WHAT? I don't know but its totally awesome!

"Join me Stefan! And together we shall rule the galaxy!"

I got the Black and Decker STORM STATION! Why? Because my Stefan knows I am a crazy paranoid person! What is it? "When storm emergencies hit, it's good to have electricity, light, and a radio. It's even better to have all those things together in one place and easy to find when the lights go out. Black & Decker gives you all the emergency essentials in one handy StormStation."
Look! I got a bunch of comic book stuff!
Look! Stefan got a bunch of U2 stuff!

(NYC manhole cover not affiliated with U2)

Biz: I guess I'll try your new Tiger Woods golf game.

Stefan: Ok Biz, that's enough.


I already had these boxing gloves, but they seemed appropraite to use while brushing my teeth with this new toothbrush THAT PLAYS THE ROCKY THEME SONG WHILE YOU BRUSH!


ME-OW! Santa brought me some Purrrrfect crazy cat luggage!

It was a very Merry Christmas in the Stefan and Biz household!

Then on Christmas day we flew down to New Orleans. I won't go through the whole chain of events that led us down there, but the decision was made and we went, along with my sister and her husband, down to the Big Easy to do a little volunteering and a lot of eating.

It was very cool. Let me stress that you should go. Any place you would have gone as a tourist is totally fine! I think there is this big fear that you will go there and everything will be depressing and "broken." It isn't. The bulk of the damage was done to the residential homes and because of a lot of bullshit and bad organization, the rebuilding of the homes is taking a long time and the home owners are frustrated and either aren't coming back as it is too much to deal with or are tied up in red tape trying to get their homes cleaned and then rebuilt. As a result, there are a lot of stores, etc that aren't open...but there is so much that is open, you can find something to do all the time. It does feel a little empty down there. Only 1/4th of the city's population is there and the tourists aren't really pouring in...but Stefan and I didn't mind as it allowed us to barely wait for anything! No lines and no giant swarming drunk was heaven!

On our first day there we worked with a group called Acorn, who was stripping houses. It has been over a year and still only a third of the homes damaged have been dealt with. A home owner can sign up to have their house stripped by a number of volunteer run organizations, then when they get to you on the list, volunteers like us show up and strip everything out of the house, down to the frame so that a rebuilding crew can come in and...well..rebuild. It is pretty weird, just think, it has been a year and no one has gone into the house and everything is pretty gross and its full of personal is hard for the homeowner to throw out their own we wound up tossing personal items that couldn't be saved and furniture, clothes, everything. It was very intense...of course, not nearly as intense as it is for the people who live there. I have no before pictures, but here are some of the during and the after.

Here is the house we were working on.It is a "double shotgun" house, meaning it is split down the middle into two homes. The home on the left was already emtpy of furniture and personal items, the one on the right was full of everything.

Basically you pull everything out, including the walls and appliances and the ceiling if it has water damage and then dump it on the street.We were told that the Army Corp of Engineers comes and pick all this up, but that contract ends in a few months and it will be up to the home owner to get rid of that stuff...which in my opinion, sucks. I of course am no expert into how things work down there, but i know that I felt frustrated just hearing about it and seeing the little I was exposed to.

Here is the house after we were done.

Here I am looking totally bad ass. The whole process went from 7:30am to 2:30pm. We were up in the upper 9th ward, and then drove back to the French quarter where we ate a giant friend shrimp Po Boy, fried crab claws, and a dozen oysters and tore it up on Bourbon street like a good tourist is supposed to. Stefan had his first Hurricane. We then spent over 3 hours at the Cat's Meow kareoking and making friends with a bunch of people. It was at this bar that Stefan went to the counter and asked for 2 bud lights and was given 6 and told "it's happy hour." How happy!
The next day we worked at the Second Harvest Food Bank. If you want to do any volunteering in your this!!!! It was a blast! We spent four hours with other volunteers in this very I Love Lucy chocolate candy episode style set up where donated food items like cans, drinks, cereal, etc came around a conveyer belt and then got sorted and you boxed them up. IT WAS AWESOME! A lot of the canned goods were barely dented, but donated from the grocery stores because, you know...we as a society couldn't possibly buy a slightly dimpled can of peas. It was cool being on the other side of a food drive, you know? I got to see what WASN'T donated. Food banks get lots of canned goods already, what they need is breakfast foods and paper products like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, tampons, plates, etc. Stuff I never thought about donating! Remember that next time you are looking to donate.

Sorry no pictures.

Enjoy instead this picture of a giant walking Hangrenade.

