Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Month Mark

This coming weekend, I have lived in Los Angeles for three months.  Three whole months!

THREE MONTHS.  That seems crazy.  It both feels like I just got here and like I have lived here forever.  The other day, we had an admin meeting at work and my co-worker Jamie said, “We have three new people since our last meeting!” and I wasn’t included.  I called her out, jokingly, and she said, “You’re just so ingrained in my every day life now that I forget you’re new!”  That’s… good?

When I first got here, I had a plan.  Step one was to find an apartment.  I landed on a Monday night and immediately devoted FIRST THING ON TUESDAY to hitting the streets… by Friday afternoon; we had a place to move into on Saturday morning.  Phew. 

Step two was to find a job.  That took some time.  At least at the time, it felt like it was taking forever.  I was spending hours applying to jobs and not hearing anything back.  I went on a few interviews (mostly with recruiters) and slowly jobs would trickle in, but still – nothing solid.  Eventually, after a month or so, I got three job offers in a week and obviously picked the one I felt would be the best fit. 

Step three was to get a car.  We haven’t bought a car yet, but I got around with ZipCars a whole lot during the interview process and as soon as I nailed down a job, Beau’s brother and sister-in-law graciously offered one of their cars for me to borrow until I can afford one.  I’m getting there, but for now, I’m driving around a giant Chevy Tahoe.

Now, I’ve been at my job for a full month and some change.  I finally feel settled and comfortable with the job and the people.  It’s a bit hectic and every day is different and a little unpredictable, but I’m enjoying it and finding a nice balance with the rest of my life.

As far as comedy goes, I met with a group a couple of times before ultimately realizing it wasn’t going to work out… for a few reasons.  I’ve been filming and writing for a web series with my friends.  I’m starting classes up in the summer.  I'm working on a project with another friend.  It's certainly different not performing ALL THE TIME, but I've made up for it with a lot of writing. A lot of writing. 

We've been on a couple of California adventures!  We went to the desert (which was so weird) and last weekend, we hung out in Venice Beach all afternoon.  I even got my haircut while Beau walked around the boardwalk and then we had lunch.  It's nice out there, but I still think living in West Hollywood is more my stye than the west side.  I'm just not a beach lifestyle person. I still really want to go to Disneyland... and might for my birthday in a few weeks.  Or Vegas.  Or Palm Springs. 

And, well, I’ve dyed my hair super blonde.  Because I’m super California now. 

I don’t know what’s in store for me.  I’m definitely enjoying living in California!  It's very different than what I'm used to.  Not bad, just different.  It's so damn sunny all the time!  I’m just happy that I did it.  I’m so glad that I’m feeling settled and actually know my way around Los Angeles and I’m familiar with different neighborhoods and can even deal with traffic!  I have a much different perspective now than I've ever had.  

Oh, and also, I can finally afford to like pay off my bills.  And I already have.  That is a huge weight off my shoulders. 

Yay to the first three months!  Here's to many more! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pool of Negativity

One of my favorite things to do is talk comedy.  I appreciate a good joke like most people enjoy a good bottle of red wine!  (I don't enjoy red wine.)  I’m somewhat of a comedy connoisseur; I study it and know it well.  I have been listening to these podcasts lately and all I want to do is talk to my boyfriend, or whoever will listen, about Will Ferrell’s point of view and Will Forte’s background in writing.  It’s my happy place. (Which is why I love teaching so god damn much. It’s my job to talk comedy and teach people what I love – and they WANT TO LISTEN!)

The problem with that is… when you get a lot of comedians together talking about comedy, it can get pretty negative.  Sometimes it’s awesome and you’re excited over the same things and swapping stories and experiences and it’s all well and good.  But then, there are times where it can get to a point of, “What are we doing?” and everyone gets dragged into the conversation.  It goes a lot like this:

“We’re not getting paid and that sucks.”
“You’re right. That does suck. And you know what else sucks?  The hours.”
“Totally! It’s like, I’d like to get a weekend off and travel but I feel guilty and terrible about it – and for what?”
“And we don’t even have benefits!”
“I’m in debt!”
“But we’re doing what we love, right?”

Those conversations leave you feeling like nothing.  I’d walk home from those kind of nights completely defeated.  I’d crash in my bed, put on Netflix and hate my life.  Talking out your problems/issues/concerns can be great sometimes, but sometimes it just creates more problems!  I feel bad enough on my own; I don’t need anyone adding to it!  Spending all of your time complaining can turn you into a real cynic, and that is the worst kind of person to be.

So, my goal has been to cut that shit out. It’s better to maintain a hopeful mentality and focus on the reasons why you love what you do.  This could be about anything – say you’re in marketing (another field I work in) and you only talk to your co-workers about how annoying clients are and how awful the hours are and how you hate egos and personalities of certain people – then that’s going to be your impression of that company/field/etc.  You’ll never be happy if that’s ALL the field is to you.  But why’d you get into it?  Why do you love it?  What projects or tasks fill you with pride?  What’s a good day?

