How To America

Telemarketers have begun purchasing local phone numbers to call you from, disguising themselves as a neighbor to increase the odds that you’ll answer the phone. I used to enjoy answering calls from unknown numbers. I’d think, “Wow, it could be anyone! Even Eddie Murphy with a wrong number!!!…” But now, that excitement has devolved to surprise (from the phone ringing) to temptation (noticing the number is *gasp!* unknown!) to reluctance (answering the phone anyway against your best interest) to disappointment (hearing a telemarketer on the other line) to immediate retaliation (explaining this “local number” system to the telemarketer before he has a chance to get a word in) to intentional annoyance (continuing the discussion without pausing for discourse while being fully aware that he was not interested in what I was saying nor was he aware that’s what’s been happening nor did he care it was happening yes he did care to hang up no he couldn’t because that’s bad customer service yes I was aware of this and kept going anyway yes he probably agreed with me no he didn’t admit it yes he begrudgingly sped through his closing “hope i helped answer your questions call ***-***-**** have a lovely day” and such and yes I felt like I wasted his time and yes I’d do it again as he wasted my time first and that’s how you America). #XMRadio

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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…..)

Why Kids Are The Best People

Preschool. And me. Together. For the first time in… 26 years?

Age range was between 4 and 5. I thought I could handle it. I thought right. However some of the things the regular teachers had to do were definitely out of my comfort zone (i.e. underwear full of shit and … just that, really).

Fortunately I was one of three teachers in the room and really just supervised throughout the day.

As soon as I sat down when the day began a little girl walked over to me with a smile only bigger than her outstretched arms and exclaimed in the most trusting and gleeful manner possible: “Can I have a hug?” as she was walking toward me. It was hardly a question. It was GOING to happen, according to her. My first impulse: Don’t touch the children! My second impulse: Don’t make them feel unaccepted!! We hugged. Then I got arrested. Noticing her hug a young boy followed her lead and approached me the same way. I hugged him as well then got arrested a second time.

Kids are nice. I realized that kids at this age are probably the nicest version of people that we as a species have to present. Thus far, generally, people have been nice to them their entire life. Wherever they go they’re often met with smiles and positivity from strangers, and usually only exposed to happy things on TV. But they see people as a collectively nice group of animals (which is not at all true, thought I like to think most of us are and it’s just the meanies that get all the news media attention making us nicies think we’re outnumbered when we’re not, how mean of them!!). But to kids? We’re all pretty nice. Think about making eye contact with a random child out in the world. In many cases you’ll smile or make a funny face if you have a soul that is. Now think about making eye contact with a random stranger out in the world. Usually we look away immediately, pretend it didn’t happen or sometimes give a slight head not to communicate “I’m not afraid of you please don’t kill me”… my mother always told me “Just smile.” Yeah, easy for her to say. I, unfortunately, am not a lovely lady. A smile from me to a criminal-type would definitely be perceived as a threat of some kind.

These kids have yet to be exposed to how rude and mean people can be to each other; they have no concept of race and are completely free from prejudice. Makes me wonder when that all officially changes.. history class? The People’s History version that is.. a book which I’ve yet to get through the first two chapters of as 1. it’s so awful what “morals” this country is founded upon and 2. reading is hard. I need to make time for it. I have plenty of time to read, never do. My bookshelf embarrasses me every time I look at it. fuck my bookshelf. I hate it. For now. Until I read everything on it which at this rate will be in 600 years. C’moooon science. Keep me alive ’til then.

Some of the kids were mean to each other without realizing it. Saying someone couldn’t play with them because, “He never listens to the rules!” or “I’m Elsa and she’s the other one and there’s no more princesses she can be!” which are legitimate reasons to exclude, but to which I responded “If you’re playing a game where not everyone in your group can participate then you need to find a way to include everyone or pick a different game”—a moment that certainly changed all their lives for the better. A life lesson they’ll never forget. Yes I’m sure of it.

I get why people teach. Especially at this age. So much love that goes around. I found myself wanting for the kids acceptance. When I didn’t get it, like, when I come back into the room after taking my lunch and they all don’t go “YAAAY!!” yeah, it hurt a little. Reminded me of when I was actually in preschool……..at time at which I have no memories because I obviously blocked them out. Wait. One memory. Naps. Ahhh naptime.. I was wishing for that today. Jobs should have naps. 30 minute napbreak after 60 minute lunch. ThAt’s how life should be.. I mean, we’re all still children, really. Just look at Congress.

Strangest quote of the day: While swinging (on the swing (at recess)) a kid said to the next kid waiting, “Do you want me to peel my skin off???” He said it about a dozen times. Finally some other kid responded, “If you really want to..” while looking down, playing in the sand. That was weird. and graphic.

Also I went to get lunch and saw this storefront, as pictured below. Yeah free country and all, but the school’s been there for 36 years. This place seemed rather newish. Not sure how I feel about this being in walking distance of a preschool.. Actually I’m quite sure—I’m against it. Am I gonna do anything about it? Nope. Is anyone? Def not. Are the kids going to be traumatized by it? Pfshh no… Have they seen worse things on YouTube? Probably definitely. Will they get a little taste of culture by looking at this storefront and grow up with a greater sense of acceptance for things they don’t understand? I’d like to think so. Should this store be located in walking distance of a preschool? I’m not against it…

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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’.

