While I’m off work, I’ve been teaching writing to some girls in Juvie up in Santa Clarita of all places (where we wrote and filmed Switched at Birth) through Writegirl (nonprofit that pairs professional writers with, you know. Girls.) I am using the word ‘teaching’ lightly because 1.) teaching might actually be to antonym of my actual nature and 2.) first we must get them to even care, like, at all. I wouldn’t even call them apathetic. It’s just that there are so many grander things for them to care about than a poem that might or might not be in the shape of a hat. Just a few miles from malls and 900 starbucks and big box stores, and for some of them their old neighborhoods, the girls are kept in a weird time loop that sort of looks like school meets a summer camp meets the ROTC. They are kept on a tight schedule of classes and seem to care only about when they will get out and bobby pins and what shoes I’m wearing and what they could do with my bangs, given the chance. They’re all working towards high school class credits, but there’s also this paralysis because when they do get out, they’re re-entering the exact same world that got them into the place to begin with. Most seem to not have a moral support from parents, many of whom are also in jail, and so they’re left to their own devices. They could change, be better versions of themselves, resist temptation, but also they are seventeen year old CHILDREN and how strong was our resolve then, really? How strong is it even NOW? I want to help them connect words to their helplessness so that they can sort through their thoughts. I want to not say stupid things to them like YOUR WORDS WILL SET YOU FREE! But also I want them to know their words will set them free in their minds, which counts. But first I have to get them to even care, which, I now realize, is the first part of teaching, or even THE part. It is the whole part.
Looking at my schedule for next week, I realize I’m meeting with four different people so that they might ‘pick my brain.’ As a classic Gemini, I’m of two minds about this. Mind Pt. 1: I am happy to do it, especially in honor of those who did it for me when I was just starting out. If I can offer any insight that might help a person get to where they want to be, then good on me, good on them, and good on kindness. Mind. Pt. 2: my brain is currently in a million places. It’s held together by frayed bits of old friendship bracelet and sour punch straws and the subpar bobby pins that really don’t hold any hair in place at all. If anyone were to, at this point, ‘pick my brain,’ it actually might lose its structure entirely.
On the way home from lunch yesterday, Morrison and I drove by some newly built, pretty rad looking condos for sale, and decided to casually pop into the open house, in a very low-stakes and Sunday sort of way. What followed was THE TWO OF US STOMPING AROUND THE BEAUTIFUL BRAND NEW PERECT AND AMAZING PLACE LIKE CHILDREN, HEARTS PALPITATING AS WE DISCOVERED EVEN MORE CLOSETS AND BATHROOMS AND A MYRIAD OF SINKS, excitedly declaring where we could put things like babies and desks. And turns out, we might actually be able to afford it. We were planning on staying put in our place for a while, but a casual look at a vacant spot has turned into an all out fantasy of dinner parties and balcony and (small, but adorable) yard. Who knows if it’s actually practical, financially and life-wise, and we are still investigating. Stay tuned to find out if we are people who buy property after looking at it for five minutes. (Maybe. But also maybe not.) WEEEE!
- DONALD TRUMP
- KANYE WEST
- JEFFREY DAHMER
- MIKE PENCE
If y’all could just let me (and the Olsen Twins) know if we start to exhibit any psychotic or heartless or narcissistic behavior THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
I’ve been playing this drama play writing game for some time now, and have, at this point, received a fair number of reviews. I’ve never been much of a critical darling, so I figured that I’d share some advice on how to read and process reviews of ones own work.
1.) A review is one person’s attempt to interpret and assign meaning to a piece of art, which is basically impossible. It’s a moving target. There is no one answer. So it’s all an attempt. Your work is an attempt, as is theirs.
2.) Even if the review is unfavorable, you cannot let it detract from how YOU feel about your work. You have to approach your work with at least SOME confidence, some solid command of what you are intending to say. It can’t be fragile, or a review will easily knock it down. If this happens — revisit what you meant to do in the first place, and think about how to make it stronger.
3.) A reviewer is a human being engaged in their own life, stepping into your life, just for a minute. You must take whatever they have to say in the context of their own life, which again, is not yours.
4.) A review should not affect how you perceive your own work.
5.) JUST KIDDING THEY ARE EVERYTHING EVERYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT YOU IS RIGHT AND SHOULD BE INTERNALIZED AND THOUGHT ABOUT OVER AND OVER UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT EXACTLY HOW TO FIX THE FLAWS IN YOUR OWN WORK TO THE LIKING OF AFOREMENTIONED CRITIC AND IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT WELL YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST QUIT AND WORK AT A YOGURT STORE
6.) I would actually really enjoy working at a yogurt store
Surely these are dark times, but we must focus on the GOOD things that have happened in politics during this country’s short life: Lincoln abolished slavery! Roosevelt saved the country from a depression whilst in a wheelchair! Obama was our first black President! And then of course that time someone on the internet photoshopped an accordion between Donald Trump’s hands and then made a video out of it!
FULL VIDEO HERE. YOU OWE IT TO HISTORY TO WATCH.
After years of resistance, I finally gave in yesterday and tried my first meditation class. I’ve been resisting it because 1.) I do not like to sit still b.) I do not want to be a person who says things like, yesterday I tried my first meditation class. But while in Thailand and Hong Kong, I kept hearing about it and witnessing it, and then once home, my friend Alexis, who has a kindred spirit rapid fire brain, told me she’d started it and that it had completely changed her relationship to her own life — so I was like, FINE. Lord knows I can stand to quiet my head. It was a simple, intro, 30 minute class, and while the teacher kept telling us that we were trees (and also, I’ll admit, some pretty helpful stuff about what it is to be alive, the simplicity of that) I tried very, very hard to sit STILL, and to not judge my own thoughts, or the moments themselves. My thoughts were something like okay is it working I think maybe it’s working okay let me listen to what he’s saying and try and remember it wait what did he just say I already forgot I should really be writing this down okay maybe I’ll just breathe and pretend I am a tree did he say tree or maybe he said flower okay this is not working but I’m breathing and I think I’m still, am I still? Morrison would like this he would be so much better at this than me maybe I should bring him to a class we could do it together and maybe we could get tacos where are tacos what kind of tacos what kind of tortillas tacos hmmm I AM A TREE I AM A TREE. I’m going to take the fact that I basically sat still for 30 minutes as an accomplishment, and try a few more times. I think I see value in finding a way to transcend the whir of my thoughts, and just Be, not ten minutes ahead or two hours behind, just simply where I am, alive, and grateful for it.
WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY? ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING, INNOCENT PEOPLE DEAD FOR NO REASON, THIS TIME IN THE BAGGAGE CLAIM AREA OF AN AIRPORT WHICH HAS DEFINITELY CROSSED YOUR MIND WHEN TRAVELING, HOW VERY NOT SECURE THOSE AREAS ARE? I’LL JUST LOOK AT PICTURES OF THE TINY CHICKEN POT PIES I ATE IN HONG KONG INSTEAD
There’s a delightful new show on the CW, No Tomorrow, which is NOT, as its poster MIGHT suggest, about a girl who considers cannibalism, but instead about a risk-averse young woman, prone to living her life safely (I perhaps relate,) whose world is turned upside down when she falls for a bearded Brit who thinks the world is going to end in 8 months when an asteroid slams into the earth. And so, he teaches her to live life more fully. It’s charming and winning and hilarious, and I repeat, NOT ABOUT A GIRL WHO WANTS TO EAT A BOY’S FACE. SERIOUSLY SOMEONE IN MARKETING AT CW NEEDS TO NOT BE FIRED PER SE BUT DEFINITELY PERHAPS A STERN TALKING TO.