Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Meme Career 2

Continuing on in my career of I can't think of anything to blog so I'll do memes Meme Creator:



I'd explain them, but if I explained them, that would mean they weren't funny.

And THEY ARE FUNNY.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Daisy Ridley Nude

Once upon a time, there was a blogger named Matthew.

Matthew was intelligent, kind, creative, and more handsome than a Chippendale Dancers shower room.  However, he was sad because nobody was reading his blog anymore.  Actually, nobody ever read it, but his readership had dwindled to the point where only one person read it regularly (Hi Mom!).

Matthew hatched a clever plan.  He would go back to the dark, evil days when he wrote suggestive titles on his blog posts to drive up his readership.  He found the popular actress of the month and made a blog post suggesting he had nude pictures of her.

Actually, there were nude pictures of her on the internet, but he wouldn't stoop so low as to post them.  He'd only stoop so low as to pretend to post them.

Thousands of millions of people flocked to his page.  They found his post shockingly funny and discovered the rest of his blog.  Matthew became disturbingly famous (on top of being intelligent, creative, and handsome) and lived happily ever after.

The end.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Meme Career

After several years of posting to this blog regularly, one fact has become painfully clear to me: I'm never going to be famous from blogging.  Okay, okay, so most people realized blogs were a dead end a decade ago. I'm a slow learner.

I decided to become a famous novelist. Turns out there aren't many of them either.  I started a Twitter account and...

Well, you get the idea. My therapist says I should accept that I'll never be famous, so I fired her. I finally realized my humor works best in the short form.

The short form.
In other words, my humor comes best in quick bursts of unrefined funny.  My conclusion: make some memes.  Making a meme is fabulously easy.
  1. Get some random pictures
  2. Put your old Tweets on top of them
  3. Stick your blog address in the corner
  4. Profit
And so you have my first three attempts.






See? Comedy gold.

The big question now: where do I put all the money that's going to roll in?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Hazardous Menorah


If you are familiar with Hannukah, you know tonight is the last night.  If you aren't familiar with Hannukah, where's that cave you've been living in for the last five thousand years?!  

Hannukah is everywhere in the United States: menorahs burning in every home, Hannukah songs in every store and restaurant, public buildings lit in blue and white, and long lines of kids waiting to sit in Judas Maccabeus's lap. 

Of course, there are is the War on Hannukah.  It's so stupid.  I mean, yes Rohatsu, Solstice, Mawlid el-Nabi, and Zarathosht Diso are important holidays, too, but they're religious holidays! Hannukah is an American holiday.  Everyone can join in, regardless of faith.  And, anyway, this country was founded on Jewish principles.
Jefferson: author of The Declaration of Independence and member of the Sons of Liberty Minyan.
Where was I?  Oh, right.

The symbol of Hannukah is the Menorah.  Every night, for eight nights, you light an additional candle (one the first night, two the next, and so on).  Getting 116 candles for a menorah every year is a pain.  Stores sell out quickly, so I grab candles whenever I can.

I came across these this year.

Hand dipped candles are a good write-off on your taxes.
I noticed something odd on the back:
Turns out trimming your wicks is important. BTW, does anyone know the number of a good firefighter?
See it?
Right there between "Don't be an idiot" and "Don't be a moron."
It says "Don't use a menorah that can catch fire."  Let's think about that for a moment.  Somewhere out there, someone built a flammable menorah.
"Great work, kids! Now we can have a fire drill!"
Somewhere out there, someone put candles on a flammable menorah and burned their house down.

"Honey, can you put this in the window?"
We all have unique ways to celebrate the holidays.  From now on, mine is to drive from house to house handing out menorahs made out of gasoline-soaked tinder.

"Happy Hannukah! Here, take this."

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Yiddish Erotica

The title brought you in, didn't it?  Same thing happened to me once in the late 80s.

A little background: I'm a heterosexual male, and I went through that awkward, hormonal, sexually-obsessed period of every heterosexual male's life we call:

Life.

