I am hero. 

Unique chain of events today led to me potentially saving this dog’s life tonight. Who am I kidding … I saved its life! I AM A HERO. I didn’t wanna do it. I was cold and hungry, much like this dog was when I found it walking outside Chick-fil-a on Sunset Blvd. (busy area). I had my to-go order in hand, on my way to the car, free from responsibility! Until I reluctantly stopped to pick up little doggy. It moved slow and tried walking briskly away from me. Its pursuit of escape failed miserably. I lifted him with one arm, food and drink in the other, and prayed the little guy didn’t pee on me. Didn’t. Went to the nearest table I could find which just happened to be in an area with 40mph winds and some crazy guy who was talking to himself. I called the number on the dog’s caller, “My Daddy” was the owner’s name, and left a message, sent a text, and he finally called back, desperately grateful and said he’d be there in 5 minutes. The dog shook in fear every 7 seconds, despite my soothing petting and happy falsetto voice. Still didn’t pee thank god. Meanwhile I took the disgruntled photo below and collected the following quotes from the crazy guy whom I successfully avoided eye contact with: “You’re sinners!” He then spat violently on the ground. “You’re a loser you’re not anything. Look at that big fuckin nose. Looks like a duck.” Don’t think he was talking to me … profound stuff … anyway the owner finally showed up. He said the dog is 15 now and he had it since it was 2 months old (which I assume he said in order to prove to me he’s been a good owner for the last 14 years and 10 months). The crazy winds knocked down something in the yard allowing the dog to escape. I didn’t hint at any expectation of reward, but as soon as the conversation lulled he said he’d give me free weed at a dispensary he owns.. Great.. SO much better than money….. (seriously 😎👌) Anyway … chain of events that led me to that moment: 
• On a film set all day that finally wrapped at 6, then we went to drinks and took our sweet time doing so. 

• Show up at Chick-fil-a and the drive-thru was CLOSED!!! Which never happens ever. 

• Park and get in line, which of course is super long cuz closed drive thru, and stand in line in heavy wind for way too long. 

• Naturally as soon as I order I notice the drive thru is now open, and when I leave with my food the line is 1 person long … 
…and it all timed out perfectly for me to walk by this dog as I left. 
In retrospect I should have taken a friendlier photo, but in the moment I was uncomfortable, scared of crazy preacher man, and annoyed at having to be the one stuck doing this good deed … and hungry! I’ve hesitated to do this in the past and this is the first time I’ve actually ended up calling the number on the collar and waiting with the dog. Such a risk, getting involved with a stranger’s life! But, I reunited a family member, ate cold Chick-fil-a, and may potentially get some free drugs. Plus, look at all this quality time we’ve spent together! I can’t believe you read all this!! You may have lost track of time … if so, forgive me. Quick, look at the time! Oh no you’re late!! Sorryyyyyy!!!! To the rest of you, happy pooping.  

 

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. 

Why Some People Are Not Photogenic

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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.

TL;DR—Tips:

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.

Hell…

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.Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 6.35.10 PM.png

Mr. Larson

Subbing at a high school, sitting alone in the classroom during one of the teacher’s off periods. Mindin’ my own damn business. When suddenly … SUDDENLY … I hear from the hallway: “Mr. Larson?!?”

I’d subbed there before, in the classroom just next door actually. It’d been a few months. Thought I was long forgotten, though I was there for four consecutive days.

“Mr. Larson’s here!” some kid exclaimed as he jogged toward me with a smile only wider than his outstretched arms. 10 seconds ago I was peacefully browsing Reddit on my phone in a comfortable office chair. Now? I’m hesitantly reciprocating affection to some 10th grader looming over me for the most awkward hug in the world. He runs off to get his friends.

In the distance I hear “Mr. Larson” spouted several times. A girl runs out and says “OMG!” and tells the other students not to tell Jamiroquai (name changed to protect student’s identity), they said not to tell him because he still talks about me almost everyday.. weird..

Anyway they all go to class and I’m alone again.

5 minutes later three vaguely familiar faces come in and I get an unexpected group hug. “Hey guys…” I said, turning back on to teacher mode and getting my mind of the addiction that is Reddit’s front page. They all start talking at once, I cut them off “Shouldn’t you be in class?!?” to which one of them responds, “Our teacher literally said: If you’re done with your work you can either play on your phone, do other classwork, or go see Mr. Larson.” Woah. GREAT. Now we’re hanging out. Which was fine actually, they’re good kids and it was fun being cool in high school for the first time in my life.

They left. Next class came in and I was totes confident that I’m the coolest sub they’ll every experience.

I let them watch a family friendly movie on Netflix, meanwhile two other students kept conjuring up conspiracy theories connecting me to the illuminati, meanwhile other students kept asking questions about my beard such as how long I’ve been growing it, pointing out the odd white patch you’ve all consciously ignored while talking to me—not all actually, most of you feel the need to remind me that it’s there, just like the high schoolers—and they even asked HOW I grew my beard to which I responded: by doing absolutely nothing, of course.. that’s the only way I seem to get anything done *sad bear meme*.

Long story short: I’ve had worse days.

