What the Hell Do I Do Now?

It’s been a few months, and I know you’re all aware as to why I’ve been too busy to blog.  A) Work, and B) I’ve been Acting instead of just writing about Acting.  Well, explanation a) is now sliding back into normalcy, leaving me with pockets of time & energy which I can now use for writing (or at least thinking about writing).  And explanation b)… I can’t honestly think of a better excuse than “Actually Acting” for being too busy to write an acting blog.

Now that “A Hot Day In Ephesus” is officially over, though, it’s time to capture the experience & thoughts here, for my own posterity & perhaps for your own enjoyment/encouragement/inspiration/mocking.  (Yes, it’s okay to mock me – you still read it.)

Before diving into the details, the ultimate result:   This experience in Bay Area community theatre has answered the questions “Do you love this as much as you think you do?” (YUP) and “Are you even remotely decent at it?” (Signs point to Yes); but it has unfortunately forced me to consider new questions, like “Do you really have the time to do this?” and “If you love this & aren’t horrible at it, why are you still chasing a paycheck in corporate tomfoolery?”

The Experience

As we wrapped each show (and even some of our dress rehearsals), I’d come off the stage, and I’d have a new memory of making someone laugh.  Of making an audience laugh.  Of being part of a great cast of people & taking part in a great script & score to give the audience a few hours of entertainment, creating something at which they could laugh.  If I was lucky, I’d even have the awesome occasional experience of being onstage & in character, but somehow still able to hear & appreciate that laughter at the precise moment we earned it.  Whether it was the after-show memories of those laughs or the in-the-moment recognition of them, they both served as the only reward I needed for putting in all the hours & hard efforts that we put in.

And yes, it was a LOT of hours & more effort than I ever would’ve guessed.  Most of the last 10 weeks have seen me scurrying up to Mill Valley for 2-4 hours of rehearsal three times a week and a fourth occasion on most Saturday mornings.  I wrote raps, I learned dances, I memorized lyrics, I warbled through melodies, I got light-headed from the breathing warm-ups, I got rained on in the redwoods, I sweated through my boxers during a particularly grueling rehearsal in the middle of the rare Bay Area heatwave, and I put mileage on my kneecaps & thumbs from the pratfalls & stage-slaps.  We never did ANY of that in my acting classes. :)  In acting classes, it’s no more than 3-4 hours a week, lots of variety, minimal physical effort, and it’s always a new session – you never really know what’s going to come of each class.  When you’re in rehearsals & up on stage for production, that’s what you go through.

I had no idea.  Doing the SAME chorus or the SAME dance routine 37 times in a row forwards (and sometimes backwards) was HARD WORK.  But let it be said officially and for the record:  as repetitious and grueling as some of those rehearsals were, NONE of it was as soul-sucking as a spreadsheet that never goes anywhere.

There was also a completely different mindset.  I’m almost as Type A as you can get and still call yourself “spontaneous”:  I find value in organization, planning, efficient networks of communication, etc.  The AHDiE crew basically said, and I quote, “Nah, that’s no fun.  Let’s figure it out as we go!”  We were literally writing & re-writing, scoring & re-scoring, metering out & re-metering for the first five of the 10 weeks of rehearsal.  (It didn’t stop after the 5th week, but it became secondary work – week 6 we actually got to blocking and, you know, acting.)  To a Type A guy that was there without a lot of musical numbers or dances, that initially felt like a hell of a lot of wasted trips to Mill Valley & a lot of frustrating re-work for no reason.  It felt as useful as work.

I slowly started to realize, though, the key quality of “figuring it out as we go” in musical theatre.

It was FUN.  Makes it hard to call it work when it’s that much fun.  What’s a good word for “fun work that ultimately rewards & satisfies completely?’  Hmm… the word “sex” is taken.  As is “streudel.”  Perhaps the word is “effort”.  Yes, that’ll do nicely.  It’s a lot of EFFORT to have a successful show that people enjoy as members of the audience.

But that’s what we did.  We put in the time and effort, figuring it out as we went, and it paid off in spades.  When an audience can enjoy it that much & have nothing but positive things to say afterward, the Type A part of you gets bound & gagged & stuffed in a cabinet by the performer part of you.

