Tag Archives: DPchallenge

Shut Up, I’m Trying to Dream Over Here!

Bed_of_roses_Milan34863I remember the sound of the movie, the soundtrack, playing like a hopeless romantic lullaby to young 6-year-old ears. This was my introduction into the world of entertainment and hollywood. It was the movie Bed of Roses. OKAY, I realize that at six years old, you probably shouldn’t be watching an idyllic romance about a lonely woman who finds herself with the help of a mysterious florist who delivers her flowers after peering into her window and watching her cry. (Christian Slater at his best.) But to me, the movie was enchanting, mostly because Mary Stuart Masterson had my haircut and there was an actress named Aly. By age seven, I had grand ambitions of being Mary Stuart Masterson, starring in my own movie, and producing and recording the soundtrack.

I wanted to be an actor, a singer, a purveyor of twisted plot lines and quick witted retorts. I wanted to make everyone laugh but not in the way everyone laughed when my brother shoved cake in my face at my fifth birthday party. I wanted to be in all of the televisions!

I had an explosive imagination — I believed I could fly up until about age seven because I would climb my picnic table in the backyard and think really hard as I flapped my arms like bony little girl wings, fooling myself into believing I got a little higher each time. So becoming the female lead in a major motion picture didn’t seem too farfetched — I was already a little obsessed with myself and had already proudly garnered the nickname Ms. Photogenic. The amount of times my mother would explain to me, after I came home crying because the popular girls wouldn’t let in their beanie baby club, “Oh! They’re just jealous of you because you’re so special and beautiful and talented!” may have had something to do with my attitude.

I also had no problem rationalizing my dreams — it is what I wanted to do therefore it would happen (American attitude, much?). Oddly enough, I still have this outlook — If you can’t believe in yourself how do you expect your seventh grade Creative Writing teacher to choose your story for the famed wall of story-telling?

So, I did a lot of things to reach my dreams. Mainly I begged my parents to let me take lots of lessons — I had just learned the word novice from watching Family Feud and it did NOT seem like something I wanted to be. Guitar lessons, or the worst idea for a young girl with bony, child fingers were first and I quit after it hurt my fingers too much to play with my polly pockets. All the while I wrote plays in my journal where I was the star and my older brother’s cute best friend was the male lead. I had my priorities straight at a young age.

After guitar lessons, however, my parents were a little less inclined to drop serious cash to suit the whims of their seven-year-old soon-to-be starlet. Singing lessons were off the table so I’d have to settle for wearing glittery, blue, borderline Show Girl costumes at dance competitions like I was trying out for Toddlers and Tiaras. However, I did get some encouragement from Kaitlin, the overweight girl from down the street I played with before I became a social-standing-obsessed preteen (I’m sorry, Kaitlin). I was singing Mariah Carey’s “Always be My Baby” when Kaitlin looked at me and asked if I took lessons.

48d5ba38_Toddlers-and-tiaras

How to make your child have self-esteem issues volume one.

“No,” I said, my head inflating with every breath, “you know, I just think raw talent works itself out.” I was an awful ten-year-old egotist with larger than life dreams and a My-Size Barbie to offer emotional support.

Acting didn’t come till middle school (which is also where it ended) when I joined the improv club after school because Mr. G was the hip new teacher and my parents still didn’t take my hollywood hankerings seriously. I pretty much sparked a riot of hilarity with my impression of a person doing the backstroke! It was GOLDEN.

meinplay

Hit role in elementary school play, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise”

Obviously the next step was to try out for the school musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown with a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Hit me Baby One More Time.” I remember staring into the trash can my entire performance and thinking to myself, I bet Mary Stuart Masterson didn’t have to go through this shit. Britney let me down that day, like she would in a year’s time when my mom, brother, and I went to meet her at Copley Square only to find out she cancelled the performance due to post-Rosie O’Donnell lip-syncing rumors. Apparently, I wasn’t meant to be the next Kristen Chenoweth either.