It’s so easy to be another negative voice in the pool, and it’s totally OK to vent every now and then, but it’s not going to help you live a happy and healthy life.  Just contain that negative voice, be hopeful (and honest with yourself about what you want), stop comparing yourself to other people and focus on yourself and your own success.  It may sound na├»ve, but being honest and setting distinct goals can really do wonders.  Instead of saying “I want to be a successful comedian”, it’s easier to break it into smaller goals like, “I want to publish a book of essays” or “I want to be a Groundling” etc. 

Regardless, it’s going to be hard.  Everything’s hard.  Life is literally the worst!  But, it doesn’t help to be cynical and negative because then the only obstacle in your way of success is yourself and your attitude.  So check that shit!   Before you wreck… that shit.  I’m sorry.  I don’t know.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Things to Love on a Monday

1. yeah, sure, it looks that way. 
found here.

2. the ballerina project is the most amazing project.
it's for sure my favorite instagram i follow!
image here.

3. the first woman who ran the Boston Marathon (and got attacked by race organizers.) 
she lied about her gender and registered with initials. 

4. a beautiful picture of lily collins.
i love her hair color here!

5. another truth.

6. can you tell i have tattoo fever?
this is the location i want right now.

7. vintage ads are the craziest and best. 
how are we liking mad men this season? i'm liking.

8. i never knew about this vegas water slide!
i'm trying to go for my birthday. i'd love to do this!

9. i also may go to palm springs for my birthday.
it's just about the cutest... seemingly.

10. and a cute puppy.

happy monday!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life Lately: Deserts + Desserts

This was a pretty good, non-stressful week.  It was smooth sailing at work, for the most part, and things were just settled.  

On Sunday, we went to Twentynine Palms to visit Beau's brother and sister-in-law.  They live near a Marine base in the desert about two and a half hours from us.  It was kinda crazy.  We left Hollywood with all its city-ness, drove through some plush greenery and then nothing but space and neutrals.  Just miles and miles of sand and rocks and TERRIFYING WIND MILLS.  I hate those things... not for their purpose, but because they're so large and freaky and there's one in my hometown that is SINKING IN THE GROUND and is too big for the road its on.  And here... there were just MILES OF THEM.  And it was like a wind tunnel, so it pushed the car to the side a little bit.  It was... stressful. I guess I'm not made for long car rides.  I used to drive deep into New Hampshire all the time!  OK, once.  But whatever.  So that happened.  The desert is much hotter than Hollywood, who would-a thought?! 

On Tuesday, we FaceTimed with Kelly & Lance.  I was a little bit drunk from drinking a lot bit of wine at dinner with our friends... and they were at our regular Boston bar, Paddy O's with our regular bartender, Hugo and he even turned the music down so we could all talk.  I was so giddy afterwards.  I hate FaceTime (another thing that freaks me out... FaceTime and Wind Mills) but maybe it was the wine, or the fact that I was so homesick on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings - but when I hung up the phone, I was so giddy and excited and then I cried.  The crying part was definitely the wine.  I get so emotional baby, every time I drink white wine. (To the tune of "Emotional" by Whitney Houston.) 

We had an Easter egg hunt for kids at my work on Thursday.  My co-worker/friend Jamie made these little dirt cups with marzipan veggies and I can't handle them.  Look how cute they are!!  She used to be a baker.  She's always bringing in treats and they're always delicious.  In fact, one of the kids at the egg hunt was my favorite.  She started the hunt, grabbed a couple of eggs and threw them in her bag... and then walked right over to the dessert bar, picked up this dirt cup and watched while all the other kids fought/raced/collected eggs.  I loved her.  It was like she was saying, "You guys are all making fools of yourselves.  There's all this sugar right here!" 

I miss that city.  That's Boston from a boat... I took it during the summer, while on a harbor cruise for my friend Mary's birthday.  I booked a trip home this week and I'm going in three weeks!  My birthday is next month and my father doesn't fly - and it just happened to work out with people's schedules at work, so I grabbed the opportunity.  I'm so, so excited. 

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

Doing things you don’t want to do to make other people happy?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Putting up with shitty people’s attitude problems?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Re-runs instead of new episodes?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Dwelling on mistakes?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Feeling guilty for being honest and finally making a decision that you needed to make?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Feeling bad about going home to visit your family when you've only been gone for like four or five months? 

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Not using keyboard shortcuts on your computer?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Waiting for new posters I ordered to arrive?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Not being Tina Fey? 

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Do It Well

I don't remember when I decided I wanted to be a writer, but for as long as I can remember, it has been my ultimate goal.  Even as a kid, I would write stories all the time and my imagination was crazy and huge.  I would always read books and get jealous that it wasn't me who wrote them (actually, that still happens all the time.)

