I had to work tonight…and I should be in bed now because I’m working a double at the restaurant jawn tomorrow…but I don’t write enough…so, here we go.
While I was waiting to catch the midnight train in from the ‘burbs, I rocked out alone to Bloc Party (excellent decision on my part). Once I got back into Center City I headed toward the Broad Street line to catch the last train home to South Philly. I never wear my iPod at night because I don’t want to get robbed…and I like to be able to hear if any crazy people are coming my way, if you catch my drift.
While waiting those few minutes for the train, with no music to distract me, my mind began to wander. I started thinking…what if all the power went out down here? What if the tunnels of the tracks went pitch black, and everyone panicked, and started running toward what they thought were the exits, and in those few moments of mass hysteria, people collided into one another and slid across the freshly mopped platforms, slid into the track area, and just then! The train would come flying through the tunnel and wipe out whatever doomed passengers lay in its way?
And just then…the train showed up. And I got on it. And the lights were still on. And then I got off at my stop and walked home. And then I played with the kitty. And then I ate some cereal. And then I found myself on the Internet between a clip of Ric Flair and Triple H. And then I showered and made some Tension Calmer tea. And then I hugged the kitty again.
I think I made it through another day.
I had to work tonight…and I should be in bed now because I’m working a double at the restaurant jawn tomorrow…but I don’t write enough…so, here we go.
Today was a good day, and I feel a need to share before I go to bed for a few hours.
I slept in late. It felt great. I had visible bags under my eyes yesterday for the first time, and it drove me crazy. I don’t want to age. I know it’ll happen eventually, and I’ve made drastic life changes to buy me time. It’s not a vanity thing either; hear me out. When I was a little kid, I once witnessed me grandfather zip up his old Izod coat, he accidentally caught the zipper on the loose, saggy, old man skin hanging from his neck, and…well, you get the picture. If I can keep things looking right, looking tight…no zipper issues.
Today was sort of the perfect day. Had a chance to walk around my neighborhood a bit when the sun was out. I love Pennsport. It’s nice, but shady. All of Philadelphia is. Then I met a friend for a walk and dinner; afterwards, performed on a show. I feel good with where I’m going with my writing and delivery style. A few people told me that I have an “I don’t give a fuck about who I am, but here it is” attitude when I perform. It’s where I’m at in life, and plan to keep it. I blame the bottom I hit in sobriety. I’m very much a “what you see is what you get” type; I never planned to be pretty; just lucked out, I guess. I’m still a self loathing nutcase at heart, I promise. Ask anyone who has had a conversation with me for more than five minutes.
After the show, I wandered over to a favorite old hang out spot of mine. At 11:40 P.M. I was outside of a late night ‘self improvement’ meeting. I started going to them again recently. I kept walking until I ran into a familiar face on the street, and he walked in with me. I hate to say it, but it’s good to be back. I feel calmer. Frustration issues have been creeping back in recent weeks; there’s even a new scar on my knuckles to prove it. Weird saying that now, as I’m cuddled up next to a kitten while drinking Sleepytime tea.
Afterwards, I walked home a bit (or as far as I could until the roads got a bit sketch, then took a cab). I figured after a good hour of calm, I’d follow it with a late night stroll down South Street. It was nearing 1am, and people were drunk as shit on the sidewalks (people stumbling everywhere, women lifting their shirts, men vomiting next to dumpsters, etc.). I’m glad the night turned out as it did. I got to hit a stage, check myself, and revisit a world that I’m glad to no longer be a part of. It’s the cheapest therapy I know of (yes, I have health insurance, but until my student loans are paid off THIS fall, my copay budget is STRICTLY for lower back issues).
This was a good day.
Now I’m going to sleep so I can go to a kickass wrestling show tomorrow and shoot confetti guns at badass fans ;)
Hello there. It’s been a while, dear Internet. I took a break…after a whole three entries on this damn thing. A lot has happened.
I turned 27 today. Despite the past month of turmoil in my head, the actual birthday itself is nothing. What lead up to it has destroyed me and broken me down to a blubbering fool, and I am now picking up the pieces. About 23 days ago (but who’s counting?!) I think I had a quarter-life crisis. I didn’t know such a thing existed. When I was in high school and listened to John Mayer sing about it, I thought he was just being a pompous idiot (because I knew that someday in the future he would be viewed as such by the masses. Or because in his first interview with Rolling Stone he stated that he did physics problems ‘for fun’ while killing time on the tour bus. And I wanted to hate him then too, but in the photo spread in said interview he also sported an amazing pair of sneakers from Diesel that I still want to this day, because I always prefer men’s sneakers to other pretty, fancy things that I should want, but have no desire to own, but that doesn’t make me completely rugged or a butch, it’s just a thing, you see.)
