Sub Life

That moment when you’re subbing a high school theater class in a repurposed church trying to coerce the outsider student to join in the class activities when suddenly you hear a noise behind you and turn around just in time to see the kid in crutches with a leg brace slip and fall and break his arm requiring you to wait patiently for a half dozen paramedics to arrive while you calmly continue “subbing” or whatever while the rest of the class is rubbernecking and naturally can’t concentrate until the kid is finally rolled out on a stretcher after twenty minutes so now that class proceeds as normal you then approach that outsider student again who promptly hands you a poem she’s been memorizing and asks you to check for mistakes as she delivers a very powerful performance explaining how “Anglos” (what I look like) negatively judge “Latinas” (what she looks like) as the rest of the distracted class poorly sings “Arabian Nights” in the background … is a moment that just happened to me. 

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I EXIST

Came in to sub and the receptionist said there was coffee and donuts in the teacher’s lounge. I went to indulge. In doing so another sub comes in from the same company I work for (we have matching lanyards) and I promptly told him about the free donuts. He responded in a sense that suggested he didn’t like donuts, to which I responded, “Who ARE you?” in a friendly, welcoming, nice-to-meet-you tone. Then HE responded, “It’s more for health reasons” to which I responded, “Oh so you think you’re better than me?!?” because I generally feel way to comfortable around people way to soon. Even so, that was the end of it, can’t remember how it fizzled out after that, but it did. Then… THEN… during lunch I’m sitting at the back table, alone, and he comes and sits next to me. Never looks me in the eye. Not even as he’s taking his seat to say “Hello person I’m sitting directly next to.” Stuck on his phone the whole time. For like a half hour. Doesn’t look at me once. What a dick. Right?!? Yeah.. .YEAH.. yeah.. WHO’S WITH ME!? WHO’S COMIN WITH ME?!?! CHAAAARGE!!! I’m fine.

Larger-than-average-size fish in pretty-average -size pond

Eating breakfast at a local restaurant in my hometown of Vallejo yesterday. Someone walks past the table and says, “Matt?” I look up. “Matt Larson?” Yeah…? “You do the comedy shows! I’ve been to a few of them. Thanks so much for bringing good shows to town. I’ve also been reading your restaurant reviews every Thursday.” Hey! Yeah! Thanks! Working on one right now! Hahha. We laugh, life goes on—THEN, after the moment passed, he comes back later with two mimosas, one for me and mum, and says “I finally saw your COIT commercial too!” Wow! Thanks! And I didn’t even recognize the guy. It was the most famous I’ve ever felt. And now? Now I’m back in LA…unknown….and all alone……

Leg Shake Movie Man

I was at the movies last night. Guy next to me was bouncing his leg, as people do, and was shaking my chair without realizing it. I was terrified to tell him to stop. It’s a confrontation—with a stranger! Silly to be nervous, but I was. Like, what’s he gonna do? Say “FUCK YOU” and start shaking harder without breaking eye contact? No. Still, my heart was racing. I started to try and convince myself that I liked it. “It’s kinda nice.” I thought as I sat with my chair shaking ever so gently. “Yeah, like a free massage.” I soon decided I hated it and wanted him to stop. To procrastinate the confrontation, I started bouncing my own leg obviously in his general direction to try and hint at him that the seats are connected and Newton’s laws of motion are still a thing. Then, suddenly, someone on the other side said TO ME: “Hey asshole quit shaking your leg!” Just kidding. Thank god. I’d have peed. Anyway, my leg shaking went unnoticed. I had to say something. ::deep breath. pause:: “Excuse me?” I delicately whispered, waving my hand vaguely in front of him. He didn’t respond. (DAMN). Here we go again. Louder whisper, “Excuse me?” and I tap his arm (woo! confidence! alpha male status achieved!!!) He looks over. “Could you stop your leg?” I said, gesturing toward my own. He does, looking apologetic. I felt immense relief, and was kind of embarrassed by how fast my heart was racing. Geez. Anyway, I settled, watched the movie, and that was the end of it. And this is the end of this.

