It's not just you… we all have our moments

It's not just you… we all have our moments

Monday, March 31, 2014

35 Things I'm Grateful For On My 35th Birthday

Thirty-five years ago today, I was born with bright orange hair.  Why is this significant?  Well, about eight months before I popped out, my mother proclaimed that if she had a baby with red hair, she'd flush it down the toilet.  The mere fact I'm even alive should top my list of things I'm grateful for.  Being a Ginger is dangerous business.

So as a show of gratitude on my birthday a few years back, I sent my mother a dozen roses with a card that read:  Dear Mom, thanks for not flushing me.  Love, Kris.  Needless to say, she had a lot of explaining to do when the delivery guy dropped off the arrangement.  I guess one could surmise I've been fucking with her since day one.

Anyway, here it is - a list of 35 things I'm grateful for (in VERY particular order):
  1. Being alive.
  2. That I managed to make it through my twenties without contracting any life-threatening diseases. (Seriously, you all read my blog.  This is truly a feat within itself).
  3. To that end, I'm grateful for my health.  And, might I add, that as a former smoker of thirteen years, my wrinkle situation could be so much worse than it is.
  4. So I guess I'm also grateful I have a mother who insists wrinkle creams make the greatest birthday and Christmas presents.
  5. And, while I'm at it, I'm pretty grateful for Botox, and the blissful ignorance that accompanies Science not having concluded any significant side-effects… yet.
  6. My parents - although they didn't make the Top 5, their significance goes without mention.  I mean, I'm here, right?  You're welcome, world.  (I just made myself vomit.)
  7. My brother.  Without him, A LOT more attention would have been paid to me. 
  8. Twitter.  This piece-of-shit platform introduced me to my boyfriend.  No, that's not normal.  But then again, neither am I.
  9. Vaccinations.  'Nuff said.
  10. Therapists.  I've had a life, people.
  11. Birthdays - because if they stop, I'm dead.
  12. Sobriety.  Saving lives, relationships and genitalia since forever.
  13. My extended family and the rich history that preceded them.  I'm related to some very questionable people, and I love them all.
  14. Little earthquakes.  They really shake things up.
  15. Friends that stick like glue, even after I disappear.  I have a tendency to fail at communication, and there's a few who remind me of this character defect frequently.
  16. LOVE.  Broad, vague, ambiguous love. 
  17. Vibrators.
  18. My furry baby, Charlie.  
  19. Alice in Wonderland, for stoking the embers of my imagination and creativity at such a young age.
  20. That I am lucky enough to work in an industry I love, pursuing my spirit's passion. 
  21. I'm a female living in a country that does not practice female circumcision.
  22. My childhood - it was "normal" (for whatever that's worth).  Subsequently, I have no real excuse for my reckless behavior in my youth.
  23. Accountability - Understanding what that really means has truly set me free.
  24. I'm not starving.
  25. I'm not homeless - although if I didn't have the supportive family I've been blessed with, I most certainly would have been homeless many times over.
  26. For all my relatives, particularly Uncle Gumby, who opened their home to me and let me crash on their couch so I could chase my dreams.
  27. Orthodontics.
  28. Health Insurance.
  29. A big shout out to the two Angels who reconnected me and my mother after she goddamn LOST me at Santa Anita Racetrack when I was two years old.  (She just kept trying to cut loose of the Ginger, but we ALWAYS come back.)
  30. Facebook - as much as I hate to admit it.  I'm shit at keeping in touch, and this thing has really pulled through.
  31. Rainbows - mainly for inspiring so many great YouTube videos and idiotic Tweets.
  32. Unicorns - for their majesty and healing powers.
  33. Grateful I learned to read good.
  34. Beyond grateful I have codependent enablers for parents, who never have and never will give up on me.  
  35. To have had the privilege of experiencing unconditional love, especially during times when I could not love myself.  
  36. And for good measure - humor, laughter, jokes and irreverence - without which, I may not have a shot at a career.
Oh, and just in case you weren't sold on #18 :

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drawing From "Experience"

"Write what you know."  A phrase commonly thrown around and all too often misunderstood.  Point in case:  I don't know shit, but I still write.  Here's how (as any of my close friends can attest to):  I draw heavily on the experience of others.