Life, for us, begins around the age of eight, and continues until the age of dead.  As it progresses, it evolves from "Wow, girls are awesome! I wonder if I can see one naked." to "Wow, women are awesome! I wonder if one will ever talk to me." and finally to "Is this enough pornography for the weekend?"  As a gifted child, I reached that last stage earlier than most of my peers and remained there until-

The point is, I really needed pornography.  Unfortunately, my only way to get it was to go into a store, take a Playboy Magazine off the rack, bring it to the cashier, and leave it there, running out of the store in embarrassment.


In college, I figured I'd finally see pornography.  I wasn't disappointed.  Then I was disappointed.  Really, really disappointed.  Man, pornography is bad.

You have to understand what pornographic world was like before the internet.
 
BTW, Pornographic World is a parody of Jurassic World
Now you can, for example, search for "porn Indiana Jones" and get a dozen videos you can choose between.  Back then, you had to go to a video store and ask the person behind the counter for Indiana Joan and the Black Hole of Mammoo.

I didn't make that title up.  No!  Really.

Indiana Joan is a video where the eponymous Joan gets all "eponymous" with a bunch of guys dressed up as natives.  The plot is...

No, no there really was a plot.  This guy got killed and Joan gets captured and has sex.  That's about it.

The point is, there was dialogue.  I know, because a group of us watched the movie and after twenty minutes, we got bored and fast forwarded through the film, only stopping at the dialogue.
 
"Wait, did she say something?" "Nah, she just moaned."
I'd only been in college a year before I gave up on pornography.  Then I heard the local video store had a film called Yiddish Erotica.

Yiddish Erotica.  Say it with me: Yiddish Erotica.  Think about it Yiddish Erotica.  There was no way Yiddish Erotica could be bad.

Even if all they did was put yarmulkes on the stars.

Even if all they did was have one Jewish American Princess yell "Beige!  We'll paint the ceiling beige!" during sex.

Even if all they did was have one guy yell "OY!" as he came.

It would be enough.  There was no way it could be bad.  None.

A friend of mine (Let's call him "Ned," because that's his name.) drove with me to the video store.  The problem was, you had to get it from a cashier, which was a problem for me.

Imagine, if you will, a dark store lit only by fluorescent lights.  Stacks of videotapes are arranged in shelves around the room.  A bored, young woman with dark brown hair sits next to a cash register, reading a magazine.  I walk up to her.  I clear my throat.  She ignores me.  I try to think of what to say.  I get to "I... Uh... I was looking for..."

Ned says "We hear you have a movie called Yiddish Erotica."

Barely looking away from her magazine, she leans behind the counter, grabs a tape, and puts it on the counter for us.  We pay, and she goes back to her magazine.

Me: "Thank you."

Without looking up: "Have fun jerking off."

We head back to our dorm's common room to watch it.  (This was the 80s.  We didn't have the idea of NSFW, let alone "Don't turn on pornography in a public area.")

So, we put it in the VCR.  And we sat down.  And we watched it.  Aaaaaand wow.  Wow.  

I have never been that disappointed in my life.

Well, there was that one time...
The creators of Yiddish Erotica didn't know what "Yiddish" meant.

There were no yarmulkes.

There were no Jewish American Princesses talking about redecorating during sex.

There were no "oys."

Most of the men were uncircumcised.

It was just a bunch of random clips of stuck together and was edited to make it take longer.  For example, the first scene is of a tanned, muscular, uncircumcised blonde man having sex with a tanned, uncircumcised blonde woman.  The woman was wearing red shoes and, at one point, he takes her shoes off.  Three minutes later, he takes her shoes off again.  Three minutes later, he...

You get the point.  Yiddish Erotica is like the Book of Genesis if you replaced the part where God creates Eve twice with the place where God takes Eve's shoes off twice.

And so, once again, I gave up on pornography.  Well, until the internet came around and I found you could do a search and find "alien with eight penises has sex with a group of women wearing space suits."

No!  Really.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Issue the Mainstream Media Wants You to Ignore

I like filling my mind with "thrash."
I'm sure you've seen memes like these before.


"Oh no!  Someone paid more attention to things I don't care about than things I really care about!"  Can you feel the righteous indignation?  Can you feel the sanctimonious bullshit?


By the way, I'm using these images without permission or attribution because fuck these guys.  Fuck these guys who think you're stupid for caring about what you care about.  Fuck these people who call you "sheeple" for enjoying life.

