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.
Just got a call from a blocked number. I always answer those cuz, ya never know, could be the FBI or something. To my surprise there was a person on the other line who introduced himself as “John” which I felt was a lie. He said, “I’m feeling depressed, can you tell me a joke to cheer me up?” I was kinda freaked out. Heart began racing as it felt like a prank phone call, or worse—someone’s life depended on my telling a good joke. Without hesitation I went with one of my go-to street jokes (as a comedian people spontaneously ask you to tell them a joke at any given moment—some comics hate this and get frustrated responding “I don’t tell you to do YOUR job when you’re not working” or something unfunny like that—I’ve grown to expect it. I’m generally eager to please so I come through for them, but never use my own material in such situations as that’s way too dangerous. Anyway, my joke worked and I heard both “John” and a now-revealed friend of his start laughing. I felt a sigh of relief. Then I asked if he knew me, he said no. I asked how he got my number, he said, “This is a comedy club right?” My number is attached to the Yelp page of a comedy show I sometimes produce in the Bay Area, so, I was no longer fearing for my life at this point. Naturally he demanded another joke, for which I was readily prepared. They laughed again, said thanks and hung up. I now consider the possibilities of a call-in comedy hotline. “Need a laugh? Call this number!” It could save lives.. If anyone wants to do all the work to make this HA-tline happen, please do and give me an inspiration credit on all official paperwork.
This is purely speculation, but also common sense, really, to me.
I used to tell people, “I take a thousand photos, so hopefully one of them turns out alright.” With years of practice I’ve narrowed it down to maybe 10 or so at a time, and yes 1,000 was hyperbole.
There are some people that always look like themselves in photographs. It seems they simply cannot take a bad photo! If you hate those people, keep reading.
For many people, when they know a photo is coming they get abnormally self aware to the point that they end up making a face that they’d otherwise never make in their lives. When a camera isn’t around, we’re more or less living in the moment, not concerned with our facial expression. But suddenly, there it is! Camera in 1…2… panic! umm.. half smile, don’t squint your eyes, hands behind your back—AHHHH and I blinked. Result: awful photo. Moment ruined. Experience forgotten.
This is why many people can’t act. Sure you can behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances, but put a camera a foot away from your face and all of a sudden you forget how to be human and start thinking about your facial expression instead of viscerally experiencing the moment. You try and indicate what you’re feeling by changing your face accordingly to how you think it should look, and when you try and do that you look totally fake. Why? Because you’re faking it! Facial expressions happen naturally, without thinking about it, which is near impossible for some people to remember when there’s a camera about to snap.
As a former introvert and chronic head case, I’d get anxiety before taking a photo, just knowing it’s going to come out terribly because they always do! I’d always look unnatural because I was making a face, not living in the moment, but I could never understand why they came out so ugly when I’ve been told my whole life I’m “so handsome.” So I stooped to doing extreme smiles and goofy expressions that would mask my self-consciousness. “Yeah it’s a bad photo, but look at how much I don’t care by this moronic expression I chose!” Over the years I’ve gotten over it. And I think I know how you can to..
When posing for a photo, don’t think about how your face looks, think about how you’re feeling.
Think about an interesting emotion (excited, paranoid, skeptical) and FEEL that instead of trying to SHOW it. Maybe even think about particular events or people in your life when the camera gets ready that’ll result in the right expression, have a couple of those you can go to in a moment’s notice and forget the camera is there (despite looking right at it)—Bring out the actor in you just for a snapshot moment (of 15 as we are all so snap happy) and I guarantee your photos will take a turn for the mediocre, as opposed to the god awful. Happy Instagramming!
TL;DR— It’s more about how you feel, not how you look.
TL;DR— It’s all mental. Get out of your head, just for the moment!. If impossible, meditation can help with that.
Imagine a word of phrase that you’re about to say at the camera and just hold it for a moment.
Look at the camera and imagine you’re looking at insert someone you love.
Fantasize about being on vacation, or living your dream job, or driving your dream car, then hold that feeling.
Judge the camera—you like it, but you think it’s up to something.
You don’t always have to smile.
If you know yourself well enough, show your personality by feeling who you are. (wow that’s deep—yeah! If I had a dime..) hey! you’re still reading. that’s very sweet of you.
