Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Life on the West Side

Last night, I got to thinking about traveling and how little I do it.  Oddly enough, I’ve been on a plane more times in the past year than I have in my life – but I’m only going home to Boston and then back home to California.  I have never left the country and I don’t even have a passport.  I have been to major U.S. cities (New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas) and every single New England state… but that’s about it. 

I would love to travel more. I studied art history in college and it seems silly that I have never seen the actual art of my favorite artists in person.  I want to go to Italy and walk on those old streets and see the Pantheon, I want to visit the Louvre in France and see some Van Gogh in the Netherlands  (as well as get high, boat through the canals and visit the Anne Frank house.)  I hope I get to experience these things some day.

But for as little travel as I have done, I am pretty excited that I have managed to make two cities on different ends of the country my home.  I'm proud that I took the plunge and moved somewhere completely out of my comfort zone.  A huge part of traveling is experiencing other cultures, and I'm excited that at the very least - I managed to move to and live in a culture that was different than what I knew. 

For the first six months that I lived in Los Angeles, I questioned it.  I wanted to go home every single day and now I love this place and I’m pre-maturely sad for the day that I will eventually leave (as everyone seems to also I'm pretty sure this drought will drive us all away.)  I was so intimidated by the idea of learning the ropes of another city.  I hate not having any control and not knowing where I am or my way around.  Now, I know Los Angeles pretty well… and it’s WAY bigger than Boston!  Now, I know the ropes of TWO cities!  

I can’t believe I’ve already been here for almost a year and a half.  Time is flying by.  I am SO happy that I made the move to the west coast.  I’m still an east coast girl at heart – and I’m sure I’ll head back that way eventually – but I am loving my little western life with all its great learning experiences, wonderful friends, job opportunities and a shit ton of great friends. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

INVENTORY

It's Monday night and I'm watching The Simpsons on my couch… which is something that happens pretty frequently around here ever since every episode was made available on FX Now. 

I love television more than I should.   I watch it more than I should.  I talk about it more than I should.  If I had it my way, I would find a job in television that also let me talk about television all the time.  I don't nerd out about anything nearly as much as I do TV.  In fact, most of my close friendships have become stronger through a shared love for TV shows.  That's a sad fact about me. 

I am having a lot of problems lately with my body.  Everything hurts all the time and the chiropractor I went to made me feel really great and then he told me how much it would cost to go through with his treatment and I haven't been back since.  But I did buy a foam roller.  Everything pretty much still hurts. 

I am annoyed with drinking. 

I am enjoying getting older and slowly but surely approaching 30.  I can't wait to be 30.  I'm going to be the best 30 year old.  I'm really going to live my best life when I'm 30, just like Oprah says I will. 

I wear a lot of wife beaters lately.  I don't know what else to call them… because that is what I've always called them.  Ribbed tank tops?  Sounds worse. 

It's been kind of chilly in Los Angeles lately… and I like it.  But I also like it when it's warm out.  Either way, I'm going to wear my leather jacket. 

Sometimes I feel bad for liking my day job as much as I do.  It was only supposed to be something I did to pay the bills… and now it's like a place that I enjoy spending my time and I care about what I'm doing and the success of the company matters to me.  But don't worry, I want to be a writer more than anything - and I also hate myself as much as ever! 

I worry that my cat is my best friend. Just kidding. Haha. Not really. She's awesome. She sleeps in the closet. 

I kind of want to get married. But I also kind of realize that so many of my friends are doing that these days and that I am just caught up in wedding fever and I'm not entirely emotionally prepared for a marriage, because me and Beau are both poor and financially irresponsible… but it seems worth it for one day of attention. 

I accidentally put Premium gas in my car today and I thought that my car would blow up as soon as I turned the car on.  I Google'd it though, and apparently I'm a fucking idiot. 

Speaking of cars, I got a flat tire in a McDonald's parking lot last week while on a mission to buy 100 nuggets.  Beau changed the tire and I was pretty impressed… then I ate 25 nuggets and felt sick for so many days.  Gudernatch ate 50 nuggets though… so there you go. 

I really like snap pea crisps and I also need a new coffee maker. 

My prescription sunglasses are stronger than my regular glasses and now I have a constant headache and I also only see rainbow colors when I wear the sunglasses. All in all, am I going blind? 