Chasing boys on the playground, becoming “Aly Dicky” at my new school and the burgeoning prevalence of kids in after school sports overtook my performance pretensions for a while. My writing never stopped, however, and I took every opportunity available to make people laugh — I still can’t believe LaToya beat me out for “Best sense of humor” in high school (she was just louder not funnier).

Although I no longer want to be the next Mary Stuart Masterson — let’s face it, she went way downhill after Fried Green Tomatoes anyway — I still dream of being the woman in the television inspiring a young, quixotic, Tweety bird-obsessed girl (probably more like One Direction obsessed these days) to follow her larger than life dreams no matter how tone deaf she is, no matter how often no one laughs at her jokes, no matter how many times she gets beat out for class clown and no matter how stupid she feels during after school improv class.

Dreams are there for a reason, you idiots, now go do something about it.

Daily Post Memory Challenge

Where I Thank You All and Give You a Recipe for Delicious Cookies

There’s an old proverb I just made up that says “all good things happen to those who force themselves to leave their apartment to complete the tasks they’ve been putting off for weeks.” It may seem a bit specific, but I have some pretty scientifically conclusive anecdotal evidence that proves my point.

A few months ago is when I knew Kelly Oxford was meant to be my writing mentor and ultimate life-spiration. I finished her book Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar in about 30 seconds and I appreciated her honesty. I’m also not embarrassed to say I only started twitter this year. I’m sorry that I was busy living — and yes, by living I mean watching The Office re-reruns in my carpeted apartment with the shades drawn, sometimes crying into the bowl of popcorn littered with delicious raisenettes. But when I figured out you could like, directly talk to celebs via bird noises tweeting, I was as intrigued as any pop culture obsessed ex- Nysnc fan (Screw Backstreet Boys!) would be. But I’m also an educated person, so I follow classy chicks like Joyce Carol Oates and Representative Wendy Davis because, you know, I care about what’s going on in the world. It’s called being cultured.

I was super weary to tweet to celebs though, mostly because it’d take me too long to draft a perfect 140 character message that hints at my subtle yet brash humor without sounding wholly desperate and fanatic. (Love me, everyone!) But one night when I finally agreed to babysit the two boys — we’ll call them energetic –that force me into a Dark Vadar mask every time I’m over, a miracle of fandom happened. I was walking out of what felt like was the modern re-make of the classic Full House estate when I started thinking about how awesome the Olsen Twins had it back then — one uncle plays with the Beach Boys and the other has a cool radio show where he personifies a beaver; My uncle still tickles me inappropriately and threatens to throw me in my family pool whenever he sees me.

photo

This conversation was actually severely awkward for me, yet it still makes my top five life moments.

But it was in the middle of this embarrassingly mundane thought, when I heard the noise that means someone on twitter hasn’t ignored you.  Of course, thinking it’s the same spam robot that keeps favoriting old tweets about Community, I continue to find my way out of the labyrinth that is every rich person’s neighborhood in Texas, glancing down to check directions, and seeing a big old Kelly Oxford shaped tweet on my phone’s now beautiful screen. So, that happened.

Then, yesterday, I finally decided it was okay to bring my engagement ring in to get resized and oh yeah, I’ll make sure that “check oil” light on my dashboard doesn’t mean anything important. I don’t know why, but the highways in Austin this week have been scarier than the first time my brother held me down and made me watch the original Chucky Trailer when I was six. Of course,  I have to go see Al Bundy in North Not-Austin-Anymore-Ville to get the “wholesale discount” from Anita the antique jeweler’s guy, which is forty minutes away, or forty minutes longer than I want to be driving.

freshly-pressed-circleBut then… Brrrrrrrrrng! The best sound in an unemployed, self-obsessed writer’s life: A wordpress notification. And then another. And then another. Another. Another. Never before did I believe and want so badly for Transformers to be real so I could shape shift my way to the nearest guy station and figure out why the shit I was blowing up so hard (Because, yeah, I don’t text/use my phone and drive like an idiot teenager practicing for a roll in a tragic car accident ad.) Eventually I got to a gas station where I could read my email and allow my head to fully inflate upon reading the words “Freshly Pressed.” Man, I should’ve started doing errands sooner.