And here is a dark picture of the Table Top Dancing establishment. You will see by the sign that the "Prices are moderate" and if you squint, you can see the fake "Sexy feet" that swing in and out of the windown next to the sign.

This place has been here for YEARS! It is a classic. However, after the hurricane, apparently Hustler came down and bought up a TON of places, we must have passed 6. Bourbon street is as classy as ever!

And now....what is really important...the tattoo.

I didn't really tell anyone about my plans to do this as I wanted it to be for me. Then I thought, maybe I shouldn't tell anyone now that it is done. I mean it is for me right? Maybe I should keep it for myself and let people see it when they see it.

But then I thought like myself and said "screw that! I am showing everybody!!"

Here I am at Electric Ladyland in New Orleans on Frenchman street (which is a very cool area where all the local "punks and tuffs" hang about and has all the old vintage stores, etc). My arm is so naked!

I have had the concept of a homage to my southern roots for a while now. A giant rebel flag with the words "American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God" scrolling beneath it was one thought...but then I decided to go with my gut and create an original design made up of the southern flowers that were in my back yard growing up in Alabama. I did a lot of research on the tattoo parlor and was really happy with the artist. He drew up a great design and we got going.

Did it hurt? YES! This is me hurting and that's only the outline. This moment is the ONLY moment in which Stefan wasn't holding my hand. I could barely get out the never ending string of "swears" that exploded from my mouth. Here I am looking a little tougher, a little paler, and a lotta tattoed.

This is Henry Rhodes, the gentleman who scarred me for life. On three seperate occasions after this meeting, we ran into him in various spots all over the city. It was a bit weird by the end.

Here is a lovely close up to bask in. It did hurt, but it was worth it and I love it.

From start to finish this holiday was fantastic. Great and thoughtful gifts, a wonderful trip to a great city, the chance to work with amazing and giving people, a lot of fantastic food and a bad ass...ok...a lovely and dainty tattoo to boot.

Yee haw and Happy New Year!

xoxo, Biz



Why the long faces?! Geeah! You have it so lucky. Enough with my yoo-yahs; I'm here to talk cereal!

First up: 'Lucky Chahhms'. The way you kids poo-poo your nose at Lucky Chahhms is really something. First up, you don't give the marshmallows a chance! What you really need to do is let them sit in the milk. Give it a minute. Give it a chance! You don't like the way it tastes like crayons? Give it a minute! Let it soften! You MTV people don't know how to let things be! Always so quick to shove it in your mouth first thing. That's why it tastes like chemicals and that's why you're so screwy. Next!

'Grape Nuts'. Any cereal that promises good regularity with a touch of class gets aces in my book! Of course - I wouldn't expect you to understand that. "Oh, I can't have that because it looks like aquarium rocks" you say. BAH! You don't get it and you never will. Next!

'Big'. Tom Hanks and I spent all day jumping up and down a giant keyboard. Beat that with a stick!

'George Washington'. He had wooden teeth. Look it up, it's a fact!

'Movin' Out' (The musical featuring the music of Billy Joel.) 'Uptown Girl' - Classy! 'She's Always a Woman' - Delightful! 'Big Shot' - Not a fan!

'Gene Hackman'. The name says it all: Hack-Man!

I'm Robbert Loggia.....BAH! HAVE SOME CEREAL!

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Glamorous Life!



(What club is that?)


Yes. As Ted's meteorotic rise to fame trailblazes through the sky (and across the airwaves), you can bet your entire life that night after night will be a blur of champange wishes, Playstation 3 dreams and parties for astronauts! We'll no doubt take the Back Way through the service entrance, as we cajole with chefs and waiters, through the kitchen in our evening finery as the camera follows our one-shot path while The Crystlas sing "Then He Kissed Me" all the way to our table fro two brought out 'special'.

Bring on the diamonds! Bring on the pearls! Bring on the pet insurance and conditioner that isn't Suave! For our lives are about to change. Don't get me wrong - I will still work my Girl Friday job. I believe in pulling my weight. But I do expect just a little payback. 'For what exactly', you ask? For all the typical things that happen to Glamorous Wives.

Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about...

1. ELVIRA HANCOCK (MONTANA) - Picture one:
"Can't you stop saying 'fuck' all the time?"
She has all the warmth and affection of a godddamn wolverine and hoovers discreet-not-so-discreet toots of China White throughout most of 'Scarface' - but Elvira Hancock at least knew what was most important - looking gorgeous while kind of standing by her man - the powerful Tony Montana. Of course, she stood by him in a 'Fuck you who gives a fuck, you fucking fuck?' kind of way, but still. That haircut is to die for, but I can't have bangs (too many cowlicks.)