The Question

So now my quandary:  this is exactly what I’ve been looking for – work that’s creative, fun, rewarding & so enjoyable that it doesn’t feel like work.  I’ve found what I love to do.  That’s even scary to write down, let alone acknowledge it, embrace it, and ask for permission to do it.  What the hell do I do now?

The Problem

Unfortunately, I can’t pay the electric bill on smiles, laughs & a warm sense of accomplishment.  (Note:  I’ve been working on a LaughLamp, which is basically a flashlight powered by the kinetic energy you expend when you laugh – but every time I try to use it I fall off the couch.)  I’ve gone so far as to start figuring out what parts of our household budget are critical vs. nice-to-have vs. “we only spend this because we can”.  I say I’ve started this; it’s REALLY hard to do, especially because the lines are blurry, and my definitions of those categories differ from R’s.  Allow me two examples to illustrate.  First a clear one.

Critical:  food & water.

Nice-to-have: a fully-stocked wine rack (albeit with BevMo $0.05 wine) in the dining area.

Because we can: $150 dinners at places like Bobo’s or Frascati every two or three months, sometimes more.

Now the muddier example.

Critical:  clothing & shoes.

Nice-to-have: shoes that are both comfortable AND stylish AND go with several dozen different “looks.”

Because we can: 4 different pairs of “casual” shoes (me) and 37 different pairs of stubby flats in various shades of black (R).

Okay, so maybe that’s clearer than I thought, but these are still things that would get debated in any discussion about giving up corporate life & corporate pay.  A lot or most of the things on the ‘because we can’ and the ‘nice-to-have’ lists would get no funding.  And all my seed money for ideas like LaughLamp completely dry up.

Once again, the word is balance.  I have to continue to balance some sort of well-paid “career” with the “side-gig” of acting.  In order for one to increase in share of mind/time/energy, the other will have to decrease.  (Either that or my life turns out to be a video game & I can just eat a glowing flower and start spitting fireballs.  Superpowers are cool.  And trippy.)

But I don’t wanna!  That’s what I sound like when I talk about it with R.  I DON’T want to spend the current amount or more of my time & energy in a soul-sucking cubicle with an environment where people use the words “bottom-line” and “workforce efficiency” to describe potential reasons to do away with people’s jobs or the entire company’s fringe benefits (like free samples of our products).  You might say that’s just business, and I would tend to agree.  But it’s NOT just business when the people throwing around those words use company money to ferry themselves between Colorado and California, then hotel themselves in the Bay Area, EVERY WEEK for several years because they have chosen not to relocate.   These are also the same people that TALK about doing things instead of ACTUALLY doing them, that hem & haw about making decisions then finally make a decision that you tell them probably won’t work but then they ask you to push that decision through the process anyway and then they see the outcome and then they pull a complete 180 on that decision and ask you to back it out of the process.

You should say that’s just bullshit, and you would be correct.  You should say that sounds like a completely unencouraging environment where nothing gets done and that would engender very little motivation to stay let alone get deeper in the muck of it.  Saying that makes you Jesus, who’s almost never wrong.  (Still think he should’ve shared that whole “water into wine” bit.  Superpowers, people!)

The problem is that the skills I use there are valuable to them, and they keep asking me to do more.  I don’t wanna.  I’m tired of being a puppet for people who’ve got one foot out the door and the other foot up their own ass because they haven’t got the sense to know it belongs on the ground.  Granted, I don’t work directly for any of these people, but their minions have an incredibly high amount of influence on me & the guys I DO work for.

So what the hell do I do now?

Step #1A:  Find a different paycheck to chase.  That’s in the works, and should give me more autonomy, which I will use NOT to firmly plant my own foot in my ass, but to actually use what I know and make a difference that doesn’t involve a subtraction sign.

Step #1B:  Get an agent.  Less in the works than #1A, but definitely started.  This runs parallel to #1A, actually, in that if the goal of getting an agent (making dollar bills at commercials, voice-over, extras work, or hell even an actual starring role in a large production) materializes, the different paycheck to chase doesn’t even matter and I will dance an Irish jig right the hell out of my cubicle.  I may even introduce a hammer to the inkjet printer on my way out.  (Would feel good to be a gangsta.  Even an Irish one.)