So yeah, shit goes down when you’re busy being completely ordinary, stuck in traffic, wishing you charged your phone more so you could plug it in and play that song Matti is sick of hearing on repeat. And yeah, when my book deal goes through I’ll be sure to thank you all for my humble beginnings.

Seriously, I want to hold all your faces in my hand and kiss both your cheeks like Heidi Klum in Project Runway except none of you will be eliminated. Then I want you all to sit with me on my pull out couch and watch Gilmore Girls reruns and talk about how Lauren Graham was famous before Parenthood. We can eat homemade vegan cookies I made for you all because I’m bad at being vocally appreciative and thankful — something about it not looking “cool.” Seriously, here’s the recipe for said cookies, because you deserve it! (Thank you all and don’t ever leave me!)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe modified from afa-online.org)

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) vegan margarine, softened

1 ½ cups flourcookies

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

1 ½ cup quick oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 egg substitutes (1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water for one egg)

8-oz vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, including flax Seed. Add the margarine and the water from the “eggs” and mix with a hand blender (I use a fork and a can-do attitude!). Add vanilla and mix again. Dough should hold shape in ball: If too dry,
add a teaspoon of water; if too wet, add ¼ cup flour or oats. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand or with a mixer. Using a spoon, form balls of dough and place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Do insanely good things happen to you when you’re busy being average? Where’s the weirdest place you received great news? Did you wish you were somewhere else?

Did You Get My Email? (and other virtual concerns)

Dramatic reenactment of me writing an email if I were a member of the Brady Bunch.
Source: michaelmccurry.net

When I begin to write an email, I am openly engaging in a never-ending struggle to get the greeting right — my face transforms into that of an important person, about to solve world mysteries through the click of some buttons by well manicured fingertips. In reality, my fingernails are half painted blue, half bitten off and the email I am writing is solely an attempt at modest employment, returning a hello, or sharing an embarrassing youtube clip — So, not in any way an effort at saving the world.

But I can’t just write the email because it’s too hard — because most of the charm of being myself is how I am in person. That’s a total cop-out as a writer but seriously, I’m super captivating and dynamic in person. My old boss told me I get the engagement award at meetings (which didn’t exist) for emphatically bobbing my head, smiling and just really connecting with everything she said. I’m a head bobber. I look interested and engaged in what you’re saying and that makes you feel good. And then you make me feel good for making you feel good. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s hard for you to see how good I’d make you feel over email without me being that person who overly uses emoticons.

What’s worse is that I was born in the age where virtual communication is supposed to be super natural. Sure, I grew up on AIM, so I know a bit about flirting my way into a virtual relationship virtually communicating my personality — but this had nothing to do with being professional.

There’s also no such thing as a sarcasm font and that is tragic. ‘Dear Sir/Madam who is hopefully going to fund my addiction to Starbucks iced coffees in the future’ wouldn’t be an appropriate way to start off an email. I have learned this. Professional seems to always trump quirky. There is also a problem I seem to have with being appropriate. I have a theory about this called the Michael Scott model which predicates that a lovable inappropriate asshole is still lovable — that’s basically the whole theory. The point of this theory is that it allows me to feel okay about being an inappropriate asshole. The problem with this is that the lovable part doesn’t usually transfer over email which leads to a stripping away of the whole entire character, producing an email tone similar to George Feeney’s (William Daniels) way of speaking.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Emailing immediately relegates me to a perpetual state of insecure teenage outsider — like that time when a Senior boy in my high school came to my table at lunch just to pop my birthday balloon. I don’t know the person I am emailing as well as I want to and basically, I want to be a part of their team. I want him or her to pick me first for dodgeball, or basketball, or swim races ( I’m really good at all those things). So you try the standard greetings: Dear Hiring Manager, To Whom It May Concern, Hello Madam/Sir, Hello Mr. or Mrs. Has More Power than Me, etc etc. And the worst possible response? You get an email reply with absolutely NO greeting because they are super aloof and hip and totally past all those formal greeting procedures, and also they are, of course, “going to pass” on you working with them.

