Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches


That Color Doesn’t Look Good on Anyone

I recently threw myself a pity party. You know the one. The one where you feel like the whole world is against you; or maybe your mouth was faster than your brain; or maybe, for some reason, your being is divided between id, ego, and superego and they all hate each other at the moment.

Whatever the reason, I started the pity party. I know why. It’s that moment when your life decisions catch up with you. Not that you made any particularly bad decisions, or decisions that you regret. It was the sort of thing where you expected everything to go smoothly and forgot that the time between decision and success is LIFE HAPPENING.

And, I usually go with the flow. But, I’m a Philosophy major, a brain, one of those overly analytical introverts that are so depressing at parties (be they “pity or otherwise)…

The Universe has not subscribed to my time table.

It all started when I realized I lost touch with my voice. Wait, not my “voice,” my Voice. That mystical, magical buzzword that all writers use (it’s bullshit, but it isn’t {but it is [but it isn’t.]}) I’ve been writing things for Not Me for awhile. Spec scripts, jokes, sketches; things that are me, but they aren’t (but they are {but they aren’t [but they are.]}) In the world of The Creative, there’s the whole thing about trying to get paid for your work, so you do things to increase your exposure that are not necessarily the thing that you would be doing in that parallel universe where the world is perfect. This world isn’t really available to anyone. Even people with contracts still get rejected by their editors, producers, executives, etc. I mean, J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are pretty much the only Creatives who get to say “My rules” to whomever.

Anyway, the thing that I want, more than fame, is to be able to present a project and say, “I can make this work.” And, maybe that’s what fame is? Maybe not. Whatever the case is, I don’t want to be a sellout, I want to be a silver lining. I want to be a Fixer. I want to be the person who can turn a Nothing into a Something.

Back to the Pity Party.Id, Ego, Superego

Quiet down, up there.

My Superego knew exactly who to invite to this party and made a move to protect itself. My Id, on the other hand, just wanted the immediate Pity gratification, which it sought without any consultation.

So, to those of you who were invited to the Pity Party out of Id, I apologize. I know that you love all of my parts and tried to help in the best way you could, but you were gratifying the Id, which really didn’t deserve it.

And, to those of you who were invited to the Pity Party by the Superego and showed up to throw the drink in its face, you were right. Thanks for coming.

Because, if I’m the one who wants to be able to say, “I can make this work,” sometimes the advice I need is “Make it work.”

It’s not a perfect system. My Id still begs for gratification. But, at least on some level, I’m starting to reject my self-imposed martyrdom.

Home Office? More like Pajama Party!

I won’t pretend that I haven’t hit the jackpot. I work from home. When you think about it, that’s pretty awesome. No, even when you don’t think about it, it’s really awesome. And for some reason, there’s this weird conception out there that I do everything in my pajamas, and that’s not exactly a lie.

But there are some pitfalls to working from home.

Like no human interaction. When you’re communicating through emails with everyone, sometimes you wonder if there’s actually someone on the other side. I keep getting paychecks, so I assume…

Then, there’s the whole thing with the pajamas. If I don’t have pajamas on by one ‘o clock in the afternoon, it means I’m not going anywhere, so I might as well throw on the Snuggie and stretch the power cord of the laptop over the back of the couch. And just like Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, I’m not nearly as productive. What do you mean there’s no Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day? Is that not a thing at your office?

My computer is for fun and for profit. There’s no difference between my work computer and my home computer (except for that one thing about the Java update that means I have to use that one bit of software on the old computer, but that’s neither here nor there).

I don’t have a water cooler. My roommates are out of the house most of the time. I don’t have a receptionist. Or a mail guy. It gets sort of lonely. Sometimes, I go a couple days without leaving the house. My thoughts start to echo back in my head. Television is my friend.

Anyway, the real productivity comes from getting out of the house. If I go to a coffeeshop, I’ll sit and work for four to six hours straight, no breaks, no lunches, not even a bathroom pause.

And, if I’m bored on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, it’s easy to fall into work. I’ve gotten emails at 11:30 at night which could wait till the morning, but of course my first response is to do it now. I get work emails on my phone, on my computer, sometimes even alerts on my iPad. Is that how most people do it these days?

Midwest Work EthicMy Midwestern ideals make it so I have to work. I feel guilty if I don’t. Sometimes, I feel like that horse in Animal Farm. Pretty soon, the only thing I’ll be good for is glue.

Which brings me to a point, sort of, about introversion. I land pretty high on the introversion score. I like hanging out with other introverts. Extroverts freak me out and make me suspicious and paranoid. Why are you so happy? Why are you telling everyone you’re so happy? Don’t touch me. Why are we hugging?

If they talk about things I’m interested in, I’m less suspicious. But, getting stuck inside by myself for extended periods of time sort of reminds me why humans are social creatures. You gotta get out there and meet people. Or be stuck inside with your own irritating self who won’t shut up about Underworld until we watch it seven times.

Home office or regular office, work is work. What are the pitfalls of your daily plod?

Wrapping Paper

I have a question.

Why is wrapping a Christmas present the hardest thing ever?

I mean, it should be easy, right? The thing with the fold and the tap dispenser and flip the corners in with the point and the box and NOOO! JUST STOP!