Normally, this is where I would list Step #2, but honestly, if I had more than just the next step planned out, it would mean I’ve become one of those a-holes that spends too much time planning and not enough time doing.  That’s one thing that working on AHDiE taught me – plan all you want, but until you start doing it, you have NO idea what’s going to happen, so you may as well just start doing it & enjoy the act of doing it, then adjust as needed.  It’s a hell of a lot more fun that way, and you don’t waste all that time planning only to have waste laid to those efforts.

I’m off to make things happen.  I’ll figure out one or both of the above, and worry about everything else along the way.  That’s what the hell I do now.

Oh – before I go… a big Thank You to all of you who supported me & got me on the stage.  An even bigger Thank You to those who actually got to see the show.  I couldn’t have done it without all the “you can do it”s and “just make the time for it dummy”s and “look how happy you are”s.  Clap hands!

Crap on a Cracker

I ate a half-cup (ish) of the new Dulce de Leche that the guy put in the bunker today. Thought FOR SURE it was the light version based on how soft it was. Guess what? WRONG. Checked the Flavor Finder website, and they don’t MAKE a light version of DdL. Fine, now I know. But the really shitty part is that the light Strawberry that I thought I was eating probably wasn’t the light version at all. According to Flavor Finder, though, the non-light version is called “Real Strawberry”, whereas the light version is just called “Strawberry”, which is exactly what the label on the bunker says. But I’ll never know.

I think the lesson I’m learning is that, unless the frikkin’ thing says Light, Sherbet, or Skinny Cow, I can’t frikkin’ eat it every day. Which is tough to swallow considering it’s a cheap (a.k.a. free) treat at the end of lunch or in the middle of a grueling afternoon, and I’ve used it numerous times as a break to get through the day. Probably explains why my belly button has been getting larger recently. I was hoping I was pregnant.

PS, while my sister was up for Turkey Day, we also celebrated Consumers Have Ridiculously Indulgent Shopping Tendencies Made Apparently Sacrosanct Day, or CHRISTMAS for short. She gave me this book on insights from stand-up comedians (by Franklin Ajaye, go look it up yourself cuz I’m too lazy to link to it) which I started reading today on the train. I like it a lot. Definitely looking forward to getting further into it – I was kinda hooked even at the introduction part. I’m even tempted to blow off my afternoon just to read it. Bad idea, self, BAD I DEA. Wait until you get back on the train. Eat some prunes instead.

Special shoutout to Steve the Volunteer Coordinator Guy, who commented on the Thanksgiving post – we were happy to help! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do so!

List #1

I’ve spent the first two hours of my day thinking about the following list. I think about it in spurts, so it took a while. Luckily blogging about it should move quickly. Below is The Top 50 Realistically Alternative Jobs That Would Be More Fun Than Corporate America. Qualifications for this list include:

-has to be something that I would actually do. Being an adult film star would PROBABLY be more fun than Corporate America, but I wouldn’t actually do it, therefore it won’t be on this list.
-has to be a JOB, not a career. Again, porn star would probably get excluded here, but so would Architect, Real Estate Agent, Race Car Driver… basically anything that would occupy my time FULLY and preclude me from having another job at the same time. Actor does not get excluded, for instance, because while it could be a CAREER, it would most likely just be a part-time thing, at least until I can get to a gym often enough to stop looking like Chunk from the Goonies and more like Tyler Durden.
-has to steer me away from the doldrums of desk work and at least feel less routine.

So, without further ado, I give you The Top 50 Realistically Alternative Jobs That Would Be More Fun Than Corporate America. These are in no particular order, because I just don’t have time to prioritize them right now.

