Actor Steven Seagal Not Dead. Also, Not An Actor.

You know how they say a key step to having a successful blog is to write haphazardly & on a catty-wompus schedule for several years, and then go COMPLETELY DARK for almost two years while you go off and actually live a more interesting life? And then when you come back to the blog you’ll try to write about the goings-on of the extended hiatus, but then you’ll sit down and have no clue where to start? And that this all makes your blog the Most Awesome Blog?

You know how they say that, right? They do. I heard ‘em. They talk loudly in small spaces.

It works just like in the movies. They do an amazing first run of something, then go completely silent with no rumblings of ever coming back … and then, when they surprise everyone with a sequel, it will be even more amaze-balls (to wit: Rush Hour 2, City Slickers 2, Look Who’s Talking Too, You’ve Got Mail (c’mon, that was basically Sleepless in Seattle 2: Sponsored by America OnLine)… but somehow the sequel ALSO makes the first one that much more enjoyable?

So… welcome to Most-Awesome-Blog: Back From Action And Back In Action!

… we’ll be right back, after we’ve written a decent treatment for what may sort of be good enough to at least be the first eleven minutes of the first act, including one exciting incident.

Let’s All Go To The Lobby!

Psssst… you just missed the exciting incident! Now it’s all just exposition & deep background! Hope those nine dollar Twizzlers were worth it!

As I was saying.

I spent 9 months in action, completing the exaggeratedly-named One-Year Program at the American Comedy Institute. Over the course of those 9 months, I finally did stand-up. Several times. I co-wrote & co-starred in a pilot for a web series. I co-wrote & produced a spec episode of a late night talk show. I performed in three scene nights & three improv shows, and a sketch comedy showcase. I learned audition techniques. I learned on-camera techniques for commercials. Oh… and did I mention that all of this took place outside the ol’ day job? and in New York City? while also still being a decent-but-with-room-for-improvement father to a five year old & husband to a three-peat entrepreneur?

In short, while the hiatus was long, it was nothing if not action-packed, and I’m certain this is the place to return to for an in-depth analysis. Like when Steven Seagal took a hiatus from being Buddhist – he made a shit-ton of amazing (for their time, for my adolescent perspective) action films with the perfect amount of gratuitous nudity, but when he was done, Buddhism was so glad to have him back. Buddhism was like, “Okay, did you get all that out of your system? I sure hope so because your pillow is getting cold & the monastery needs a good sweeping. Yes, yes, we all want to hear what you learned, but you’d better have a push-broom in your hand the whole time, Brother Ponytail!”

Over the next umpteen posts, I’ll try to explain the what & the how of all that action, as well as try to summarize it in some scholarly fashion so that my kids (both of them – R is due in Feb with a baby boy) can learn from it before my still-nascent-but-looming dementia robs them of the whole shebang.

But for now, let me leave you with this: I spent a year exploring various comedic pursuits, and while I still don’t know what the future ahead will look like, I do know that it’s highly unlikely that any one thing, role, or job is going to define that future. The number of people that can fill a lifetime being only one thing is ridiculously small… and the ones I’ve met that have relegated themselves to that goal are mysteriously unfulfilled and SHOCKINGLY UNINTERESTING.

Along the way I’ll try to weave in other source materials – as much content as I’ve created since my last post, I’ve also consumed a whole bunch – to fill in some holes & round out some analogies. In essence, then, the blog itself will cease to be ‘just’ a door found on your way down a rabbit hole, but it will become a rabbit hole itself.

… Okay, okay, I hear the pretense. I’m just saying there’s a shit-ton of stuff that I’m going to shoehorn into your peepers, so if you’re here with the expectation that this is the same blog it was two years ago, well, think again, Watson. More info, more insight, but still the perfect amount of 90s pop culture references and 80s-level gratuitous nudity.

Because boobs.

But up next will be a post on tonight’s show at the Schimmel. I will be in the audience. Will you?

Not Just a Hat Rack, My Friend

Last weekend, on the flights home from Choi’s stateside wedding reception, I had the surprisingly pleasant experience of watching ‘PS I Love You’. (SHUT UP. I have already heard every possible joke or insult about being a dude who sometimes enjoys chick flicks, so save your breath – it won’t change anything.)

