Leaving on a Jet Plane (Know Exactly When I’ll Be Back Again)

Next week I get on an airplane! I love airplanes and flying. That’s a lie. I love the idea of flying, but actually I don’t super love flying itself. I mean, when everything is going smoothly and I’m looking out the window at the clouds and the world below it’s beautiful, magical, perfect. But any tiny bump and the magic is lost and I want to land and never do it again. Except I also hate landing, so like I’d rather just keep flying around the world forever in a smooth trip through the clouds so long as I never have to descend. Because I super believe that as we are descending the plane is just going to be like, “ugh, I’m so sick of doing this so slowly.” I think planes are impatient because I like to personify inanimate things with my own characteristics. So, hey, anyway, let’s build a world in the clouds! That would be perfect and safe and maybe then I’d learn how they actually stay in the sky! I realize I say stupid things. I get it. I was in the honor society in high school but then barely graduated college because I hated going to class. That just got super in my way of sleeping and reading for pleasure and I just found the whole ordeal, at that time in my life, to a huge bummer. Anyway, the point is, I never learned simple truths, but if you have questions about juggalos, I’m your girl. Also I’m sort of an expert on the reproductive practices of random animals like turtles, snakes, and birds. Because you always hear about the “birds and the bees” but have you actually thought about HOW? I never did and then one day I DID and now I know and I can tell you.

One time on a flight back from Miami (cue Will Smith song) we flew into DC during a storm and the airport was too crowded for us and we had to descend THREE times and it was the worst flight of my life (for which I am grateful and lucky and happy), but the plane was filled with a group of teenaged missionaries returning from building an orphanage in South America and I was like, “Cool, God would definitely not kill a plane full of missionaries. Unless He’s decided that they’ve finished with their calling.” It wasn’t pleasant. I gripped the armrests like they alone could keep me in the sky while the sixteen-year-old boy next to me looked at me like I was a sort of hungover, unshowered, twenty-six-year-old weirdo, which, tbh, was 80% true. It was an accident, but I discovered the night before that I really like Mai Tai’s.

Next week I am not going to Miami, I am going to Detroit! That is where the members of Insane Clown Posse dropped out of school to form their…band? Duo? Act? They formed, is the point. And then after Detroit I make my triumphant return to Seattle, a place I love dearly, to spend time with a person I love dearly and will one day, sadly, have to murder because she knows too many of my secrets and also, ALSO, speaking of flying (just trying to bring it full circle) I will be taking a ride in a hot air balloon and it was one of those things I’ve always wanted to do but never know how BADLY I wanted to do until the opportunity presented itself and now I’m SO EXCITED and will click my heels three times before we take off.

One time I went to a David Sedaris signing and I quoted The Wizard of Oz and he called me adorable.

Midnight Memories (A One Direction Tribute)*

When I was a young child I was friends with the boy down the street who put ants down his pants. I don’t remember his name, but I vividly remember sitting on the sidewalk of our street with him and another girl, an older girl who took ballet classes and who tried to teach me to stand up without using my hands, a skill, I am pleased to report, I still have not mastered to this day. I would pass out grapes on the tiny plastic plates that came with my play picnic basket and then he would get up and walk to the “garden” (it was a city so, like, not a real garden, but that’s not actually super important) and he’d pull out the waistband of his shorts and he’d put ants down his pants, underwear and all, because he liked how it felt and he never let me see, so I guess for that at least I am grateful because just imagine how many more issues I would have.

I also have a vague memory of his mother leaning out the front door and yelling “don’t put any ants down your pants!” But I could have made that up. That might be adult-me putting some parental guidance into this situation because seriously, what must she have thought every night when he changed for bed or took a bath? Like, where are all these ants coming from, oh, right, I see now.

Not sure why I was thinking about this, must be the humidity, the scent of summer storms, the anthill I saw this weekend. Who even knows. The scent of dirt also takes me back to my early summers and my backyard and screaming because my dad tried to force me to put my face in water of my kiddie pool. I still don’t like to put my face in water. I’m afraid I’ll get too much water in my nose and drown. Like, just while standing in my bathroom. This was a really great fear to have while I worked at summer camp and I was like, “I’ll do anything but swim camp” and they were like, “We want to stretch you!” and they gave me THE swimming camp that summer and I, at age 20, had to tell 12-year-old campers that if they were on my team during races we would always lose because I couldn’t swim with my face in the water.

