Monday, December 10, 2012

Why I made my own "Binder Full of Women" (and you should too)

I was on a plane from Austin to Los Angeles during the second Presidential debate. Within minutes of checking my phone upon my arrival, I knew that I had missed out on something really wonderful, wonderful in the this-just-happened-now-it's-a-million-memes-and-two-parody-twitter-accounts kind of way. I am speaking, of course, on Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment. 

Having no context for the comment, my initial reaction was something like "what the hell?" After watching the clip from the debate, my reaction was more of the same. But then, soon after, I got this tingling in the arts and crafts center of my uterus, you know, that thing that sends the signal to your ovaries that says, "I really want to glue stuff to other stuff right now!"

So, that's basically what I did. 

I pulled out the binder where I keep my rent contract and the warranty on my hair straightener and all that other stuff that says I'm an adult, and I unceremoniously dumped that crap into a drawer. Then, I pulled down the picture of Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Emmy's that I'd clipped from a newspaper and taped on the wall above my desk. I glued it to a piece of yellow construction paper, placed it in a sheet protector, and put it in the binder. It all felt very sacred and overly dramatic, but it also felt kind of right.

Soon, I was ripping an Adele interview out of Rolling Stone, printing off an article about Hillary Clinton, an interview with Maya Angelou, and trying to remember where I'd put the autograph I got from Brandi Chastain when I was ten years old. When I met her, she'd told me to "Go for your dreams." Just a quick Q then, Brandi - when are the tryouts for the women's national soccer team, again? And, also, do you have to be really good at soccer?

I was basically tracking down everything that made me say, "Fuck yeah! I love being a woman!" I can't really explain it, but after I'd spent a solid hour on a Leslie Knope collage, I knew this was important. It's important to have role models, people to point to, people to inspire you. I think, as a woman, it's especially important to have female role models - women who kick ass at what they do, women who get it done.

I'm learning more and more that the additions to my binder come from an infinite variety of sources. I recently ran off a screen grab of Sam Gordon, the 9-year-old football phenom who plays the game better than all the other boys in her league. Sometimes I copy down tweets from my friends that make me laugh because, believe it or not, us women can be funny from time to time. My next project is going to be making playing cards for all the new lady senators elected this year. Trading card protector sheets, for the win! Then I might even get some tab dividers for the section about dudes who are rocking it in the name of ladies. I'm sure there are binders full of these guys who are qualified too... 

For me, this project has become part scrapbook, part dissertation on feminism, part collection of love letters to Tina Fey that I know better than to send, and part thing that resembles evidence the police always find in the home of a serial killer. For anyone else that tackles this project, I think it can be whatever they need it to be as well. I just think, if women are going to be put into binders, it should be for a good reason and for a little bit o' fun.

Totally unrelated, but, like, does anyone have an address for Tina Fey for me to send totally unrelated stuff to?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Project: Texas, part one

For those of you that I have not told, I'm in Houston. I didn't really feel like telling anybody. It's hard to tell a lot of people, "I couldn't find a job out in Hollywood. So, I'm coming home to make money for a bit, but I'm going back. I'm not quitting" without it sounding like you're quitting, without them asking you a million questions you don't feel like answering, without them feeling sorry for you, and without them trying to find you a job back here. I'm sorry, but I don't want to tweet for your aunt's law firm.

The worst part about not getting a job in Hollywood was that I came close, pretty damn close to something I really wanted, at least twice. The circumstances that prevented me from actually landing anything are unfortunate, and, if you ask me, I'll tell you, "It was a mess." That's true. I won't tell you that it totally sucks, but it does.

I have never before in my life felt like I do right now, but I'm trying to figure all of it out and learn from it. I've already learned a lot. I already feel immeasurably better than I did a few weeks ago. At my worst I felt:

1. Like how you feel after you've liked a guy for two entire years, and, so, one hot night in May, you finally decide you can't not tell him anymore. So, you tell him, and he tells you the opposite of what you want to hear. Then, because the universe moonlights as a stand-up comedian, you end up living with the guy for a year, sharing a refrigerator with him. It's that kind of twisting feeling deep in your gut that makes it hard to believe that it will ever get better, plus...

2. That feeling you get when you ask your parents if you can drive to Baton Rouge during your freshman year of college. They tell you no, but you're an "adult" now because you live on your own in a dorm room with a microwave and coin-op laundry machines, so you go anyway. Still, you are actually a bit of an adult so you tell your cousin just in case you, you know, like, die. You make it home safely, but, of course, your parents looked at your bank statements because they decided to put money in your account because they are nice people who trust you. You're fucking hilarious, universe - ok, I really deserved this one, but it's that feeling of fear that freezes your chest mixed with the strong desire to drive your head through a wall, plus...

3. That feeling you get right before you actually throw up the first time you get a sinus infection. So, naturally, you head towards the bathroom, but you don't quite make it. Well, you make it to a bathroom door, specifically the boys', where you throw up your bright pink vomit-by-the-foot. Naturally, a cute seventh grader walks out of the bathroom and steps right into it, and, justifiably, with a disgusted look on his face, asks you if you just did this. You say no, and take a sip of water because that really sells the lie (?). It's that literal sick feeling you get in the back of your throat that tells you only bad things are about to happen to you.

Seriously, universe, top notch stuff.

But, yes, how I felt about my situation was all of those horrible feelings wrapped in one "welcome to the real world" taco. No, burrito. But now, I feel great. Truly.

Compared to before, I feel like I feel on the few occasions when I get drunk and shout things like, "I want to make out with everyone on Sixth Street" followed by "Why did I say that?" That was a weird night for me.

So, yes, I'm home. I'm working at the soccer camp I've worked at for the past few summers. I'm making money, and, when I get back to Los Angeles, I will kick its ass. However, in the meantime, I am going to kick ass at home. I am not going to make a to-do list*. I'm just going to do a lot of shit, but like really good, creative, challenging, new shit. Shit that I have always wanted to do but didn't because I was afraid or lazy or lame. If you're in town, let's do shit together. Sorry for cussing, but this is how I talk when I'm kicking ass.

Are jersey quilts a thing? Well, it's happening.

I'm also going to drink a lot of sweet tea while I'm here. A lot.

*Although, someone please remind me to call my dermatologist to reschedule my appointment. Thanks, betch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anne Frank

Were Anne Frank still alive, she would be turning 83 today.