… puts down his hackles …

Anyway, Hilary Swank loses her husband & basically starts her life all over based on letters her hubby left for her before the tumor got the better of him. One of the new parts of her life is actually being the creative, productive artist she wanted to be, working for herself as a shoe designer. Of course it goes perfectly well and she doesn’t have any problems at all getting the business off the ground… that’s not what the movie’s about, so they sheen over it. But it did get to me… you sometimes need a kick in the pants, mortal or not, to get your sh!t started. Between that part of the movie and our recently accumulated collection of entrepreneurial magazines, my sh!t got started.

I made a list of all the possible sources of revenue that I think would be a) fun to do; b) less than a full time job taken one at a time, but certainly a full day’s work if all of them ran simultaneously; and c) NOT require me to work in a cubicle & use words like ‘go-getter’, ‘the net is…’, and ‘let’s not get lost in the sausage-making.’

Taken piecemeal, NONE of these are fully able to support our current lifestyle (at least I’m not letting myself think that they could). However, if I get a few of them moving, if I stop spending my spare time on ‘non-contributing’ activities (such as making lists of things I’d rather be doing & then not doing them), one or two or three of them COULD actually become substantial, and the sum of their substances COULD, in a few years time, get me close to the bi-weekly payments I currently receive for small parts of my soul.

One of these ideas is blogging (surprise!). You probably ignored them on purpose, but hopefully there were one or two text ads from Google on the banner above my Twitterbox. I am aware that ad revenue requires eyes on pages and, more importantly, clicks to other pages where consumerism takes over… so I figure I need to:
1. Blog more often
2. Blog in a voice that’s my own – not that I use anybody else’s, but I mean a voice that’s distinct… signal, not noise
3a. Consider ‘re-branding’ the blog, or basically just change the name to reiterate the voice I’m using; and
3b. Promote the ever-loving crap out of it without pissing people off. I already link to it at the bottom of every Gmail I send, and it’s often in my GChat status window, and I do update it on Facebook using MirrorBlog… but those are all fairly passive. Once I’m satisfied with my frequency & the voice I’ve created, I’ll probably need to be A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E (whoo!).

The rest of the list is below, with a pittance of exposition on each one.

Idea 2: Create my own Improv group/troupe/trifecta. I seriously love doing what I’ve been doing on the improv tip. I think I’m actually fairly decent at it. I know at least 3 other people who are fairly decent at it but are better at things that I suck at and vice-versa. So I think I’ve got the raw materials, just need to put the product together and get out there with it. Worry about finding a stage & all the business pieces after we test the product out a bit (market research, folks… who says Penn State only teaches you to drink?)

Idea 3: Launch my own t-shirt shoppe, a la Busted Tees. This one’s easy & would take next to no time but might actually produce revenue. If you’ve known me at any point since I got to college, you know I enjoy me some funny t-shirts. Well, I’ve got at least a dozen ideas for new ones that I’ve never seen online or on you, and all it takes is putting some graphics & text together and either a) send it to an online insta-fab shoppe to have them made & sent to me to sell myself; or b) sell the designs/ideas to an already existing shoppe, i.e. Busted Tees or Snorg Tees or whatever. YES, this idea is simple and easy. NO, not everyone can do it, because not everyone is funny, and those that aren’t funny are sometimes also not clever, and those that are neither funny nor clever are also sometimes too lazy to do sh!t like this. You need to be funny, clever, or at least not lazy to make your own t-shirt shoppe. (BTW, I’m bringing back the unnecessary e’s at the ends of words. Kickin’ it Olde Schoole.)