I'm going to give her two out of five 'Put-Upons'.

2. KAREN HILL - Picture two:
"You've got some nerve standing me up! Who the hell you think you are, Frankie Valli or SOMEKINDA BIG SHOT?!!"
And there are millions of gems where these came from. You'll see them spoken one day in my one woman show: "An Endless Painful Evening with Jordi Barnes as Hal Holbrook AS Mark Twain AS Karen Hill". When Karen Hill wanted to go shopping, all she had to do was measure in fingers how big a stack of dough she needed. Her payment in exchange? Going down on her husband - dapper and vicious mobster Henry Hill. How easy is this going to be? With Karen Hill as my role model, the glamorous life will roll on for a good four or five years until the whores show up. No, no - that's good! Four to five years is a while! That's plenty of time. But when it comes to a halt, and Ted has his goomah set up in a loft in the Pearl District and then I have to start sneaking in pills and salami into jail....well. That won't happen for a while. Best not to think about it right now.

Karen did SO much for Henry - I'm giving her five out of five 'Put-Upons'. Karen Hill was a champ. She did live the Glamorous Life though.

3. ANDY CAPP'S WIFE FLO - Picture three:
"Ow, stop punching me in the face you hilarious drunk!"
Flo Capp has taken more hits over the years than pictures of Britney's vagina. I guess when Andy Capp started getting famous, she started talking back and WHAM! I mean look! Look at that! What did she say to make Andy Capp so angry, that he punches her so hard and his eyes pop out of his HAT? I guess all I can say to that is:"Ted, please don't get so famous that you punch me in the face and I see your eyes pop out of your hat". That drawing is crazy. I'm even willing to bet that they're acting in that picture.

Congratulations my husband.
I love you.
You are going to be amazing at this.
If you even think of leaving me for Flo Capp down the road - we're through.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I declare it, and declare it now!

Biz is taking a break for the holidays. She and her beau - the insanely talented Stefan Lawrence of New York super sketchgroup ElephantLarry - are currently in New Orleans for volunteer work, a whole lot of drinking and eating spicy things. I spoke with my Southern Belle on Christmas Day. She called to wish Ted and I Merry Tidings as she sipped a beer from a paper bag and told me excitedly about what they were going to do for the next few days.

She and Stefan decided to spend their X-Mas vacation putting in their time; lending a hand to the City of New Orleans while soaking up the tastes, culture and atmosphere of Louisiana. How cool. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be to see a place like that after one of the worst natural disasters on record, but I love how the people of New Orleans have not given up and they still party like it's 1999 and they still either use too much red pepper or make the best food around (depending on your palate.)

There is a lot of work to be done, but there is also a lot of joy to be found. Biz and Stefan are going for both.

They have sent me flowers three times during a rough spot.

Biz and Stefan will love you till the break-a, break-a dawn (so I hear.)

Every time they tell me of an upcoming trip, I feel excited for the strangers who will encounter them on their adventures. The voice inside says: "The person working the reptile farm, Red Lobster or tilt-a-whirl is in for a fun day, that's for godddamn!"

Biz got a police scanner and a membership to the Bacon of the Month Club for Christmas and was beyond excited. Stefan and I talked Wii vs. PS3. Christmas was a great day for all.

Make 2007 the Year of the Biz.
Make January Stefantastic Month.
Make them both part of your daily routine.
That's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

If You Don't Send This to Fifty Friends in Ten Seconds, You'll Die.

A wise Monk was walking down a road and he came to a bridge. The bridge was a pathway for over the stream. One end of the bridge was on one side and the other end was on the other side.
The Monk looked at the bridge and the bridge was there. A butterfly landed on the Monk's shoulder. "Monk, Monk" said the butterfly "Why are you looking at that bridge?" The Monk replied: "Do you miss The Pretenders? I sure do!"

Send this to everyone you know who is a true friend or I will kill you personally.

It won't be pretty, but it will be traceless.


Thursday, December 21, 2006


So this is the new name for Book Seven.

All I can think about is that the title sounds like a chorus or something you start chanting softly, and then building to a rebel yell in a rock anthem.

Now take theBeastie Boys in 'Rhymin' & Stealin':

(softly) "Ali Baba and the forty thieves....Ali Baba and the forty thieves (tad stronger) Ali Baba and the forty thieves....(pretty strong now) Ali Baba and the forty thieves......(Fucking yell it!) ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES! ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES! ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES! ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES!!!"

(You're feeling it right now, huh? You want to put on 'Licensed to Ill'
now, huh? Yeeeeaaaahhhhhhh. You can't see how cool I look right now. And it's a bloody shame.)