Too Many Things

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There’s too much entertainment. Too much! I can’t keep up.. Too many TV shows especially. Movies I haven’t seen I can deal with, but catching up with 7 seasons of Lost and 5 seasons of Mad Men and 3 seasons of Game of Thrones … that’s like a year’s worth of free time right there. I went on a date with a girl once and all she had to talk about were the shows she watched. She literally went home from work and binged on Netflix until she passed out to wake the next day and repeat, unless it’s the weekend in which case more Arrested Development—a series she’d seen all the way through at least three times. All I can remember from that date—YES a Tinder date and stop judging! It’s the new norm. Get with it.—all I remember is her obsession with TV and her oddly pale skin, like she hadn’t seen the sun in 30 pilot seasons or something..

Now….I know there’s some of you out there that can relate to this girl. I’m not judging, BUT… it’s just… so much time! In retrospect I do waste a LOT of time that could be better spent watching something that I can later converse with other human beings about, but my scattered constant procrastination habits allow me to do nonproductive things while still feeling like I’m about to be productive even though I’ve just spent all day playing pool with foreigners via iPhone. I guess you win this round binge watchers.

It’s just too much of a commitment. I know it’d be good for me to watch some of these shows; I’ve had people start conversations with me by saying things like, “Have you seen Downtown Abbey?” and I’ll be like “I think it’s Downton, not town,” and they’ll be like, “Yeah! Downton Abbey, you’ve seen it?” “Nope…” “Oh…” Then silence because the conversation is now over.

….

Someone needs to create a sort of “Cliff Notes for TV Shows” thang where they compile all the main points of a series into a lengthy one-stop movie, or give an episode guide where if you “watch these 12 episodes you’ll at least be able to hold your own in conversation.” I have no intention of making this happen so please, steal the idea and do it for me and others of my kind.

Until then, I’ve seen all of Breaking Bad and Firefly and Lucky Louie. That’s about it. And I’m all caught up with Louie, Shameless, House of Cards and Homeland. So please talk about those shows with me so I can feel more like an insider.

Livin’ For Likes

Love/hate simultaneous relationship with social media I have. I guess that’s the only way to describe it. I mean…. I love likes. LOVE… likes.. like, omg. You see you have a bunch of facebook notifications and you’re like: yesssssss life is goooooood… today… in this very moment… until 5 minutes from now when you have no new likes 😦 Meanwhile I hate that these likes serve as such validation in my life. But it is. I neeed approval. Obviously. I’d like to say I don’t, and don’t care, and fuckit, but that’s a lie, for anyone really. So many hipsters who say “facebook is…” I don’t know what they say exactly, but they’re certainly against giving two shits about social media presence. They’re too busy living freely away from the constant distraction of what and where to post.. assholes, actually enjoying their lives…. the old-fashioned way anyway..

It’s gotten to the point for me where I feel the need to document every goddamn thing I do. I don’t actually do it, but I feel the need. There are some family members that look for things I’m doing on the regular so I use them to justify putting my life out there so much. I hate that I have to justify it but I feel like I do! I feel it’s so dumb to care so much about something so realistically meaningless. But it means something to me, getting support and positive feedback and snarky comments on things that I’m doing.. I dunno.. helps keep me going. Helps me enjoy life on a very interesting level. The iPhone first came out about 8 years ago…. 8 years ago when you had something cool happen to you, or you achieved an exciting accomplishment, nobody had any idea unless they were an eyewitness or you called them to tell them. Now every single goddamn detail gets thrown out to everyone you’ve ever met in your life (even if you only met once or crossed paths or you added them because you think they’re sexy or you’ve never actually met but you like all of their posts because they make your heart beat faster or you have all these mutual friends so why not?) or whatever, where was I….

My iPhone is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Now.. whenever I have a great exchange with a friend, or see something picturesque, or have a silly thought—I must document it. MUST… even if a friend is telling a story, I’m distracted about wanting to post something and faking interest in the conversation because at this point I’m not even listening, just waiting to post a photo on Instagram or make a comment on facebook because…. immediate gratification is addicting. How sad, right?!? I’m workin on it. I consciously keep the phone away now when I’m hanging with other people. But in the back of my mind whenever something even slightly interesting happens in my life I think “Would this make a good Vine? Maybe Insta… OH definitely facebook for this one. I should Tweet this. That conversation was amazing, let me try and transcribe it from memory so I can have the option to put it in a movie script someday.” It’s constant. I guess with all these pipe dreams I have I’ve got no choice but to think this way…

My favorite pastime is reminiscing. That’s probably another part of it. I love looking back on the work I’ve done. I’ve worked at jobs that were a lot of fun at the time, but looking back I have nothing to show for it. So I try and capture as many moments as I can so I can look back on the good times. I guess. I don’t fucking know. But it’s a love/hate/necessary evil sorta thing with social media. Communication like this is still very new. Can’t wait for this phone to be wired into my brain as my neck and thumbs are getting sore from using it.

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