However, we know her life tragically ended at the age of 15 when she and her family were captured and sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust. But, birthdays are meant to be happy occasions. So, rather than reflect on her death, I think we should celebrate all that she accomplished in those fifteen short years.
Anne Frank is Anne Frank because of every teenage girl’s nightmare – her personal diary, given to her on her 13th birthday, was published in a book. Her secrets, embarrassments, and dreams are forever in print, and people all over the world are privy to them. There was a whole product line in the 90’s that made diary protectors with voice activated passwords and pink combination locks designed specifically to keep this kind of thing from happening.
Anne, in her own words, tells us what it was like to be a teenage girl, growing up. What I love most about her diary is that it sounds a lot like what it was like for me to be a teenage girl, growing up. I bet that if Blue Ivy’s great-great-great granddaughter wrote a diary in the year 3000, it would sound a lot like Anne’s too. 
Most simply, Anne let us know that we aren’t growing up alone. We are all confused and moody and hating these changes our bodies are undergoing and falling in love for the first time and all that other stuff our parents never really talked to us about. 
So, no, Anne, I’m not really sorry that Otto and Edith got you a regular ol’ journal, rather than a Girl Tech Password Journal with a USB port for your record player. The best thing that happened to your words is that they were shared.
On top of everything that her words meant, and everything they were about, Anne’s words were wise beyond her years. Anne was smart and insightful and eloquent, and she was young. I think that’s the second lesson Anne’s diary taught us – there’s no height requirement you have to hit before your voice suddenly matters. Just because you still need your parents to drive you to Delia’s does not mean you don’t have something important to say. 
In her own words she stated, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 
There are girls, younger than Anne, who prove her point every single day on this website.
But, maybe, like me, you’re already older than Anne was when she died. Maybe you still haven’t found your voice or decided the mark you want to leave on this world or even figured out how to file your own taxes. Whatever it is, start now, today. On the birthday of a girl who should be an inspiration to all of us.
And, I mean, again, she did let us read her diary and all… I feel like we owe her something pretty big in return.
Happy Birthday, Anne! May you be remembered for many more to come. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rachel Dratch

Writing update: I decided to try having a drink while writing today, since nothing else has worked on the weekends. So, I had a Red Stripe, with a side of two Fruit by the Foots, of course. Anyway, I was writing, and then I decided to scrap everything I had done and pick up a different project that I had started awhile ago. So, that's what I did. I'm halfway through that one, which is decent work. Maybe I'll finish tomorrow. No more beer though. Infinity Fruit by the Foots... it's actually Fruit by the Yard. Mind blown.

I've also been running my iTunes shuffle while I write. Jermaine Dupri and Eminem are really inspiring. I guess?

After I finished Augusten Burrough's book, I picked up Rachel Dratch's new memoir, A Girl Walks into a Bar. I could not put it down. I was reading it at the intermission of the Jackson Browne concert the other night.

She talks a bit about her time on SNL, but it is mostly about her life as a forty-year-old single woman, who had to actually learn how to date people, and then she had a baby. SPOILER ALERT. The whole thing was hilarious. She tells the whole truth, even if it makes her look like a doofus, which I think is pretty brave. Doofus is a pretty good word to describe Rachel Dratch at times.

I always liked her on SNL, but now I like her a little bit more. A lot more. She hasn't had the success of Fey or Poehler, but she is just as funny. Life just dealt her different cards. Whatever, it's great, please read it.

Also, when did it start getting "hot" in Los Angeles? My whole "house" is covered in a layer of sweat. I guess we could run the air conditioning... window unit. Who are these backwards bumfucks that don't have central air???????? I'VE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE.

Op. Strake Jesuit Triple Trio Messiah songs just came on the shuffle... looks like a win-win kind of night.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jackson Browne, pt. 2

Writing update: blerg.

I saw Jackson Browne for the second time tonight. It was at the same theater as the first time, and this place is unbelievable. It's got a family, this-is-us-just-hanging-out-in-our-living-room-and-playing-music kind of feel. It's incredibly small and intimate.

Tonight's show was four hours long, and a total of seventeen musicians cycled in and out. Again, unbelievable.

I think I could live inside of tonight forever. Unbelievable.

But P.S. - just because I'm the youngest one at the show does not mean that I am the one taking pictures on my phone. No need for you to shine your flashlight at me. Check the lady behind me, SIR.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Augusten Burroughs

Writing update: Things are moving, and I am confident I will have a completed first, rough draft by the end of this week, as was my original goal. So, I'll just leave it at that.

I don't know what drugs are or what they do to you, but I assume that I am addicted to books like coke heads are addicted to blow.

I had to look up a street name for cocaine. Shows how much I was not paying attention to that Johnny Depp movie. Well, today I got my book fix with a huge hit of recent releases. Shit, do you do hits of coke? Isn't it lines? Fuck this metaphor. I'm really happy because I bought books today.

I always like reading, but summertime has, for the past 5 years or so, been especially dedicated to reading. Summer reading when it's not required is incredibly refreshing. I have a few "must reads" of the summer, you know, the classics.

Okay, I read the Sisterhood series over and over every summer. I've also added everything else by Anne Brashares because, well, I don't have a reason.

Anyway, I picked up Augusten Burroughs's new book today. He was one of the first authors I got into who wrote books for adults, like real adults, not girls in high school who think vampire romance is real love. Been there, done that, snuck into the next theater over to watch the kissing scene again.

Burroughs also further deepened my love for the memoir. David Sedaris brought me into the genre with Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and then I sort of back-tracked and bought everything else he had Burroughs had written, and I've been following them ever since.

Sedaris's most recent book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, was a detour from his memoirs. The same is said for Burroughs's This is How. It is essentially a self-help book.

So far, it does not hold a candle to his other works. Although, I would never recommend that because books are flammable. SeewhatIdidthere? Still, there are certainly passages of description or succinct explanations or witty references that scream REALLY GREAT WRITING HERE, PAY ATTENTION.

And I am.

I have always thought that if I wrote a book, it would be a memoir because I think that's a framework that I am comfortable in. However, the more and more I think about it, I would actually have to be talking about other people. Burroughs talks about a woman he met on an elevator in this book. Even that amount of anonymity freaks me out. Things certainly have to get more personal when you are talking about yourself and people you know.

Plus, I'm just not that interesting. Yet. Once, I figure this whole cocaine thing out, though, best seller status. What What.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Noah Gundersen

This post makes no sense. Let me know where to send the cookie bouquet in lieu of an apology.

Writing update: Well, I've learned, again, that I cannot write on the weekend. So, I've only added a few sentences to my pilot. However, my original calendar had me finishing up a rough draft by the end of this week, which is still doable! Except I'm out of peach tea, my sleep schedule for the week is already clearly fucked up, and I'm seeing Jackson Browne on Thursday. I'll survive.

