Sunday, August 30, 2015


I was in line at Whole Foods today when I did something I hadn't done in a long time - something I used to do nearly every time I was at the grocery store.  I picked up a physical copy of Los Angeles Magazine and tossed it in with my hummus, crunchy hippie bread and sliced mangoes.  I just saw my secret best friend and life idol Mindy Kaling on the cover and decided at least one article of the many needed to be read.

Since the "dawn" of new media, I've always kept with the old ways. I still read physical books, would watch TV news programs when I had cable and always enjoyed a lighthearted beach read with Cosmopolitan or Glamour. When I graduated from undergrad in 2004, Facebook hadn't yet been opened to my school (the University of Texas) for more than perhaps a month, and the new "trends" talked about in my advertising classes were that of movie theater advertisements and even commercial text messages.  Even these ideas were somewhat offensive to me - was nothing sacred? Would I be sold something at every turn in a few years?  It's actually worse than what I imagined.

While I'm not bombarded by branded toilet paper or receiving unsolicited text messages from car companies, the new way of getting information really and truly is driving me crazy.  I was worried about advertisements, but I had no idea what I was going to be dealing with was the unfortunate access to all humanity - including the racist, idiotic, uneducated and infuriating masses to which I had never been exposed.

I used to enjoy reading the news online. It would be one of the first things I did when I arrived at work or on a break during law school, to catch me up on current events and get a general glance at what was happening in the world in case someone decided to pull out some political trivia at lunch and I didn't want to look like a giant moron.

Now I hate it.  I haven't gone to the homepage of an online news site in months, likely because everything is already splashed across Facebook for the world to see.  I don't get to pick and choose articles by title; I cannot avoid the pictures and headlines that follow the cute video of my friend's new puppy.  The worst part isn't even the article, it's the COMMENTS.

I moved to LA to be around like-minded people.  So far, it's been working out well with regard to actual physical humans in my proximity.  Sadly, however, the bigoted, intolerant embarrassments of humanity I sought to escape by hiding out in a liberal haven have been able to follow me - through the glorious world of the internet.

A typical "morning" (in quotes because during phases of unemployment, the time I wake up is rarely in the actual morning) for me starts with checking my email (jobs) and checking Facebook (friends who live as far away as Abu Dhabi and Singapore).  Unfortunately, after a mere twenty minutes of browsing, I'm already stark raving mad by the time I get up to brush my teeth.  In between the vacation photos and life updates, I sometimes stop to read articles that look interesting.  This is a giant, GIANT mistake.

No matter what news site it comes from or what the topic is, inevitably the comments section will make me hate humanity.  Since they're hidden behind the protective wall of the internet, the racists, homophobes, gun nuts, right-wing crazies, Jesus freaks and general trolls start spouting off inane bullshit that is not only horrifying but generally has the spelling and sentence structure of a seven-year-old's book report.  I try so hard to avoid the comments, but it's like a train wreck that sucks me in.  By the time I put my phone down and actually step out of bed, I'm infuriated and pretty much hate the world.

Yes, I may have an anger management problem. Yes, I probably shouldn't worry about what other idiots are posting on the internet.  Does that help me stop?  Nope, sure doesn't - because it's THERE.  I generally leave most comments sections grateful for LA County gun laws because I'm milliseconds away from buying an assault rifle and killing most of the people I just saw post inane shit on the internet.

So when I sat on my couch this evening and picked up my shiny new LA Magazine with lovely Miss Mindy on the cover, I was in for a surprise.  One of the first articles I read was about the airBNB and rental crisis in LA, with the article mentioning differing viewpoints. I felt myself getting anxious and didn't understand why. When I finished the article and turned the page, I felt an odd sense of relief.  I just read an article about a somewhat controversial subject and I didn't have to hear ANYONE ELSE'S OPINION.  It was a magnificent feeling.  The next page wasn't filled with angry, unsolicited comments that strayed so far off-topic that you forgot what the article was about, it was, in fact, a lovely fashion spread of clothing and accessories that each individually cost more than my rent.  But in comparison to the feeling I got whenever I finished an online article and even just glanced at the comments section, I will happily indulge the editors' obscenely priced idea of fashion - especially because it's also not followed by a diatribe from readers about body image and the lack of plus-sized models.

Everyone's entitled to an opinion, I just strongly prefer not to hear it.