That is all. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

SIMPLE THINGS


I hate to be the type of person who needs to take stock of the simple, good things in her life – but turns out I AM.  That’s who I be.  Other than mashed potatoes, that is my favorite part of Thanksgiving!  Spending an entire day feeling thankful for things and focusing on the positive rather than the negative… (unless you think of the whole slaughter of Native Americans thing. Yikes.)

Lately, I’ve been feeling feeling a bit off.  Some might even call it blue.  But when I look around, I have nothing to feel unhappy about.  So, it's like, what’s the deal here?  I can’t even blame it on California anymore because god damnit, I kinda like this place.  So I started putting together a list of simple things that are making me happy right now.

Reading The Giver.  I never read The Giver, and if I did – I have no recollection, which isn’t something that happens often.  I recall A LOT.  I love reading books made for children because as I said to my boyfriend, “They’re powerful stories with short chapters.”  I have ADD, so it’s best for me to read important messages in tiny, bite-sized doses. But I do really enjoy this book… and there were parts I had to re-read to fully understand which makes me feel all kinds of intelligent. 

Going home. I have mixed feelings about trips home. I love Boston, it is my favorite city in the whole world. Being there makes me feel re-charged, especially during the summer. But typically, going home feels kind of weird and different because things have changed so much in the 1.5 years that I’ve been gone. In fact, a lot of my good friends don’t even live there anymore. When I leave to go back to Los Angeles, I feel bittersweet and usually wind up crying my eyes out in airports with big glasses of wine. That being said, I am really excited to go home. My friend is getting married, my travel plans aren’t terrible, I’m there for four full days, and I think it will be a good trip.

Ruthie.  As of this past Sunday, we’ve had her for a full year and I’m going to sound crazy but she makes me so happy.  My favorite time of day is when I come home from work, put my key in the door and hear her little bell running towards the door because she knows I’m home.  My favorite time of night is when she decides she’s too cold above the blankets, so she paws at my face or walks on me so I’ll know it’s time for her to cuddle with me.  I know it’s silly, but I have SO much love for that little baby feline who loves drinking our cups of water, having her belly rubbed and refuses to eat snacks outside of her meal times.

There we go. Happier already. (She says as she cries into a glass of Pinot Grigio.) 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Funny vs. Bully

Once upon a time, I was a new employee at a new job; as most people tend to be at some point in their lives.  I hadn’t worked a full-time schedule in a corporate setting for over two years and I was trying really hard to adjust and figure out what the hell I was doing.  I had just moved to California and felt completely displaced and insecure. Sort of the way a cat feels when they’re taken from their loving home and put into a new one.  Basically, there was a lot of hiding in the bathroom.

After a few months of what I considered “relatively decent performing”, a woman from the HR team came over to congratulate me on a job well done.   “You’re the new model assistant!” she said. “We aspire to find more people like you!” she said!   After months of feeling out of place, I finally regained my confidence.    

“Don’t tell her that we like her too much, then she won’t be afraid anymore and will stop doing everything we ask her to do and we all know I like to lead with fear!” responded my boss.

After a quiet pause from everyone, she followed her statement up with, “Just kidding!” 

I furrowed my brow and watched her while she rolled her head back in laughter and everyone else looked down at their computer screens with wide eyes and red faces.  It was at that moment I realized that it wasn’t, in fact, a joke and she DOES lead with fear.  It was incredibly awkward and I immediately went back to feeling clumsy and disoriented.      

As our work relationship grew, I continued to receive odd comments. There were jokes about my awkward personality, jokes about my lack of knowledge of the surrounding area and how it’s an inconvenience to her, jokes about me not attending company events and jokes about my sense of humor.

While these jokes were being made in front of everyone who sat with us, I was also simultaneously receiving feedback through email on a regular basis.  “It’d be helpful if you learned the restaurants around here so you can help me when I need to meet someone for lunch” or “Please be better about managing my schedule for the week on Sundays” or “your writing style reflects poorly on me and the other people you support.”  After a while, it was harder and harder to delineate between jokes, feedback and outright insults. 

While it was specifically odd to deal with when it came to my boss, I realized how often people try to veil their insults as jokes.  Whether it’s a friend jokingly saying, “I hate that you’re getting married first, just kidding!” or “That outfit looks like it was put together by a toddler… LOLOL JK.”    

I think it’d be helpful if more people took a second to process the following questions before speaking.   

How well do you know the person?   
If very well, continue. 
If not, do not proceed!   

Are you annoyed or frustrated with them? 
If yes, bite your tongue. 
Scream it into your pillow.
Write it on a piece of paper and then eat that piece of paper.  