Today I found myself in two invigorating conversations with my two best friends. One was about music, and the other was about television. If I was talking to my sister, it would have been about cats... I digress.

Anyway, both conversations had me amped. I enjoy talking about these things. I am passionate about these things, so, yes, I will gladly talk to anyone who will listen for like 20 plays of "American Pie." That's an eight minute song and some change.

Also, I did a 100+ slide powerpoint on that song back in middle school, so I could literally talk about that song for like 20 plays of that song... I digress.

Again, anyway, I was so wired during and after these chats and, for some reason, the phrase "talk is cheap" popped into my head. I know the phrase means actions speak louder than words, but, today, I took them to literally mean talk is cheap entertainment. Unless it's a certain pervy kind of talking on a phone with singles in your area!!!! CALL NOW!!! That kind of talking seems like expensive entertainment. Hold on while I go shower off all the gross.

But this kind of talking with regular people is cheap, as in free. And it's invigorating and inspiring, and it's better than wasting my time on Facbeook and Twitter and Dawson's Creek fanfiction sites. Because, when you're talking to someone, they can argue with you or share something with you or teach you something and if you don't get it they can explain it or they can just yell at you. Either way, it's interactive... So, yes, apparently, I just figured out what it means to socialize. Talking, good. Cat lady, die, alone.

I think you get what I mean, though? Right? Basically, we need to get off our computers (except to talk) and our phones (except to talk) and go do things and then come back and talk about them. I hate talking. Usually.

But I do like talking about aforementioned music and television, and a certain song has been haunting me for almost a whole week. I think it's an excellent example of what it means to just talk about things. He's talking about big things, REALLY big things, but he doesn't put it in really big language. It's so simple. He's just talking.

Without any more words getting in the way: Jesus, Jesus - Noah Gunderson

Jesus, Jesus, could you tell me what the problem is
With the world and all the people in it?
Because I've been hearing stories about the end of the world,
But I'm in love with a girl, and I don't want to leave her
And the television screams with such hideous things
They're talking about the war on the radio
They say the whole thing's gonna blow, and we will all be left alone
No, we'll be dead, and we won't know what hit us

Jesus, Jesus, if you're up there, won't you hear me?
Because I've been wondering if you're listening for quite a while
And Jesus, Jesus, it's such a pretty place we live in,
And I know we fucked it up, but please be kind
Don't let us go out like the dinosaurs, or blown to bits in a third world war
There are a hundred different things I'd still like to do
I'd like to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, look up from the ground at a meteor shower,
And, maybe, even raise a family

Jesus, Jesus, there are those that say they love you,
But they have treated me so goddamn mean
And I know you said forgive them for they know not what they do
But sometimes I think they do, and I think about you
And if all the heathens burn in hell, do all their children burn as well?
What about the Muslims, and the gays, and the unwed mothers?
And what about me and all my friends, are we all sinners if we win?
Does it even matter, in the end, if we're unhappy?

Jesus, Jesus, I'm still look for answers
Though, I know that I won't find them here tonight
But, Jesus, Jesus, could you call me if you have the time?
And maybe we could meet for coffee and work it out
And maybe then I would understand what it's all about

Friday, May 4, 2012

Scarlett Johansson

Writing update: well, I am only almost done with Act One because I was invited to the midnight (aka peak writing hour) showing of The Avengers last night. So, then, naturally, today I had to make these -

Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, & Hawkeye

I can say, without a doubt, that I was impressed, blown away, surprised, and pleased by The Avengers. However, as you can see there is only one female superhero in this bunch: Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson. 

When we first see the Black Widow, she is tied to a chair while Russian baddies investigate her. Of course, she outsmarts and outmaneuvers them... and while modestly dressed! I was super excited too when her assassin suit was pleasantly feminine without being overtly sexualized. 

For the first part of the film, she is vital in bringing the team together. She is not forced to play sidekick to any of these men, and not once is she caught as the damsel in distress. There is even a scene where she faces off against the Hulk... alone. I mean, yes, I would jump at the chance to be left alone in a levitating warship with Mark Ruffalo (circa 13 Going on 30, obvs), but the Hulk? No thank you this year!

There was one scene where I thought a man had manipulated her emotions to trap her but PSYCH (do kids still say that?) she was tricking him the whole time. 

I accredit this achievement to 1. Joss Whedon for writing and directing this movie in such a way that portrayed the Black Widow as a three-dimensional, independent human being and super hero, who happens to be a woman. Whedon is not new when it comes to strong women - Buffy? And 2. Scarlett Johansson for seriously doing an amazing job with the role. Honestly, the last thing I remember her in was In Good Company, back when Topher Grace was relevant. I loved her in that, but then I didn't think twice about her again. Until, now. Check plus. Check plus. 

Still, my point was that she is the only woman in this cast, and there aren't a whole lot of other women popping up in superhero movies either. This summer will see the release of The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man (18th sequel), and Men In Black III, none of which are carried by women. The Batman flick has Anne Hathaway in it as Cat Woman, but I don't have the highest hopes for that part. Christopher Nolan makes great movies, but strong female characters aren't exactly what he's known for. In Inception, Juno just followed Leo DiCaprio around the whole time, and this is old Leo we're talking about here, folks.

Anyway, there are talks of releasing a Black Widow movie since the reviews so far around The Avengers seem to be so positive. The Hulk already has two pictures (both unnecessary), same for Iron Man, Thor is getting a second, and Captain America has the one. It's about time. 

All I can say is that if and when the movie is released, I pray to the mighty demigod Thor that it is as well conceived, written, produced, and performed as most of the other the films in this franchise. Female superhero movies have, so far, been mostly nothing but camp and sex... Writing down Sex Camp in my idea journal - probably going to be an awesome summer B-movie starring Jonah Hill. 

One day down the road, when I am somebody in this business, I would like to write a female superhero movie, or even a series, an original one. Whedon could direct it. I'm not picky.

Well, it's closing in on that magical writing hour, so I'm grabbing some Oikos yogurt, courtesy of John Stamos, and some peach tea, and I'm heading back to my pilot.

Later Days... remember The Weekenders?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Junior Seau

Writing update: Act One is underway for my pilot and should be done tomorrow. I know I'm only two days into May, but I'm kicking ass on my calendar to-do list. 29 days to go!