Idea 4: Start a corporate presentation consulting firm. Hear me out. This is not me continuing to sell my soul behind a cubicle, but it IS more focused on dolla-dolla bills y’all. This is a hybrid idea of what I currently do and Idea 2 – basically it would be me teaching other people presentation skills. I went through 4 days of this training with my first company fresh out of school, and I know they a) make mucho dolares, and b) have almost NO capital invested in their business. While I don’t know as many fellow corporate slaves that would be interested in doing Improv-ish type stuff every day, I do know that, at the very least, I rock the presentation scene like whoa. I’ve gotten VERY comfortable in front of crowds, and am most fluid when I’m just talking about general crap… that is, when I’m not trying to justify my decisions or make a numbers-based recommendation. And maybe you’ve never seen a corporate presentation consultant speak, but these guys NEVER have to get into decisions or numbers unless they’re selling their own services. (At this I might suck… but probably not, because I have a 90% chance of never seeing the rejecting people ever again, so what’ve I got to lose? Plus, if I brought R in on this, she could sell girl-on-girl porn to a British nun, so I’d be solid.) AND, even better than getting to ‘sort of’ act or improv all day, I’d have more time & freedom to do the recreational acting or writing stuff after work. All good things, friends, all good things.

So there’s a lot more, but this 20 minute post has turned into about 70 already, and lunch is ready. Guess you’ll just have to come back for more at a later date. Oh, if you happen to be interested in joining me on any of the above forays, you know where my Inbox is.

Happy Saturday, people.

Events Like These

Last night our friend Mary Schaefer brought us along to a benefit dinner for 826 Valencia:

From their website:

Simply put, 826 Valencia is dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their writing skills, and to helping teachers get their students excited about the writing. Our work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can be made when skilled tutors work one-on-one with students.

So, last night we had three hours of sushi, wine, and an unexpected “field trip” experience in which all 70 of us collectively composed a short story. The short story was typed up on-screen as we went, as well as illustrated on the fly courtesy of Lisa Brown, author of Baby Mix Me a Drink and wife of Lemony Snicket (Dan Handler). We all left with a bound book, a decent wine buzz, and feeling like we had contributed to an important, nay.. VITAL .. community organization.

I, however, left with a serious jones to be a Volunteer Leader within this organization, joining the ranks of Jory John (website, which is funny but not about him) as a Field Trip leader. Jory & his leaders basically do the highly-improvisational work of leading a classroom full of kids through the highly-improvisational process of highly-improvisational story creation. The work is improv because he can’t possibly plan how things will end up, the process is improv because each class will go about it differently, and the story is improv because, well, they’re making it up. You can tell that he really loves what he does and that it’s highly rewarding for him. I’d love to take some of the burden off his shoulders. 826 has like 1,600 volunteers on its rosters in the Bay Area, but only six.. SIX… of them share the Field Trip leader responsibilities with Jory. I’m hoping to be lucky number seven.

Now, most of you don’t live where 826 Valencia makes a difference… but you probably do live damn close to one of the other 826s.


If you’re at ALL intrigued by the concept of empowering our future through the thoughtful donation of time & resources to help children/students write sentences better than this one, I urge you to investigate this organization. It was founded by Deggers, one of my favorite authors, and has been helping students around the country based solely on support of donors (of both money AND time). It’s an AWESOME endeavor, and I really can’t wait to play a bigger role in it.

Now it’s just the issue of figuring out how to sell the boss (& her boss) on me taking 3 hours every other week to lead a Field Trip. If anyone is an expert at getting a small-to-medium corporation to release you from business needs for volunteering opportunities that aren’t organized by same corporation, please let me know. Jory has offered to write a very nice letter to those who need to approve my departure, but I’m still nervous – any tips/tricks would be helpful. (I would’ve been happy just participating in the company’s Junior Achievement program, but they totally dissed me – I signed up to volunteer and haven’t heard diddly-squat back – so now I’ve got 826 as my avenue to give something back.)

Anyway, back to work. The pressure’s eased a bit, hence the blogging over an actual lunch period, but I still have crap to do.


So last night at improv class (#5 of 6 in the Foundation 2 round, but really it’s #11 in total) I played a character at a bus stop who, whenever talking to the person on his left, would place his hand on the knee of the person to his right, and vicey-versy.

I also helped to prepare a championship pony for a race, and queried my fellow stall-mucker as to what they did with all those flowers after the race was over, and we decided they must put them on horse graves.

Then David (a fellow student) & I were attached at the hip, rowing towards a large tentacled beast who was trying to murder our mothers. We rowed backwards toward it, flipped around with lightning speed, drew our lances, and severed the tentacles. We then tossed said tentacles at our mothers and demanded that they find a way to cook them.