Are you in a position of power, or their subordinate? 
If either is a yes, then stop!  What are you thinking?  Stop! 

How do they typically handle jokes at their expense?  
If well, proceed with caution. 
If not, they’re sensitive and you should say absolutely nothing and get out of there as soon as possible, in case it slips.  

Do they make jokes at their own expense?  
If yes, dip a toe in the water, but be careful. 

Do you have a playful rapport?  
Go for it.  

Truth be told, even in the best cases, there are going to be days when people aren’t ready to laugh at themselves.  Even though I'd like to pride myself on being able to dish it as much as I can take it, there are times when I just don’t feel like it… especially when it’s someone in a position of power of me.  It makes you feel totally defenseless.   It’s kind of hard to respond with a joke at your boss’ expense and not expect to get fired or at least a stern talking to.

There is always a time and a place for humor, but there ain't no time and no place for bullies.  There is a difference between being funny and being a downright terrible monster. At the end of the day, it's good to remember that I am rubber and you are glue and what bounces off me sticks to you. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Alcohol with Age

I drank a lot when I was younger.  Before I was even 21, there was a bar that I drank at all the time.  Unsurprisingly, yet sadly, that bar is now closed. I started doing comedy when I was 19 years old, and everyone in comedy was so much fun / borderline alcoholics, so I started joining them after classes at the bar.  Once I realized they’d serve me, I never stopped asking…  and here I am, ten years later.

It didn’t take me long to realize that drinking turned me into a stupid human being… but that also didn’t stop me.  I loved that feeling.  It's going to sound like I have a problem here, but it was so much fun to lose all that control.  There was a point in my life where I woke up with just a tiny little headache and enjoyed meeting up with friends and putting the pieces of our night back together.

But as I get older, that gets less and less fun.   Maybe it’s because as you get older, your actions become less forgivable and unfortunately (or, fortunately – depending on how you look at it), I care about that.  I care about what I say, I care about hurting people, and I care about the state of my body the next day.   I hate the tension in my neck and shoulders, the feeling when you go through your phone and seeing what you texted someone and what pictures you sent on Snapchat or posted to Instagram, and the throwing up!  Alcohol-based vomit in your late twenties is a real kick in the dick.

I recently spent a night at home with my boyfriend and our friend, drinking a lot of vodka and watching the movie Anastasia.  (As one does at 28.)   The next day, I woke up so incredibly hungover that I couldn’t even eat my HANGOVER BURGER while everyone else seemed just fine.  They’re both younger than me, I never felt so old in my life. So, in my opinion, I have a pretty complicated relationship with alcohol as I age.

Yet, every time I make huge declarations that I’m done with drinking, I end up going harder than I ever have.  Last Saturday, enough was enough and then I ended the day 3 bottles of Chardonnay deep with my friend Brian.  But don’t worry; it was a “bit.”  Sunday was spent in a cloud of self-deprecation. 

The way I see it, none of this is my fault. 

Just kidding. 

I guess my real problem here is that I have a specific personality that alcohol so inconveniently intensifies.  A post about drinking probably seems like a bad time to bring up Bill Cosby, but I’m going to bring up Bill Cosby.  In “Bill Cosby: Himself”, he makes the following joke:

“I said to a guy, ‘Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful,’ and he said, ‘Because it intensifies your personality.’ I said, ‘Yes, but what if you’re an asshole?’”

The more I drink, the more it heightens specific aspects of my personality.  I’m sensitive, guilty and emotional… and drinking heightens those traits, for good or bad. I love my friends so much and I need to let everyone know on every social media platform and through every text!  Or, someone says something kind of shitty and I get SO sad and sensitive that I say things I later regret.

I’m not saying that I’m going to stop drinking.  I don’t feel my life is spiraling out of control, nor do I drink enough to qualify it as a problem.  It’s just that I find it interesting that as I age, I feel so guilty all the time.  That happens whether I’m drinking or not, of course, but drinking heightens the guilt.  At one-month-from-29, that’s where my relationship with alcohol stands.  It’s a lot different from 19, 21, 26 or even 28. 

If you’re young, be happy you have a few carefree years left.   Most relationships get more complicated as you age… but none more complicated than one’s relationship with alcohol.

*This post has been sponsored by Irish Guilt, the Guilt That Keeps On Guilting. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Life Lately: February + March


February and March have been a crazy busy few months.  There was a promotion at work, friends in town, a trip to Disneyland, beach days, new tattoos, movies watched, nights spent in a hot tub, board games played and shows performed in. 