50. Skydiving Instructor

49. Line Cook – not chef, too much responsibilty & looks more like a career option.

48. Movie Theater Owner/Operator – not too careery; could sell out at any time.

47. Phlebotemist – not a full-on nurse, just the guy who takes your blood and/or plasma, like for Red Cross.

46. Actor – duh.

45. Comedian – double duh.

44. Movie Quote of the Week Administrator – LOVE that sh!t.

43. Video Game Tester – would probably get bored eventually, but hoo-boy would it be fun.

42. Homemade pastry chef – think bake sales, not Kara’s Cupcakes.

41. Carpenter – so what if I know nothing about it now? I can learn. Carpenters need math skills too, right?

40. Cashier – working in Martin’s Grocery Store #32 in Waynesboro was one of the least boring things I ever did.

39. Croupier – as in the guys who work the craps tables or roulette tables in casinos; must be non-smoking casinos.

38. Sailing captain/instructor – of course I’d have to learn how to do it myself first. Details, people, details.

37. Blogger

36. Movie critic

35. Restaurant / Food critic

34. Travel writer

33. Improv teacher – believe me, my profs make next to nothing at this, but dammit do they have a good subject to teach.

32. Opinion leader – as in people actually come to me for my opinion on something, like socks. How many socks opinion leaders would you need? I’d be the Oprah of socks.

31. Oprah’s chauffeur – realistic because I drive REALLY REALLY well.

30. Jerry Seinfeld’s assistant – realistic because I look Jewish, even though I’m not.

29. Lewis Black’s best friend – realistic because I’m just as angry, and will probably end up just as ugly, as he is.

28. Julia Roberts’ smile consultant – realistic because … um … I have teeth too.

27. Movie Theater projectionist – much less responsibility, all the fun, half the money.

26. Courier – getting paid to ride around on a bike and drop sh!t off for $30 an hour? Hell yeah!

25. Marketing consultant (part-time) – helping a friend or relative get their business/restaurant/career off the ground by helping promote it in new/creative ways. I’d be AWESOME at this.

24. Student – could be a career, but I can probably only afford to do it for a few years. Hated papers & tests while in college, but now think I’d appreciate it more & would learn more.

23. List maker – seriously.

22. Part-time book editor – for instance, why do I care enough about punctuation & grammar to make sure that every note on this list has some form of punctuation at the end of it?

21. Charter pilot – SERIOUSLY.

20. Child wrangler – as in the guy who works at the day care center but is really only responsible for not losing the kids & making sure they learn / have fun. No need to change diapers.

19. Lifestyle guru – if I could just give up all this financial security crap and just go after doing what I want to do, I would love to tell people how to do the same thing. Plus, guru is just a cool title.

18. Counselor – as in not a full-blown self-help diva or psychiatrist/ologist, but just someone people can lean on / trust / talk to about their issues. I do this now for friends & family, but wouldn’t mind doing it for others if earning a buck or two.

17. Hotel critic

16. Hotel reception

15. Wedding Maitre’D – this guy basically gets paid BUKU dolares for being super-organized and efficient for 5-10 hours a day, maybe 3 days a week.

14. Landscape “architect” – as in the guy who plants shrubs & maybe even knows a thing or two about how to design a landscape. Did this for a summer – Best Job I Ever Had.

13. Consumer advocate – put my sense of respect and duty (as well as temper) to good use by helping other people fight against The Man, without getting into politics.

12. Deep sea charter boat captain – my grandfather seemed to have the most fun in his life when he was out on the open sea, trying to catch big fish. Would love to bring that experience to people.

11. Customer service representative – obviously prefer to do this for a company/product that people LIKE, but could handle just trying to solve people’s problems with their bank, credit cards, etc.

10. Waiter

9. Bartender

8. Speech writer – not a career one, but a personal one; some people make a decent go at writing wedding/bar mitzvah/Oscar speeches for people, and I know speeches.

7. Founder of ‘Friends’ Fan Club – maybe that’s less-than-hetero, but I seriously love that show. Maybe my sister & I could run that sh!t together.

6. Board game designer – this one borders on career, but holy Hannah, if it was for a small/independent/family company with minimal bureaucracy, I’d be in.

5. Caterer

4. Greeting card writer – along same lines as speech writer, only potentially more lucrative/stable.

3. SNL writer – only Al Franken and Lorne Michaels have done this their entire life, but the difference is that I would be GOOD AT IT.

