Like most kids who grow up in the suburbs, when I was a kid, I fetishized the mall, like just so deeply and badly needed to get a ride there so I could get my cartilage pierced at Claires or eat a cookie the size of my face or just walk through racks of low-rise pants that didn’t fit me. It’s not my favorite thing about myself, but I am somehow calmed by rows and shelves of Things, organized neatly by color and size. Since I fixated on Malls so much when I was young, I am really disturbed by the fact that they are now dying, so much so that there is now a term for the abandoned or nearly abandoned spaces, ‘dead mall.’ There’s even a term for the abandoned large hub of the mall, the JCPenney’s or Dillards or Sears: that gaping pit emptiness is called a ‘ghostbox.’ There needs to be a word for what I’m feeling — this sense that I am inside of slowly changing world — a world that is moving so fast I barely notice the changes — but every now and then, when I pause, I glimpse the change and it makes my skin buzz and my stomach sink. What is this feeling? Futuresense? Changefeel? DEADMALL?
Six months married today, so yeah, I can officially say that I know everything. Mostly I’ve been struck by the values of patience, compromise, and listening. But even more mostly, I am blown away basically every day by Morrison’s ability to handle my madness when I overload myself and short circuit, how he can not only calm me down but also, how quickly he can get me (us) to the place of laughing at the absurdity of whatever the situation. If it’s not funny at its core, WHY EVEN LIVE IT AT ALL?
For the first time in my adult working life, I just voted to strike. Sometimes I forget that I’m in a guild, as I don’t feel like a laborer. Writers’ work happens mostly in our minds, but we still need a guild to protect us from tomfoolery, like, say, the fact that tv and film producers’ income has DOUBLED in the last eight years, while writer’s income has decreased by 30 percent. Our pension is suffering, we’re working for less money, and we’re expected to do it with gratitude that we are working at all. The problem with this is that writers are dreamers by nature, which is super easy to take advantage of. I’m still sort of shocked that I get paid at all to write, but I have to put that aside and stand up for fair pay — especially given the INSANE amount of money that is being made off of what we write. And so, STRIKE! I’m choosing to hope that this is just a bargaining tool for the negotiators, but either way — see you on the picket lines, or back in the writer’s room with what we deserve (SNACKS) (AND HEALTHCARE)
One of my favorite things about going to another country for the first time is seeing what the houses are like. I like to watch people coming in and out of them, sitting outside of them, listening to the radio, shucking corn, living their lives, and I especially like to look away really fast when I make eye contact with one of these people, like I wasn’t just turning the poor person into a poem. Obviously in every country there are big cities with fancy parts, and basically all of those people live in condos with lobbies and farmers sinks and walk in closets and flat screen TVs. But when you step outside of the big cities, you can really get a sense of what’s unique about the country and its homes. Here’s a piece of the outskirts of Cusco, from the window of a bus:
What was most striking to me about Peruvian houses was the fact that a lot of them are constantly in progress, being built upon. You see them and think, oh, no one is living in that house, it’s a construction site, there are bricks and tarps. A lot of the roofs have these metal rods sticking out of them which I finally realized (by which I mean, Julien explained) that it’s prep for a second story of the house. I think in America we’re obsessed with presentation, with things being Done and looking a certain way. But in Peru, and certainly other parts of the world that I have yet to see, a house is a thing that is built over the years while you live inside of it.
I am embarking on a three day Juice Cleanse because why not, because clearing out the pipes before my body battles the attitude in Peru. I can’t decide what’s most upsetting about this juice cleanse: that I’m now a person who thinks to do this, that I’m a person who applies the word ‘embark’ to ‘juice cleanse,’ how much I paid for it, or the fact that I’m only going to drink juice and juice only for three god-given days. I’m guessing it’s a combination of all three upsetting things combined into one brownish elixir of health and self satisfaction. MAYBE I’LL DRINK THAT, TOO.