At this exact moment I am in the middle of writing an email to a woman from a temp agency who could potentially get me a job. This sentence alone should tell you how prepared I am to send this email. “A woman from a temp agency.” Wow, Aly, you’ve really done your research. I am president of the emailers against researching club which meets daily on my couch. This might have contributed to my current, extended state of unemployment.

“You’ll literally have a job the next day after you email her” says Anna, my red-headed counterpart who I imagine goes to work in 80s power suits even though I know what her wardrobe looks like. But what if she senses my rebellious attitude towards email communication? What if she never gets the chance to see how endearing I am while bobbing my head? It’s tragic.

And then there is the reality of knowing I myself never answer emails…or text messages…or smoke signals. Usually to get in touch with me you must let yourself into my apartment and clap a few times in front of my face while offering me a dark chocolate sea salt infused candy bar, or use the pretense of wanting to compliment me on my awesomeness. I’m always available for flattery. But knowing my own attitude on email decorum negates me from taking email communication seriously — too much of a chance to be rebuffed — and it is not my preferred way of ignoring massive amounts of people (that’s usually voicemail and text messaging). And also when you see me in person and ask, “Hey, did you get my email?” I want to punch you square in your eye because why the hell would you send me an email if you were going to see me some time in the near future? Of all the possible ways to get in contact with me you’ve chosen the one in which Groupon and the Mary-Kay-lady-I-was-too-nice-to-say-no-to are among the most frequent attendees. At least put a god damned important flag on that thing.

Is this what you people want?

Is this what you people want?
Pic Source: Eharmony

I’m also convinced that emoticons are taking over and I’m desperately scared of plunging into a world of fake, creepy, emoji faces as substitutes for displaying personality through well thought out discourse. Emoji icons for Facebook statuses are deviously genius — further perpetuating people’s likeliness to adequately depict their emotions through pre-made pictures without having to physically be around anyone. Where this is headed, as I see it, is a massive population of overweight recluses representing themselves through yellow or blue smiley faces. And this is coming from someone who counts brushing her teeth as leaving the house.

There’s just too many ways to give a wrong impression. Whether it’s over email, Facebook messaging, twitter, texting, tumbling, whatever. We have all opened up communication so much that our main concern is worrying about how we sound in all these mediums. So far, my solution is perfecting communication between myself and my dog, Tengo. This is going very well. He has assured me that he would hire me for any job as long as I keep mixing wet food into his dinner — a very clear,well-received message.

Related Posts:

Gen Y and Technology

Email “Netiquette”

Response to DP Challenge

Women Are Funny and Smart (and we make up over half the population so remember that)

Today I started talking to my dog as he was performing his “butt rocket” routine — an attempt at itching his little doggy butt hole by sitting and using his front legs to drag his bum against the plush feel of the (thankfully) beige-colored carpet.

“Tengo, you know that humans use toilet paper to wipe their butts?”

He didn’t answer. I was also beginning to wonder why I said “their” and not “our.” I should definitely be including myself in the human category. I should also not be in my house at 10 am on a weekday having a conversation with my dog because I believe him to be smarter than all the other dogs.

I think I’ve been unemployed too long.

If we could at least stop memes like this from happening, there will be some victory

If we could at least stop memes like this from happening, there will be some victory

Maybe I should be vying for swanky careers that offer things like insurance, like these exciting new professional-sounding positions I found while job searching: “Dell Product Specialist” or “QA Engineer III” or “Technical Specialist.” These positions would definitely help make back the money I wasted on college pay back my student loans.

There is the problem of not having a degree relating to any of those positions. Who would have thought that a degree in Creative Writing wouldn’t yield a high-paying power career whereby I immediately, upon graduation, move to California and start working on a new hit series with Mindy Kaling and Zooey Deschanel about how their lives changed when they met me:

“It’s good to have a fresh face and comedic mind to work with,” Mindy would say.

“I just….want everything in her closet,” Zooey would swoon.