Fortunate Unfortunate

Left my card at a bar last night. Fortunately I realized it just before I got home and had enough time to get back before they closed. Unfortunately I live in Sherman Oaks and the bar is in Long Beach which is a 45 minute drive no traffic. Fortunately I was driving a rental so I didn’t have to worry about putting all that extra mileage on the car. (Unfortunately a tree branch fell on my month-old car last week so it’s in the shop for days. Fortunately AAA is awesome insurance and took care of me with a rental car. Unfortunately after getting denied a Mustang convertible for an extra $17 a day I had to settle for a Toyota Corolla with Texas plates. Fortunately it has a built-in Hertz navigation system so I was able to get directions back to the bar as my phone was near death. Unfortunately I was really tired AND it was raining AND it was 1AM. Fortunately I got to the bar before they closed. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a parking spot. Fortunately I found one. Unfortunately, upon arrival, the bouncer wouldn’t let me in despite my plea and had to radio for assistance as I stood awkwardly in the rain. Fortunately I got in and was able to close out my tab at 1:45AM. Unfortunately I decided to tip the bartender $4.00 on a $6.00 tab because I wasn’t thinking clearly. Fortunately I got back to my car with enough phone battery to find a 24-hour donut shop. Unfortunately I bought 4 donuts for the ride back. Fortunately I only ate 2 and 1/5th of them. Unfortunately I tipped the donut lady $3 because I was so grateful they were open and I have no idea how they profit on these ridiculously cheap donuts. Fortunately the rental navigation system was able to direct me home as my phone had now died. Unfortunately I had donuts for dinner. Fortunately I made it home alive, all due to my offering to keep my tab open at the bar despite having never intended on ordering another drink just because the bartender seemed really busy at the time. Unfortunately karma probably isn’t real so all this was for nothing. Fortunately I have lovely people in my life that read these ridiculous ramblings and help give me purpose to live. Unfortunately I never found a good place to end the parenthetical so please forgive me for that…..)

Awww

Just had a heartfelt conversation with “Eric” from the SiriusXM help line. It started with talk of his minions and how they help him with his daily activities, and how they’re not for sale, and evolved to talking about the arts and how he should pursue voiceover work, and how many others have suggested the same thing to him. He lives in Minnesota so he feels there’s no reason to try as it’s SO the wrong place to do it, which is very true. But I told him that me, a complete stranger, believes in him. And he got all giddy, then I got giddy, and before we knew it we were giddy together. Fortunately this was only a phone call. I then gave him some craigslist hunting advice that he seems disinterested in, but still, his life may now be changed forever.

Life Lesson: It’s All About The Details

Had an important Skype call this morning with a director and producer (not a HUGE deal, BUT, still very important to present myself well). I woke up looking okay so I didn’t take a shower beforehand, the hair was still in tact. So I primped up a bit, put on a button up and kept the sweats. Thank god I kept the sweats and wasn’t taking advantage of the situation by literally sitting in my underwear. Thank god because, they asked if I owned boots. I had some on the shelf above and behind me. In the heat of the moment, I got up without thinking twice that the top half of me is in costume—pretty sure they saw my boxers—boxer briefs, actually, as I’m an adult now—they didn’t say anything. I sure wasn’t gonna mention it, though I was instantly aware what may have happened as soon as I sat back down … I remember thinking how unimportant pants would be for the call. I literally half-assed my outfit as half of my ass was hanging out of it, covered by boxer brief material thank the mythical lord. After the call I turned the webcam back on to recreate the incident and see what they saw … Note to future self: Don’t skimp on the details. Ever.

Man Day

The following is a description of my life over the course of the last two days. At least one person will read all of this, I know this for a fact, and that’s what gives me purpose. That and years from now I’ll read this and I’ll be able to reminisce about the those times which are these right now.

Years ago, my dear ol’ dad bought a two-bike motorcycle trailer. Studio quality. See, he and I would go riding together as a pastime of ours. He and his dad used to take big elaborate motorcycle trips together. He and I have done our fair share, but only to Lake Berryessa or Suisun Valley or Napa and back; nothing too extreme. So, he (must have) thought, “If I buy this motorcycle trailer, I could take my son on big elaborate trips to Tahoe, and Idaho and beyond, take our motorcycles with us and have giddy father son times.” He thought that exactly sans the word giddy.

So he bought it. ‘Twasn’t cheap. He brings it home one day as my mother and I give each other that look of, “We’re never gonna use this ever.” And dad and I maneuver it through the side gate to the backyard. On the way we notice our gas meter is in the way. No worries, let’s pick up the side of the trailer. “I can’t do it dad I need your help.” Music to a father’s ears. He comes over to help me. “Ouch,” we both say as we simultaneously pull muscles in each of our backs. Not really, but we would have if we kept trying. It was impossible to lift … He measured the width of the house … didn’t account for the gas main. Honest mistake.

