A Book Review Plus Unadulterated Stream of Consciousness

Hello my little unicorn teacups,

I hope your days have been lovely – sorry for the delay, I have spent the last week or so in a wooden shanty or, a “Sukkah” as we Jews so adorably call it. During the holiday I don’t use any electricity, leaving a lot of sitting-around-and-talking time with people, which means I learn a lot. Such as: a friend of mine once punched a guy in the balls on the subway until he bled, also an old woman sitting next to me at a meal dyed her hair purple to support her fave team, the Ravens (“No, I didn’t sell back my Rice jersey! I don’t even have a Rice jersey but if I did I would never sell it!”), and if you make small talk with the founder of a California-based marijuana dispensary, he’ll give you free THC pills. Very enlightening stuff.

Also enlightening, is the book Poking A Dead Frog by Mike Sacks, that I read over the holiday. I took the book out of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade library last week. I had forgotten to bring my student ID card so I was worried they wouldn’t let me take it out but luckily I had offered the guy my last Red Wine Velvet cupcake I had brought to class and he let it slide. Another good lesson – always bribe everyone just in case you need them in the next 30 seconds.

So this book is advice and interviews with comedic minds, from Amy Poehler and Megan Amram to Mel Brooks to Peg Lynch. Writers, radio personalities, journalists (The Onion and otherwise) and comics etc. All fascinating interviews about how and why they decided to leave the cushy reality where one can get a nice job being a librarian or marine biologist to the harsh, upside-down world of trying to make people laugh.

Even though eels tell the most amazing jokes.
Even though eels tell the most amazing jokes.

My favorite parts were the end of the interviews, when the interviewee was pressed for any advice to give those who wanted to pursue a career in comedy. Most of them were like “Umm…why are you asking me? I don’t know what I’m doing. No one knows what they’re doing! Like, if you can do something else and be happy, do it. But if you can’t, just keep doing stuff, writing, editing, trying, NEVER GIVE UP, but like you can give up if you want to.” I think that pretty much sums up all the advice (but you should really read the book as well, as there’s a fascinating interview with Adam McKay).

A lot of advice was like “Start a blog!” and I was like “Hahah CHECK – next stop: Fame Town, USA. Bye SUCKA” (I said to my cat).

JK I forgot you're my agent.
             JK I forgot you’re my agent.

But obviously it takes a lot more to be a successful… something. It’s hard to have a goal in life when you’re not sure what you want to be. There’s no game of LIFE career card that says “Like, something creative but structured. Maybe screenwriting? But also maybe helping people.” That would be way too long. Your friends will have hilariously switched your pink and blue people pieces to both blue people pieces by the time you finished reading it.

All I know is that I have to keep moving forward, pushing myself and just fucking doing SOMETHING. Because before you know it, I’ll be getting the Grocer of the Year Award and complaining about my job and never following my dreams; even though I somehow afford a giant house in Philadelphia and put three kids through college on the sole grocery store manager salary of $75, 527 a year in 1994 (which, did you know has the same buying power as $121,216 today??? I just did a lot of research for this reference).

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 8.41.44 PM
Not to mention paying for those sweet 90s layers.

Ari suggested we watch Blazing Saddles, (which I had never seen), after I mentioned the Mel Brooks piece of the book. And as much as I WANTED to like the movie, I did – I think it was a little too wacky for me. A little too Bugs Bunny. I appreciated the idea of WE CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK WE WAAAANNTTT feel of the movie. Like someone was like “Wouldn’t it be funny if…” and everyone else was like YES! PUT IT IN. That was great. But as for laugh out loud, it didn’t happen. Sorry, Mel. Maybe I’ll have better luck with Young Frankenstein.

So if you were worried about my blog lagging, don’t fret. We’ve only just begun. Besides NaNoWriMo is coming up and maybe we’ll dabble in that together.



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