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?

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.