You want to know about what really matters?  You want to know the issue you should really care about?
This is a rock.
BAM! Up yours, stupid meme guys!
What, you don't get it?

This rock is just like an uncountable number of other rocks, perhaps trillions.  You could count rocks all day, program satellites to circle the Earth, counting them, but you'd likely never find them all.  Even if you did, it would take decades.

BAM! Up yo-
Still don't get it?

This is an asteroid, a rock floating in space.
BAM!
No?

There are about 150 million asteroids in our solar system.  Up to a million of those asteroids are one to two kilometers long.
BA-
Still don't get it?  Really?  Wake up!  Stop filling your mind with "thrash!"

Of those millions of asteroids, there are some (we aren't sure how many, but certainly thousands) over sixty kilometers across.  Sixty kilometers is big enough to wipe out all life on Earth.

BAM!  Literally.
If we were to have advanced warning, we could do something about it.  We could build and send up a rocket to push the asteroid out of the way.  You wouldn't even need to push it that far.  A one degree change in direction would make it miss the Earth.

Of course, you'd need a lot of advanced warning.  The farther away the asteroid is, the less you'd have to push it.

Advanced warning requires a system to find the big asteroids heading towards us.

We don't have an advanced warning system.  We barely even started one.  We're behind our goal of tracking 10% of a third of all the asteroids by 2020 because of budget cutbacks.

Budget cutbacks.  We haven't found even 10% of a third of the dangers to all life on Earth and our government is more worried about everything else.

Does that scare you?  No?  Here's an asteroid that nearly hit us this year that's big enough to have its own moon.


Here's an asteroid that nearly hit us we didn't see coming.

Here's a tiny one we weren't aware of until it blew up a piece of Russia and injured 1,500 people.



So, go ahead.  Get pissed off that the stupid people around you don't seem to care about the environment, or healthcare, or the plight of homeless veterans.  But imagine this, first:

We've solved every problem.  Every endangered animal is saved.  Global warming is over.  Every poor child has enough food and healthcare and opportunities.  Our veterans are cared for.  We're just signing a pact that will guarantee world peace...

But just as it's signed, before the ink is dry, just as the last signature is signed and the pen is about to leave the page...

An asteroid hits the Earth.

An asteroid bigger than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

The atmosphere ignites.  Everyone dies in a few minutes.  Every animal dies.  Every microbe dies.  Every trace of human civilization is blasted into dust.

We were so caught up in fixing Earth's problems, we didn't see it coming.  All those problems we fixed?  None of it mattered.  None of it.  We're all gone.  Everything we ever did was gone.  The only memory of humanity are a few satellites and probes and ancient television signals radiating out into space.

The real problem you aren't paying attention to?

Please.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The War on Christmas in November

Here, a turkey begs to be killed on time.

I think we're all clear on the whole "Matthew hates Christmas" thing.  I've discussed it at length.


I realize the rest of you love Christmas sales, Christmas parties, Christmas displays, Christmas sales at Thanksgiving, Christmas Music, Christmas sales at Halloween, Christmas music in September...

Oh, wait, what's that?  Is that a grumble of discontent?

My people!  You have not forsaken me.  After all these years of waiting, plotting, and explaining my activities to the Department of Homeland Security, I can reveal my plans.  We can begin the real war on Christmas.  The War to Keep Christmas in December.

The key to our success is to fight with music.  Christmas songs are humanity's vilest creations (unless you count the mullet).  Some of you will claim to like Christmas songs, but the third time you hear Paul McCartney's "A Wonderful Christmas Time" in a row, you'll be ready to join the army.
The soundtrack in Hell
How do we counter Christmas music? Thanksgiving Music.  Someone needs to create enough catchy Thanksgiving music to keep Christmas at bay.  That's the problem, though.  Everybody wants to make a Christmas song; Christmas is about families and togetherness and about the birth of Christianity's savior.  Nobody wants to write a Thanksgiving song; Thanksgiving is about gluttony and the Native American genocide.

The easy answer is to re-purpose existing holiday songs.  Some examples:

Channukah (or however we're spelling that holiday this year)
Turkey, turkey, turkey, I made you out of meat.
And when you're cold and yucky, I will go reheat.

