Thursday, August 16, 2012

Internet Wormholes

You know those days where you have tentative plans to be productive? Like, things that are sort of important but not urgent: dirty dishes in the sink,r going to the bank, maybe organizing your junk drawer. So you give yourself some leeway, and decide to spend a little extra time on the computer.

Three hours later, you have four new hobbies and an Amazon shopping card full of things you never needed until that exact moment.

I fall into the most strange, nuanced corners of the internet sometimes. And a chance encounter with one video on Youtube will lead to me suddenly dedicating half my time to wasting my life on something I never knew I gave a shit about. For example, I can get away with a solid four hours of watching nothing but roller coaster videos.

The worst of these spirals is definitely my love affair with Japanese preteen culture.

This spiral begins with my love for Japanese snacks, as was discovered in the Japanese pavilion a Epcot as a child. Yan Yans are made of manna from heaven, I think. It was always an extra special treat to stock up on the various combinations of chocolate-and-biscuit snacks every few years on Disney World vacations.

A few years ago, I realized these could be purchased online. GASP! Would that take away how special they are? $30 later, I realized that no, Pocky sticks taste fucking awesome even when not enjoyed in line for the Norway flume ride (those trolls, you guys). It was then that I stumbled into the world of Poppin' Cookin'.

CANDY YOU MAKE YOURSELF. You get a box full of powder packets and SUDDENLY YOU HAVE SUSHI MADE OF SUGAR AND YOUR VERY OWN GUMMIES AND A CUP OF FAKE RAMEN THAT TASTES LIKE REAL RAMEN. You can't convey these things without using capslock! It's THAT EXCITING.

If you try to find videos of this candy in action, you'll likely stumble upon RRcherrypie and be lost in the deftness of not only DIY candy, but weird crafts full of fake food that I can't wrap my head around. Why does anyone need a fake hamburger the size of a thumbtack that's gonna rot in a few days? It's a mystery, and I will not stop until I find out. (Also, I must recommend emmymadeinjapan for actual reviews on this candy, and so we realize the Japanese have faults like not making this stuff taste like fucking rainbows every time).

Then my world grew even darker. I discovered the world of the Kawaii.

Really, all that means is "cute" in Japanese. But to preteens it means SO MUCH MORE. They inexplicably trade tiny toys -- usually cell phone charms, but like, who has a cell phone with a place to hang charms these days? -- and gather up thousands upon THOUSANDS of Youtube followers. I can't get more than 500 hits on a stupid drunk vlog of me wrapping Christmas presents while pounding Baileys, but some 13 year old goes online to debate the merits of a squishy foam Hello Kitty waffle versus a Mickey Mouse shaped donut and suddenly they have 4,000 subscribers and 30,000 video views.

Everything is squishy. Everything is fake food. There are a million squishy buns with random faces painted on them in the world, and I want to know why.

I will never understand. I'm probably not supposed to. But if you think I haven't stayed up til 3am watching a middle schooler review a fake croissant that you squeeze like memory foam, you'd be wrong.

Who wants to buy me one?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What is a semi-serious post doing here?

Shit sort of went down (?) on my tumblr today, and I felt like making a post about it.

Someone brought up the idea of a Plan B to me. And no I don't mean the morning after pill because for that to apply to me there would have to be a night before, and that is happening approximately never (I can turn ANYTHING into a joke about my invisible sex life!). And I might have gotten soapboxy, so I don't mean to determine anyone else's lives for them. But I feel pretty strongly about the way I'm living mine right now, and I want others to know that it's okay to feel the same.

When I decided to leave a traditional state university to study television at an urban arts/media college, I pretty much said goodbye to safety nets and backup plans. I had tried to see if getting an English or media degree from a traditional establishment with a better chance at having some sort of money paying opportunities in the future, and it didn't work for me. I had to be doing something I really gave a shit about, or I was going to be (even more) miserable in college.

A good chunk of my life is a royal mess, but the one thing I know for certain is that I want to do comedy. It took me nearly 19 years to get to the point where I figured that out, and another year after that until I really tapped into the passion I have for it. And everything else feels so uncomfortably uncertain that, with every bit of might in my flabby arms, I'm gonna hold the fuck on to that passion and let that be the thing I let myself have. So even though I felt like I was the worst and I angsted regularly over my nonexistent social life, I still knew I was doing something I loved. I could bang out a dramatic blog entry and cry a little at night, and then wake up and go to sketch writing class and feel happier than I'd ever feel anywhere else.

All I know is that sitting around a table, joking with other people and talking about what's funny and what's not? It's the best time I've ever had. There's nothing that brings me more joy than to figure out how to make people laugh. I feel like it's the same as how to make people care. It's a positive reaction and it makes everyone feel better and feeling crappy is shit so I want everyone to feel AWESOME because FEELING AWESOME IS TITS! And tits are lovely, so.