*This is not a One Direction tribute, I just wanted to see how many views I would get if I said that.

Just Some Thursday Thoughts

I think a real, honest moment-of-awakening for me in my life came when I was in junior high and reading some sort of unauthorized biography about the cast of 90210 (the original, because I’m old). I remember in a chapter about Shannen Doherty the actress was quoted as saying that she didn’t like her eyes because they were asymmetrical and I remember thinking, like, omg, even celebrities have insecurities! This moment was extremely important to me and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because my eyes are also asymmetrical and seem to be going more so as I age, to the point where I’m sure that in about 15 years or so I may not even have a right eye. It may close up and be sucked into my face. This is a genuine concern. A thought that plagues me daily. And since sometimes my eye seems normal I think it’s probably swollen from allergies. But I still worry. Imagine waking up one day and your eye now looks like a belly button on your face! And I don’t like belly buttons. They freak me out. I have never gotten over the fear that mine will come untied and I will deflate. Imagine that but happening ON MY FACE.

These are just some things that I think about on  a regular basis. Like, why is grass green and why is the sky blue and what happens if I deflate or my eye disappears and is my hair falling out and aren’t clouds like the weirdest things ever, how they just in the sky and don’t fall out but sometimes they release water? Like, that’s gotta get heavy and they just stay up there. Also planets and stars and the sun and the moon and science is really hard.

Sometimes stars explode, which is the opposite of deflate. The ones in the sky, not the ones who live in Hollywood. Although I guess you could argue what’s your definition of explode. Do you mean like literally or figuratively because that could change things. Once I read this article about a couple who died of contagious spontaneous combustion. All that was found of them were some ashes in two armchairs. It’s possible I made this up because I’ve never been able to find the article again but anything can happen. Especially in Florida.

Currently…

I stole this from Tabitha Martin, who stole it from other people and here we are because I make my own rules. It’s better than my “_____ that I ______ that I love,” which I stole from a now defunct Mindy Kaling blog but I don’t know how. It just is. So here are some things I am currently…

Loving

cherry-wedding-houston

Cherries. It’s almost summer so it’s almost cherry season and I ate like seven pounds of them last week. There is nothing I love more than popping cherries in my mouth.

Reading

THE MIRACLE GIRL by Andrew Roe, which is lovely and intriguing and a book I was SO excited about and I’m so glad it’s here. It’s about a girl with akinetic mutism (basically in an awake coma) and people believe she has healing vibes, like when they see Mary in grilled cheese and bleeding statues. It’s cultish phenomenon, which is my favorite thing.

I’m also reading POKING A DEAD FROG: CONVERSATIONS WITH TODAY’S TOP COMEDY WRITERS by Mike Sacks because I am going through an identity crisis and think this will help.

Watching

SiliconValley_S2_HBO.0.0

I am fully invested in Silicon Valley, which may be my current favorite show. The most recent episode had the greatest line that I keep thinking about re getting someone to realize how bad smoking is: “nobody ever died of second-hand heroin.”  I don’t know why I find that so hilarious. I am a bad person.

Listening To

HRD-josie-and-the-pussycats

Obsessed with Best Coast’s California Nights album because it’s this poppy girl lite-punk vibe that makes me think of Josie and the Pussycats. It’s been, like, thirteen years since I heard that soundtrack after I left it in a friend’s car and then never saw her again. I’ve been abandoned by people dropping me off and then never calling again an absurd amount of times is a thing I just realized now, but this was a different situation. I saw her, I just never got in her car again and she never gave me this CD back, and she also had my New Found Glory “From the Screen to Your Stereo: Part 1” album and now I’m pissed all over again. Actually, I think the Josie CD was hers. Anyway. We used to drive around campus listening to it and rocking out and that’s what the Best Coast album reminds me of.

Thinking About

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Also fame, fortune, and the American dream and also living someplace sunny and traveling.

Anticipating

plane

Getting on a plane next month and the various stops across the country. (Various means two….unless anyone wants a visitor! Speak now!) Anticipating in a good way. Mostly. I love flying but I won’t sleep on airplanes because I want to be awake should it start to go down. Like, I don’t want to wake up mid-crash and be like, “how did this happen??” I want to be able to say, “Oh, this must be because of that snap I heard when the wing fell off.” I also can’t sleep in cars for the same reason. I want to know why I’m upside down, should there be an event in which I am upside down.