Did I just go off on a tangent?
ANYWAY…on that fateful night last month I realized that I’m an adult (and not very good at it). With that said, I became aware that for the first time, I knew exactly where I was at in my life, and where I may have gone wrong. (Those eight years of drinking may have contributed to a list of mistakes that over 16 months later, I am still trying to rectify.) And that realization led to me having a good cry for three hours, causing me to miss my favorite open mic in Philly as a direct result of my actions. It also led to a very patient boyfriend sacrificing his Thursday night to sit and listen to his nut job girlfriend whine while feeding me comfort food (sweet and sour chicken, anybody?)
He’s still with me. I’m lucky.
It was a full-on mental breakdown. It was glorious, and for some sick reason, I’m proud of it. It wasn’t just one rough night that did me in for a bit, but after months and months of build-up, I finally lost it. It was the motivation I needed to figure out what I want to do with my life. It also led me to the decision to quit comedy.
That lasted two weeks.
Over the past few months I’ve considered multiple career paths. I thought about going back to college and finishing out that degree in professional writing that would lead to a job in…oh waaaaait, it’s 2012. Everyone and anyone is a writer now, thanks, new media. Maybe I’m just jaded by years of student loan debt accumulated for a degree I’ll never use anyway. Sure, it’s nice to have that paper to show I learned a thing or two, but it’s even nicer to not waste time investing into an uncertain future in a post 9/11 world. You may say I’m a pessimist. I prefer to be called a realist.
Since I’m not on board with traditional schooling, it was time to consider different trades. I always wanted to be a butcher. My favorite movie is So I Married an Axe Murderer; the more I can be like Harriet, the better. Besides, being a butcher would be such a badass profession. I could cut stuff up all day. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that butchers probably have to wake up pretty early every day to get to work, and I’m not much of a morning person, so now that’s out.
Then I considered getting certified for Pilates instruction. I’ve dabbled with Pilates a bit over the years and enjoy practicing it when I can afford to. Yoga and Pilates are great exercise for people with back problems and help to quiet the voices in my head (insert Randy Orton’s theme song here). I even found a studio in Center City where I could study and follow this career path. I was on board until I took a mat class there last week and giggled through the entire class. Why? One reason: too much camel toe.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m bored and underpaid at my day job, and even picked up a second job to save money. All I do know is that as much as I want to quit comedy, it’s not in the cards. The day I realized this was sometime last week when I was waiting for a bus late at night. Some guy stood next to me and starting jerking off. I was upset, and even a little scared that he may try to hurt me, but I’ve had enough with scumbags in this city thinking they run this town. I made the guy aware that I knew what he was doing, and then when the bus finally did show up, I got pissed off when he didn’t get on, so I turned around and yelled, “So you’re going to stand there and jerk off, but not even get on the fucking bus??!” He ran off after that.
Okay. After reading this, I know it’s not my best; but dammit, I already told you it’s been a hell of a month. I’ll spare you the physical health issues as well. Instead of going out and doing birthday-like things, I’m going to put on some Bill Burr and pop a few Tums. (I ate too much today.) The end…for now.
Day jobs suck. I won’t sugarcoat it. Until I get funny enough to pay the rent on this little pipe dream of mine (which won’t happen if I stay in Philly forever), I have a day job. As stated before in a previous post, I won’t give specifics, but in a nutshell, here’s what I do: I work in retail out on the Main Line (lah-dee-DAHH, right?). My job is to supervise folks at the front of the store and keep an eye out for customer issues that transpire.
Had I known what I was getting myself into when taking on this position in this particular location, I would have never quit drinking.
I am not kidding.
There are many different factors to face when living this kind of double-life. First off, you have coworkers to deal with. I work with decent people. But when you have a management position and a sassy employee in your department wants to throw in your face the ol’ “You’re a comic, you need to lighten up!” bit, it’s never fun to have to remind them: “Hey, yeah…kinda not at a gig right now. I’m here. Do your job while you’re at your job…pleeease. Thanks!”