There’s a special place in hell for those who order every last remaining everything bagel from Noah’s by phone, whereas here I am in person, looking at them all, unable to grasp, settling for another. This place in hell I speak of is full of only the plainest bagels to be found; unfortunately Jews don’t believe in hell, and as an Agnostic Jew I don’t believe in anything.
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.
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…..)
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’.
Now that I have your attention…
I was treated to a professional Thai-style massage in San Francisco yesterday by my sister and mum, sister’s two friends joined us and we all got massages (separately).
Filling out the info before we went in I had to circle the areas of my body I’d like them to focus on, as you can see below, and I then prepared for the best damn Thai massage of my life:
Unfortunately I was then partnered with … A MAN. Just kidding. And no I did not give them that perversely circled sheet of paper. But I did waste the paper just to take that photo. When I ripped it out the masseuse almost took it from me, after which who knows of the possibilities! ..
Thing about massages for me … I’ve had maybe 3 professional massages in my life. I’ve lucked out every time in that the person touching me was one that I was physically attracted to (because I see the beauty in everyone. (HA! Just kidding….just kidding actually, I kind of do) But I don’t know… I just enjoy it more when it’s a stereotypically sexy lady doing it. Because I’m disgusting. But seriously, it makes a difference. I’ve never been massaged by a man though so perhaps I’m missing out. Aaaand thus far I’m okay with that.
Once a girl I met in life, who told me she was a professional masseuse, gave me a massage. I asked for one thinking it’d be a great excuse to get together, because I’m an idiot. She gave me a discount, I was expecting to hang out after, but then she left. She WAS interested, even after seeing me topless, but now I was a “client” and she has a rule against that. Talk about a backfire… haven’t seen her since.
Back to the spa place.. My sister got partnered up with some guy who looked like Mowgli from the Jungle Book, I got… a very sexy lady!! WOOHOO! I felt like the luckiest boy in the …room…
For strength of the massage I circled “4” on a scale of 1-5. Haven’t had a massage in a while and I wanted to get my money’s worth! er…my mom’s money’s worth..
Sexy massage lady walked me into a cubicle of sheets and instructed me to change my clothes. She left me alone, I got ready. She came back, told me to lie on my stomach and she immediately got to work.
First thing I noticed walking into the stall were two pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling. She used those to balance her body as she began violently jamming her heels into the top of my shoulders. The pillow that was supposed to be under my chest was too far down and the face pillow I was using was a bit off center. With her full weight on my trapezius area I felt my head and torso begin to bow, awkwardly, and yeah it hurt, a lot, i even made very faint moaning sounds like a baby sheep. This is when I thought to myself: “I SHOULD HAVE CIRCLED 3…. next time… definitely 3.” And I know I could have said “Hey sexy lady, ease up, I’m a weakling,” but I wouldn’t dare admit defeat, especially in front of a girl. Because I’m a stubborn man with a false sense of pride. Or something. I don’t know. Thanks for reading.
She stopped finally and I adjusted, it was okay after that. Though about 18 times I thought “3!!! DAMN ME!!! AHHH.. maybe 2 next time..”
I was then instructed to lie on my back. At which time I noticed the door curtain was halfway open—I felt so exposed! I said nothing. She kept touching my body. It was good. I recommend it. She kept wrapping her body around me and stretching muscles I never knew I had. It made me think of inventing a new sorta thing called a “cuddle massage” or something.. where the person is cuddling you as they massage you. She was kinda doing that, then I started to get.. excited, and now I’m getting a massage while thinking about baseball and cold showers and then Austin Powers and then the fembots… not helping…
She propped me up into a sitting position. I was trying to sit cross-legged but my body has never been able to do that, so she said I could stretch my legs forward…through the half-opened curtain…awkwardly… I now felt especially exposed. Especially when another masseuse had to step over my bare feet and legs. Fortunately there were no bystanders or public viewing windows like those people who do Crossfit for the whole world to see—I can’t imagine working out to an audience of passers-by… “Hey everyone! See me at my worst…”
The massage was over and she whispered, “Thank you for coming.” and left. No hug?
Then it was over and nothing funny happened after that.
(The photo below is merely for advertising purposes. In conjunction with the title I think it’ll help get more views.)
(I searched for “sexy lady” and that was the first image that came up …. then something else came up .. then something came… just kidding! Just kidding……. just kidding *angel emoji*)