I started performing as a creative outlet and a way to come out of my shell and it just stuck.  I love improvising and I love performing a whole lot.  I don't like stand-up or performing alone, but acting and improvising I can totally get behind.  But I don't love it nearly as much as writing.  That's just the truth. And the truth is, I never feel as confident performing as I do writing.  When I'm writing, I know how to execute exactly what it is that I'm trying to execute.  I feel confident with jokes and plot and all of that - and I love being able to put it down for a little bit and coming back to it and finding NEW jokes and NEW stories.  You can't do that with improv, which is the beauty of it.

But I love writing.  It satisfies and fulfills me.  And I figured out that when I really put time and effort into it, I do it pretty well.  (Also, I'm not exactly talking about this blog, although I do put time and effort into it as well.)  I feel REAL good when I finish writing something.  When I get in a "writing zone", it's like being on crack.  (Not that I have any idea what crack feels like.) (I MEAN IT, I DON'T KNOW WHAT CRACK FEELS LIKE.) When I'd get a sketch into a show, I would get really happy because that was a bigger victory to me than just being in the show.  Writing was what I cared the most about and what I spent hours working on outside of being down in that theater.  And when I submit something to a website (be it Thought Catalog or HelloGiggles or whatever) and I get that email back that says they'd like to submit it - I am completely overjoyed, even if it's not that big of a deal.

I'm glad I moved to L.A. because being here forces me to do shit.  I made a decision and moved somewhere to chase a dream and now I'm forced to do it.  And I've got to do it well.  Or, at the very least, I have to learn how to do it well and get better at it and spend all the time that I have available honing that craft and making it happen.  When you're good at something, or at least when you feel confident in your abilities, you've got to do it.

I know that I won't be happy if I settle and get comfortable doing a job that I don't love.  I don't want to settle.  Settling is terrifying.  I got to spend a year and a half doing what I loved for a living.  It was a total dream and I would have done it forever if there wasn't something MORE that I wanted.  All I know is that right now, I'm doing what I have to do to make a living and get settled here in California, but I will spend every other available minute doing what I want to do and making sure that I do it well so I can get exactly where I need/want/have to be.

Let's get 'er done.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Podcasts and Being Mean

image found here

With all the driving that I’ve been doing (and using Spotify at the same time), I’ve decided to finally come around to podcasts. 

Yes, it’s 2014 and I’m finally coming around to podcasts.

I have a really horrible attention span… huge focus issues.  Talking does not keep my attention!  Even if you’re looking at me in the eye and speaking DIRECTLY at me, chances are I’m practicing dance moves in my head or wondering what I’m going to watch on Food Network later on.  (The answer is probably Chopped.) 

But, I got bored listening to my Spotify playlists.  In the two-ish hours that I’m in the car every single day, it gets kind of old listening to The Supremes sing “Can’t Hurry Love” that many times.  I figured, I should make the time worthwhile and learn something.  And by learn something, I mean listen to my favorite comedians talk about their comedy stories.  Not like… math or something.  I don’t want to listen to math podcasts.  DO NOT SEND ME MATH PODCASTS.   

I started with Dick van Dyke’s WTF (with Marc Maron) because, well, I’m me.  I’m a 27 year old who’s in love with an 88 year old man who was way before my time.  But who didn’t grow up with him?  Who didn’t watch The Dick van Dyke Show on Nick-at-Nite?  Who didn’t watch Mary Poppins as a kid?  I read his book a couple of years ago and I just fell head over heels for his charm and his career.  I cried at the end of it because I was just enamored with him and how gracious he was for all the opportunities he was given in life.  And when Marc ended the podcast, he was in total disbelief that he got to experience that.  He literally said, “That happened.”  And I cried.  (And then I Google’d how to send Dick van Dyke fan mail and found his address and found out it was 30 minutes from my work and freaked out.)

And then I listened to Amy Poehler’s WTF.  She said something great that really spoke to me.   She was talking about how people didn’t like how mean other characters were to Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, and she said nobody realized that was the case because “nobody wants to be mean to anyone, they just want to be funny.”

Whoa.  THAT’S RIGHT!  I think of all the times I would get frustrated or annoyed with people for throwing me under the bus in scenes (or, in life when people make jokes at other people’s expense.)  I still do think they’re cheap jokes at times, when people are real desperate for laughs.  But, at the heart of it, they’re not TRYING to be a douche; they’re just trying to be funny.  That’s their only goal.  They’re not looking to hurt you and they’re certainly not out to get you – they’re just trying to be funny!  That doesn’t make it any better, sometimes, but I guess it’s a nice little reminder to shake things off and take mean jokes a lot less personal.   

So, there you have it folks – my goal to make my driving time a little bit more productive was accomplished.  I learned something during my drive!   I learned that all those times the audience begged me to get off the stage, they were just trying to get laughs. 

Just kidding.  That never happened.  At least, oh God, did it?  Were those jeers towards me?  I have to go re-evaluate my life. 


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