I mean, sure - I've seen my share of crazy, but it's so much more fun to embellish on and exploit another's (and somehow it feels less narcissistic).  Plus, I'm burning through material pretty quickly, so I'm forced to steal from others - which is actually the very essence of being a writer. 

Bottom line:  life is short, and one can only glean so many personal experiences, so it's important to pay attention to what's going on outside of yourself and learn from others in order to maximize your overall life experience.  

Point in case - I did not party my face off the night before I had to be at work for some big, important certification exam.  It was not I who couldn't complete the fifty foot jaunt from the sidewalk (where I was dropped off) to the entrance of the building, and I certainly did not pass out on the front lawn of my office for all my co-workers to see.  Also, I never would have had the audacity to act as a human speed bump for the poor gardener, who was forced to cut the grass out and around me.  

No, I am not the ballsy centerpiece of this tale - because I don't have balls.  It takes a special kind of idiot to pull off a stunt like this, and that idiot is a man.  Nay, a silly little boy.  And that boy just happens to be related to me, so in a sense, this is like my story by proxy.  But if this friend of mine had not told me about his regrettable little tale, I wouldn't have the teaser to a comedy project I wrote and recently shot (above).  

Oscar Wilde opined that Life imitates Art more than Art imitates Life.  If this is truly the case, maybe I should rethink the quality of my contribution.  Surely what the world needs is more drunken assholes.  Instead, I contend that [writing] what "I" know supports the latter theory that Art imitates Life, and as opposed to perpetuating a generation of idiots, I'm merely contributing to the record of our current state of affairs.  Either way, it's depressing as hell, but at least this way I don't have to assume responsibility.  I've never been very good at that, anyway.

P.S. Be careful what you tell me.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tampons Are Not Sex Toys

I've had some pretty indecent proposals in my time, but this one takes the cake.  Happy Friday.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL)

Apparently, this is an actual thing, common enough to warrant a full-page ad in the LA Times.  Gonna go ahead and assume it's target market is the senior crowd, since that's the same group that still reads printed news, but none-the-less, this woman looks pretty stoked there's a solution to her leaky ass.  Also not about to hide my excitement that I may have just stumbled across a band-aid to a side effect of my anxiety.  Looks like everyone wins today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Otherwise known as: Why Facebook is the Devil.

Or in my world: There's always going to be someone smarter, prettier, funnier, skinnier, richer, cooler, more successful, more talented, (etc. etc. etc.) than me - as shoved in my face by The Book.  For real.  So it's essential for me to remember that everyone has their own journey, I am right where I am supposed to be, and everything will unfold in it's own divine and appropriate timing, blah blah blah.

This still doesn't thwart my wild, off-the-cuff jealous streak whenever a friend actualizes some good fortune, either personally or professionally.  My knee jerk reaction is to set them on fire, but instead I smile and congratulate them through gritted teeth and say, "I'm so happy for you…" until I convince myself I mean it.

Example:  All of you fucks getting married and having perfect babies.  I don't want to begrudge your happiness, but when you litter my Facebook feed with sunshine and rainbows, you leave me no other choice.  Instead of catching a ride on your wave of bliss, I'm falling down the rabbit hole of all the ways my life lacks your joy.  Then the maniacal laughter kicks in as the tears begin to fall and I'm rocking back and forth like goddamn Rain Man, repeating over and over that being single and family-less is "my choice."

Or YOU (amazingly talented person who sits across from me at work), with your perfect personality and fun Southern heritage who just happens to be brilliant at writing and is starting to scratch the surface of success… YAY FOR YOU, buddy!  You're like the Jackie to my Marilyn, and you deserve to see your dreams come true.  I'm so happy for you.