I performed at UCB LA for the first time on St. Patrick’s Day, during what they called a St Patrick’s Day parade featuring all sorts of performers – including pretty famous and well-known ones.  It was a bit overwhelming and awesome and fun.  It was 11 o’clock at night and I was smack dab in the middle of a BUSY couple of days and the last thing I wanted to do was improvise.  But then this funny thing happened – that always seems to happen – I showed up and I did it and I felt better for it.  

On top of that, I’ve been performing with my friends Erin and Kelsey and our shows have been really great.  As much as I don’t miss doing it constantly, I miss doing it in general.  It gets my brain working in ways nothing else does and makes me feel all the feels.  

I also helped a friend by acting in his pilot presentation for a production company.  It was fun to learn a script – it had been a while – and it was fun to act again.   It was also a nice reminder of the things you can do when you just get down to business and do them.  You don’t need to be an established professional to put together something that looks professional.  I’m lucky to work with someone like my friend Matt, who teaches me a whole lot because he dabbles in everything this industry has to offer.  He has his own equipment, taught himself how to do everything and he’s made himself completely indispensable.   That’s how to succeed in this business.  In life!  Do it yourself. 

On top of that, we started production for our web series, Our Two Minute Show.  And I’ve been working hard on a bunch of new projects at work.

I’m feeling pretty fulfilled these days.  Fucking exhausted, but fulfilled.

However, I can’t stop thinking about the future and I wish I could stop.  I wish I was the type of person who could sit still and enjoy, but I can’t stop thinking about the next step.  I have so many ideas and things that I want to do – here and elsewhere – and I just can’t stop thinking of them!  Which is funny, because I really don’t want to leave Los Angeles.  I have made friends here that I can’t imagine being without at this point in my life.  Eventually?  Sure.  But I’m not ready! 

So what’s a girl to do?  I’m content in my life, but there are so many parts of me that want to accomplish so many other things and just GET ON WITH IT.  It’s a good time, but a confusing time, and I’m just kind of along for the ride. 

Oh well.  We're almost a quarter way through the year.  My 29th birthday is coming up in two months. And Christmas is 280 days away.  We can do this, you guys.  


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thoughts on Getting Older and Wiser, Maybe



In two months, I am turning 29 years old. 

One of my best friends from high school already hit the 29 mark and when I sent my “Happy Birthday!” text, she responded that it was depressing.  I thought, “Yeah, we’re getting old and it’s weird.”  We graduated high school over ten years ago… and it feels awkward to look back and see what we have, or have not, accomplished.

But you know what I realized recently?  I fucking love getting older.

I’m happy when I look back on the last ten years of my life.  I see a lot of life-changing moments and career goals that were successfully pursued.  I see a lot of people that came in and out – and some that stayed and will stay forever.  I see a whole lot of performing and confidence gaining.  I see a successful move across the country.  I see quality time with great people.  I was lucky, and not so lucky, in love.  I see a lot of mistakes and lessons learned.  It really wasn’t a bad set of ten years.

I work with a lot of people who are younger than me and it’s eye opening when I talk to them about work or life.  I see a great amount of curiosity and general lack of confidence and fear of making mistakes.  There is trouble figuring out relationships and if they’re single, they think they’re going to be single forever.  I’m not saying I’m over all of those things, because I’m certainly not.  Twenty-nine is hardly an age full of wisdom and I know that I have plenty more mistakes to make and areas where I lack confidence.  But it’s nice to think that I’ve made my way over some of those humps and at least feel a confidence and resilience that I definitely didn’t have when I was fresh out of college.

I’m ready for the last year of my twenties!  I’m ready to keep on trying new things, challenging myself and trying even harder to be confident and carefree.  Also, I’m getting like a shit ton of grey hair and I don’t plan on covering them up with any hair dye!  (I will, however, just add more and more blonde streaks that make the greys less noticeable.)  

I'm not planning on losing all of my immaturity though.  I still love doing dumb things and having fun with my friends.  One of my favorite activities is PUTTING OFF MATURITY.  I can get married and have kids when I'm 100 years old!  Procrastinating on aging is the best way to procrastinate, in my opinion! 

And yet, here’s to getting older and wiser and spending less time trying to make other people happy and more time working on yourself.  Also, less time drinking during the day and ruining your evenings.  It seems like a good idea in the morning… but is it?  Not for me not for me. 

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