In the midst of my hypothetical stardom, however, while doing really important research for my writing online, like marveling at  Kelly Oxford’s tweets and stalking ex-boyfriend’s Facebook profiles, I came across this video:

Despite the fact that I have never wanted to be an engineer (though I’d love to have the skills to have that option), this video is totally kick ass and inspirational. I call this the “badass-ifaction” of little girls and I’m totally down for the movement.  This toy aims to squash the notion that girls should play with barbies and leave the problem-solving and building to boys. Debbie, an engineer and Goldie Blox’s CEO claims this came from her reaction to the lack of females in the engineering world.

Maybe I should go blonde again?

Maybe I should go blonde again?

As a young women trying to break into the comedy writing industry in whatever way I can, I absolutely love this. We live in a world where Christopher Hitchens claimed “women aren’t funny” as an empirical fact without his car getting tamponed. Come on, my car got lo mein noodled in high school by a girl just for looking at her the wrong way. See, girls are funny. Also, I’m way funnier than my brother, and he has an engineering degree!

If my Hitchens example didn’t make you a believer, check out this experiment by author Maureen Johnson revolving around the gendering of book covers and how that dictates what we choose to read:  “A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simply more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it.”

As much as I like the idea of feeling smooth jazz blowing off my book cover, I think I’ll pass. I imagine my book cover having something more controversial like me and my dog, Tengo photoshopped into a picture with Robert Pattinson or something equally as edgy.

Seriously though, when is the last time you saw a book with a female author and said to yourself gee that could use a woman’s touch, maybe a little more pink. The answer is never. That conversation has never happened.

Isn’t it just time that we stop telling girls what they can’t or aren’t meant to do altogether? Yes, yes it is, says the crowded studio audience of feminists inside my head. You guys, if I had had this toy growing up I would have hours back of my life that was spent making u-turns due to an inability to read a map. My map navigational abilities come to a glaring halt whenever I am required, in any capacity, to know which way east or west is.

Maybe if I had put down the my-size barbie as a kid, which come to think of it, was one of the most anti-social toys I owned — I spent months telling friends, when asked on play dates, that I was busy with my new friend from California — I could’ve learned how to properly draw a human figure or build a simple machine. A child once asked me to draw them a barn and that was the last time I was ever asked to draw a barn. The children I nannied for have also stopped asking me to help fix their blanket forts.

Play Title: Best of Friends

Play Title: Best of Friends

I mean I always knew I wanted to write so I don’t have too much of a right to be so pissed about my lack of engineering skills. My family recently informed me they will be throwing away all my childhood memories selling my childhood home and that I should start gathering my shit. I took this opportunity to fill my checked suitcase with a favorite end table (best idea I ever had) and all my childhood journals. The first play I wrote was gold.

So sure, I already knew I was destined to be the next big thing, especially by my ability to spell interlude at age six. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have benefited from some construction toys. I totally could’ve used some legos to build houses for my beanie babie habitats — instead, I hung them on my dresser by sticking their beanie bodies through the drawer handles.

I just feel like I missed out on the boy toy fun my brother had growing up, and with how awesome I am without having had those experiences, imagine how amazing I would’ve turned out if I had a chance to develop my scientific brain to its full capacity? My jokes would be more intricate! It wouldn’t take me a half hour to change my camera lenses! I wouldn’t have to spend an extra ten minutes before each trip making sure I know where I’m going! The ability to read maps seems like such a luxury. Also, the kids loved the male teacher I worked with so much more when he taught them how to make robots out of toothbrush heads and tiny batteries. I want such adoration! When I would try to get the kids excited about writing a story they would all groan and ask when they could to the gym to throw balls at each other at high speeds.

I guess I’m still pretty cool and talented without having a profound understanding of machinery or engineering though. No, I don’t actually want to be “QA Engineer III” but it would’ve been nice to feel like that was an option as a child. For now Im totally content to just keep sending unanswered tweets to Mindy Kaling until I get famous.