Monday, August 10, 2015


A year ago I was sitting in a windowless room with four other people staring at a computer in a bored daze when one of my coworkers announced "Robin Williams is dead."

I refused to believe it so immediately I began my own internet search for news articles, which had just begun popping up without having a complete story to report.  I read all of them.  Things became more clear, the press started getting more information, and I had to suddenly come to grips with the fact that my lifelong idol had taken his own life.

About an hour later, it was reasonable to believe someone was leaving for lunch, so I silently picked up my things and left. I drove home from Century City over the hills back to Sherman Oaks, and as I began the descent with the view of the Valley in front of me, something came on the radio that just made me lose it.  I don't remember what it was.  I got home and just cried. 

I ended up emailing my boss and saying I had family issues which was why I left, because who's going to actually believe someone needs to go home when they find out a celebrity has died?  I couldn't cry in public, and I took the next day off too.

My love for Robin Williams can be summed up in the post I wrote once I put myself together enough to form complete sentences (When You Lose Your Hero).  I could rewrite the same thing over and over, or I could show how my life has changed because of that day.

Last year, I had graduated from USC with a master's in PR, expecting to get a job in marketing or communications.  I had been unemployed for over two months while applying to (literally) over 100 jobs in multiple locations on the West Coast.  I was lonely, miserable, completely broke, and finally ended up taking a temp legal job that had started the week before this happened solely to make ends meet.

I began questioning what I really wanted to do with my life.  I had wanted to be on Saturday Night Live ever since I was way too young to be watching it, and my only creative outlet was this blog.  I'd been so miserable for the past few months that I couldn't even find anything funny to write about.  I knew something needed to change.  I considered going to Korea to teach English, which was my way of running to a fantasy world I saw in Kdramas and where I didn't have the same problems I had at home. I'd move there and become someone else.  Or I could stay here and become the real me.

By Christmas, I had decided to start taking improv classes at Second City, a place I'd heard about since my youth which was basically the "breeding ground" for all of SNL's most beloved - Aykroyd, Belushi, Gilda Radner, Martin Short, Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Tina Fey - the list is as long as this post.  It'd always been something I wanted to try, but I never really thought of actually doing it until last year.

Now, eight months later I just finished my first class in the Second City Conservatory, a program that you have to audition to get into, and am so much happier than I was.  Not only have I found something I love to do, but I found a place I can be myself - every last weird face, noise, curse word or unicorn reference I have in me.  And I've found there are people like me in the same way.  We're like the Island of Misfit Toys, and we're all perfect for one another.  My mom calls it "group therapy" because I'm always so happy on the days I go to improv class.

I also just took the California bar exam, but not for the reason one might think.  I didn't "re-find my passion for the law," I just realized that my passion (improv) requires money and the best way to make it was doing something I was already experienced in and qualified to do.  So instead of a $40k marketing job, I need a decent-paying legal job that can fund my interests, unless (or until) my interests can fund themselves.

Last December I got a frighteningly gigantic tattoo that I had wanted ever since Robin died.  A quote I'd seen in many of the tributes to him - "You're only given a little spark of madness. You musn't lose it."  I was given that madness, and I hadn't used it in years.  He had sparked it in me as a child, and I knew I had to step up to the plate and turn my life into what I had always wanted for myself.  Even though I had figured out I wanted the tattoo shortly after he died, I knew I couldn't get it before I was ready or I'd cry through the whole thing. One night in December as I drove home, I just stopped in to the tattoo shop I'd researched, alone, and had it done.  A couple of the artists talked about him when they walked by and saw what I was getting. The big, burly guy getting something added to his body of art (literally) even wanted to see it.  The whole place kinda changed tone for a second as I looked at the finished product.  It appeared that Robin Williams really did touch everyone in some way.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy for you to realize what's important.  A job is a job, and it's there to make money - if you love it, great, you're lucky - but if you don't, you can still do what you want to do and find a job that can provide the resources to continue to follow your dream. I couldn't let what Robin had made me dream of doing just fall away in the background while I tried to look for meaning in a "real job."  I realigned my priorities and, despite still being broke, I'm happier than I have been in years. I belong to something.  I'm finally being me.

RIP to my hero.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


It occurs to me on various occasions that I'm an adult. When my parents were my age, they already had been married for five years, owned a home, and made the decision to stop having fun and start having kids.  Most of my friends have "real jobs" and "disposable income" and have "paid a lot on their student loans."  I sit on the floor of a studio apartment eating popsicles and watching XFiles reruns.  I am not a successful adult.