Now, I was going to post about Malcolm again, and I probably will next time, but Junior Seau's death has really been hanging on me all day. When I found out, I was incredibly saddened, and that surprised me because I am not usually one to make a big to-do over the deaths of "celebrities." So, I've been thinking on it all day, trying to figure it out. I can't pinpoint whatever is is exactly that has me so affected, so my best guess is that it's everything, all of it.

It's because suicide is hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around. It's because after being one of the best in his sport for two decades, at only 43, he decided he didn't have anything else to live for. What drove him there could have been injuries from the sport he loved so much. It could have been anything. We can guess, and maybe Seau even left some answers for us, but we can't ever really know why someone makes a decision like that.

It's also the words of his peers, the testaments to his greatness and to his heart, that have me overwhelmed. Eric Olsen told a story about how Seau let him tackle him in front of all the other kids at a football camp when he was in high school. All the kids cheered for "a chubby kid who didn't even know if he liked football." Now the chubby kid plays for the New Orleans Saints. It takes someone special to inspire something like that, to change someone's life like that. Drew Brees called Seau "the greatest teammate a young guy could ask for." That young guy is now a Super Bowl Champion and one of the most respected and talented athletes in the game. I've gathered that Seau has left his mark on the game indefinitely, and those who knew him will continue to be shaped by his legacy.

It's also what Seau means to me on a personal level. Back when I was ten years old I had a PC game (remember those?) called Backyard Football. The game had kid versions of twelve NFL players, but I only remember three specifically - Brett Favre, Drew Bledsoe, and Junior Seau. Seau was the biggest "kid" and also the best player on defense. I was probably too old for the game because I quickly figured out that if you had Favre throwing the ball and Seau laying people out, you could beat the computer every time. Still, Seau was one of the first professional players whose name I recognized outside of the Dallas Cowboys. I didn't follow his career by any means, but a mention of "Buddy" always piqued my interest. He became a tab in my mental library of all things football, a sport that has been a sizable piece of my life. Oh yea, and he was better at laying people out in real life than he ever was on my computer.

It was just a computer game, but I remember it, and I will probably remember it for the rest of my life. I certainly cannot say that about many other things that have crossed my path in my 22 years. That makes it something of value. Junior Seau is something of value to me, although I won't ever be able to define or quantitate it. He is someone of value to a great number of people, and, to some, he is someone of great value. To state the obvious, he is missed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Professor Charles Francis Xavier

Writing update: I am very sleepy. So, that short story I was going to write is for a certain fellowship. Let's call it X. Yes, it's only for mutants. I started to fill out the application for X, and it asks why you want to work for X, and, honestly, I don't. I know that I'm supposed to be good at writing, i.e. bullshitting things, but I really wasn't feeling it. So, I have an outline and beginning of a short story that I will finish up this next weekend, even though I don't plan on sending it to X anymore. Maybe I'll change my mind. Maybe, if I take some X pills (?), everything will suddenly become clear to me, and I can bullshit about wanting to work for X until I stop melting into the couch. Look, all I know about ecstasy, I learned from the Dawson's Creek episode aptly titled "Great Xpectations." In other news, I polished up my Cougar Town and sent that off, and I have started writing my pilot.

Today, I finished this:

This is a clear example of the age-old equation: 0 shame + infinity time = youtube.

Whatever, I really like the people that work on the show, and whether I ever get to work there or not, I'd love for them to stay in business for another season. So, do as this clip strongly suggests and watch the show. Okay? Thanks, thanks.

There's obviously no theme to this post, so I'm just going to bring up something else I feel like bringing up. Last night, I had pretty action packed dreams. One of my friends was shot, and, so, this guy and I had to try to figure out who the shooter was. Right before I woke up, my dreams became a promo for "next night's dreams." It literally said, "Only two nights left before the story comes to. a. dramatic. conclusion." The periods represent all the dramatic pauses where pictures of people in my dreams flashed on "screen." And then the promo ended with the sound of a gunshot. 

This is really interesting to me because I would love it if, in fact, when I go to sleep tonight, I get to see the continuation of the story. I know that's not how it works, but that would be awesome. Television even for my sleeping mind! I really want to know what happens too because this "episode" ended with the guy helping me discovering that the guy helping my friend is actually the one who shot her (!!!!). If that isn't a May Sweeps storyline, then I don't know what is. 

Now, the promo did come after I had already woken up once, and then I went back to sleep. Is my conscious mind so television-obsessed that I shaped my dreams into a serial drama? This is kind of cool because when I woke up, I finished the story how I though it would end up. But, what if my conscious mind is so television-obsessed that my subconscious created the perfect dream for me? Television all the time, always! Either way, I woke up from the dream feeling like I had just watched an episode of Castle meets Grey's Anatomy.... so Rizzoli & Isles, but with more dudes.

Whatever, now I have a reason to look forward to sleep other than sleep.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson

Writing update: I finished up the outline for my comedy pilot. It's pretty rough, and only people inside my brain can understand what the phrases "Sean picks up a homeless man" and "he is, in fact, a ninja" actually mean in terms of the story. PSYCH, even I don't know (Let's resurrect that word). But, yea, it's finished. Still working on the outline of Happy Endings. Polishing off my Cougar Town and writing a short story tomorrow. Any ideas? It needs to be funny. So, someone get on that. If you're funny.

Anyway, in news that maybe one more person cares about, I saw Ingrid Michaelson last night in concert. All and all, it was amazing. She is not only a talented multi-instrumental singer-songrwriter, but she is also incredibly funny. Legitimately funny. She is completely unapologetic, too, which is refreshing. She makes fun of herself, her bandmates, and, especially, the audience. Betches love it. I loved it.

So, she plays music and tells jokes. She has even had a few sketches on Funny or Die that are pretty solid. I read that she got into music because she wanted to act, but she wasn't getting any of the parts that she wanted. So, she went ahead and made her own material to perform. That's pretty legit, and if I was a great musician, I would do that too.

I think that's a cool lesson to take away - you can create whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy. Obviously, it's cooler if someone reads it or sees it or likes it or performs it or hears it or gives you money for it, but you can create without all that other stuff. I mean, if you want to be a doctor, you can't just like do surgery on people. Right? I mean, that is a pretty big thing about being a doctor. WE GET IT, you went to school for a billion years. I'm standing here in a paper gown that doesn't cover anything, so I don't give two fucks about how hard med school was. You passed, you're here, take my money.

Just kidding, I love and support all doctors, real and televisional.

Anyway, since I can pretty much only concentrate on writing from about 8-10 in the morning and 8 until the Corn Nuts run out P.M., I've got some other projects I'm going to start working on, or revive from the technological hell where they've been vacationing for weeks and years and lifetimes. That sounds so dramatic. Basically, I could be creating so much more, and I should. I hope it's all crap. I will force all of you to watch it.