What toys did you play with growing up? Do you think it had a part in shaping your awesomeness today? Do you also talk to your dog? What about women in comedy and writing — what’s your take?

Related Articles:

My So Called Post-Feminist Life

The Gender Coverup

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DPChallenged!

What’s in My Purse: Part 1

What does your stuff say about you? Well, I don’t know what type of stuff you have. But if you’re like me at all, you have a purse and it is filled with crap. I’m known for this, for having a purse filled with crap. If Matti wants to borrow my Ray Bans and he knows they are in my purse, he does not borrow my Ray Bans.

"I see what you mean about your purse" -You and everyone, right now.

“I see what you mean about your purse” -You and everyone, right now.

Whenever I go through security lines, the security guards, as they pick up my purse, are like “geeeesh, what do you have in here?”

And I’m all like “well, you’re about to see on that x-ray machine and also, aren’t you supposed to be strong?”

I just like the feeling of knowing I have something incase I need it (because it’s super important to carry a sole Crest Whitestrip with you in case one row of teeth really needs the clean). Don’t tell me you don’t have a junk drawer. Or a stuffed box of notes a friend you don’t speak to anymore wrote you in high school. Maybe one of those fake, plastic lockers filled with Playboys? Anything? It’s not hoarding if you can remember where you got the item, right? Or is that how you know it’s starting? Well, this is the beginning of a lovely series I have creatively titled, “What’s in my purse?” where I will answer one of life’s most well-kept mysteries: what the fuck does she keep in that thing?

Either way, before I begin to tell you about what is in my purse, I’d first like to ask you to please judge me for all of the things that are in my purse.

  • Whale toothbrush holder: this says I’m a supportive person because I’m always ready to hold close what’s important to me (and also that I’m really good at unpacking in a timely fashion). Are whales fish or mammals? Definitely, mammals. Right?

photo (99)

  • Owl Date Stamp: This says that I’m whimsical and fun. Whimsical people always have owl trinkets, that’s just a known fact. Also, if you ever need something  to be dated, well I don’t have an ink pad in my purse so you’re out of luck.
  • photo (94)

    This was 8 dollars at Whole Earth Provisions. I have never used it.

  • Postmaster Junior Sticker Roll: I’m the first person who is going to get a kid to stop crying at a grocery store. Who could cry while wearing a Junior Postmaster sticker? Come on. How cool did you think mail people were growing up?

    I may even give you one without a coffee stain on it...

    I may even give you one without a coffee stain on it…

  • Two bent Laffy Taffys: I bought Laffy Taffy for a little girl I worked with on her birthday. Upon further thinking, I realized giving three extra long pieces of hard, chewy candy to a five year old wouldn’t be the best idea. On a different note, I have some extra Laffy Taffy if anyone wants some.

    photo (95)

    Rock hard candy, no one?

  • A travel-sized flashlight: This should just tell you I’m prepared. Comes in handy when you can’t find your dogs’ poop in the dark.
  • A Baggy full of Bunion support gear: Only really attractive people have bunions. I like to break out this gear when I really wanna let someone know I’m serious about living. Living it up, bunion style. Actually, these things all look vaguely like sex toys, the beige numbers look and feel like toe bikinis.

    photo (98)

    Play your cards right and I may post a picture of my feet in these babies sometime.

  • A froggy thermometer: 90 percent of the time I think I have a fever. 89 percent of the time I don’t have a fever. I also like frogs.

    "I don't like to take myself too seriously."

    “I don’t like to take myself too seriously.”

  • Coolest pin ever: This pin fell off the kickass purse Matti’s Stepmom made for me a while back. The purse is made out of jeans and Matti’s ties for the handles. It’s actually the coolest bag I own. This pin is to remind everyone that I appreciate inspirational text but only in a hip, vintage way (so everyone knows I’m trendy and unique).

photo (100)

  • A Ninja Star: The quickest way to be the coolest person in any room is to have a ninja star on you. Just don’t ask me how I made it. Seriously, I completely forget. OKAY FINE — a seven-year-old boy made it for me.

ninjastar

If I were to judge myself based on these things I would probably say I need more attention and I need to relax. Also, maybe, get your shit together and get some adult items. Mostly, however, I’d be like, dayuummm girrl you know how to have a good time and then I’d reply to myself, you really need to get out of the house more.