Fourth of July
Oh say, can you see, by the kitchen timer's light
What so proudly we hail as the turkey's last gleaming?

Christmas
I'm dreaming of a dead turkey, just like the ones I used to roast
Where there is no worry and children don't hurry to watch their marshmallows toast.

Halloween
I was working in the kitchen, late one night, when my eyes beheld an awesome sight
My turkey from its pan began to rise, and suddenly (to my surprise) it did the mash
It did the potato mash...


Okay, so music isn't my strong suit.  One of you will have to do some minor work in fleshing those out into billboard-topping songs.  If you don't, it's your fault if you'll be hearing Paul McCartney singing about Christmas in August next year.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Email Time Capsule



I received the strangest email last week:

In the fall of 2005, you sent a letter to the future via an "Email Time Capsule" created by Forbes.com. Ten years later, we're happy to deliver the message. For more information, please visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/2015/10/26/forbes-email-time-capsule-future

I sent myself an email just to say "hi!"  I'm so considerate.

Yes.  Yes you are.

Why thank you, me!

No, thank you.

I decided I'd email back (as soon as Forbes creates a reverse time capsule).  Here's my email with my responses.

Your son is on the floor playing with the headphones from your wife's iPOD.
Oh, yeah.  iPods.  I remember those!  I thought people would get bored of them and feel stupid for wasting their money.  Then Apple invented iPhones, and I thought people would get bored of them and feel stupid for wasting their money.  Then they invented iPads, and I thought people would get bored of them and feel stupid for wasting their money.

Now they have the iWatch.  People will get bored with them.  They'll feel stupid for spending their

You should buy Apple stock.

You have to poop.
That's amazing!  Me too!  Some things never change.

Nancy should be here in an hour and a half, and you've just finished cleaning up a little.
Our first babysitter!  She was a pastry chef.  I liked her.  We've had several sitters:
  • Viviana, who also worked for Sheryl Sandberg along with three other nannies.  Seems Sandberg doesn't like being around her kids.
  • Jackie, who always dressed well.
  • Colleen, who (on her last day) bought your kids giant boxes of Whoppers and helped hide them.
  • Danuta, your real estate agent.
  • Marcellina who brought her daughter with her.

Perhaps Calvin could stop by and distract him for a while.
We still see them.

I wish you could reply to this message and send it back in time.  Wouldn't that be cool?
Me too!  I'd tell you to buy Apple stock.

While you're at it, tell Steve Jobs you can't cure cancer with vitamins and meditation.

Not sure what to say.
That's changed.  Now the opposite is true.

Are you moving to Chicago?
Yeah, we did that.  Lasted under a year.  Winter came and your wife stepped outside for three minutes and screamed "Wow!  I didn't expect that!"  Then you spent an hour chipping the ice off her face with an awl.

Will your career ever start up again?
Nope.

Will anything come of your playing with Flash?
Even more nope.  Flash was killed by Steve Jobs.  Seems Flash returned the favor.

Learning French?
Even more even more nope.  Those five years of your life were wasted, much like your first marriage.

Writing?
Writing!  Yeah!  You published a novel. Well, you self-published a novel. Well, you electronically self-publish a novel, which means you clicked a button labelled "upload."

Short answer: not much.

Screenwriting?
Aaaaand we're back in Nopeland.

Drawing?
You know that sketchbook you started in 2001?  You haven't filled it.

Does Nip/Tuck get any better?
Yes.  No. Yes.  Yes.  No.  Depends on the season.  Basically, the ones with Rosie O'Donnell in them are good.

Oh!  Rosie marries her girlfriend!  Homosexuals can legally marry each other and everyone's okay with it.  Well, everyone but the occasional whackjob clerk in Podunk Nowhere.

Cool, no?  Weird, but cool.

Hope things are well.

You too.  Catch you later, bro.  Er, me-o?  Moe?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

There's a Hole in the Bucket...


My blog is unpopular
dear Liza, dear Liza.
So not liked.

Do memes
dear Henry, dear Henry.
So quick.

But my art software's ancient
dear Liza, dear Liza.
Bought it '01.