Oh, also, these days. Malcolm. Bea Arthur and ABBA. Enough said.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Frankie Muniz

Since writing about my own writing seems super boring: I broke the stories for my comedy pilot, and I started the outline. I'm also outlining a Happy Endings script with a friend. So, yes, I'm writing.

In other news, I've been reading a lot about the decline in live television viewing. With Netflix and Hulu, it makes it easy to pass on watching things when they are actually aired. With commercials. Hulu even has original series, shows that have never aired on traditional television. Things are changing, and television has to adapt, but I really wish it didn't.

Tonight, 30 Rock aired its second live episode. The whole point of the episode was Kenneth convincing the others that there is a magic to watching television, live, as it's happening. Anything can happen. I remember watching Saturday Night Live when Ashley Simpson lip synced to her own music, thankfully, might I add. Looking back, I felt like such a hipster. I saw it FIRST. I saw it LIVE.

Now, there aren't a lot of "live" shows that I really care about. None of the dancing or singing shows really interest me. There are some weeks where I don't have it in me to stay up for SNL.

However, I LOVE watching shows on the night and in the timeslots when they are supposed to air. Thursdays are my Sundays and NBC's Comedy Block is my church. Ok, it's my mass because I'm a Catholic, sort of. But that has always been the point of television - television is an event. That's how it's supposed to work. Commercials and all.

I recently discovered the entire Malcolm in the Middle series is on Netflix instant watch. The show began when I was ten-years-old, and it is the first show I remember caring about watching each week. Back then, in the ye olde days, there wasn't a website to watch the show on "tomorrow,"and TiVo was just a year old and still only for the pretentious folk. I almost feel like I'm cheating after watching six episodes of Malcolm in a row.

Maybe people don't care about television as much as I do, and even I have to admit I don't hate all the ways that we can watch shows these days. However, shows still, for the most part, live and die by the ratings, and no one's watching. A great show, Bent, aired six episodes last month and no one even knew about it. It's done. You can't even blame the network or the studio. The show wasn't making any money. Fair enough.

The same can be said for Arrested Development, maybe the best comedy ever on television. Yea, I said it. Sorry to every old person who watched Cheers and semi-old person who watched Seinfeld. However, only a small number of people tuned in to Arrested Development, and it died prematurely. To be honest, I never watched it live, and I hate myself more and more every day. In the words of Buster Bluth, "I'M A MONSTER."

So, if you take anything from this nonsense: just give live viewing a try. Find a show you like. I don't even care what it is, ok but seriously, not Glee or Two Broke Girls,  and tune in every week. Watch the commercials, and like it! They give you free programming! You're welcome.

Oh, but look, we're all poor young professionals (or not), so feel free to steal all the cable shows you want. There's loads of pirating sites, and I know a guy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ira Glass

A friend of mine recently reminded me of this (extended) "quote" from Ira Glass:

It really freaks me out because I want to have my catalogue of work done. NOW. And I could, well, sort of, if I was writing the way I should be, as often as I should be. 

It's not that I don't enjoy writing, I obviously do. I can write here and on my cake blog no problem. These sort of "memoirs" come easily to me, and I know that, when I write a novel, it will be a memoir of sorts. 

With memoirs or non-fiction or, even, fictionalized non-fiction, people can't really tell you that you're wrong. These are stories that happened to you, and, so, you choose how you want to tell them. 

With fiction, what I should be writing, people can tell you all sorts of things. This character sucks. This doesn't make sense. This isn't funny.

That's scary. That's harder to write. Everyone can have their own opinion on fiction, and anyone can tell you that you're wrong. 

I don't like being wrong. That's why I have a crap ton of these blog posts and a couple spec scripts finished (hey, I didn't create those characters), but only a half-finished pilot and some long forgotten short stories. 

Holding a gun to my head won't really work. Plus it would be super hard to type with only one hand... The thing that usually motivates me to do anything is out of need for someone else. Oh, you want me to call someone on the phone for you? Sure. For me? Let me send a couple of e-mails first to their IT guy and see if he gets back to me. 

I have, recently, stepped up for myself, trying to get a job out here. And writing is, essentially, going to help me get a job "out here." So, I should approach it in the same way. 

So, until I have a completed script, I'm going to keep updating here, holding myself accountable. Write here, every day, write there, every day. Write, write, write. 

"Words, words, words." - Hamlet

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Kardashians

Unlike the sisters in my previous post, I never NEVER ever EVER thought I would be writing about the Kardashians, willingly. Sure, I figured, after three years of living in LA and still without a real job, I might have to cover them for some skeezy tabloid, where I make just enough to cover rent and my cocaine addiction. I won't actually be doing cocaine, just addicted to buying it.

Anyway, I had to write about them because I had to thank the Kardashian sisters. They have greatly helped in my identifying of a strong, female role model - in a positive way.

A couple of months ago, I stopped into the Barnes & Noble at the Grove on the way home from my internship. It's actually out of the way, but I'm in love with that place. I could spend a hundred dollars a day at Barnes & Noble, if, of course, I wasn't buying so much cocaine. But really, I love going in there, not looking for anything in particular, just looking, reading, spending time with books. Lots and lots of books.

This particular evening, the place was packed. I had never seen it this busy, and I had no idea what was going on. I went up to the third floor, where they keep all the good books. Ok, fine, all the Legos are up here too. It's also where they have book signings. That is where I got my answer.

The Kardashians wrote a book? Yes. And they were signing it that night. And hundreds of girls and gays had their copies ready and their nails did. An enormous percentage of the crowd was also composed of these conservative grandmother types in head scarves, stockings, and diabetes shoes. Those are things. I could have sworn this crowd was waiting for the Pope.

Look, I have never watched a full episode of Whatever the Kardashians' Show is Kalled. I do not understand people's infatuation with them. I do not find them interesting or, even, entertaining. But, of course, I had to wait for them to walk by, obviously. I had to see them. So, I found a spot near the elevator between the Nook display counter and an 80-year-old with one of those portable seat walkers. This spot just so happened to be Hunger Games table adjacent.

I had been meaning to read the books for about a year, but I'd never gotten around to buying them. The trailer for the movie had just come out, and I was hyped without knowing anything about the story. So, I picked up the first novel. By the time Khloe and Kourtney passed by, I was reaching the end of the first chapter...

Primrose Everdeen. Two words have never had me so hooked. I bought the book, and that was that.