What weirdo stuff do you have in your purse/wallet/coffee table/kitchen junk drawer/shoebox in the closet and can I see pictures of it all?

This post was written in response to the DP Challenge

The Evolution of Making a Point

Do you ever just not have a point? And you’re all like, I can’t write, there’s no point. Sometimes we just need to arrive there really slowly, like my grandmother making her way to the top of an escalator. But you not writing isn’t gonna help anyone, idiot. Okay fine, I’ll prove it. Let’s just start somewhere.

The last couple of days I’ve been focused on the Texas abortion bill, uniquely named House Bill 2 or Senate Bill 5. That doesn’t sound very funny, you say, to which I’d reply, you’re kind of right. Except that you’re wrong and funny is everywhere. Even in really scummy times, like watching a bill pass that affects mostly women get passed by mostly men, there is comedy. Some funny things that happened:

  • The gray-haired tourist, complete with fanny pack taking pictures of the portrait of George W. Bush. She looked as if she half expected him to pop out of the picture, which I could totally see W doing on some sort of presidential Punk’d remake. There needs to be a presidential Punk’d.
  • The gavel debacle. Inside the house chambers at the Capitol, you were expected to follow proper decorum. This is really hard to do when a lady takes over the Chairman’s seat to call time by banging the gavel, and as her delicate little wrist pounds the wooden hammer the head of the thing comes flying off into the political arena where Representative Sylvester Turner D-Houston is breaking democracy down for the people. The chambers are in an  uproar of unplanned comedy as the girl next to me is all like, “Did you get that? Oh. my. God. Tweet that now!”
  • DSC_2864

    “See! I told you this job would be fun!” -THAT guy

  • Thinking intently about gavels. The best part about this was that they had an extra gavel like right underneath the desk which made me wonder how many gavels they have and wear do you buy gavels. Is there a gavel store? A law-maker’s store? Are they customized Texas gavels, bigger than all the other states? These are the things I wonder about.

    DSC_2870

    Original and replacement gavel.

  • Politicians making jokes. Rep. Turner understood the humor in the moment and decided to make a joke, “Oh no!” he said, “I’ve been so traumatized so badly we need to recess for two weeks and I may just need an ambulatory emergency center!” Granted, law makers aren’t the best joke makers, but he had a point by calling out the absurdity of the bill up for debate. (The bill requires all clinics that provide abortions to convert into ambulatory medical centers in one year which will force all but five clinics to shut down).
  • Watching this guy doodle. I spent some of the time trying to figure out what each Representative was doing at his desk. This guy was drawing, while others were online gambling and buying plane tickets. Good times.

    DSC_2844

    “5 ways to stay busy during an intense floor debate”

  • The 16-year-old boy handing out fake Planned Parenthood pamphlets with false information — hilarious. Seriously, this boy was so gay he may have been sweating pink (I hope it all works out for him).

A point: We often have to laugh at ourselves, with each other and at each other so we don’t end up killing each other. The House abortion bill passed just like no one thought it wouldn’t. I’d rather laugh than cry most times, and either way you’re getting it out, right? So there’s my point, now go write something.

What do you do when you can’t write? Do you also think we should have a show called Presidentially Punk’d?

Written with the DP Challenge in mind.

Good Luck Myths: I’d prefer not to be pooped on by a bird

Did you ever step on a crack and then get home to find your mother on the ground, writhing in pain, screaming, “WHY? WHY DID YOU STEP ON THE CRACK!” I don’t think so. And if so, why haven’t I heard of you? What about finding a penny on the ground, heads side up, picking it up and placing it in your pocket only to find, at the end of the day, a hundred dollar bill? No. I don’t know why these good luck shams exist but I do know we all look like jerky morons trying to abide by them. And maybe that’s why they exist.

