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Date archive for: January 2019

Writer’s Block

Hello. A quarter of the government has been shut down for 32 days, I’ve recently returned from a performance in Chicago, and I’m stuck. I can’t think of any new jokes or concepts! Desperate for laughs, I’ve turned to Twitter. On Twitter, John Mulaney posted a link to a Buzzfeed piece about how Hollywood failed Brad Renfro, a child actor. Perhaps it will be hilarious. I bookmarked it.

I think I can write a stand up bit about the whole IVF process, but I don’t know if people will laugh or feel bad for us. We saw a movie on Netflix about the, let’s use the word “journey,” and it was not a comedy. It was rather dark. I should have known it would be. The same director was responsible for The Savages, a truly miserable movie mislabeled as a dark comedy.

I read two books this month: The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman and Small Fry, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. These books better not foreshadow the reading I’ll be doing this year. I struggled with both for different reasons. The Forever War is Hugo and Nebula award winner. I should find it inspiring because if he can win an award for that, then maybe I too can win an award for something I write. This is not meant to be a compliment to Mr. Haldeman. It is meant to be a scathing criticism of a novel that lacks purpose, makes lazy predictions about the future, and does not address time travel math. Small Fry was a beautifully written memoir that shed light on the romanticized notion of single motherhood you see in movies. I did not envy her upbringing. And maybe I’m not a real writer, because I could never share the inimate details she shared about her family.

Okay. Let’s hope I come up with something funny soon. Or read or see something funny soon.

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It’s all chaos.

We had a snow storm here over the weekend, and I spent it doing something I should probably not do. I spent it reading EVERY ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS and then starting to read the New Yorker, but stopped on page 18 on a personal story by David Sedaris, because I didn’t know people living lives of comfort were still writing personal stories.

I should read it.

Admittedly, I did scour the contents of the issue for reporting on Russia, immigration, international gaffes, the shutdown or general bureaucratic negligence and found the headlines wanting. So the odds I pick up that issue again are 50/50.

Anyway, chaos ensues.

On a lighter note:

We saw Aquaman on Friday night, and I just love superhero movies so much. I love them so much. One conflict in the movie is that the people who live underwater think they are under attack from humans, because the humans keep dumping their garbage in the sea. I thought, “You know…that perception of attack is valid. Their feelings are valid.” And in the movie there is one scene where the ocean dwellers/Atlantis people spit back all the garbage onto land! I wish the sea really did that.

We also saw the Little Mermaid, and I have something very important to say about it. So thank goodness I have a platform to share this important thing I have to say:

A couple months ago I read that Keira Knightly said that she would not let her daughter watch certain Disney movies, because they sent the wrong message. Among the list, she thought the Little Mermaid was not appropriate for her daughter to see. Here is the quote from this piece.

Still, when it comes to The Little Mermaid, Knightley is a bit more conflicted but says she’s “keeping to it [the ban]”

“This is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film, but The Little Mermaid. I mean, the songs are great but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello?!”

Well upon re-watching the movie, I think the message is actually:
Anyone that makes you give up your voice is a demon.

Ariel shouldn’t have given up her voice – EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. As a kid you know it, Flounder knows it, Ariel knows it. Eric doesn’t want to marry her because she does not have a voice. Disney does a good job of driving that point home: giving up your voice, especially if you can sing like an angel, is a mistake. And really, the talking point to explore with your children is constructs that would compel you to give up your voice, whether it’s a witch or societal norms that should change.

And of course, not signing a contract you have not read through in detail. That is bad. Kids, who probably can’t be contractually bound to most contracts, should learn that lesson at a young age too, just in case.

Anyway Keira Knightley, I’m a big fan of your work and hope you’ll reconsider…

Well. Now I feel silly for throwing shade at David Sedaris earlier in this post.

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What if it’s bad news?

I haven’t gotten a call yet, and I was expecting one 24 minutes ago. WHAT IF IT’S BAD NEWS?!

No. I need to stay positive.

BUT WHAT IF IT’S BAD NEWS?

No, no, there are laboratories, and people, and phone calls before mine that could take longer.

BUT WHAT IF THEY ARE DELAYING THE INEVITABLE?!

They call in order that the results come in, and they are busy. That room was full of other people, and that’s just one of many offices in the area that needs to process information. So multiply the number of people you saw by 10.

BUT WHAT IF THE SAMPLE WAS LOST?

They don’t lose samples, do they? Wait, is that a thing that happens?

SURE, HUMANS ARE FALLIBLE. MACHINES ARE FALLIBLE, BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE BY HUMANS.

I could just call if I don’t hear back eventually.

YES DO THAT.

And eat a small chocolate while I wait. And have some warm water. With a lemon.

OKAY.

And lentil soup. Lentil soup is good for you.

FINE. WHATEVER.

I love lentil soup.

TAKE THE PHONE WITH YOU.

I’m just going over here.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T HEAR THE PHONE RING?!

I’ll take the phone.

GOOD.

I finished the lentil soup. It was delicious. I squeezed some of that lemon I cut for the warm water into the soup.

OKAY.

It made the lentil soup even tastier, if you can believe it.

OF COURSE I CAN BELIEVE IT. IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE DONE THIS.

Yeah but it just delights me every time.

WHERE DID YOU PUT THE PHONE?

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I’d like to write a story this year. I started one last year, but it was bleak. So I would like to write a more pleasant story.

It will have characters.

And an arch.

And maybe the world will be compelling.

This is a goal I have for this year.

Will it have magic? I don’t know. I like magic, so maybe. But since I am not a conjurer, and I don’t have wizard blood, it might be challenging to write about what I do not know. And what if wizards are like, “Cultural appropriation!” I would wilt under the criticism.

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