Then you have the general public. They’re crazy. It’s funny, when regular people act out of line, they’re considered a nuisance; but if a rich person acts in the same manner, they’re labeled ‘eccentric’. (You’re not eccentric. You’re just as much of a pain in the ass.)
For the most part, I can handle the public. I treat it the same as my sex life: Get ‘em in, get ‘em out, get on with life. No personal hang-ups, no strings attached.*
(I won’t be dead inside forever.)*
Last night I was put to the ultimate test. A situation popped up where a miserable old man (who, for the matter of this story, it is important to mention that the distinct scent of vodka appeared on his breath) was causing a scene in my department. I walked over, apologized to the guy, fixed the error, and wished him a good night. He then continued to scream and moan as though someone cut his dick off and force fed it to a baby.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a progressive individual who is aware of the human condition. Sometimes, mistakes happen; when they are corrected, you move on. This guy was hung up in the past. Because his life was delayed an entire 84 seconds, he decided to kick and scream some more and began to make personal attacks on both my employees and myself.
The personal struggle within kicked at this point. The comic in me wanted to treat this guy like a heckler and put him in his place. (I’ve only had to deal with hecklers twice, and I once managed to make one cry. At the core I am very warm and loving- but cross me and you’ll pay, fucker).
In the end, I laughed it off, secretly wished he’d get hit by a bus, and walked away. This guy’s days are numbered; I have my whole future ahead of me. No need to get caught up in the moment. I highly doubt the guy is a supporter of live comedy anyway, so in the end, he’s of no use to me.
Did I want to break his spirit and tell him how worthless he is to the world? Of course I did. But…what would have I gained? I wasn’t at a show; I was at my job that pays my rent, that provides me with health insurance. Sometimes, it’s hard to just shut up and know your roll (as the Rock would say, though I believe he phrases it “Know your roll and shut your mouth…jabroni”).
And that brings me to having to gain a sense of maturity. Up until around this point last year, I never had any reason to grow up. Sure, I had to adjust to this whole ‘rent’ thing, but other than that and some student loan bills…I kind of don’t have any major responsibilities. I’m single. I’m childless. I have no pets. I have nobody else to take care of except myself. I can do what I want when I want. I pretty much do what I want when I want. With this kind of freedom, sometimes it’s hard to act like a grown up for eight hours a day, then clock out, go to an open mic, and act like an idiot on a stage.
I shouldn’t call myself an idiot. It’s funny, when actors are onstage, they’re acting. When I’m not onstage…I’m acting. I’ve managed to get a decent act together so far when at work…hope this act continues to play out for a while until I figure out where I’m taking this show next.
I have a day job. I’m not exactly thrilled about it (those 40 hours each week could be used on more favorable things, like taking naps and eating ice cream); but rent won’t pay itself. I don’t exactly “love” what I do (Mother wanted me to be a doctor; I chose to pursue the impossible while taking the slacker path on the day job circuit); but…I like what I do, and I’m not completely terrible at it.
Often times I am asked how I handle people and situations there. (I don’t plan to tell you specifics about what I do. While nobody knows this blog exists, suppose someday someone did. I’d like to still have employment…catch my drift?) After revealing details of coworkers and the public to whoever is listening, the end result is usually laughter, followed by the comment: “That could be a bit.”
Anything could be a bit. But I have no idea how to tackle work humor. I’ve heard over and over from comics (who actually know what they’re talking about) that people go to comedy shows to escape day-to-day life…so why bother bringing up details of the typical 9-5 on a night out?
There are specific characters that I could write specific bits about, but the more I think about individual characteristics about individual people, it brings me down. Some people are the way they are because of situations outside of their job, and instead of leaving it behind when they clock in, they bring their baggage to the office. And…that sucks. It doesn’t make me laugh…it depresses me.
That past statement doesn’t only apply to my current job. Everyplace I’ve had employment, there’s always someone or something that is absurd. Maybe I need to look at this subject with that mindset. It’s easy to joke around with coworkers about typical work humor; but if I took that same banter on a stage at an open mic, nobody would know what the hell I was talking about.
The only way I’m able to get through the struggles of the working world is this: I won’t be there forever (in the traditional sense of the 9 to 5 gig). And…nobody is safe. Anything can be made into a bit…and so can anyone. Some days that’s the only ace I have in my pocket that keeps me going.