Katniss (that's the name of a future Kardashian, mark my words) Everdeen. The Girl on Fire. The Mockingjay. THIS is the strong, female role model I was talking about.

I don't want to ruin the books, in case any of the three people that read this blog have not read them, but basically Katniss is a badass. She is smart. She is strong. And, yea, she hunts with a freaking bow and arrow. That is awesome.

However, she's not perfect. At times, she is selfish for the sake of self-preservation. She makes mistakes. She gets angry. She is human. She is real. That is awesome.

She is unmistakably brave. She literally sacrifices herself for the sake of her sister. For the sake of many. She loves. She nurtures. She takes care of others, but, most important, she can take care of herself. Yea, there's two guys floating around in this trilogy, but, in the words of my girl KC she's "Miss Never-let-a-man-help-her-off-her-throne." She is the hero. That is awesome.

Three books dedicated to a strong woman. That is awesome. Why don't we promote the real-life Katnisses like that? The Hillary Clintons and Michelle Obamas and Joan of Arcs and Amelia Earharts and Rosa Parksssses and Alice Pauls and Leslie Knopes (she's real to me). The daughters, the sisters, the mothers. Put them on the same pedestal we've granted the Kardashians.

So, again, and it's the last time I'll say it, "thank you, Khloe and Kim and Kourtney."

come away little lamb, come away to the water
give yourself so we might live anew
come away little lamb, come away to the slaughter
to the ones appointed to see this through

Also, if anyone wants to go see the movie with me, I'm willing to rearrange my SUPER busy schedule to pencil you in. Just today I had to switch around my 5 o'clock sock-sorting to fit in a 4:30 IMAX screening. It was my second time to see the film in under 15 hours. Send help.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Deschanels

I was recently told, by a quiz at a bread bakery in San Francisco, that I'm a "Light Rye!" A "romantic idealist." I'll be damned if that touchscreen kiosk didn't hit the nail on the head with that one. Yes, I'm sarcastic, and I think that sometimes gives off a negative vibe. Deep down, however, I'm incredibly optimistic. I'm hopeful above all else. I get worried, surely, but I've almost lived long enough to know that things will work out. My friends are going to go out and do great things. I will figure my shit out. I'm not going to die alone. We will all be happy.

Last night, from 11:45pm - 4:26am, as I was trying to fall asleep, somewhere between wiki'ing John Ritter and Sofia Vergara, "Home" by She & Him (Zooey Deschanel singing songs with a guy, ok?) kept replaying over and over in my head. I don't know how I jumped there, considering the first song I got in my head was "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." And then I started to think of something to tweet about that song, like - Does that say more about the Devil or about Georgia? Luckily, by morning, after whatever was keeping me up had evaporated from the closet I call my bedroom, I realized that made little sense and wasn't worth tweeting.

Back to She & Him. To set the record straight, and I must, my membership in the Deschanel fan club falls almost completely in the Emily category. She's an incredibly gifted actress. She's beautiful. She's smart. She's funny. She's got her shit together.

Yes, I love New Girl, and that show is nothing without Zooey. Before that, though, I was not completely sold on her acting. Her site, HelloGiggles is fun and cute, but I think it can do a better job in promoting women. She's got that awesome retro-chic thing going on, but I don't think fashion is ever a reason to throw your complete and total obsession at someone. Again, that's me. Team Emily forever.

Ah, but the songwriting and the musicianship - girlfriend's won me over. I don't want this to turn into a diatribe about music on the radio today, but, fuck it, this has already turned into my Deschanel Manifesto (the hand-written copy sits next to my Lisa Frank candles, vegan incense, and watercolor portrait of Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Basically, She & Him brings something new to the music turntable while, at the same time, paying homage to everything that is great about the old. It's original, somewhat. It's sincere, refreshingly.

Back to "Home" and my romantic idealism - like I said, I want things to work out. I like happy endings. That's why I like to write. In real life, that's why I like to map out conversations with people in my head before I see them. If you could see inside my head, you'd see me trying to "naturally" steer the conversation to certain talking points that I've already prepared so I can land a joke off-the-cuff. It's so completely on-the-cuff, you wouldn't even believe.

Back to "Home" and romantic idealism - basically, Zooey sums everything up in a just under five minutes. The "romantic" "ideal." Finding someone that is your everything. Every lyric is perfect. So, yea, right now, I'm going to write out every perfect fucking lyric. Deal with it. I have to get this off my chest and out of my brain so I can sleep tonight...

California is a great big nation of one
They never knew what they wanted 'til it was already gone
What do they do with the light in the morning when they wake up alone?
They just go home
They just go home

Yea, and maybe it's just this weird mood I've been in recently, but I do get the sense that California and its people kind of only look out for themselves. In a way, I like that. I like being alone. I thrive there. I, however, don't like being lonely. You can be alone without being lonely. You're not lonely at home - with a friend, a lover, a honey butter chicken biscuit. You get it. 

You're the nicest, nicest boy I've ever met and then
I think about you, then I think about you again
And again

Holy shit, yes. Everyone has been here. If you like someone, and especially if you love them, they are the nicest, greatest, shiniest, best thing to ever happen to you. They don't even have to know you exist, sometimes. Your whole world becomes about them. Everything reminds you of them. It's overwhelming in a good way. A really, really good way.

Why don't we just sit and stare and do nothing?
Nothing at all for a while
I like the way you smile

There's that quote from Juno that's like "find someone who thinks the sun shines out of your ass" or something. They love you. You don't have to do anything, and they love you. Everything you do is perfect. Even solar incandescence emanating from your crapper. Love is blind. Tried and true.

I could be your state, and I could be your nation
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It's a comfort to me

Your state? Your nation? Where you belong. Where your heart holds citizenship. Incredible.

I could be your welcome, I could be your greeter
I could be sweet, and I could be sweeter
I want to be where your heart is home
I want to be where your heart is home
I want to be where your heart is home
It's a comfort to me

Simple. It sounds so cute when she sings it, but when you feel that way, it's not cute. It's mostly painful, again, in a good way. You "could" be all these things, but really you "will" be all these things. You "want" all these things, but really you "need" them. What's only implied here is that, when it works, everything is reciprocated. They need and want you too! What! That's got to be one of the best feelings inside the human condition. 

I want to see you with the light in the morning
There's never been such a beautiful warning to me, to me

Whereas before, the light in the morning meant you were alone, now it's a "beautiful warning." I die.

And then it repeats, and depending on my mood, I'm smiling like a fool with the windows rolled down or a blubbering mess with the blinds drawn.