Does all this make me a bad person?  Am I a total asshole, or am I just human?  Because the fact of the matter is I just can't seem to help myself, and jealousy is like a welcome mat for doubt - which barges into my house, robs me of my prosperity, and then bitch slaps me on it's way out - leaving me filled with resentment and bitterness.

I realize this isn't exactly a shining endorsement of my character.  In fact, I think this would technically fall under the "character defects" category, but it's a malady from which I suffer.  I figure, why not see if a little honesty will expunge me of it's grip?  Because as of right now, the horror I face today isn't "the funny story I will tell tomorrow," it's actually my reflection in the mirror.

The truth of the matter is that success and happiness aren't measured in finite terms.  There's enough to go around.  One person's success and another's happiness doesn't lessen the amount from the Universal bank.  In fact, the happier and more successful people I'm surrounded by, the greater the odds I will see my own, because positivity is just as infectious as negativity if I allow it to penetrate my stone cold heart.  After my flash of insecurity passes, this is the place I land - because ultimately, I want to be a champion for my friends.  It's easier to love than it is to hate.  Also because bitterness and resentment cause wrinkles, and I can't afford regular Botox on my assistant salary.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stop & Smell The Ridiculous

Here's what happens when I stop having fun and start taking myself too seriously: I miss all the good stuff.  Pretty obvious statement, I know; but I have an uncanny knack for getting wound up tighter than a noose - which I will quite frequently hang myself with.

The fact of the matter is there's so much fun stuff in life I miss when I get hung up (see what I just did?) on the small stuff, which is one of the reasons I think I drank in the first place.  It helped bevel the edges of my anxiety so I could chill out long enough to breath.  Invariably, I'd almost always overshoot the mark, but there was a window of coherence - usually between that second and fourth drink - where I could breathe and appreciate what I'd been too stressed to acknowledge in my habitual frenetic state of being.  I called these my "aaaaaaaaah" moments, and I coveted them.

Since I don't have alcoholic beverages as my life support system anymore, I have to find alternative ways to comprehend serenity, and it usually comes in the way of laughter.  They say laughter is the greatest medicine, and I'm inclined to agree.  Granted, I laugh at the most inappropriate things in the world, but that's probably because I don't know how to process feelings like a normal person.  I'm sure my Twitter feed is like a career condom, essentially preventing any sperm of talent from fertilizing the seed of advancement and birthing success.  But laughter is how I know peace.  It's light, it's fun, it keeps me alive - in the face of where I find my humor, I say this unapologeticly.  At the end of the day, it comes down to survival for me. 

Recently I've had my head too far up my ass with worry to notice anything, least of all anything funny.  Fear has put the blinders on.  Feelings of not being good enough have consumed me lately, and it's paralyzing.  I suffer from a disease of perception, and from time-to-time, it's hard for me to maintain perspective.  I know we all go through it - those crises of confidence that wear us down like rain on wooden shingles - but when I'm in the shit, it's practically impossible to get out of my head and see the bigger picture.  

Sure, this is my life, but there's a difference between being the center of my universe, and insisting I'm the center of The Universe.  We're all in this thing together, and I'm most understanding and empathetic to that idea when I can get out of myself long enough to notice ridiculous absurdities.  Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes, and, fortunately for me, my brother just rolled into town, and he's like a truffle pig when it comes to unearthing life's little nuances.  Take, for example, the following:  

I chuckled to myself, and then continued about my business, when my phone buzzed with another text:

The text read:  Just walked by and did the polite thing - gave this nice old man the head nod.  Then I realized he was plastic.  Carpool dummy: 1, Brian 0

This pic jogged my memory, and I remembered stumbling across this car parked unsuspiciously in front of a grade school playground in my neighborhood.  (Not creepy at all…)

Playgrounds make me think of kids, and kids make me think of puppets:

Puppets make me think of the these two characters I met at a puppet show… they were not performers:

This is not Halloween.  This is a Tuesday night in Hollywood. 