2. Presentation skills consultant – these people make lots of money for just telling folks how to present better; whether it works or not, they still get paid. Plus I’m not bad on stage.

1. Church founder – new type of church that’s based on humor and the healing power of laughter. Check out Tom Robbins’ “Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates” for a looksee.

I could combine a few (dozen) of these and still bring home the bacon, but I’d probably have to give up a lot of ‘free’ time or personal time… and I do love my free time… but I might be able to survive with less of it if I got to do these types of things all day long. It might start to feel like my whole day was free time, y’know? Wouldn’t that be sweet.

Any thoughts on this list, drop a comment. And if this post, or ANY post, particularly inspires you, PLEASE let me know. That’s what this is about people!

Baby on BORED

Happy Halloween.

Our Sales Admin department decided last week that we’d have a costume contest this morning at 8am. In true me fashion, I immediately got nervous. What am I gonna wear? What’s considered “acceptable” here? What if I’m the only one who dresses up? What if I’m the only one who DOESN’T dress up? People really need to consider the feelings of Neurotic Insecures (new term, abbreviated NI, prounounced “KNEE!”, coined here today by yours truly, defines yours truly quite well) before they announce costume contests – I’ve had agita about this ever since. No wonder I’m not getting much done at work. … Okay, that’s a stretch even for me. I’m not getting things done because there’s NOT a lot to do, and what there is to do isn’t exactly lighting my fire, but I’m also feeling run-down lately, so I’m being lazy. Sue me.

Anyway, I ended up wearing a baby costume, complete with bonnet & bottle (sold separately) that I bought 4 years ago and haven’t worn since. Totally rocked it. Walked in & people just bust up laughing and telling me I’ve got guts, gumption, gall, etc. (never noticed that almost all words that are polite ways to say ‘balls’ start with a hard g – coincidence?) So they voted, and I won most creative costume because I have “nerves of steel” according to our VP Sales. (She was actually dressed as Measles (the disease), courtesy of her 7-year-old daughter who pasted little red construction paper polka-dots all over her.) Given all the praise, and me being a small-time ham but a ham nonetheless, I’m going to wear it all day. (Never mind that it’s bordering just on the safe side of showin’ off me twig & berries. But as long as it stays on the safe side, or I hide behind a strategically placed notepad, I’ll be fine.)

What’d I win? A $200 gift certificate to Boulevard here in SF. Boy do I feel guilty – I BOUGHT this costume, and I bought it FOUR YEARS AGO and have never worn it, and now all of a sudden I have a sizable gift to an extremely gourmet experience on the Embarcadero. The only way I could feel more guilty is if I played it like I didn’t win, and then used the GC to take R out for her b-day in November. It’s a thought that crossed my mind, but A) was too excited about winning that I couldn’t not tell her; and B) she reads the hell out of my blog, and I had to tell Wyltie about this.

I guess I can just think of it as compensation for my agita over this. But there were a few other costumes that were more original (or at least more homemade) than mine. Two of our Finance managers showed up as handstands – they put gloves on their feet, strapped shirts to their legs, flipped jeans upside down and stuck their hands in a pair of boots, and looked very real. One lady did a full-on black spiderweb ghosty ensemble that I think went undervalued. One of our directors on my team showed up as Nappy D, which isn’t a big deal for most folks but I didn’t expect it at all coming from this guy – he’s built like Homer Simpson, has the brain of Homer the Greek, and the personality of a cold spoon. For him to go full-on with the wig and the Vote for Pedro t-shirt, outdated jeans and huge glasses… well, I’m glad to see he has some humor. He wins for Most Surprising Effort. And one chick showed up as a Fried Egg. She made the costume herself out of a white bedsheet and some yellow fabric. Now Fried Egg is not a very exciting costume, but the execution and authenticity of it was striking.

Look at me getting all emotional and analytical about Halloween costumes. You know what that is? That’s me exploiting any opportunity to be creative/funny & making it more impactful. Why? Cuz I’ve got the bug. I wanna act or perform.