I got lots of laughs, a few compliments, and the question “Do you study this stuff or does it just come naturally to you?” So, much to Shorty’s delight I’m sure, I am in fact tearing up Foundation 2. I love it, it loves me, and I’m desperately waiting on Foundation 3. Won’t be able to start that one until after the wedding (and then only if I won’t miss the last class for the honeymoon; otherwise it’s a January start). I’ve essentially been in classes for 3 months… last night made a total of 33 hours in this. I’ve spent another 3 hours or so since then watching live improv. Next week then would pretty much round it out to 40 hours. Best. Work-Week. Ever.

As you can tell, I really can’t say enough about how much fun I have doing this. With my blog as my witness, I WILL find a way to make this an even bigger part of my life. Maybe I can even make a living at it. (Though I’ve mentioned that as a possibility in the past, R will still have heart palpitations when she reads that.)

And YOU are coming to see me on stage. Stay tuned for details.


Not gonna spend a lot of time here today, because I’ve got lots to do and want to have a productive end to a relatively productive week. Some interesting things I’m doing:

1) scheduling (FINALLY) a dinner cruise that my parents got me for my birthday;
2) thinking about buying a condo (check it out) for a cool $975K – 3BR right on California street with a shared roof deck from which you can probably see the GGBridge.
3) wishing I had really rich relatives who would see “contributing” to our purchase of said condo as an “investment in our future” and would let us “pay them back” over our lifetime and then for our first wedding anniversary they’d just wipe the debt away & say “L’chaim!”
4) reading Impro by Keith Johnstone – if you’re at all into theater, drama, acting, teaching, improv or creative writing, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check out this 40 year old piece of mastery;
5) trying to get back on & stay on the fitness train – I was dead asleep when the 5:25 alarm went off this morning, so I ended up putting on the gym garb and crawling right back into bed.

Fridays can be productive too, especially when you view them as the lead-in to your weekend instead of the last barrier keeping you from it. (It also helps when you have next to nothing planned for the weekend – you don’t have the pressure of trying to get everything done before some official type of fun begins, you just know that the weekend will be fun simply by virtue of being the weekend.)

More later, and yes, I do intend to continue to blog over the weekends. The traffic is starting to pick up a bit (at least since I started tracking it with that counter), so even though no one is COMMENTING (!) on anything, I know it’s getting read. Now if I could just stop obsessing about checking that little counter thing, my therapist would take me down in dosage.

Calculators are for &^ssies

What if, in spite of my proclivity for numbers & math, I’m not really supposed to make that my life? I have always liked using that part of my brain, mainly because I’ve always been good at it; I’m way more comfortable in an equation with a right or wrong answer. But more & more I’m thinking maybe I’m not so bad at using the creative portion of my brain either.

I’m intrigued by lots of different sh!t, and if I had the time or the capacity to explore more of it, I might be the next Tay Zonday (sp?) or even the next Josh Blue (minus the palsy). Hell, even bloggers have the ability to generate some cash flow – though they’re either way more into tech than I am or they seem to be able to devote their lives to their blogs. But NOOOO… I spend my time trying not to get ulcers about whether or not I’ve used/produced/made up the right numbers on a spreadsheet. Why? Because maybe we make the wrong decision about the price of ice cream in Anchorage, and then some idiot Inuit ends up writing a letter about how he didn’t get his monthly fix of super-premium chocolate marshmallow banana leche mint chip at $3.89 on special at Safeway. Hey INUIT, you live in -10 degree temperatures! Why the F are you eating ICE CREAM, fattie? You need MORE insulation on your frame? Feel like the door to the igloo is just not cramped enough when you squeeze through it?

But seriously, what Eskimo is going to write a letter about the price of ice cream? Back up even further: what possible decision are we gonna make based on the right or wrong number in a spreadsheet? And whatever number I might have doesn’t mean Safeway’s going to listen to us about it – they’ll bleed the Blubber Huggers dry whether we want them to or not.