Weirdos make me think of Hollywood, and Hollywood makes me think of this bad omen, painted on the sidewalk in front of my favorite Thai food restaurant:

Street Roaches

Sidewalks make me think of dead baby dolls...

And dead dolls make me think of decapitated dolls in truck beds:

Death makes me think of Mondays, and the napkin I found on the commissary floor at work:

Guns make me think of bullets, and bullets make me think of what was waiting for me at my desk upon returning from my lunch break at work the other day:

And work reminds me that we're all a bunch of squirrels trying to get a nut, but with a little luck, some of us might end up with a chocolate chip cookie.

After a tangent like that, I'm out of my head and laughing again, and, if not for but a moment, the world seems bearable.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Virgins Feel… Different

It's Monday, and as it happens, this past weekend birthed an unintentional relationship for a friend of mine - otherwise known as fodder for my blog.  I love a good story that starts out with, "Okay, don't judge me…" because right off the bat, I know I'm in the presence of a kindred spirit.

So I settle in - make myself good and comfortable - and announce to my buddy he's in the trust bubble.  He proceeds to tell me he called this girl ("just a friend") to go with him to a buddy's birthday party on Saturday night.  Since she likes him more than just a friend, he gives her the option: meet there, take separate Uber's home OR meet at his house, drive together, take one Uber back to his place, and she could sleep on the couch.


Seriously, this was his best logic, and he was really crossing his fingers she was going to choose option number one.  His words.

She chose option number two.

Now, my buddy doesn't think he's charming, but he's an idiot.  He's great looking and he's funny.  Just add alcohol, and he's a real panty-dropper.  But he tries to tell me anyway that, contrary to his best effort (so as not to lead this poor girl on) he came off like the Dos Equis guy instead.  You ever have those nights when you're just on your A-game?  Well, this was his night, I guess - and it just happened to be the one night he didn't want to be impressive.  Sure.

First red flag in the story is: every time he walks up to the bar to order drinks for he and his just-a-friend, she disappears to the bathroom.  Instinctively I think she's skiing, but turns out, it's not "just like smoking when you drink."  The real reason she kept disappearing is because she's twenty.

The night continues, so does their consumption, one thing leads to another, and they're home bound in an Uber.  At this point he's still trying to convince me she was couch-bound - but now he's thinking maybe it's okay to make out with her?

Well, we all know making out leads to babies.  Clothes started coming off almost immediately after they crossed the threshold of his apartment, and right as he was about to find himself on the road to the Cabbage Patch with Just-A-Friend, he hit a wall - hers.  He says to me (and I quote), "I kept thinking to myself: I don't remember it being this hard to enter…"

My first thought is, "Moron!  You need to take the tampon out first!"  But then it dawns on me, he just fucked the Twenty Year-Old Virgin.

I remembered my first time - laying there on that dorm room bed with my boyfriend from high school.  I remember it for two reasons:

1) Getting fucked for the first time is not dissimilar from a volcano erupting.  It's explosive (physically and emotionally), sometimes there's lava, and if the boy's not clean, it can leave you burning and shooting fire out of your pee hole.

2) Still, I definitely imagined what dinner parties with our friends would be like - how all our kids would run around and play together - the kind of wife I would make (whether or not I would take his last name), where we would live, and how many kids we would have - all while having sex.

Point being, this chick is about to go straight-up Gloria from Wedding Crashers on his ass.  But warnings can't be retroactive, so instead I just make fun of him.

Moral of the story is three-fold:

  • Don't ask out Just-A-Friend's
  • Don't casually fuck virgins if you don't want to get married.  (Do your research).
  • Don't tell me your stories.  I will use them as entertainment.