Really the only people that consider me an adult are members of the government (dude, 18? 21? No WAY those people are adults), children, criminal defendants, theme parks (I do NOT need to pay that much more for a ticket, thank you) and baseball parks that refuse to give me the "kid's" promotion because I'm "over 15."

I enjoy studying for the bar exam because it's like school and not work.  I have had real work, for like two and a half years, and it was weird.

I considered myself an actress playing a part. Every morning I would wake up and put on my lawyer costume (a suit and heels), drive to the courthouse, pretend I was a mature professional, interact with other adults awkwardly and eventually get to go back home and put on yoga pants and an ancient sorority tshirt while watching Family Guy.

When I was a prosecutor, I never let the real me come out. The real me is not "appropriate for a courtroom" or really any place that doesn't serve alcohol.  I blame the fact that I haven't gotten a "real job" (after trying to not be a lawyer) because people can see I'm putting on an act in the interview. I really want to talk about cat videos and say "fuck" a lot, but I have to pretend that I'm "able to control myself" and "won't embarrass the company." Instead of the real me, they get nervous, formulaic me so I won't scare the everloving shit out of them and thus am relegated to the pile of other nervous, boring people.

When I'm unemployed, other than trying actively to remedy that situation, I have no idea what to do with myself. I'm seriously like a child, but I live 1500 miles away from my parents, all alone, and have managed to keep both myself and my cats alive (and two plants!).

Seriously, how do I do it?

I have called my parents to ask how to bake a potato. MORE THAN ONCE, BECAUSE I FORGOT.  It's not like a cake, potatoes don't come with a little sticker that tells me how long to bake it, it's not MY fault.

I've left my debit card in ATMs not once, but TWICE. One of those times was yesterday, and I had to wait until today for them to get it out of the safe for me.  Because of that, I did not have ONE DOLLAR to see a required show at Second City.  I WALKED AROUND MY COMPLEX FOR 15 MINUTES LOOKING FOR PEOPLE'S DROPPED COINS.  I AM NOT SHITTING YOU. When that failed, I took a nap, because I'm an adult.

I do my laundry about once a month because I wait until I have no pants left. Then for the next week, I draw my outfits from the pile of clean laundry on the floor of my apartment because I HATE putting it away because I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH DRAWERS.

Sometimes I open my fridge and all I have is an egg, some water, maybe some hummus and various condiments. The grocery store is likely still open, but because I hate interacting with people and going to places where I have to  push around a large cart down small aisles and generally get anxious, I go to In N Out.  I'm actually angry that there aren't more types of food that have drive thru windows.  CHIPOTLE I'M LOOKING AT YOU.

I may or may not use Hello Kitty stickers to mark the times I use the gym on my calendar.  I may or may not have a LOT of unused Hello Kitty stickers.

If it was feasible and not painfully expensive and unhealthy, I would either microwave or eat out for every meal.

No matter how long I have to do it, I can never wake up before 10am without snoozing my alarm 4 times.  Except for the bar exam, but a) I had adrenaline working for me and b) I didn't have to wear real pants.

I made my bed today for the first time in months, only to get under the covers and take a nap ten minutes later.

I bought a coloring book (IT SAYS IT'S FOR ADULTS, OKAY?) and markers at Barnes and Noble and now I color while I watch crime shows on Netflix.

I only want a job so I can make enough money to take vacations from said job.

I have to text my friends to ask them what kind of accessories I should wear with a certain outfit because I was not given that part of a female's brain.  I know something is important or formal if I'm not allowed to wear flip flops.  I only learned how to dry my hair and brush it at the same time four years ago.  I own and wear a shirt that features a cat eating noodles with chopsticks. CATS DON'T EVEN HAVE FINGERS.

Yet somehow, some way I'm not 1) dead, 2) in jail, 3) on probation, 4) living in my parents' basement, 5) 19. 

I feel like I should finish this by asking how to "be an adult" but honestly, I can fake it when I need to and being a grown up looks SUPER lame.  And by that I mean being a workaholic who has no time to enjoy herself and too many responsibilities (children) so that life just becomes the same thing, day in and day out.  But I also don't want to be a 23-year-old and expected to use terms like "on fleek" or "bae" and not be taken seriously as a person by anyone.  I guess it's nice to have an on/off switch - I just prefer my adult switch to be off.