Essentially, I love doing this thing and I'm terrified of ever letting myself give up on it, because the drive I have is the only sense of stability in my life. It's why I'm in New York instead of flopping around like a dead fish back home in Chicago suburbia. Instead of dipping my little toe into the water I just kind of did a fucking canon ball because there is probably a pool noodle that I want in the pool and not I am in the pool and I have to find it. And yes it totally is hard because I can't open my eyes in chlorine and like, lungs, y'know? But the pool noodle is going to be fun FOREVER once I find the damn thing so I'll just keep inhaling water through my nose on accident and hoping the warm spot next to me isn't piss.

Where the fuck did that weird metaphor even come from...

Basically, right now, I'm 22. I just graduated college. I just moved to New York City. And I'd like to think I'm doing pretty okay, given the circumstances. I've got food in my fridge, even it its a weird assortment of cheddar cheese and peanut butter with no bread to make an actual sandwich. I was fortunate enough to land a paying part-time job just two weeks out into the city. And I get to go see improv shows full of people I admire and who inspire me whenever I want to. I've been fortunate enough to see my personal life hero four times this summer. There's a comedian I look up to so much who sometimes responds to my tweets like she is interested in my life (I still don't understand, but I'm grateful times a thousand). I've found some other comedy lady friends who inspire me and make me wanna make shit.

Right now, anxiety aside, my life is pretty fucking dandy. I feel like I'm moving toward something I want to do and I'm fortunate to be in the perfect environment to do it. I don't have to worry about what I'm doing next month. I don't even really have to worry about what I'm doing this weekend. I don't WANT to worry about that stuff now. I have my whole life to worry! But right now, when I can, why not take some chances and let myself believe that I'm capable of achieving some awesome shit?

You can sit around all day thinking "maybe someday I might do something sorta cool." Or you can sit around and think "FUCK I'M GONNA WIN SO MANY EMMYS IN MY LIFETIME THAT I'M GONNA GIVE LIKE FIVE OF THEM TO STEVE CARELL TO BALANCE OUT THE WORLD'S INJUSTICES!" There's probably about the same chance of success in either school of thought, so why not choose the one that gives you a lifeline while you need it?

Studying television in college is a scary thing when you face the real world after graduation. But I'd rather give myself reasons to enjoy the ride while I can. I spend so much time feeling crappy for other reasons... I just want something I can believe in. I need that. I need to tell myself, "Hey buddy, remember that time in five years when you're gonna be on SNL and that time five years after that when you're gonna rule the world? YOU WILL." Because that makes me feel awesome right now.

Maybe there will come a point where I burn out. Maybe it'll crash and burn and my name will never be in the credits of a tv show and I have to stop. But hell if I'm gonna let that day be any time soon, and hell if I'm gonna let that happen without clawing tooth-and-nail to avoid it. I don't, at this point in time, care about what I'll do if that happens. Right now, I'm gonna try to do comedy and attempt to enjoy myself while I do it. Maybe something happens, maybe it doesn't. That's life.

This might have gotten lengthy, but I've actually made myself feel a lot better in general at the end of this. I don't know if this will help anyone else, but if you're at an uncertain place in your life, make an unnecessarily long blog post about why you're doing something you love. This has been extremely therapeutic.

And I feel like gracing Steve Carell with Emmys will help achieve world peace, so it's not like I'm not working toward a greater good.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hopelessly Mundane

The other day, I went to the laundromat.

I hate going to the laundromat. It's not even a big deal; the one near me is air conditioned, equipped with wifi, affordable, open 24 hours, and only a block away. But laundry is an official chore. My schedule generally has room for one day off work for avoiding real life, and one day off when I absolutely have to do my laundry because I won't have another chance for half a week.

Last Friday was that day. After the usual morning of sitting around in my underwear reading the internet and attempting to understand the appeal of the Olympics, I told myself I'd do laundry at 3. So naturally at 1:30 I ordered thai food, sat around, watched Alice In Wonderland on YouTube (there was a mushroom in my soup that looked like a cartoon mushroom... you don't understand, like once you see this mushroom, you have to watch a cartoon Disney film that deals with mushrooms, and the options in that category are limited), paused it for long chunks of time to watch other videos of roller coasters, and pretended I was going to get writing done before finally kicking my own ass out after 5.

What was that movie where people fell in love at a laundromat? Seven Days And Seven Nights*? It was one of those movies that no one cares about, so Comedy Central would air it during the middle of the afternoon on weekdays where it would continue to never be watched. I've never sat through the entire thing but I've definitely read Friends fan fiction based on it. Ross and Rachel met in a laundromat, had inexplicable chemistry, and then fucked a lot. This is generally the use of fan fiction: heedless, constant sex. As a Have Not, I appreciate this function. It certainly brightens one's day to read about unfamiliar experiences (this is a very sad paragraph).

I don't think it's necessary to explain that I do not ever stumble into Meet Cutes at the laundromat. Ever.

Where are all the cute, artsy Astoria boys in glasses who like comedy and want to ask me out to the beer garden? Or is that a thing I made up in my head? Because every time I go to the laundromat, it's just me, the silent, always judging Asian owners, and some random Austrian or Indian family with a million young children who treat the laundromat like their own personal obstacle course. I don't understand why, when there are three large plastic tables and I'm the only person sitting at any of the tables, suddenly two mechanics and their little ginger sons need to sit down to fix the Pac Man machine and impart drill-bit related wisdom NOT ONLY AT MY TABLE BUT ON THE BENCH I AM ON. With no apology for the noise.