Wishing

I don’t believe in wishing, per se, but I have HOPES and DREAMS and those hopes and dreams are mostly to do with writing and figuring out what I’m doing there and who I am as a person and as a writer and where I fit in the larger scheme of things and if I actually have the talent to do the things I dream about. Anyway, mostly I just sleep.

Making Me Happy

Warm weather and sunshine (but not today because it’s gross and rainy, but like in general, those are things that are making me happy. The IDEA of warm weather and sunshine.)

Aliens and Musicals and a Confession About The Nutcracker

Today on Twitter I was talking about this Christmas pageant I was in when I was in elementary school. It was about an alien named CT who traveled the world in a hot air balloon and went to different countries/cultures to find the true meaning of Christmas. I played CT. I borrowed a gray wool fedora from my aunt and I wore my favorite flower short overalls and I may have worn purple tights and I can see the cast picture. I was front and center in my shorteralls (is that a word? Now it’s a word) and my hat and my hands were folded on my belly because I was so pleased with myself and I had huge pink, plastic frame glasses and a perm. I remember this. But every time I go to Google to find this play I wind up on scientology websites.

There is a play about an alien named Zorg, but that is not my play. That play is different. My name was CT and it stood for something and it is driving me INSANE. I may have made up the part about the hot air balloon. I just really like hot air balloons and I’m probably going to go in one this summer and my life just feels really complete and amazing right now.

This memory stemmed, probably, from my recent viewings of Little Shop of Horrors and Rocky Horror Picture Show, both musicals about things from outer space with the word horror in the title. My Christmas play, which we performed in my church, did not have the word horror in the title. I remember that much for sure. Also, if anyone knows how to write music I’m super into the idea of writing a musical about a creature from outer space. I’ve never written a musical, but I’m sure it can’t be hard. Writing is so easy! All writing! I can do anything!

I think I’m gonna go with this alien in a hot air balloon, though. So only contact me if you’re interested in writing about aliens on Earth in hot air balloons, but we can take out the Christmas part. No need to be seasonally specific. But each country will have a different style of music, so you have to be, like, SUPER talented. It will be like in The Nutcracker when Spain is sexy coffee and Russia is candy canes and there’s the guy in drag with children under his giant skirt, but ours will be better because The Nutcracker FREAKS ME OUT. There is a mouse with SIX HEADS. I watched the Macauley Culkin version this past Christmas and a four-year-old was like, “the mouse has six heads” and I was like, “ha ha, okay, you’re so silly!” but then the freaking mouse had six heads and children lived in a skirt and coffee was seductive. Okay. The coffee thing I sort of get, but the rest is a mess.

Anyway. I’m gonna eat some mini marshmallows and call it a night.

In Which I Consider a Career as an Advice-Columnist

When I was in junior high we had to fill out these surveys for English class and then our teacher taped them to the back wall. I still don’t know why. But I noticed that my crush wrote that his favorite movie was Austin Powers.

That weekend my friend and I rented it because I wanted to be able to say that it was my favorite movie. I did not tell her that my crush wrote it as his favorite movie. She was a year younger and didn’t know about the surveys. It was my little secret. So we watched it at my house and guys I laughed SO HARD. Like, it hurt how hard I was laughing. Even my friend noticed. She said, “Wow, I’ve never heard you laugh so hard.” And I was like, “I know, right? This movie is so funny!”

Here’s a secret: I didn’t even think it was that funny. I was faking it. I just needed someone to observe me finding it hilarious so that when I went back to school and was like, “I loved Austin Powers. It was soooo good!” I’d have back up. Nobody would be able to say, “Have you even seen it? I bet you didn’t even laugh.”

I learned a lot of lessons from this experience. One, if you do the best fake laugh of all time be sure to follow your dreams straight to stardom. You are destined for the stage, screen, etc. Everything else will be a disappointment. Two, and this is most important, always pretend to like things that you don’t in order to attract a boy (or people in general).

The closest this boy and I ever got to having anything was when we were walking home from school one day (separately – he with his friends and I with mine) he turned and yelled “Hey, sugar nipples!” Another lesson here. If a boy shouts something immature that makes you mildly uncomfortable you should definitely hold on to that crush for at least two years and assume that every time he asks you for gum, which is often, this type of boy never, ever carries his own gum, he is REALLY asking you on a date. You are dating. You and this boy are a couple.