After giving up I’m back in the house, bewildered about how to handle this new situation that my family has to deal with. This expensive burden on our lives that we didn’t need and will never use. Dad comes in the house shortly after, “Okay it’s in the backyard.” He was sweating, out of breath, and very relieved looking. His confidence had returned.

I don’t know how he got it in there. It was like.. lifting a car kinda heavy. But the embarrassment of the measurement mistake gave him the brute strength to overcome; like when a mother lifts a car off of her child who’s getting crushed underneath my father lifted that heavy trailer over a very sensitive gas main and didn’t fuck anything up, except his muscular system most likely. At the time he was probably 66 and really not in the best of shape, war vet and more.

So to store this giant thing, he used a “come-along”, whatever the hell that is, to hoist it up the side of our hill, and there it stayed, until today:

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Here’s a little more perspective on the steepness of the hill. Really dangerous actually..

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And here’s my dad’s method of hiding this outta sight outta mind all these years:

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It was there for at least 4 years, we’re not sure how long exactly as we’ve been blocking its existence out of our minds, but we never used it once. My dad, now 70, hasn’t been able to ride his bike for a couple years now. Physically he’s a lot older than 70 and, well, it sucks. Blame Vietnam, that accounts for most of it. But he thought if he bought this trailer it would inspire us to use our bikes more and do more fun things together. Pipe dreams in his condition. So sad … That, and, I really don’t wanna deal with a trip like that. Dear god that sounds awful. I’m happy with our short little trips. I gots things to do anyway!

As the years went on, an ongoing joke began to develop in our household. Whenever dad would complain about something I did wrong, or my mother or my sister, and went on about it a little too much, a quick vocal jab of “motorcycle trailer” would always end the conversation. We found value in it after all.

We made a deal with our local moto repair man to take the trailer off our hands and he was to come by this morning with a couple of guys to pick it up. He made this decision with my mother—yesterday. I had plans to write a story for a magazine that was due the previous day that I’d yet to start because writer’s block of course, but that didn’t matter to the parentals. NOpe. My day had now changed—as if I’d have started the story anyway, I choose to think I’d have been very productive, no matter—time to prep the trailer for departure.

I had dad show me the damage: all the shit I had to move (a bunch of metal stakes and a giant metal welding table on rusty wheels), which wasn’t much actually. Then he pointed to a tree we’ve had back there forever and said, “That’s gonna be in our way … We’re gonna cut it down anyway, so, I dunno.” Which was his way of asking me to cut it down. There was suddenly a lot to be done. I convinced him I could handle all of it alone and he went inside for more coffee.

I used a chainsaw, big branch cutters, a rake, did I mention chainsaw? It was nice to do something physical for a change that didn’t require mental angst. I finished everything just in time for nightfall. I cleaned up the whole area and look at all the tools I used!
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So manlike. I actually broke a sweat! And that never happens. Because I am a princess.

I finished just before nightfall and had to put everything away. In doing so, I accidentally knocked over a webster on a long stick that fell behind me onto my mom’s Cadillac. It made a loud noise that instantly made me hate myself. It hit the car right on the hood and I saw a mark that is most likely from what just happened. Wouldn’t come off either, permanent damage. Can’t REALLY notice though, so I haven’t told my mom yet. However, she is the one person I mentioned earlier that I know will read this, and may be reading this right now, in which case hey ma! Love youuuu…. Sorryyyy… don’t blame me blame the motorcycle trailer! This is all dad’s fault!! ………..and in case you know her personally and see her in person, please don’t mention this just in case she hasn’t read this and still doesn’t know. If she doesn’t read this then that’s what she GETS for not supporting her son by reading every single one of his daily novels.

I went to my childhood room to finish (and start) that story that was due. Somehow I ended up on my bed and fell asleep. I woke from my procrastination nap at 5 am. Just like college. Got nothing done and went back to sleep.

Morning.