My point is - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" needs a song built around this already kickass chorus. And the word 'hallows' should almost be garbled. Like "HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HAUGNGHAGUH!"

And the band should all be 18 year-old boys in school uniform. Actually maybe not - since my freakishly tall teen nephew in Sydney just announced that he'll be going to St. Augustine's next term...and his uniform is very Hogwart's like. Perhaps it's time I stop looking at Harry Potter like a Hooters waitress and more like what people have been telling me all along; That I'm just too, too, too, too, too, too, too, too, too, old for him.

Awesome. I think I'll go have a slice of Disapointment Cake.

Really...send your office pictures!

No seriously...if you have pictures of sad cake or office parties...send them here.

I'll start it off from last weeks baby shower.


I'm in charge of the work birthdays.

Once a month I'll ask all the birthdays of that month what kind of cake they want for their end of month birthday 'party'. There's always 99% of the Birthday Group who says: 'Anything' and that %1 who demands to see a cake menu and then they end up wanting some crazy ice-cream cake that no one makes. Or they go back in time to 1952: "Can you order a money cake? It's a cake with loose change wrapped in saran wrap, and if you nearly eat the money you win!"

Actually my mother used to make money cakes for my birthday parties - seriously. But the kids nearly choked to death every time. So she stopped that and started sticking rum in the cakes. Oh, Mom.

On the birthday-day, we all gather in the Large Conference Room and sing an extremely sad: "Happy Birthday to You". Because I'm the 'performer' by night, I usually get asked to lead it. Yay. Then I serve cake while everyone eats. Then I make sure that all have had some before I clean up. If there's a piece left, I can have it. I'm supposed to have one saved for me, but the older engineers claim not to know that they're supposed to do that.

When cake is around, people get greedy and make the same lame jokes.

Cake makes the world sad.

Are YOU sad because of office cake?
Send us a picture!
Biz & Barnes
Bat Hat, USA


Too Secretary for Comfort

Sigh....Its Christmas time and there is nothing I loathe more than "office cheer." I am not the best person in the office environment. Maybe its because my office job is my "day job" and my real love is comedy and when you perfomr comedy all the time you don't want to do it at your "day job" or you become known as "the comic" or the "hey, you do comedy, say something funny" girl, which is always impossible to do without offending someone in the office or leading people to think you don't take your "day job" seriously and you become "expendable."

Besides, office events are always awkward. "Look, its someones birthday! Lets have cake!"

I wish twice a month we could just put a cake in the kitchen for people to eat, rather than the birthdays where everyone exchanges small talk and complains about how they "can't eat cake or they will get FAT!" while they eat the cake because everyone has said "no! You can totally eat the cake! You aren't fat!" It becomes the who is fatter than who day when that stupid talk starts..."You can eat it you are skinny!" "No you are!""I can't eat this, I'll get so fat!""I am already too fat! You eat it!" I am going to say..."You're all fat, fat, fatty, fat, fat, so this cake ain't gonna hurt. Now eat it!"

OK...i just got thru with a birthday party at the office so I am still rattled.

The whole office culture is bizarre to me...this line between co worker and friend and weird expectations that begin to develop if you have been here forever.

Of course none of this is the point. The point is its Christmas time in my office and someone found the "decorations" that I had hoped were buried 4 years ago.

My computer is humiliated.

Can you believe this is what I have to look at all the time? They are on all of our computers. It makes me feel like I should just give up the dream of comedy or any sort of creative life and settle into being a secretary and pull on my sweatshirt with the picture of a cat and a Christmas tree that says "Purrrrrfect Christmas" on it and bring in sugar cookies (which will become my only creative outlet) for the other secretaries to eat and they will say "I shouldn't eat this I'll get fat! That sweatshirt is so cute! These cookies are amazing! I am going to get even fatter! You are really a cookie genius! You should sell them! I'd buy some!" and then I would take the train home and feed all 70 of my cats and then turn on some ABC or CBS comedy involving a big fat stupid duche bag and a skinny wife who is always putting on lotion while he is always getting into trouble, and just as I am about to fall asleep, I'll shoot myself in the face.

Merry Christmas PPPAers!

love, Biz

Friday, December 15, 2006

ROCKIN' RAD ANARCHY RITE AID! - Come for the Shampoo / Stay for the Music

A few times I’ve stayed a little too long at Rite Aid because the music was that good and I thought it was some kind of ‘shuffle fluke’, but it’s official: The Rite Aid downstairs plays the best music out of anywhere in town. For serious.

