Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches


TMI Minute Episode 12 – Sochi, Olympic Injuries, and Free J.Lo

The TMI Minute heads to the Winter Olympics in Sochi while Briana takes a stand against VHS tapes.

The TMI Minute Episode 12 | Week of February 10
Follow us on Twitter @TMItheshow

Jesse James –
Briana Hansen –

Joe Neuburger –
Kate Cornell –

10 Things to Tell Your Kids (or Grandkids) You Had Back in Your Day

1. Nine Planets

Pluto was downgraded to Dwarf Planet in 2006. Be on the look out for the modern fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarf Planets.

2. Mail on Saturdays

Beginning in August, the US Postal Service will no longer deliver mail (letters, catalogs, and the like) on Saturday. The plan will save $2 billion a year. Kudos.

3. A 7 time Tour de France

Lance Armstrong stripped of his titles. Doping. Have you been under a rock?

4. No asteroid mining

Not one, but two companies have unveiled plans to mine passing asteroids. The two companies, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, have plans to send mining operations to objects hurling through space. Good luck, asteroid juicers.

5. Landlines/telephone poles

Well, they haven’t gone away yet, but I’m pretty sure birds will have to start finding a new place to perch soon.

6. Dial up Internet/Internet without social networking

As per 10-15 years ago, if you were on the Internet, you were either on AOL or Netscape (as of 2008, Netscape’s website basically says “Go get Firefox”). Also, you were a nerd if you were on the Internet. Now, everyone and his dog has a web presence.

7. CD’s (or, dear God, tapes)

I remember my first CD. My Best Friend’s Wedding soundtrack.

The moment I wake up,
Before I put on my makeup!

8. Physical newspapers

What will we paper mache with? What will we line the table with when we carve pumpkins?

9. OJ Simpson jokes

Kids these days. Won’t even know who he is.

10. Chalkboards

Replaced by the much more powerful whiteboard, projector, and AV department.

The Writers’ Currency

Monday night was the first writers’ meeting for the new season of the TMI Hollywood, the show I write for at Second City. The new cast members came and mingled with the writers over the one thing that brings all walks of LA life together: free food. After a recap of last year and the expectations of this year, the cast made their way out and the writers got down to what they do best.

Pose for Cultural Diversity Day

Coming up with stuff to write about.

In a sketch comedy writers room (at least in this one), the writers have their own special brand of currency. I know, I know. The initial thing to yell out is “Words! Writers deal in words!” and in some cases, that’s true.

But words are the currency of the novelist.

The comedy sketch writer deals in trivia.

We huddle around a table, pitching ideas and trading knowledge like baseball cards. Bill O’Reilly said this, Justin Bieber did that. But, pop culture is only the surface.

We have a politics guy. Now, I’m not saying we have a politics guy in terms of a guy who’s job is to keep an eye on the political atmosphere. That’s small town. Our politics guy can name all the United States presidents, vice presidents, and failed candidates in order, not to mention dropping campaign slogans like they’re party favors. It’s not like he has fast fingers on Google. These are just things that he’s learned and retained over his history of education.

This leads to doors and pathways of humor that one person alone has a hard time seeing by themselves.

Sometimes, it feels like an episode of Big Bang Theory. I expect someone to drop something like “Oppenheimer was notoriously hard to work with,” or “a gathering of cats is called a clouder.” And, it’s not ironic. It’s the difference between data and knowledge.

Nowadays, we can look up anything on the Internet. It seems as though “knowledge” is at our very fingertips, but what is really at our fingertips is data. Data, without a brain behind it, is pretty useless. It’s interesting, though, what’s revealed in the knowledge we retain. You can never really lie about what intrigues you. When someone has a piece of knowledge they can’t wait to share, it practically bursts out of them.

Perhaps not everyone who thirsts for knowledge is a writer, but it seems that a lot of writers thirst for knowledge. Knowledge fuels their power cells and they’re ready to share the fuel.

Newsworthy News of Newsworthy Importance

I realized that I didn’t really talk about this on the Interwebz, and part of the reason is because I wanted to tell people in person. I mean, there’s something impersonal about reading it on a blog. But, since everyone’s doing their yearly recap, this is bound to get lost in that shuffle.

I’m sorry if I didn’t tell you in person, but everyone I’ve wanted to tell face-to-face I’ve told face-to-face unless I’m not going to see them in the foreseeable future, so here it goes.

I’m a working writer.

Not in the “I’ve gotten a rejection letter” sense. That happened, like, eight years ago. No, I’m a working writer in the sense that my words are being performed.

If you missed the Facebook announcement, I am a staff writer for TMI: Hollywood, a show on stage at Second City Hollywood. I’m also a contributing writer to Top Story! Weekly which is a show at the iO West Theater in Hollywood.

I owe a big thanks to Candace Haven. One night, in her swank Beverly Hills Hotel penthouse (where people make promises they intend on keeping), she forced me to make a list of goals with a deadline attached to them. One I made was to be in a writers’ room by January and I was in a writers’ room by October.

So, that’s the news from this side of the desk. I will be writing the pilot episode of my sitcom and possibly staging it within the next four months, so that should be fun. Maybe some of that will end up here.

I was never a fan of the word “aspiring,” but, regardless, I can dump it now. Also, I’m not really an “author,” so I’ll go with “Comedy Writer.”

Go Theater Nerds!

Christmas Movie Flowchart

Back for Thanksgiving, it’s the:

Christmas Movie Flowchart


Christmas Movie Flowchart

10,000 Tweets: A Tribute

This week, I reached 10,000 tweets. A milestone, to be sure. And, as I sit on my bed at 1:30 in the morning, scrolling through random interactions and swift, stilted conversations, I noticed that my life is playing out 140 characters at a time.

So, here’s my tribute to the best tweets of my 10,000 tweet run:

On Politics:

1) New York City has put a ban on the sale of sugary sodas over 16 oz. This may be the lamest excuse for a speakeasy ever.

On Domestic Strengths:

2) I will now refer to cooking as “pulling off a major coup.”

3) Lack toast and tolerant. This describes me right now.

On the Record:

4) @taradublinrocks Hoho! Nice.

I’m not really sure what this was in reference to. Use your imagination.

On Literature:

5) The *meh* Gatsby #lessinterestingbooks

6) Nobody likes Hemingway. Not even Hemingway likes Hemingway. He shot himself in the face.

On Pop Culture:

7) This tweet just made you remember that the Friday song happened.

8) The NFL referee lockout is finally over. Officials are optimistic, believing everyone will be back to complaining after the 1st quarter.

On Relationships:

9) You know you’re perpetually single when you shave only one leg and think: “Meh. Close enough.”

On Social Media:

10) My development of a social life is inversely proportional to my Klout score.

So, there you have it. The greatest hits of my Twitter feed.

If you aren’t following me already, check it out. Maybe we’ll, you know, tweet or something.