… crap, but now I have to go have a one-on-one with the boss. I thought he was out sick because he wasn’t in this morning for the contest thing. *sigh* Left Brain vs. Right Brain. It’s DEFLATING even when I’m just writing the blog and I have to get up and actually work. (Slacker mentality aside, I actually NEED to do this, and the only time I seem to have is when I’m at work. Sue me.)

WAIT! Bonus! My admin says he’s busy with the new boss (MyLINH, pronounced Mee-LING, I’ve been told). No meeting. More writing.

So I wanna act/perform/create in some way. I can do what I’m doing to enable that… but eventually I don’t want it to be something I’m enabling. I want it to be the only thing. Financially and professionally it really makes so little sense that it puts a sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about those aspects. But dammit, what if I rock at it? Or what if I rock at it just enough to become a cult favorite like Robert Goulet (may he rest in peace)?

There’s a lot to be said for the ‘good’ things that come of being a professional in the business world. And it should prepare me fairly well for my ultimate goal of being a teacher or a professor, providing lots of real world experience from which to draw anecdotal stories to relate to the students yadda yadda. But what about the healing power of laughter? What about the ability to directly affect lots of people from one stage? And what about the practice of being on an ACTUAL stage before getting on stage in front of tons of students? *sigh* Conflicted much? A much too much.

Happy frikkin’ Halloween. Stay the hell out of the Castro and stay off the Bay Bridge so I can get home tonight (had to drive to work today due to the costume).


Last night R & I were out and about at some happy hours (I’m still a bit sick, but dammit it was Friday) with some work friends of hers and then a few former work friends of mine, then finally just Mr. & Mrs. Iwamura-Smith.

R gets along professionally with everyone at work. But only Mrs. Smith, whom she works with (not baking pies), is someone that she hangs out with socially & on a regular basis. I brought them over to Harry’s and hung out with another BH and Timmy V., who used to also work for Big Red Healthcare. We’ve hung out & shared stories, but not frequently, and neither of them would be dudes I’d call on any random weekend to see what was going down. But Mrs. Smith’s husband, Mr. Smith, is pretty much that guy, in spite of the fact that we’ve been too busy to really hang out on any random occasion. So we officially hang out as couples, and then the Missus hang out at work and on other occasions, such as Jeans sales.

What I don’t understand, and what we discussed briefly last night at our third watering hole, was why things click with the Smiths, but not with Timmy V & BH, or with R’s colleagues Jai and Swop. It’s no revelation that relationships are different, that you get along better with some than others. But does anyone know WHY?

Here’s why I ask: I’ve been hanging out with BH & Timmy V off and on for, oh maybe 3.5 years. They’ve invited me/us on multiple camping trips, trips to Tahoe, Vegas stuff, etc. We have never gone anywhere with them, save for the occasional b-day party or Happy Hour. And no, we’ve never really invited them to go anywhere with us – not out of spite or obvious feelings of inadequate adventure, but mainly because I/we just don’t think of them when we consider hanging out with lots of people whilst being involved or traveling to take part in other activities.

It’s not like we have nothing in common. Worked for the same company, doing essentially the same things as one another, for 3 years each; lived in the Bay Area for 2+ years each; all like hiking, camping, exploring, traveling, drinking, etc.; all straight males in their mid-20s; all fairly humorous guys who just enjoy a good time.

But without a poker game, a sports event that I actually want to go to, or some other occasion that calls for a night of extreme drinking, I rarely hang out with these guys, and when I do, it’s usually them inviting me, and I rarely feel … comfortable, I guess. Almost like I’ve been invited to hang with the cool kids but don’t know any of the stuff that cool kids talk about. It’s not that juvenile, but it’s early and my analogy-of-the-day calendar is still sleepy, and my electrical metaphor producer hasn’t sobered up yet. But I go and have a good time and usually get left out of conversations so that I can nurse my beer. We didn’t invite them to the wedding (feel bad for it, but we didn’t) mainly because I don’t feel like we know them, or that we would remember if they were there. They just aren’t people that stick out in the mental family photo. (You have one of these too – when you sit and think about your friends & people that you care about, there are TONS of people there, but only a few of them are making “Oh!” faces or mooning the photog, and for me, those are the people that I recognize when I scan that photo, because they’re the ones that want me to notice them.)