The Rite Aid downstairs is kind of like ‘Anarchy Rite Aid’. They play any music they want, any time of day; we’re talking about ‘Lola’ by the Kinks – (LOUD!), and this is smack in the middle of the lunch hour during the Holiday season when we’re apparently all supposed to be listening to Burl Ives. Burl Ives? Not for this fucking rad Rite Aid.

They have a staff which makes me want to work there and on one occasion (while picking out my conditioner) I nearly stayed to listen to all of the Pixies’ ‘Doolittle’. I’ve heard The Clash, the Doors (they played ‘The End’! ‘THE END’! At fucking Rite Aid! LOUD!) and they didn’t even try to fade out: “The killer awoke before dawn…” (where he “walks on down the hawllll-yeahhhhhh…”) Brilliant.

On the flip side, they’ve also played the kind of swinging 1960’s supermarket music that I’ve always thought should be played in supermarkets at all times. I can die tomorrow happily saying that I’ve full on done the twist up and down the Maybelline and Revlon aisle. And I think it was expected. This Rite Aid wants you to dance and have a good time!

The best was the other day. A beige haired woman weighed down with Nordstrom bags complained to her equally beige friend about the lack of Christmas carols to one of the Rite Aid staff, to which he replied: “Sometimes you just have to take a holiday from the holidays. And this is the Doors.”

It was classic Anarchy Rite Aid.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

(On the heels of Terrifying Santas): BEYOND HORRIBLE 'COFFEE ART'

HI PPPA-ers!

(I'm just going to post all the pictures first...since that's what my computer seems to want to do...)

Do you know what makes me mad today? Look above. "Coffee Art".

I don't know why, but these types of prints have always seemed to yell at me: "This divorced apartment is a new beginning, and since my ex-husband didn't allowe me to hang super-ugly prints of coffee in oversized cups on our walls at home - that's exactly what I'm going to do with my New Beginning Apartment!" After the walls are painted bright purple (of course) and the little glow in the dark stars are applied to the ceiling.

The musical equivalent of this type of 'art' is The Manhattan Transfer. Can anything else in the whole world put me in a bad mood faster than The Manhattan Transfer? I don't believe there is.

Wait....I know why all of this reminds me of all of that. It's because I've been in many of these New Beginning Divorced Apartments before and they all have been exactly like this. I too, have had my own New Beginning Divorced Apartment, but I was too messed up to decorate. I think I threw up some record sleeves, but I didn't have the luxury to take my time with colors and prints.

Even if I did - I sure as hell wouldn't put up whimsical prints of coffee and stars telling me to have an International Coffee Break. No siree....

Is there a point to this? Not really.

But if I didn't say something, then this 'Coffee Art' just might go on. Being horrible.
And ruining lives!

Friday, December 08, 2006

scared of Santa

Ho Ho Ho PPPAers!

My BFF Livia sent me a link to a HILARIOUS collection of pictures of kids terrified of Santa.,0,2245506.photogallery?index=1

Here is one of my favorite.

Hello Serial killer! Yikes! Look at Santa's expression. I have no desire for him to know if I am naughty or nice.

And....AHHHHHHHH! This is the stuff of nightmares, my friends. NIGHTMARES! I hope Santa DOES NOT exist.

And finally...a Clockwork Christmas?

AHHHHH! I swear my skin won't stop crawling.

Uh, Marry Christmas?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A portrait of a woman who does not "get" comedy

This really is sort of an inside joke for 4 people...but i think those 4 people make up th ebulk of our readership.

Of course, if you have ever done comedy and been reviewed and the reviewer says they don't get it...heck...even if you don't do comedy and some just walks up to you and "doesn't get it" this is what they look like.

(disclaimer: I have no idea what they actually look like.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Jordi


I know, its been TOO long PPPAers. But we have been busy...not posting.

But as it is Jordi's Birthday....that is the best reason for me to stop being lazy, I mean busy, and get on this board and do something hilairous.

(10 minutes of awkward silence)

Biz to self:
(hmmmm....what is hilarious? a funny picture? maybe....where did i put that hilarious stuff...i know it is around here somewhere....i mean it is Jordi's freaking birthday and she deserves hilarious. Is this it?)

(no thats not it....hampsters with lightsabers...adorable, but not hilarious....hmmm...those are my old receipts....and a hairy life saver that i didn't throw away...where is it! I know there is something hilairous in here somewhere....oh....maybe this is it....)

If you click this link, scroll down to November 28th, then click get Mortified)

(no, thats not hilarious...just sort of self grandizing...Its Jordi's birthday and I must think! Maybe I could make here something!)

(no that just sucks.)

Oh well!

Happy Birthday Jordi!