Two guys in their 60’s and a kid in his 20’s show up 45 minutes late to get the trailer. Dad was exiled to the indoors, I was outside callin the shots as I am the reasonable one of the two of us. I told them how it was gonna happen, I warned them about how heavy it was and for all I knew it’ll come rolling down the hill at full speed and kill us all, I braced them all the the worst. I handed them some 2×4’s and some wooden poles to brace the bottom of the trailer as it comes down the hill, while I was going to stay at the top of the hill holding a rope tied to the top of the trailer, weaved between two redwood trees for pulley support. Then one of the guys said “Oh YOU wanna be up there and leave the old guys down here, huh?” He was right. So we switched. I showed him where to sit, brace his feet on the tree and hold the rope. Got the other two guys in position with the poles. I untied the trailer completely AND!!! It didn’t move. It was working! I rushed down to the bottom and grabbed my 2×4 in the middle of the other two guys—the most dangerous place in this whole job. Anyway, ’twas ALL my idea, and it worked beautifully, and my mom was there to watch, and later she said we couldn’t have done it without my ingenuity and I was like “aww thanks mom” and my dad was like “thanks my son” and I was like “thanks dad, and by the way your complaining rights are revoked for life”.

Me and the three guys got the trailer over the gas meter no problem and then it was out of our lives forever, a moment my mother and I thought would never come. I said to my dad, “look at all this space we have out here now” and he responded, “yeah, guess I oughta buy another trailer”…..

The guys that picked it up run a bike shop in town, I hopped in with one of em as my dad’s motorcycle was getting repaired so I had them take me with ‘em so I could drive it back. I rode his bike home and goddamn… if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before it’s like… amazeballs. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Up there with sex and roller coasters. Maybe a combination of the two. It’s a Harley Dyna or something like that. 1600 engine whatever. I dunno. But god it’s powerful. Every time I’d accelerate just a little it takes off and I feel like I’m gonna fly. I roar through Vallejo disrupting everyone’s peace and quiet in exchange for my own personal thrill. I’d start laughing at random points riding home as it’s hysterical how powerful this thing is. I can’t believe they’re legal.

Then I got dinner with two of my closest friends and their newborn baby. We ate sushi and hung out at the restaurant for 3 hours and 19 minutes. It was bliss.

Then I got home and finally finished that story that was due two days ago.

Then relaxed and got lost online for a while.

And now here I am.

And now here you are.

But that was then

THIS… is now.

Now this is now.

Actually all of this is then because it was here before you saw it.

Please forgive me.

i dreamed

I had a dream! Last night. Dreams never happen for me so it’s really exciting when I get them. Can’t you tell how excited I am?!? I rarely express emotion, so this is me ecstatic. Yyyep. Super stoked.

Since I’ve been home I’ve slept in sister’s bed thrice (she’s not here, she lives in Ireland). All three times I’ve dreamt. SO… now I need to buy a Tempur-Pedic bed. IF.. I wanna dream. And I do, so, damn. Hrmm. Meh, probly won’t buy it, might just steal hers. But my car’s too small to transport such a bed, hrmm. Hrmm. Hrmmmmmmm. (Her bed is Tempur-Pedic by the way in case you didn’t get that from this that I wrote thus far.)

First dream I can’t remember. Though I do recall waking up thinking, “I dreamt! OMG!” Second dream I THINK there were zombies, and I remember thinking in the dream “Kathy Bates should be here soon” and then BOOM: Kathy Bates walks right up to me as her squirrel-selling character in Rat Race, my favorite movie ever (Why? Because it’s great. “It’s a race!…. I’m vinning!” And Smash Mouth is in it.)

Last night I dreamt that I was interviewing people to work for me. Not sure on the job, but I needed to hire someone. For some reason it was a group interview and we were in a bus. One girl decided to drive the bus. She was annoying and didn’t take me seriously because I try to make friends with everyone so she saw me as such, rather than a figure of superiority. I’d tell her how wrong she was driving and she’d snap back with some asshole remark.

Other things happened that I can’t remember.

At the end of the day I thought to my dream self, “I should interview these people first before taking them on a field trip so I don’t get stuck with irritating people. Live and learn.” I thought to my dream self while dreaming in my dream. Then the driver girl started talking about the job as if she’s got it already and I had to tell her that she doesn’t listen and is hard to work with then she threw a fit and started overreacting and I was like “SEE?!? THIS is what I’m talking about..” She was upset, couldn’t take the hint, didn’t get the job, and I felt super important.

I need to hire someone now to feel that way in real life.

I’ve had friends work for me at my comedy show, and I paid them just so that I didn’t feel bad for ordering them around.

I need to hire a stranger, that doesn’t know my personality, and will see me as a boss.

THEN I’ll matter.

I’m not crying.

I’ve just been cutting onions!

I’m not crying.

I’m just thinking about.. someone you don’t know… who is dyin’, that’s right dyin’.