Without admitting to having some sort of social anxiety disorder (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I want to leave clinical psychology out of this), I can’t expect to be one of only a few people to have these types of relationships around him. So I’m open to conjecture: what makes relationships like the ones I have with BH and (to a lesser extent) Timmy V. so uncomfortable compared to the ones I have with Shorty, Mr. Smith, Seth, Cermak, Bob, Choi, Moatzy, Sobotka, Charles, Priyesh, Danny, Dani, Erin, Meg? (Uncomfortable is an unfair word. But if Shorty, Mr. Smith, etc. are the cast of Christmas Vacation, BH & Timmy V. are the cast of The Station Agent. Or for a more direct analogy, Shorty et al = the cast of Friends; BH & Timmy V. = the cast of Monk.)

My first excited conclusion is that I’ve gone through very similar things at the same time as everyone in the latter group, and during that time we leaned on each other in one way, shape or form. Can’t think of what the psych term for that is, but it’s the whole “misery loves company” idea. Problem with that is that we didn’t just one day decide to lean on each other – we were ALREADY the sort of friends that lean on each other. Knock that idea down.

Second: drinking. But I drink, at times heavily, with all sorts of people and can’t call lots of them the same type of friends as Shorty, Priyesh, etc. Throw that baby out with the bath water.

Is it sense of humor? I can say to a great degree of certainty that the people I’m way close to are people I’m always totally comfortable laughing with, laughing at, or causing to laugh. But it’s not like BH or Timmy V DON’T have senses of humor. Though I can’t say that I ever saw either of them actually laugh to the point where they’ve bared part of who they are, or that we’ve ever shared a laugh that had its own harmony of hysterics to it———-
SIDETRACK: if it’s not already out there (Google says no), watch this ‘blog for a new theory on Laughter Harmonics – the concept of simultaneous laughter and its impact on social relationships. I believe that when you truly share a laugh with someone, you kinda transfer a part of who you are on to each other, and that makes it slightly less awkward to be socially present together. More later, now back to original programming.———-
so I won’t go so far as to completely eliminate the idea that our senses of humor are tilted just far enough off of each other that we can’t easily transition in the medium that I’m most comfortable (which is comedy… C’MON PEOPLE!).

But I also don’t really know what it was that Mr. Smith & I laugh(ed) about that has made us comfortable around each other. And the only other thing that he & I really have in common is being (almost) married and having (almost) wives that work in the building at 1 Post. Yeah, we’ve found similar interests such as Wii & running & great food & watching stand-up, but at least half of those things we found AFTER we got “there”, meaning wherever we got to that let’s us know we can just hang out and enjoy life in the same space.

I realize I was harping a bit about BH & Timmy V., but this does happen often enough that I think about it – it’s not like they represent an anomaly or anything. Attribute the focus on them only to recency of incident. But it is something I’d love to understand a little more. It’d just make me happier to know what I need from a person in order for us to be comfortable, hanging out & enjoying life in the same space.


Good thing it was a good weekend, because it looks like it will be a BAD Monday. ANOTHER fire drill project, gotta be done today, CEO review tomorrow, blah blah blah… it’s frikkin’ ice cream.

Sorry for not writing over the weekend, and I’ll apologize in advance if this is the only post I get to write today, but mayhaps over the course of the week I’ll get back into the bloggy groove.

Before I go though, quick anecdote from Sunday: we’re walking back from the movies at like 7pm, it’s about 65 degrees out. We’re a block away from our place, and one of our locals (the 50ish-year-old Asian man with constantly spray-painted hair, as in he HAS hair but chooses to spray-paint it odd colors of green and or yellow) comes out of his apartment TOTALLY SNOWSUITED UP. Face mask, huge puffy coat, big orange hunting hat, only the unmasked part of his face revealing that he’s not a well-insulated automaton.

We both see this at about the same time, coming at us like a half a block away, and R totally observes “Ooh, it’s cold outside.”

Timing & delivery both dead-on-balls accurate. Had to bite back my guffaws until after Poofy-san had passed us. Laughed the whole way home.

We’re getting married.

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?