Sunday, September 23

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

As I sat in my friend's room talking about legendary philosophers and literary geniuses, I began to feel overwhelmed.

"I want to do things like them," I announced with despair. "I don't want to just make crap like so many people do. I want to make things that matter, that people will look back on and remember and show to their children."

Maybe it sounded naive, but that's why I said it despairingly. Because how many geniuses (not that I am one) go unnoticed? How many people get a movie made or a book published because they're friends with the velvet purse strings?

And what guarantee do I have that the work I can make will be anywhere comparable to those I admire?


It is crushing. And now I have to write a screenplay.

Wednesday, September 19

When a pen is the best part of your day, you should be worried

I pulled a pen out of my purse as I walked to work at the college library, and took a moment to bask in the joy this specific pen had brought me.

Working at my customer service job over the summer, there had been a supply room with all the pens, pencils, and notepads our shrinking hearts could desire. As a result, everyone wrote their disheartening notes with the same crappy pens on the same crappy notepads.

One day at work my boss asked me to make a phone call to Comcast, pay the bill with the company credit card, and write down a confirmation number. Since the IT guy was fixing my computer, I sat down at an empty desk. Recently abandoned by a new employee who abruptly quit after two weeks, there wasn't much in the way of office supplies. When it came time to write down the confirmation number, I glanced around, scrambled around, stuttered a little, and finally found a pen lying in a drawer. As I wrote, I realized how nice this pen felt. It was one of those heavy ones, with a nice rubbery pad for your fingers, a weighted head, and a metal clicker.

After my phone call, I decided to take the pen with me, since nobody sat at the desk any longer. From then on, I wrote solely with this pen. Soon I noticed that not only did the pen feel nice, but my handwriting actually looked better!

Finishing this warm thought as I arrived at the library, I made the decision to never take another job where my introduction to a pen would be the most satisfying thing I did.

Thursday, September 13

Remember those Airheads (candy) jokes? I miss those

It's a shame when smart people do stupid things. Today, I have a list.


This is the first week of classes, and today was the first day of my anthropology class. I woke up at 10am to be ready by 11:05am. I checked my email, showered, checked my email again, straightened my hair, got some coffee and sat down for a few minutes with some friends I ran into. I checked the time on my cell phone; it was 10:58 and my class was probably 3 minutes away. But in case the professor was one of those who thought that 11:05 meant 11:00, I thought I might as well show up a little early.

As I arrived, I saw through the glass double doors that the room was full already. Is a class getting out late? I wondered, looking to see who was inside. I recognized the professor as the one teaching this class, though, and several students I knew were also in the class. It was 11:01, but why did everyone at the table have their names printed on those cute little triangles in front of them if they had just arrived? I opened the door, alarmed.

"Oh, hi TAB!" The professor had interrupted himself to greet me. He looked down at his watch. "Did you go to a different building?"

Still confused, I slowly stepped farther into the room. "Um... no. I thought class started at eleven."

The professor proceeded to tell me that everyone had been there since 9am, and class was actually ending. I must have looked bewildered, because a moment later he laughed and informed me that class started at 10:30 instead of 11am. I sighed and sat down.


Ex Roommate asked me if I wanted to go to various places on campus with her in order to apply for jobs. Our new library boss had hired too many workers, leaving us with half the hours we had expected. My hours had luckily been restored when a friend of ours quit, but Ex Roommate still needed more hours. I decided to go with her anyway, in case I somehow magically decided I had time for more work this year.

After applying to the first place, Ex Roommate told me she needed to go to a class. I offered to pick up the remaining applications for her, and she seemed interested. To this end, I went to the College Events office, asking if there were any open positions. Vetoing sign maker, poster colorer, and event babysitter, I told the helpful gentleman there that I would be interested in an office position. He gave me a form asking for contact information and told me to write my availability on a sheet of paper for him.

Deciding not to apply for this one, I wrote Ex Roommate's name and number, then realized I didn't know her schedule. Not wanting helpful office guy to know that it wasn't actually me applying, I stepped into the hallway to call Ex Roommate. After getting her hours, I returned the forms and was preparing to leave when helpful guy offered his hand and told me his name. I started to reply with my name, but abruptly stopped as I realized he had just looked down at the name on the form, which was not mine. By the time I caught myself, it was too late to lie about the name. I took his hand, shook it firmly with a smile, and darted away.


My first assignment for my filmmaking class was, believe it or not, to make a short film. The tricky part in this case - more than the usual getting actors, cameras, lights, a set, a script - was that you are not allowed to edit. So you can pretty much only do one take, unless you are somehow able to rewind to the exact position you messed up and tape over it.

Having rehearsed our third segment (from Action to Cut in this specific shot), I said "Ready?"

The actors confirmed that they were ready.

I clicked Record, it made the nice loud beep that indicates it is indeed recording. At this point, I freaked out. I thought: "I know it made a beep, but did they hear it? Even if they heard it, does that mean they know it means go? I didn't say action! But don't they know what the beep means? What should I do?"

I said "Action". Yes. I said "Action" after I pushed record, on a film you are NOT allowed to do multiple takes on.


How many stupid things does one have to do before it goes from a smart person doing stupid things to just a stupid person?

Sunday, September 9

Welcome back to CrazySchool

One of the more charming aspects of going to a small liberal arts school is the rather large number of students with poor social skills.

I met one such person during my freshman year of college. One night as I entered a dorm hall, she walked over and introduced herself. No stranger to introductions, I followed suit. I noticed that we were having a conversation different from most when my new acquaintance of about five minutes poked my stomach and began asking me about my work-out habits. "How often do you go to the gym?"

"Um... about three times a week?" I responded.

"Wow, I can never get myself to go." She proceeded to explain the age-old dilemma of wanting to exercise but being unmotivated and discouraged by the long (10 minute) walk to the gym. This was not a rare topic per say, but asking me to flex my arms so she could feel my bicep was a bit odd.

Later that night, I was telling a friend about the strange conversation I had. "Wait, who was this?"

"Girl," I said.

They laughed. "Oh man, that was CrazyGirl!" Apparently people decided to add this prefix to her name, both so they could feel superior and to distinguish who they were talking about.

By sophomore year, everybody I knew had heard of CrazyGirl. She was popular in that way nobody wants to be; everybody knew her name and loved to talk about her, but nobody wanted to invite her to hang out.

I felt bad for her. Bad enough that I wouldn't run away at the sight of her walking toward me or make excuses to leave immediately when she started talking to me. In this way, she came to sit down at a table with myself and some friends last week. She stayed for long enough that we all ran out of things to talk about with her, so after a few moments of silence, she would bring up a new topic. A few moments later, the conversation would falter and we would plunge back into silence.

Breaking the silence again, CrazyGirl asked my friend The Worrier: "Did you know that fat peoples' legs rub together when they walk?"

My head, facing the opposite direction, snapped over so I could stare at CrazyGirl. Had I really heard her correctly? "Yes" The Worrier replied.

The table fell silent for a few more moments. "I wonder if it hurts. Do you think it's uncomfortable?"

I finally took my chance to ignore CrazyGirl while my friend continued to discuss large thighs with her. A few moments later, we left her to contemplate this philosophical question on her own.

Sunday, September 2

Starting the school year under your spell

Tomorrow I fly out of Washington, back to school...

Looking at the orientation week events, I noticed that our "first themed dance" of the year is the Black Magic Dance... Because, according to them, "Magic isn't only for Harry and his friends!"

What does one wear to something like this?