Paranoia, Paranoia, Everybody’s Coming to Get Me

I think a certain amount of paranoia in life is healthy. I do not have a healthy amount of paranoia. Once I went on a date and had been on a couple dates with this guy and on this particular date I was driving. He bent down in the passenger seat, probably to adjust a sock, tie his shoe, whatever, but I spent approximately a week certain that he’d implanted a listening device in my car and whenever I got really into singing along with Taylor Swift I’d get so nervous and embarrassed. Also I talk to myself a lot in the car and had been talking through how to end it with him and was like, “what if he’s listening to me practice breaking up with him?” Sometimes I’d just turn up the radio really loud to drown out the sound of my voice. You might think I’m being funny, but this is legit. This is so embarrassing and ridiculous that there is no possible way I could have made this up.

We only had one date after that and I’m still not convinced there was no listening device. Fortunately that car was totaled so this new car is fresh and free of bugs! Well, not all bugs. I recently saw an albino spider casually walking across my dashboard before climbing into the vents and I’d like to report that I was ridiculously more calm about that than I was about the thought of a bug that spies on you, unless that spider is a military-grade specially-bred mutant spider there to steal all of my secrets, in which case I hope it is venomous because I think I need to die. I work out so many serious personal issues alone in my car, going all the way back to stuff that happened in grade school and also all of the imaginary scenarios that are certain to one day not be imaginary that I have to rehearse for in advance. This spider has so much shit on me.

Things I’ve Heard That I Love

podcast

      Podcasts. I’m, like, so incredibly horrifically late to this game due to not knowing when to listen to them. Like, do you sit and do nothing and just listen to people talk at you, like in the old days when kids sat around their radios? (A thing I know from television, not because I am so very old.) Who has time for that? (Actually, I have A LOT of time for that if we’re being totally honest.)
     But I finally figured it out and so I downloaded a bunch. The New Yorker Fiction podcast! TED Talks! This American Life! Comedy Bang! Bang!
     I thought it would be a great opportunity to listen to smart people make me smarter but as it turns out I just like to laugh. So the only one left is Comedy Bang! Bang!, which I listen to on my way to work and my way home from work and sometimes while I’m walking to the mall on my lunch break and then when I had to drive 6 hours to the farm this weekend I listened to it the whole time, both ways, and I’m SORT of obsessed in a way that almost verges on embarrassing.
     Here’s the thing. I love funny people more than I love anybody else. If you’re not funny I have absolutely zero time for you. (Just kidding! That’s a joke! See, this is why I love funny people, because my own jokes are terrible.) So listening to people continually make me laugh is my favorite. Who needs to be intelligent when you can just laugh about everything? The world needs more laughter. I think people lately just LIKE being angry. They want to yell about something and rail about things they can’t control. And, obviously, there are some things that NEED to be yelled about, that need to railed against. But when you scroll through Twitter or blogs and all you see all the time are people being angry, who seem to just be looking for a reason to be mad, it’s tiresome. So I stick with funny. Because you need a break from everything terrible going on in the world. And maybe it seems like I’m turning a blind eye, but there are things I care about, things that make me mad and break my heart, but shouting into a void doesn’t do me any good. Maybe it works for you, so go be angry, take down the patriarchy, etc, etc. But just let me enjoy things, you know?
     THAT WAS A TANGENT.
     The point is, I love funny people and funny things and so I’m super into funny podcasts and if you are too then you should listen to Comedy Bang! Bang! (and also watch the show on IFC unless, like me, you cannot, then catch up when they finally release it on Netflix) because it’s one of the few shows these days that actually makes me laugh out loud. (The other being “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, obvs. And also Mad Men. Ha! No. Just kidding. That show makes me want to drink myself to death. Look at me make jokes! Then go find something ACTUALLY funny.)
     Anyone know other funny podcasts? Is the answer just “basically anything from Earwolf?”

Still Can’t Insert Videos

Today they released the English-language trailer for THE LITTLE PRINCE movie and my heart is already breaking and I can’t handle it and I tear up at this part in the trailer where they look through a telescope and stars explode and guys I might literally fall apart seeing this movie.

You might remember that this is one of my favorite books of all time. Top three for absolute certain so there was a definite fear they’d totally eff this up for me (yes, me, because I am everyone in this scenario, they made this movie specifically for me), but because it isn’t a direct adaptation of the book I think it has amazing potential. I think it’s going to be beautiful and brilliant and perfect and even if it’s terrible I might still go to the grave declaring it the greatest movie of all time because it HAS to be. It NEEDS to be. This book deserves it.