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  1. Find a penny, pick it up, all day long… you’ll have a penny. This is what the saying should be. Having a penny in my pocket has never brought me great fortune. How about you? Mostly, it’s just embarrassing to pick up a penny that has been on the germ-ridden ground for who knows how long. And why does it have to be heads side up?
  2. Finding a four-leafed clover. If you find one, it’s considered good luck. Key phrase here: if you find one. Working with kids, I spent hours searching for four-leafed clovers in vast fields with no success. Again the only luck I had was the pure pleasure of looking like an idiot after standing up with grass stains all over my ass from sitting and scooting for so long.
  3. Bird shitting on you. This one is perfect and makes no sense. Whoever made this up was a genius. Imagine the best friend of the first person who got shit on by a bird just laughing behind them, all like, “you didn’t know that was good luck? You better just leave it there, man.” I found the BEST replies to people asking if getting pooped on by a bird was good luck. Two funniest replies: “Well… on average, your luck is likely to get better. After all, you’ve already had a bird poop on you. Just getting back to normal would be better luck,” and “No. It is true, however, that if a bird poops on you, you will need to change clothes.” Perfect.
  4. Getting the bigger piece of a wishbone. Hey, let’s both grab an end of this bone like idiots and pull as hard as we can and hope we don’t poke out our own eyes! Everyone watch us do this!

    wishbone

    Made with marrow…and good luck.

  5. A stray eyelash. Nobody looks stupider then when they are trying to either get an eyelash out of their eye  or trying to pick it off their face. It’s the most ungraceful of acts. It’s also super awkward to watch up close, like if you are helping the person try to locate said stray lash. Oh you almost got it…nope…still in your eye…you’re just getting it deeper in there now….oh, almost got it again….nope I think that’s in there for good. 
  6. Step on a crack and you break your mother’s back. This one is cruel and unusual. Do you know how much time I spent avoiding cracks as a kid? I was really weird as a child, like I refused to wear underwear and socks at most times. So clouding my conscious with the thought that if I step on a crack my mother, who already had a bad back from waitressing, would break her back was some slick trickery.
  7. Bad luck to walk under ladder. The best thing about this superstition is when someone is like halfway under a ladder and you can see the thought click in their head and they back up slowly to walk around the ladder, as if already walking halfway through didn’t count. We’re all blockheads.
  8. Step on your shadow, have good luck. Ever see someone try to catch up to/jump on their own shadow? If not, go outside and try it for yourself.
  9. Blow out all your birthday candles and your wish will come true. There’s nothing more depressing than an old person with limited lung capacity trying to blow out a cake with 80 candles on it. Literally nothing.
  10. If you break a mirror, you’ll have bad luck for seven years. As if breaking a mirror didn’t suck enough already. You have to clean up, most likely stepping on a shard, cutting your toe and then worry that in seven years you’ll get struck by lightning or something (unless that’s also good luck.) If you type this phrase into google, you will literally be bombarded with people trying to find a way reverse the bad luck they anticipate from having broken a mirror. Come on, people.

    Bad luck has relegated me to the inside of this mirror...forever!

    Bad luck has relegated me to the inside of this mirror…forever!

  11. Bad luck to you, holder of an opened umbrella indoors! This one is great. Because clearly some parents got creative and made certain there annoying kids would never open an umbrella inside again.

There’s definitely a reason the movie Just My Luck wasn’t a hit. First, Lindsay Lohan. Secondly, I don’t want to see a bunch of shmucks that can’t get their shit together deal with a bout of bad luck. But maybe we do like watching other people make fools of themselves way too much. Maybe if we tell people that bird poop is good luck we can watch them sit under trees, looking up and wishing for white turds to fall from the sky. How much fun is that? If we watch people search frantically for four-leafed clovers we can forgot about how bored we are! I’m now positive these superstitions were made up out of boredom, before reality television provided us with unabashed looks into people’s embarrassing daily lives.

Did I miss any good luck rituals? Has a penny ever made you lots of money? Have you ever glued a mirror back together to save your luck? Tell me, people.