I suppose the same thing could be said about comedy or creative ventures as well. However funny my posts are or whatever jokes I might say on some stage, how’s that helping the world? It may not be, but dammit, at least I know that whatever I put out there in the world is making someone laugh (or not laugh, or cry or not cry) and hopefully I’m around to see it/hear it/read about it in a very nice comment post or (gasp!) feedback email. Immediacy of action and results, my friends.

Plus, I like to think laughter’s the best and most universal medicine. There’s a great part of … shit, I can’t remember if it’s Tim Allen’s book, Drew Carey’s book, or something from ‘Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates’ by Tom Robbins, so just read all of them and let me know. Anyway, it’s about how that moment of “getting” the joke, that split second between the punchline’s delivery and your reaction (hopefully laughter) that’s as close as you can get to Nirvana or enlightenment or whatever. (The more I think about it, the more I think it’s Tim Allen’s “I’m Not Really Here”, and I think I might be the only person that read it.) So that’s kind of a powerful notion, whether it’s true or not. Just thinking about that split second… well, no matter how many times I put my numbers & formulas together and come out with the right price on ice cream, it’ll never feel as good as putting a whole audience into that moment.

Learn anything yet?

Am I On To Something?

To borrow lyrics from Jason “Geek in the Pink” Mraz, let me be lugubrious witchoo. (Editor’s note: lugubrious means sad, but I think Mr. AZ intended it to mean something like loquacious. In spite of his intentions, that’s how I intend that lyric to be read. Ahem.) WARNING: this is heavier than usual. Buckle up.

Sitting on the bus today, listening to my iPod. I was near the back, facing the rear of the bus, and was sitting in that pod of 8 seats that’s just before the back row. I’m one of 11 people in that area, the other 10 of which I can see directly, thus they constituted my reality during the trip to the Embarcadero. Of the other 10 people, 6 of them were also listening to iPods. Two others were both reading this week’s issue of The Economist. The remaining two? Glued to a Blackberry or some such heroin-like device of connectivity. Not a single person looking around the bus, looking outside the bus paying attention to the slice of meatspace we’re weaving through, sleeping a few more winks on a coffee-fueled Monday.

This is not new to me. In fact, I perpetrate this attitude on a regular basis. But the following interaction (which barely qualifies as such) is what set me off this morning: Dude #3 (iPodder) that sat directly across from me gets up for his stop, and Dude #2 (connected man) looks up at him as he gets up, sizes up his shirt, his pants, then his shoes, and goes directly back to the emails he’s receiving from other addicts. As I see this, I realize that Dude #3 has just judged Dude #2. At the very least, #3 has compared his own fashion sense to the soon-to-depart #2’s, and has drawn some conclusion.

When I asked myself “Why does #3 feel compelled to do that?” I realized that it was not due to some primal survival instinct. When I say ‘primal’, I’m getting at the fact that at no point did #2 do anything to threaten #3 or cause #3 to raise hackles. Yet this act of comparing/judging happens all over the place. I even realized, after observing THIS interaction, that I myself had committed the exact same type of evaluation when I got on the bus. (This is a lower-minded activity than observing the isolating activities in which my fellow busizens were engaged, yet they share an ilk.)

Then my world blew up.

I realized that, while not physically threatened by #2, #3 was in fact suffering from an insecurity about himself that caused him to evaluate #2.

Wait, before I get into this, let me just put it out there that I believe that we all suffer from insecurity. Disagree if you must, but consider it as you continue to peruse.

Where was I… ah yes. #3 insecure about #2. While my initial reaction took more of an “Americans as consumers” angle, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it goes back to something very primal indeed. #3, as most of us are, is afraid of death. Not in the sense that he feels compelled to avoid all danger (he certainly wouldn’t get on the number 1 bus were he a germaphobe or agoraphobe or a claustrophobe), but in the sense that he knows, deep down, he will someday die and his life will be summarily judged by those that knew him/loved him/hated him. Leaving the questions of afterlife aside, I consider this a universal truth: we will all die, and we will all be judged by the size, shape, color, taste, smell, depth, significance and solidity of the hole we create in the fabric of life when it happens.