I’ve always wanted a little prince tattooed on my arm and the sheer excitement right now has made me think that might be my next one. This book is everything. This trailer is everything. I think this movie could be everything and if it is not I will pretend because I hate being wrong. Either way this story is still so lovely and precious to me.

While I go read my pop-up version of the book, you can find the trailer here (because I still can’t embed videos and I’m so excited about this I’m typing it on my phone and can’t make the link look pretty):  http://youtu.be/6Hfnttt1BRA

Top Something Tuesday

Since I already did this week’s topic two weeks ago, I went into the archives and found one I loved and which would be easy to work with (because I’m lazy, in case that hasn’t been clear).

[Random update on the mouse: I have two traps in my office, one in my bathroom, one in the hallway, and one in my bedroom and that little bastard has touched zero of them. It’s possible he died on his own. Or he left. Actually super concerned that I’m going to find a deteriorated corpse should I ever move.]

Okay! Back on point(e)! (Like a ballerina, I am on my toes! JK. I tried to teach myself ballet from a book once. Didn’t get very far.)

Top Ten All-Time Favorite Books!

This is my favorite TOPIC of all time! I love talking about my favorite books! (After the top 3 they aren’t really in any “order”)

1. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Yeah, it’s totes pretentious and it’s not perfect and I might have to read it a third time (hashtag humble brag) because I’m pretty sure there are a couple storylines that go nowhere, BUT. But. It’s such an amazing glimpse into the life of mental illness and addiction without ever apologizing or berating either. It’s smart and challenging and funny. And when you finish, you REALLY feel like you’ve accomplished something. The first page also inspired my tattoo. And should I get around to getting a second tattoo, it will also be a line from this book. I really like it, guys.

2. The Little Prince – Antione de Saint-Exupery (pretend I included the accent mark)
This is timely because according to various bookish resources, yesterday was the 72nd anniversary of this book’s publication! I never actually read it as a child (because I read no children’s books, as we discussed) but I DID watch the cartoon on Nickelodeon. I didn’t read the book until I read it in French class in high school and even struggling my way through a foreign version I absolutely fell head over heels in love with this little prince and his asteroid and his rose.

3. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
I picked this book up off of a “buy 2 get 1 free” table at Borders because I liked the title. As with 98% of the books I read, I knew absolutely nothing about it when I started. I prefer to avoid even reading back cover copy. I like surprises. (In books. Surprise me in real life and I will punch you in the face.) The language in this book blew me away and the use of an involved-outside narrator rocked my freaking world so much that I wrote my MFA thesis on it (side note – there are not a lot of books with this narrator. Please write more. Thank you.). It’s emotional and beautiful and when I was re-reading it for my thesis I was sitting in the humor section of Border (RIP Borders xo) weeping uncontrollably. It was my second time through! I thought I’d be fine! I wasn’t. “Oh, Christ. Rudy.” It KILLS ME.

4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
This book is epic and fantastic and you don’t even have to like super heroes or comics to like it. (It’s not that I DON’T like them, I just don’t know much.) I love the magician hero and the way these characters are constantly hiding and disappearing and reappearing and figuring themselves out and growing up.

5. Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
I bought this because there was a weird picture of Elijah Wood on the cover. Then I read it and decided I wanted to take writing seriously. I’m not saying it was a life-changing book but…it was a life-changing book.

6. The History of Love – Nicole Krauss
She is married to Jonathan Safran Foer. This book is slightly similar in concept. I might love it more? I only put EiI first because I read it first. But this one is…it’s magical.

7. How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
I only read this book late last year but I love it SO MUCH. It’s funny and poignant and it’s about rock-and-roll and love and growing up and basically has every single thing I could look for in a book.

8. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
I know. I don’t even care. This book has the greatest opening page in all of literature. Nabokov is a master of prose and you can shut your mouth about the subject matter.

9. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
Another one I only read late last year but that I think about, like, all the time. It was top three of last year and is quiet and beautiful and amazing. I liked it a whole lot. You would too. You should read it. And all of these books! Book club!

There are other books I love lot but these are the ones I’ve either re-read or know off the top of my head that I would re-read again. Also I’m terrible at remembering titles so I actually need to be in front of my bookcase for literally all book-related posts. I’m the worst. I actually forgot the name of one of the characters in my own book. The one my agent already has and has been revised a million times. That book. I forgot a character’s name.