Then upgrade
dear Henry, dear Henry.
Buy new.

I'd need a new laptop
dear Liza, dear Liza. 
Maybe Ultrabook.

Then buy one
dear Henry, dear Henry.
It's cheap.

I'd have to upgrade Flash
dear Liza, dear Liza. 
And I'm too cheap.

No one uses Flash
dear Henry, dear Henry.
Obsolete.

But my Flash game's not done
dear Liza, dear Liza. 
Pre-alpha.

Then finish it
dear Henry, dear Henry.
Get it done.

But my novel comes first
dear Liza, dear Liza. 
Pulitzer.

Then finish it
dear Henry, dear Henry.
Bargain bin.

But my blog takes my time
dear Liza, dear Liza. 
Once a week.

I mentioned memes
dear Henry, dear Henry.
Stupid memes.

You are no help
dear Liza, dear Liza. 
None at all.

Because you're a moron
dear Henry, dear Henry.
Shoulda married the banker.


 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

14th Anniversary Gift Ideas


Here's the problem with marriage...

No, wait, that's too sweeping a statement.  There's no one problem; there's dozens of problems, ranging from "What's wrong with me checking out other girls? OW! Stop hitting me." to "I can't believe we're still married after thirty years.  OW!  Stop hitting me."

This post is about one specific marital problem.  One specific minor marital problem.  One specific minor problem you wouldn't think was a problem until it bit you in the ass (Literally. I accidentally sat on the dog).

The problem is anniversary gifts.

For those of you who haven't married yet: Run away!  Get a vasectomy!  Move to- Oh, hi honey!  No, I'm just working on the blog.  Have a good day at work.  Love you, too!

Every year, you're expected to give your spouse a gift (as if you aren't enough of a gift already)! And you're not only expected to buy gifts; you're expected to buy specific types of gifts.

Year
Gift
Suggestion
1
Paper
Divorce agreement
2
Cotton
Natural fiber rope conveniently tied into a noose
3
Leather
Whips, padded handcuffs, masks
4
Fruit
Um, fruit?
5
Wood
Wink wink
6
Iron
Anvil
7
Wool
A Kindle preloaded with a Hugh Howey novel
8
Pottery
Barn
9
Willow
A horrible Lucas film about a magical dwarf
10
Aluminum
Reynolds Wrap
11
Steel
Dueling swords
12
Silk
Make Your Own Silk kit (aka a box of worms)
13
Lace
Sexy undies.  Maybe a doily.  No, has to be undies
14
Ivory
The tooth bone hacked off an endangered animal
15
Crystal
DVD set of "Wings, the Complete Series"
20
China
Dinner at a sushi restaurant
25
Silver
Bullets
50
Gold
Anything Glenn Beck sells
60
Diamond
A piece of coal with the note: "Squeeze this."
100
Blood
Because you're both vampires or zombies at this point

A problem arises on year 14; the traditional gift is ivory.  Ivory poaching kills 50,000 elephants a year, so gift industry suggests you give gold instead.  Gold is already the 30th anniversary present, but so few couples make it that jewelers were screaming "Goddamnit someone has to buy all the yellow rocks we dug out of the ground!"

Gold, however, is boring.  Jewelry is boring.  If you want to really impress your spouse of fourteen years, give the gift of soap.

Get it?  Ivory anniversary.  Soap.  Ivory soap.
It reminds me of you.
Imagine it.  You give your wife a beautifully wrapped gift, she opens it, and it turns out to be a bar of soap.  She looks up at you quizzically and you say "You smell bad."

Okay, it doesn't exactly ooze romance, but you can improve your chances of getting some making your spouse happy by carving it into a funny shape.

No, I don't mean that shape.  Pervert.  I mean something like this:

The Ivory elephant.  Ivorelephant?  We'll work on the name later.
The point is you can turn a cheap, disappointing gift into a personal cheap, disappointing gift.  All you need is a knife, determination, and more than a little contempt for the institution of marriage.

You may notice my ivorelephant has no tusks.  I left them off as a symbolic condemnation of ivory poaching, and because Ivory soap is soft and they fell off.  You have to whittle carefully to make sure your ivorelephant doesn't turn into an ivodecapitatedelephant or an ivorockshapedlikeapenis.