Some cultures accept/deal with that better than others. My conjecture is that #3, facing that judgment, wishes it to come out as positive, as touching, as polished as possible. He is concerned that his judgment need be better than that of #2. This, for lack of a better label, is an American way of thinking. Keep up with the Joneses, bigger better faster stronger, duty honor country… whatever your banner, the vast majority of us (myself included) are nearly obsessed with having, being, providing the BEST that we can, ALL that we can. These maxims are, by definition, comparative. Hence our propensity to compare.

Before I continue, let me also put it out there that I believe in fewer universal truths than Ben Franklin. I’m the first guy to agree with someone that what I value, what I hold as RIGHT and WRONG, as TRUE and FALSE, is quite probably the exact OPPOSITE of what someone else holds; my Rights equal their Wrongs. (If Newton were more of a philosopher, or better yet if I knew a Newtonian philosopher’s work that applied Newton’s third law of motion to the karmic cosmos, I would quote that person here… alas, I am in need of education.) So even when I say something is Right for me, Wrong for me, Bad, Good, Evil, Sexy, whatever… I by no means superimpose them on you for any longer than you’re reading about them. Live and let live, no?

Now, the point (finally, eh?): we are comparing ourselves to death. Literally, figuratively, seriously. What matter be it that #3 had nicer shoes or better hair than #2? In fact, I sort of believe as I mentioned above that there really is no ‘universal’ nicer, better. #3, had he concluded that he was less than #2 in fashion sense, might have winced. Might have felt bad about himself. Might even have changed his behavior/wardrobe/significant other because of this particular instance of the evaluation ritual. And for what? Because he believes that, when he dies, I will show up to eulogize that, without question, his fashion sense was greater than that of #2? How could #3 know whether his funeral-goers will agree? What’s better fashion sense to one person is quite probably much much worse fashion sense to another. To the extent that it’s possible for those two opposite-believing individuals to be at #3’s funeral, #3 has placed a value on ‘better’ that he quite possible cannot achieve.

We (again including myself) tend to compare each other to ourselves, to one another, to some ideal or standard, and one could cite the above logic to argue that it’s a complete waste of time because you’ll never know (save for the example of being the only person doing the judging or comparing). To the extent you can be self-disciplined, self-aware, self-valued, and likely fairly less afraid of death than the rest of society, your logic would hold (at least to you) and you could be declared “right.”

So why do we do it? If it’s all useless, worthless, valueless, how did it come about to be so apparently a universal (at least American) tendency? Because, if we didn’t, we wouldn’t know if we were doing well, if we were making progress, if we were getting better, if we were successful. We wouldn’t know because we rarely place value in our own sense of worth – we find it hard to believe that whatever clothes I choose to put on (or not to put on) are the “right” clothes. It’s hard to believe that whatever career, whatever car, whatever zipcode, whatever life we select, that is the “right” one.

Though I would argue that I’m CRAZY for not knowing that, because I’ve just convinced myself that I can’t know what ANYONE ELSE THINKS IS RIGHT, therefore the only standard left to compare myself to is myself!* And if that’s all there is to compare against, they are in fact one in the same! =. = = = = =. They are EQUAL. I would never be wrong. I would never be insecure. I would not fear my own funeral, because the only opinion of my life that I can know is my own, and that opinion is defined by my life itself. They are singular.

Okay, I’m down from the soapbox. I’m not a logician. I’m not even a lawyer (a.k.a. poor man’s philosopher). Poke the holes in my theory, start a thread of invectives against this semi-Nihilist attitude, send me white powdered donuts. And know that if I were really a student of this school of thought, I won’t care, and society would call me crazy. But is my hypothesis here (or my adoption of it as a moral guiding my reality) really any crazier than #3 going through his day and changing his behavior to meet some standard he can’t possibly know? It may be slightly more socially acceptable, and certainly something that’s easier for him to justify to his funeral-goers, and if you place value in those things, #3 beats me. If you don’t, however, then maybe, just maybe, #3 and I are equally off our rockers. Except I’m right, and he’s chasing phantoms.

Don’t be surprised to read that I got this from Improv class. Because, in improv, whatever you pick up off the table is exactly what the rest of the world saw you pick up off the table; you can’t be wrong. It may not be funny, but it is powerful. Improv, on occasion, is both.