Now, certainly this ideal isn't as easy to achieve in real life as it is in romantic comedies and Jane Austen novels. However, I think it feels a whole lot better in real life than it does vicariously through characters on a screen. But that's how I hope to make a living one day, so you better buy into that shit. 

Sorry for vomiting all over everything. Words.

Friday, March 16, 2012


So, I was just watching  New Girl this week, and one of the storylines LITERALLY played out like scenes from my own life.

First watch:

Now, last semester, my roommates and I developed a web series in which the characters were just dramatized, fictionalized versions of ourselves. But I have to say the line between real and not is pretty freaking narrow.

The character "Barbara," aka me, played out like this:

and finally...

(Side note: we wrote four episodes of that web series, shot two, and have one finished. We suck at acting, so don't expect to see these.)

Should I be upset that I am basically an obsessive, weird, douchey, absurd, male fictional character? No! Because trash furniture is the most disgusting thing, and everyone should know that it does not belong in a household where humans are present. 

And, while I'm on this soapbox:

1. Ketchup belongs in small amounts on your plate. It is not to be eaten straight out of the packet. It does not belong all dried up and chunky on the inside of the cap. It is not eaten off of a napkin. And it certainly does not belong on the table, chair, floor, or clothes. If that happens you should throw up immediately and then go take a shower in bleach.

2. Food trash does not go in a trash can without a bag in it. Seriously. If food touches the side of the trash can, unprotected, then the can should be burned. Immediately.

3. Silverware does not touch the table. Ever. There had better be a napkin in between your fork and the table. If not, put it on a sugar packet. Take that little paper ring off your paper napkin and rest it there. Otherwise, you might as well lick the table. If you do that, throw up immediately.

Don't get me started on spills and crumbs and toothpaste and drool... so help me.

And, yes, people's things belong in people's halves of the shelf and the dresser and the cabinet and the drawers and the room.


Was I supposed to take a different lesson from this whole thing? That maybe I should address the fact that I act like Schmidt. That maybe that is the problem, and not the other way around? That my behavior is so absurd it was fictionalized for the camera?

Oh, no wait, just finished watching New Girl, and Schmidt's personality actually saves the day. So, to everyone, everywhere - YOU'RE WELCOME.

On a completely different note... "Well, someone has to come in last." - Me, about my NCAA brackets. There's no delusions of grandeur here, my friends.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Liz Meriwether

First thing's first: Paley Fest is absolutely the greatest thing ever. Panels about television. Check plus plus, will do business again.

The New Girl panel was tonight. The show was created by Elizabeth Meriwether, who's sort of this chic mess. Who's sort of barely thirty years old. Who's sort of this really funny writer with like a hit television series and stuff.

So, on the ride home I was sort of in tears, almost sick to my stomach. I want to write for television. I WANT TO WRITE FOR TELEVISION.

Let's make it happen, people. I've been writing every day for a while now, but now it's time to WRITE every day.

So, this post was mostly for me, but I had to get it out there. I'm sure it will get worse these next two weeks. There's plenty of panels left to go to. In the mean time, back to No Strings Attached, another brainbaby of Liz Meriwether, you young, talented bastard.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mark McGwire

I, surprisingly, went right to bed two nights ago. A west coast miracle I tell you!

Last night, however, I was thinking about writing - what I am trying to do for money these days. When I was younger, I always said I wanted to be a doctor, there was a brief intermission where I was going to be an astronaut, but mostly, I was going to be a doctor. I was seriously considering it until about halfway through my college degree. When, one day, I realized that Scrubs was my favorite show because of the storytelling and not because of the medicine.*

*Some version of this sentence has been written on countless essays, cover letters, applications, blah, blah, blah - I need a new thing.

Anyway, a lot of the writers I admire tell stories of their past where they would write stories and plays in their rooms with their friends, and I don't remember doing anything like that. I mean, I've always liked to make people laugh, and I would try to tell stories to get someone to smile, but I never really considered that "writing."

But, then I remembered a time in fifth grade  where we had to create a piece of visual art by mixing pictures in magazines. I want to find the picture because I don't remember all of it, but I do remember two things about it: I had taken a photo of Mark McGwire and replaced his baseball bat with a giant toothbrush, and I replaced the feathers of a turkey with a pink bath loofah.


That's a fun word.

Well, we were supposed to write a story based on our picture, about a page long. I remember staying up until one in the morning writing seven pages front and back. I think the story was about some sort of obstacle, survival course. If only I'd turned it into a trilogy of books for teenagers, so that I could then sell the rights for the movie, so that Lenny Kravitz could be in it. Hunger Games would have had nothing on Loofah Turkey [Working Title].

Then, two years later, rather than writing a regular book report, I chose to write a puppet show for my Greek Mythology project that I had to perform in front of the class... and that is when I learned that I never wanted to "act" again, even behind a curtain and a popsicle-stick Medusa.

So, whether I believe I am a writer or not, I don't have to convince anybody that I'm not an actor.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Miley Cyrus

...Is who I'm listening to right now. Say what you will, but her Bob Dylan cover is infinite leaps, bounds, black holes better than Ke$ha's. Maybe you think that doesn't say much. Trust me, it does.

Again, I was watching Wings before falling asleep, and, good news, the intro gets infinitely better in the middle of the third season.

So, I was about to fall asleep, when I remembered I had an envelope in the car that I had originally planned  to mail last week. It was a handmade birthday card for a boy. A guy. A friend. A wishing-we-were-more-than-that friend. For years.

The card itself was harmless. It didn't have a fifteen page love letter or anything, though I could probably fill twice the pages with the conversations I've had with him in my head. I would have made a similar card for any one of my friends. I would have sent those. I guess, I thought, if the card traveled the 1400 miles to Texas, it somehow wouldn't be harmless anymore. Somehow, my feelings would be too obvious.

[I just spent eight minutes trying to come up with a metaphor for how the stamps on the envelope were like wearing my heart on my sleeve. Fuck it. Over it.]

I've put myself out there before, and, let's use the word "unlucky," but it's not that I wouldn't do it again. I've gotten past those unlucky spots. I know it can be done. I just think I'm going to hold on to these feelings for a while longer, while they're safely buffered by Arizona and New Mexico. I don't even feel like posting this, but it is what kept me up at night and it kind of sucked to write and I think that means some sort of something.

And I had to put two stamps on that envelope, a good ninety-cents due to this week's increase in postage costs. I would gladly spend that on this guy, so it's not a waste, but it's a good, unused envelope. So, if any of my friends receive a red envelope, probably filled with Samantha Mumba articles from Nick Magazine, know that you're worth it too, and I like you just as much. But I don't like you-like you, you know?