I went to sit on a stool next to my washing machine in silent protest, which probably just made me look like a pathetic child. Really, it was the perfect opportunity for some cute boy to set down his whites on the nearby counter and look at me in curiosity, because in my imagination everything I do is impeccably endearing and my outfit of ratty leggings and an already-worn-this-week tank top is super sexy, and my hair in a sweaty bun is just like, irresistible. Our eyes would meet and we would look away, blushing, several times until whomever leaves first asks the other their name. We would then meet again, next laundry day, like some sort of fucking serendipity that means we definitely need to go home and take off our pants.

Instead, I realized I forgot to bring any of my pants that needed washing.

All the pants I am wearing this week haven't been washed for two or three weeks.

And I wonder why I don't have any Meet Cutes.

*An internet mcsasspants sassed me. It's 40 Days and 40 Nights. EXCUSE ME, NUMBERS ARE HARD.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Another Year

So I guess I'm 22 or whatever. There's something oddly unsettling about it, despite the fact that its a nice round, symmetrical number. But it's weird because like, is this still my early 20's or do I start panicking that I'm in the thick of the decade and not living it to the fullest yet? Is it too early to get started on my quarter life crisis? Because, let me tell you, I already have worries lined up and things are next to grim (because I am nothing if not dramatic).

You know how you always have that moment at every birthday where you kick back and reflect on your year, only to realize things don't feel that different? I mean that's total bullshit on my end this year, considering in the last few months alone, I've graduated college and moved from my family home in the Chicago suburbs to New York. But then you think about how you are still socially inept and a total newborn baby when thrown into grown up situations and you still have absolutely no idea how to meet people or date or put your mouth on other people's mouths.


At age 22, my mom married my dad. At age 22, my grandma was raising my already 2-year-old dad. And I definitely don't want to be married with babies any time soon, but it's certainly an odd perspective. I'm just a baby! How on earth would people my age ever understand relationships enough to be that deep in them?? But at the same time, I should probably be figuring it out now, right?

I have always felt comforted by Tina Fey's admittance that her v-card (now that I've said that, I want to abolish the phrase and never let any other human use it again, dear God forgive me) wasn't lost until age 24. But her book still told stories of making out with boys at other ages. Even young Greek-unibrow-sporting Tina Fey had some dudes willing to stick their tongues in her mouth.


Why is making out a thing? Who decided that transferring germs via saliva was a romantic, sexy thing to do? Who was the first person to be like, "Hey, I am turned on as fuck right now, open your mouth so I can lick the inside of it"??

Why is it the focus on my birthday post...? I feel that focus has been lost.

Ah, well. 21 did not seem to be the year where alcohol turned me into a sexually liberated free spirit. So I don't think 22 will be either. I guess that's probably for the best; I have too many Japanese candy videos to watch on YouTube.

And this isn't even touching any career/future anxiety.

Birthdays can kind of be the worst. Thank God for presents.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Thing Surely To Fail

Like a good chunk of my fellow interweb brethren, I waste away my days holding down the shift key on tumblr, usually in response to a picture of a comedian who's life is irrevocably better than mine. I sit on the couch in my mismatched living room with the beautiful view of ConEdison on the edge of the bustling metropolis of Astoria, Queens, wistfully taking in the sight of two sweaty mechanics yelling at each other in Spanish as I dream of writing comedy sketches and sitcom pilots somewhere swanky.

Dream Caity is definitely one of Saturday Night Live's most beloved Weekend Update anchors, who fell in love with her charmingly dorky co-anchor and left her mega-hit run on the show to write her own quirky sitcom starring herself and Amy Poehler that is almost definitely going to win her a million Emmys and her own internet fandom full of smutty fan fiction about her characters. Dream Caity is gonna kick back in her old age and think about how bad ass her smash career in comedy television was as she sips a Mimosa in her Manhattan rooftop pool and laughs at how small Betty White's career was in comparison.

Real Caity sells studio tour tickets to tourists and sits in line for four hours in anticipation of free improv shows on a weekly basis. Real Caity cannot afford alcohol. Real Caity is every other 22 year old post-grad in New York.

So why read this blog? Fuck if I know. As I ruminate for the millionth time over zillion dollar improv classes and drop tears over the fact that my writing skillz (with a z because they are xtreme) get wasted on sitcom fanfiction rather than spec scripts for portfolios, I figured maybe it was time to Write. Not the excuse for writing that my tumblr blog, full of sexual innuendos involving pointy faced actors, but real Writing. Which to my generation means a blog about yourself because WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW and I know how to be a lost kid in the city who has no idea how to live life as an adult.

HERE IS MY PRETEND WRITING BLOG. The entries will be long, the prose will be stupid. You will read it because I will guilt you into it. So help me GOD, I will guilt you into it. Because tomorrow is my 22ND BIRTHDAY and as a present you are going to humor my poor soul.

Welcome to Business, Blogs, and Bitches, the blog where the title is completely irrelevant to the content.

I give this thing a week.