Me as little as two years ago: “I put my email address on my blog because I really like to be able to share plays upon request, and answer questions, and in general just be very accessible as opposed to mysterious and hard to reach.” Bekah as little as two years ago, let me be the first to say, aw, that is so sweet, and you are so cute. Me today: “AHHHH MORRISON PLEASE HELP ME TAKE MY EMAIL ADDRESS OFF MY BLOG, AS MUCH AS I WOULD LOVE TO HELP EVERY THEATER STUDENT, no but really I would love that, IF I GET ONE MORE POLITE REQUEST FOR A PIECE OF MY BRAIN I AM GOING TO DIG A HOLE IN THE GROUND FOR ME TO CRAWL INTO WHILE SOBBING
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When I was in my 20s, I split my time between posing with accordions I couldn’t play, and writing plays that mattered to Me and mostly just Me. At that point in my writer life, all that mattered to me was that I was writing honestly. I never stopped to ask myself, does this play matter to anyone but myself? I think there’s something kind of beneficial about these sort of blinders that come with being a writer in your 20s in Brooklyn when there’s a lot of vintage couches to sit on. If you’re only worried about your own truth, and you get after that truth — chances are, you won’t end up writing something that is super didactic or clearly stretching beyond the limitations of your own intellect or life experience. But now I’m in my mid-30s and I split my time between fantasizing about real estate, googling Piriformis stretches and taking in the world, mostly in the form of click bait articles. And when it comes to playwriting, I can’t even start to wonder about a play without asking myself, does it matter? Is the play even asking a question that needs to be asked, in terms of what’s happening in the world? Of course there’s a part of me that’s glad that I am perhaps slightly less self involved than I once was — but there’s another part of me that longs for that purity of creative process, when all that mattered to me was, Does it keep you up at night? Do you wake up thinking about it? Then write it, and write it now.
Remember that time I wrote for American Gods, the epic Starz show based on the Neil Gaiman novel? The premiere date has finally been set, and lovable nerds and mythology buffs and religious scholars all across the globe lept simultaneously into the air. Given that each episode has the scope of a movie, it took longer than anticipated to make, but its finally HERRRREEEE! Starz / April 30th. I can’t wait to watch. BELIEVE (In Gods, in that ominous White Buffalo, in me when I say, this show is going to be the best kind of weird, and in my episode, Kristen Chenoweth plays the Easter Goddess, so just….wait for THAT.)
Very pleased to announce that we have graduated from crappy, flammable Ikea furniture to sturdy, maybe slightly less flammable, moderately priced CB2 furniture. I am also proud to announce that the bookshelf contains a great many old issues of the Babysitter’s Club, and that Morrison plays video games on the TV. ARE WE GROWN UPS YET?
Once a year, there’s an awards show that’s actually not for the famous people, but for the people who write the words for the famous people to say — The Writer’s Guild Awards, which honors excellence in TV, Film, Video game writing and New Media. (This is Us was nommed for Best new show / we lost to Atlanta / truly an honor to lose to them.) Both writers and famous people gather at the illustrious Beverly Hills hotel. The writers, unaccustomed to wearing things other than the jeans they never wash, dust off their finery and get their hairs did, and are fetched by fancy car services sent by their various TV studios:
The writers, who are actually responsible for 92% of the world’s consumption of Trader Joe’s Olive Oil popcorn, and basically all of the different types of popcorns, are greeted immediately with a banquet.
The famous people are also in attendance, mostly to remind the writers why they are writers and not the face of Loreal, but also to give out awards. There is, in fact, a red carpet, for the writers to walk, where photographers scream their name because a nice man next to them has written their name on a piece of paper so that the photographers know which name to scream. The writer feels, just for the tiniest of moments, like a glamorous person, and can be heard saying things like I’m going to come at the camera from an angle, am I doing it? AM I COMING AT THE CAMERA FROM AN ANGLE? and also WHAT’S AN ANGLE?