From March 31 ‘14, got 74 likes on facebook omg:

My parents are getting some work done on their house. One of the company’s employees was left alone, finishing up. When he was done, the rain began, he planned to take the bus home. I drove him home instead. He said he’s from Guatemala and hasn’t been home in 9 years. So on the way to his place I gave him my phone so he could scroll through photos I took of a trip to Guatemala last year. He laughed at some of them… Then he started crying hysterically and awkwardly hugged me and wouldn’t let go… Just kidding, but he did laugh and was happy to see them. As the kid of the owners of the house he’s working on, and having just leisurely traveled to his homeland for fun, as he’s doing manual labor in the rain bussing it home… I felt SO better than him. JUST KIDDING! Sheesh.. He actually seemed like a much happier person than me. I was jealous. I ripped my phone away from him and said NO MORE FOR YOU! Just kidding.. He handed it back graciously and said something I couldn’t understand. I laughed as if I did understand, he thanked me for the ride and left. Fortunately I stopped the car before he got out. But then I stepped on the gas when he was halfway out and said “AMERICA” as maniacally as possible—just kidding. Very nice guy. Forgot to ask his name. It was more of a spiritual connection. Now I return home to my now cold coffee and House of Cards s1ep7… “Are you not entertained?!” -Noah. “I’m okay you’re okay.”-some ’90s band. Are you still reading this? I love you.

From May 29 ‘14, got 19 likes on facebook omg:

Our facial expressions are so.. what’s the words.. in sync! Okaaay maybe his is a little more … in sync … than mine. (That’s Joey Fatone (from Dancing With The Stars (also from 90’s boy band N’Sync (the one with Justin Timberlake). He’s pretty famous n stuff, much more than me, except right now!! Because more of you know me than him. He actually asked ME to take this picture.‪ #‎lies‬)

Added on Tumblr post date (right now):

I was never a big N’Sync fan because I thought that it wasn’t cool to like a group of attractive teenage boys who sang and danced in unison. And it wasn’t. But now that I’m 30 and have listened to Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”, my crossover song that allowed me to appreciate pop music instead of just 90’s and earlier rock, I can accept, instead of reject, a poppy boy band song when it comes on the XM Radio station I’m listening to. Still not buying their album, but “Bye, Bye, Bye” was a great song, with an easy dance…

When I met Joey I thought shortly afterwards about what a perfect last name he has for a musician. “Fa” as in “do-re-me-FA…” COMBINED WITH “tone” which, duh, refers to sound. I told that to someone and they separated the words differently… “Fat” and “one” which is perfectly awful because he had puffier cheeks than any of the other four guys. By America’s awful standards out of the 5 guys, HE was the “fat one” and his last name is “Fatone” … What are the fuckin odds. He must still shake his head about that. However I still prefer my original observation of it being a combination of “Fa” and “tone”.. STILL.. what are the odds? Just a perfect name. Lovely guy too, I didn’t even have a scene with him and he still took the picture with me.. I wonder if it aired.. I should update my resume… The show was called “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand” or something Fresh Princey like that…

From Oct. 3 ‘14, it got 140 likes on facebook omg:

First day as a sub today. Taking the CBEST 6 years ago finally paid off! Even though, it wasn’t required with this company… I made them call me Mr. Larson, hahhah.. But it was a fancy private school where they call their teachers by their first name, so then I felt like a pompous ass. One kid asked to go to the bathroom and I said “I’ll allow it.” Nobody laughed. Except me. Ahhh.. Can’t wait for more captive audiences. But man! Donut, breakfast burrito, coffee included! I felt like I was on set with craft services, but instead if hangin ‘round all the directors and producers, I was with their kids instead…I consider this a step in the right direction. Are you STILL reading this??? You’re such a good person. Lemme know who you are and I’ll put you in my will.

A miniaturized version of me is currently in a display case outside of Uniqlo at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. You can go see it if you’re in town! Pretty cool I think. I was walking by the store in San Francisco a couple months ago (as I get all my pants there, so totally great they be) and I saw some kind of photoshoot going on. I’m much more confident than I used to be so I casually approached the woman working the booth and I was like “Hey….what’s goin on?” She giggled and started undressing for me in public, which would have been weird had she actually done that, but she DID tell me to come back the next day at noon and she’ll squeeze me in (to the photo line, not her body) despite their having already fully booked these photoshoots. I felt so charismatic. The next day I went back, they fitted me up in some of their fancy clothes, I walked into a big stall with about 50 Canon 5D (or something expensive like that) cameras all around me, I posed and they all flashed at once. *FLASH* (that was my impression of all the cameras flashing (imagine jazz hands as I say it in a loud whisper…*FLASHHH* see?) (and in case you’re wondering, yes it was awesome)). Afterward I looked at the photo and exclaimed, “I hate it!!! Can we do it again???” And we did…………. *FLASHH* I still hated it but didn’t wanna be “that guy” and reveal my flaws in front of strangers. They said they’ll 3D print my image and put it on display in the store, and they did! It was supposed to be in SF, but it’s in LA…if you didn’t get that from the first sentence of this post—you may have forgotten, as that first sentence was oh so long ago. In the photo you’ll notice a name tag with my full name and job title on it. Had I known that it would be in LA instead of SF I would have put my job title as “greatest actor ever that you should always cast always” but oh well. I get to keep the figurine after the holidays; I’ll give it to the parents so it’s like I’m living there again. They can talk to it and tell it all their stories, and it won’t be distracted on an iPhone as they do! More photos below if you give a care. (I hate that phrase “I don’t give a care.” It just sounds soo….Christian….” Photos below if you give a goddamn: 

So jealous of the figurine as it never has bad hair days:

Closeup. I mean.. it’s pretty legit:

I put this on Instagram and used the caption: “I’ve got my back.” It got 27 LIKES!!! That’s sadly a lot for me:

Endblog. Like endgame, but for blogs.