*Note: an obvious exception to this is if you aspire to be someone else. However, this is self-defeating. You will never be someone else. You are who you are, and someone else is who someone else is. You can look like them, talk like them, dress like them, go totally Tyler Durden about it… but physics dictate you can’t be the same person.

Drs. Poopstehn, Farts & Dingleberry

Excerpt from recent email to Shorty, which I’ve bogarted and am passing off (dastardly, but legal) as a new blog entry. DEAL.

I’m feeling more & more in line with my creative self between Improv class #2 and reading Keith Johnstone’s book. Know you have plenty on your plate, but if you get the chance to give that a one-two, I think you’ll dig it. The way that he looks at things like teaching & theater are pretty awesome. (For instance, why do people go to the theater? To see something happen that they would never willingly make happen themselves – to see routines broken, barriers broken down, expectations foiled, social norms upset. Why does that matter to artists? Because it means it does NOT fucking matter what you’re creating in the context of good and bad, because just by creating it you have fulfilled the purpose of an artist/actor. Just get in the circle and make a stupid pose and watch with fascination at the audience’s response.

Feeling LESS & LESS in line with the professional bent though. Really think I might go back to school for teaching/psych/acting. Business – I mean, I understand someone somewhere wouldn’t get ice cream if there weren’t 8,000 Dreyer’s people all around the US devoted to making it happen, but SO FAR REMOVED am I from impacting that result, I just don’t frikkin’ care. Do I care about disappointing my boss? Yes. What does he expect of me? Come to work, do the work, do some more work, ask some questions, learn the business. I can probably do all of those without caring, except the last one, because “the business” just doesn’t matter to me. Who the f cares what price is on ice cream in the Southeast and that it matters whether it went to a Warehouse or straight to the store? Just get the shit in a freezer, man! Not that I cared more about the stuff at J&J, though it was slightly easier to justify. I used the following sentence more than once: “my journal entry may not have saved lives… but… well… y’know.”

*sigh* So once again I’m in a place I can’t be in for very long. And I’ve said this to R, and she knows the feeling – we’re only 26 and we just DON’T have to have all this sh!t figured out yet. Soon, but not yet. What’s the worst that could happen? We spend ANOTHER year doing crap we don’t care about, and trying to spend as much fun time in the city as we can. She’s starting up her professional organizing business (very successful first outing, she’s way happy), and I’m doing Improv stuff to keep lively. Does it matter that we don’t like our 9-to-5s? No. Will it matter if mine turns into more of an 8-to-8? Yes. But I think I’ll be okay for a while.

I got a haircut today. Hair ALL OVER the back of my neck, back of my shirt (the red shirt, no less). @#$&ing Supercuts. B!tch didn’t even towel off my head; just let the clippings sit up there to get blown away by the next headwind. Don’t say headwind.

{sic} Going to an A’s game Fri. night, then ‘Rebel without a cause’ in Union Square on Sat. night. One month ’til the wedding. ONE MONTH.

Life is FINE. But if you put a graph of my moods over the last month, happy/grumpy on the y-axis, it would look like the teeth of a sprung bear-trap. Today is on the ascent from a recent trough. I’d bet that I was a lunar personality… except I have no fucking clue what that means.

That is all.

Mistakes Get Made

Improv comedy, more than anything else in my life, is teaching me that it’s okay if you fail. It’s a woohoo kind of moment when you can throw your hands up in the air & let out the fact that you failed. Much like when a gymnast tumbles off the pommel horse, you’ve got to keep your composure, demonstrate that composure no matter how jacked up your leotard may have gotten, and move on to the next event. (Leotards are common to both sports. At least for me.)

Based on the new ideas and the new learning from improv, today was the first day at my new job when I honestly said to myself, “This may have been a mistake.” I can’t really say much more than that now, as I’m still HERE at work (note the timestamp), but I did need to post this. Two reasons this fell in the urgent/important first quadrant: a) it gets me BACK to this blog thing, finally; and b) it sets up a beautiful opportunity to use my blog to plan just how the hell I’m going to (eventually) get out of the business world. You, friends, get to help me.

More later – promise.