Maybe I have evolved just a liiiiiitle bit in the past year…because I’m starting to find bits and characters in this whole mess, while still caring about the individuals. The fact that I care makes me think I’m not completely jaded (hooray, I’m not dead inside!)
But, to be fair: I’m pretty sure it would be easier to write about this if I was completely dead inside.
I’m sorry if this comes off as a ‘high and mighty’ post; bear with me.
I forgot my iPod at work today. I heard a lot of small talk on the subway and and R5 today.
Philly: y’all need a hug.
Cheer the fuck up.
Productive day off:
- Slept til 10
- Made tea
- Knocked out 60 pages of Box Office Poison
- Went to the chiropractor dude
- Came home to soup, more tea, and a Frank Sinatra station on Pandora.
I don’t want to leave.
Decision time: open mic or sex?
This is my life.
The year just started and I already have the first of what I hope are many favorite moments in the Philadelphia comedy scene this year.
Last night I went to Drinker’s West for the Sunday night open mic run by Brian Finnell and Jack Martin. It was a low key Sunday night room with about 17 comics in all on the list. Jack wanted to close it out with some new material, then went into an old bit or two, then yelled at himself on stage for falling back into older material at an open mic, then went on a tangent. I’m a sucker for tangents, especially when it leads to a moment of honesty in front of an audience.
I don’t remember the exact wording of what he said, but when he was beginning to wrap things up, he grabbed the mic and said something along the lines of “No, I don’t want to get off stage! This is the only place I know what I’m doing! When I’m not doing this I’m fucked up. We’re all fucked up! No…I’m not getting off stage yet!”
I can promise you, when Jack said it, it was worded much better than that. I’ve seen a few other comics in the past have a similar moment on stage, and it always hits a nerve. It was one of those rare moments of raw emotion and honesty that all comics should strive for.
After the show was over, comic friend/Captain Action himself, Sidney Gantt, gave me a lift home. We talked about where we’re at, where we’re heading…and he made one comment that kind of blew my mind:
"You know there’s no turning back now."
"…What do you mean?" -me
"Even if you wanted to quit comedy, you’d find yourself at an open mic a few months later trying out new material."- Sidney
Ooohhh shit. He’s right. I’m balls deep into this.
First off: this isn’t going to be a sex blog. I know very little to next to nothing about porn. I even have a letter from the “industry” to back me up on this. As a laid off writer, I was once desperate for writing work and considered a job reviewing porn for the net. I submitted one little piece and immediately got rejected before week’s end. The letter basically stated: You’re too goofy and know nothing about the industry. (My response: Why watch when you can ‘do’?)*
One thing I do know: The playing field has finally evened out. This whole skinny jean trend over the years has finally paid off. It always seemed unfair to me that women’s tits were always on display (unless you dress like a hobo or a really relaxed chill plumber or something). Now that more dudes are suiting up in their fitted Levi’s, women can see what we’re getting ourselves into…before wasting our time.
Now you know how we feel.
(But Sarah, you still didn’t tell us what graphic novel character is your tit twin)
…and I won’t.
*Words of a recovering sex addict
I’ve never in my life made any New Year’s resolutions. Recently I decided it’s time to up the ante and go forth and make that happen. I’m one of those fortunate people who has always been able to set goals and reach them…and on that list was starting a blog. It’s going to start out as a piece of shit with random thoughts that will eventually amount to a whole lot of nothing.
Care to join me on the ride?
Since moving back to Philadelphia in August of 2010 with nothing more than a van full of stuff and a small pocket full of cash, I quit drinking and went a year with little to no Internet access (by choice). And…I’ve missed a lot. Shit. All of you have blogs now. And some of them are even interesting. Good job.
With that said…I literally feel like I woke up from a nightmare. Falling off the grid, taking time to defrag, now coming back out to a scene I started in when my drinking was at it’s worst…it’s been a tough adjustment. Socializing, writing, falling asleep at night, finding reasons to laugh…hard to do sober. Even legit writing jobs I had it the past were done from home and after a few beers.
Having a fear of people doesn’t exactly help either. But…hey, working on it. Replacing fear with an addiction to hugs is a step in the right direction…I think. (Am I aware of how contradictory and senseless those last three sentences are? YES.)
So…now what? Don’t expect every post to be this honest or heartfelt. Expect pictures of kittens and poop from time to time; it WILL happen.
Hope to post again soon…I tend to have a fear of commitment. Just like this blog, I’m a work in progress. (sigh)