This is the worst part of the Christmas season.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave out any of my non-Christian friends. But, guys. Wrapping gifts. Am I right?

It doesn’t help that my mother is a gift-wrapping savant. She can wrap cubes, pyramids, tetrahedrons, dodecahedrons, spheres (though I guess spheres wouldn’t be that difficult, right?). Did I get a gift wrapping gene from Mom? Nope. I just put the box on the paper and look up at Mom with a whimper like a guilty puppy that’s just made a mess on the carpet.

And you can’t do gift bags. No, you get judged for gift bags. I mean, I say, “I saw this gift bag and it looked so YOU!” but then I get the judgement stares of, “But, doesn’t this gift bag come in wrapping paper?”

Every Christmas season, we get our designated time in the Wrapping Room. If the door is shut, you must knock and announce yourself so the Wrapper has the chance to give you the all clear. Usually, we have a Wrapping Buddy. Mom has the work station planned out, so the buddy is more moral support then helper. Your elf, as it were, if Santa had OCD.

When we were younger, every present from Santa was wrapped in Santa wrapping paper. I say when we were younger, but that still happens. To this day, I still get gifts from Santa. I’m 26 years old. I am not arguing with this. Santa, I’m a big fan. Keep ’em coming.

Despite my disdain for the Wrapping Paper tradition, I love giving gifts. I love the surprise. I’m one of those people that tries to put tons of thought into a gift. I want to see the reaction. I’ve made people cry with my gift-giving skills and that is a power worth wielding.

What is your Achilles’ heel of the holiday season? Let me know in the comments.

Talk Amongst Yourselves

You know you’ve reached a weird point when you start Search Engining blog topics. I mean, what do I write about?

Part of my problem is overload. I’m writing four sketches a week, 10 jokes a week, two blog posts a week for work (why is that always easier?), and developing a sitcom pilot while keeping one eye open for work in the entertainment industry.nog

So, I guess I’ll update you on random things and you can talk amongst yourselves.

  • Love, love, love Los Angeles. Go…Theater Nerds? (I’m not sure what team I’m supposed to cheer for here.)
  • Still working two and a half jobs from home. Garbage disposal broke. Plumber came over to replace it. I awkwardly hovered over him and tried to talk about TV shows.
  • I flirted with him a bit, but he turned me down. It’s cool. Those inter-office romances never work anyway.
  • I’ve started referring to all my neighbors by their Native American names. Works On Car. Lets Dog Poop. Flirts With Kate. Has Loud Sex.
  • Egg nog is a meal in and of itself.
  • My Second City classes were lovely. They cost a lot of money. Those two things probably aren’t related, but whatever.
  • I haven’t finished reading a book in two months.
  • I’m reading Pride & Prejudice and I love it. Which makes me a stereotypical girl, but I’m dealing with that in my own way.
  • I lost a friend and made two.
  • I’ve been earning Adulthood badges like gangbusters.

Well, what have you been up to? I think you don’t realize how busy you are until you look at the date and think, “Hm. I should have my Christmas shopping done by now.”

Happy Hanukkah everybody!

How to change a blinker in 12 easy steps and 1 not so easy one

I recently gained an Adulthood badge. I had to fix a car issue with my own two hands. Curious, are you? Well, here’s an easy how-to guide.kitt

How to Change A Blinker in 12 Easy Steps and 1 Not So Easy

1. Determine if your blinker needs changing.

Most cars have a signal for this. The blinker that isn’t functioning properly usually blinks manically when you turn it on. That’s your first clue. If you are new to Los Angeles and don’t have any friends, verifying isn’t as easy as asking someone to help you. So either pull up to a wall in the dark or flip on the blinker and get out to check yourself.

2. Stop using your car immediately.

You are saving lives.

3. Forget that your blinker needs to be changed.

This is easily accomplished by only driving your car once a week and mostly making turns counter to the the blinker that is burned out.

4. Only drive at night so as to not be able to see anything in the engine when you get home.

Yeah. Darkness is not helpful for bulb changing.

5. Be reminded by your dad that your blinker is burnt out.

Really, the further away your dad is from the problem, the better. My dad was 1400 miles away. If he can remember your problem when he’s that far from it, you should probably get that worked out.

6. Locate the nearest auto repair shop.

And I can walk there! Bonus!

7. Wait until something else goes wrong with your car.

Low coolant? Well, that seems important. Hm.

8. Remove blinker bulb.

This is actually pretty easy. Did you know that your car has an OWNER’S MANUAL? Usually in the GLOVE BOX? (Not just for gloves, apparently)

9. Drive to the auto repair shop making only turns allowed by the functional blinker.

Take twice as long as necessary and make sure it is dark outside.

10. Buy bulb/coolant/wiper fluid

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. These guys know what they’re doing.

11. Drive home timing your arrival so that your neighbor who always works on his car is working on his car when you get there.

That’s not so hard. Now that you mention it, why is he always working on his car?

12. Don’t ask him for help.

It’s time to man up and earn that Adulthood badge.

13. Change your blinker.

It’s, like, #8 in reverse.

Well, there you have it. How to change a blinker. You, too, can earn this Adulthood badge. At least you didn’t have to change a tire on the side of the highway.

(Oh, yeah, and the hard one was #9)