Liam Neeson

The thoughts that kept me up last night were thoughts that kept me up for nights and nights when I was nine years old.

So, there's a scene in The Phantom Menace, you know that film that marked the beginning of the end of the Star Wars franchise, anyway, there's a scene where Qui-Gon Jinn rolls a dice in front of Watto, that flying bug guy. Basically, if the dice stops on red, Qui-Gon Jinn gets to save Anakin's mom, and if it lands on blue, he gets to take poor, poor, terrible child actor Jake Lloyd.

Watto rolls the dice, and Schindler, I mean Qui-Gon, uses his Jedi mind power to stop the dice on blue. He saves Anakin, but this also means that Anakin has to leave his mother for ever. God bless Jake Lloyd's heart, he really tried to cry, and the scene looked like it was supposed to be super sad.


This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jackson Browne

Last night before going to bed... Well, before watching two hours of Wings before going to bed... That Tim Daly, man, always. so. intense.

Anyway, before Wings, I found this clip of Jackson Browne performing "Doctor My Eyes" in 1978. This is my favorite song of all time. Undoubtedly. This performance was amazing. My dad apologized for not taking me to his concert back in 1981 when I would have been -8 years old. Even still, I would have loved it. Thanks a lot, dad.

So, as I was finally drifting off to sleep, still upset with how terrible the Wings opening credits are, I started thinking about music. Music is cool. Everyone likes music, of some kind. You can't say that about a whole lot of things. What else can you say that about? Maybe cookies. But, to me, that's incredible. That is awesome.

Sure, there is plenty of debate about what is "real" music. It's subjective. I spent a whole semester with a record producer telling us why the music on the radio sucks these days. While I agree, I bet that the reasons every tween literally weeps during the opening notes of Justin Bieber's "Baby" are the same reasons I spent $250 on a ticket to see Adele in concert from the back corner of a basketball arena. Whether it's the lyrics, the guitar, the piano, the artist's haircut (that's me on Adele, anyway)... whatever. People love music, and I love that.

I am mediocre at a handful of instruments, and I can talk-sing better than most parrots. I wish I had the God-given talent to play guitar and piano like some of my friends, or play the drums half as good as my roommates. Even more, I wish I could sing remotely as well as my friends in high school. I was incredibly envious that they were in the elite choirs and school musicals, and I wasn't even brave enough to take the Chorus class with the football players getting their fine arts credit out of the way. There are plenty of things to be talented at, but I rank music pretty high up there, so you're welcome.

In the time writing this, I've replayed that Jackson Browne clip three times, each time I hear something new. If I listen to it in a week, I'll feel something new. If I listen to it in a year, I'll remember something new. I think it's stuff like that that draws people to music. So, whatever music you listen to, keep doing it. And to every musician, of whatever instrument, keep making it.

But, for real, why does the Wings intro suck so much? Anyone?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kelly Clarkson

I'm still trying to figure out my next writing project, as per my "alphabet days" a few months ago. For this week, though, I'm just going to write whatever keeps me up at night, which sucks for you because it's normally "sappy" and "deep" and "philosophical." Sometimes it's at length conversations I will have when I meet certain celebrities. Hope for these, these are funny.

Last night I kept thinking about the quote: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Spoken by Friedrich Nietzsche, but I am almost certain that I was thinking about that new Kelly Clarkson song. See, I told you this would get philosophical.

Then, I started thinking of all the times I was so embarrassed, I thought I was going to die. Everyone has been there, everyone has survived, most people move on. I'm working on it.

In fourth grade music, the teacher called on Marco, and either I was super eager to show everyone I knew the answer (probably) or I really misheard, but I thought he said "Barbara."So, in the middle of my answer, the teacher says, "That's right, but your name's not Marco." Fair enough. I don't even think my classmates cared, but I did. I still do.

In fifth grade, I was finally given my first chance to cantor a song for mass. I had been in choir for three years previous, but my singing was so terrible that I would never be allowed to cantor based on talent. Instead, masked by two legitimate voices of girls in the grade below me, both of whom would go on to join the elite choirs in high school, I was given the opportunity merely by showing up to practice every Tuesday and Sunday for three years. Of course, I announced the song at the wrong time, while the priest was sitting quietly on the altar. Needless to say, they sent music class Marco, who had a wonderful voice, to re-announce the song and cantor with us.

I have about twelve of these "traumas" that I return to about every other week. Obviously, I survived them. They did not kill me. Did they make me stronger? I'm still terrified of finding myself in similar situations, terrified of putting myself out there from time to time. I'm getting better. I used to replay the traumas every day, rather than every fourteen. Stronger, I guess.

There are other embarrassments, however, that I can't seem to shake - the times I did or said mean things to someone else. I am embarrassed at the way I acted, ashamed, really. Did these make me stronger? Yes, I am stronger because of these mistakes. I have learned from them, and I am so afraid of hurting anyone like that again, that I have changed my behavior. I have a long way to go, and I still mess up. I will carry the guilt with me, probably for always. I am not perfect. I will not be perfect. Perfect, no. Stronger, I guess.

Until tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the meantime...

So, even though only four people read this blog - two of them being my parents and one being the Prince of Swaziland who emails me weekly asking for just a few grand to make his trip to America to be with me. He seems nice enough, and not a lot has been going on in the romantic department out here anyway. I told him, though, that he has to wait for me to get a real job so I can scrape up the money.

Speaking of jobs, so far mostly quiet on that front, but I have some great people looking into things for me and sending out my resume. I'll be emptying trash cans in a production office before you know it.

In the mean time, I've been at home a lot. It's a small bungalow built for one that I share with one more. So far, so good though. There's even a tiny patio - by tiny I mean you can touch the fence from inside the kitchen door and get from one end to the other in four steps.

Not having a job has forced me to spend my time doing something - namely writing. I'm working on a Cougar Town script for a few fellowships and competitions. I don't think anything will materialize from it, but it gives me something to do - namely watch every episode of Cougar Town back to back. If you haven't seen the show, it starts back up on Valentine's Day. So, if your date doesn't think it's a good idea to stay at home and watch Courteney Cox drink wine, then you probably shouldn't be with him/her anyway... That reminds me, I need to ask Prince Swazi how he feels about the show. It could be a turning point in our relationship.

Alright, time to eat a hot dog and drink a tall can of Sweet Leaf. This has been my lunch for thirteen days in a  row. I just moved to LA, so I'm done trying new things for now.