Here's what you'll need to make your own:
  • An excuse for being in the bathroom for an hour
    I suggest "Honey, I'm having diarrhea.  I'll be awhile."  I can guarantee your spouse won't ask probing questions.
  • A knife
    You'll need one that's sharp enough to cut cleanly but not enough to slice your finger open.  Try those expensive steak knives your father-in-law gave you that you've been secretly using to open Amazon packages.
  • A cloth napkin
    The soap shavings go everywhere.
  • An extra bar of soap
    Ivory is wrapped in paper that sticks to the soap and then a layer of cellophane.  Sometimes it makes a mess of the soap when you open it.  Fortunately, Ivory comes in three packs.


Good luck.  I can guarantee your spouse will be speechless.  Trust me, after a few years of marriage, silence is something you'll desperately want Oh, no dear.  I'm finished with my blog.  I can help with dinner.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

MicroBirthday Submission Form


Once upon a time there was a plucky -- if terribly old -- hero named Matthew.  Our plucky hero attempted to fend off the icy hand of Death by performing many odd and disturbing rituals on his birthday.

While his birthdays have been fun, exciting, and often disturbing, Death remains unmoved and continues to age him by a year every year.  Perhaps Death should meet our plucky hero halfway and only age him half a year every year.

But I digress.

Once upon a time (a week ago, Friday) our plucky hero decided to have one small birthday celebration for every year he'd lived.  He'd have all those parties on his birth month (May).  He'd bring cake to all of the friends, relatives, and complete strangers he could to meet that goal.  Since he'd be 46 and there were 30 days in May, he'd have an average of one and a half pieces of cake every day.
That's one way to lose weight.

They'd have to be good cakes. 

Maybe Draeger's cakes, but they're expensive.

Maybe cupcakes, but they're disappointing.

Maybe he could make the cakes by himself...

But I digress.

Our plucky hero thought about how difficult it was to schedule 46 parties, not to mention his normal life.

A relaxed month
He decided to create an online calendar so people could sign up for birthday parties whenever they wanted.  It would allow him to offload all his calendar work on to someone else.

A friend had created a documentary called Bid for My Life and used a calendar like he'd hoped to use.  However, that calendar required users to pay for each entry. 

Instead, he made a Google Calendar.  He filled up the whole year with 24 hour appointments so nobody would make appointments on the wrong day. 

Then he found he couldn't make the calendar so anyone could change it.
Can't imagine why

If he had to give access to his calendar, he'd just give it to anyone who asked.  Then he realized there would be a problem.

Can't imagine what.
And so our plucky hero decided he'd have to make the entries himself.

And so our plucky hero added the MicroBirthday Request Form you see on the left side of the blog.

And so our plucky hero requested his friends, family, and followers to enter the following information:
·         Your name
·         The location where you're available to have a party
·         The first date and time you're available
·         The second date and time you're available
·         The third thingy and the thingy
·         The fourth oh I know you're not reading anymore
·         The fifth well the point is I need a bunch of choices

So, fill out our plucky hero's form.  Get your friends to fill our plucky hero's form.  Get your family to fill out our plucky hero's form.  Find random strangers and get them to....

Well, you get the point.


Man 46 birthday parties is a lot.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Birthday 46

I've got a medical condition.

I'm deteriorating.  I'm growing less flexible.  Exercise and dieting has less effect.  I'm increasingly forgetful.  My hair is falling out, and my skin has creases in it.

Naturopaths call my condition a Systemic Yeast Infection.  Mainstream doctors call it Growing Older.

It's getting worse.  Soon, I'll only be able to talk about how things were when I was younger and how bad kids are these days.

In May, I'm turning 46.  Like most men diagnosed with Growing Older, I have to accept reality.  

Half my life is gone.
Maybe more.

I won't become famous.

Seems I'm still young enough to be infamous.
I'll never have gaggles of models throwing themselves at me.
Depending on how you define models.
You can understand why Growing Older might make me depressed around my birthday. You can understand if I sat alone in a Starbucks updating my blog and wondering if I'd prefer to be cremated, buried, or dressed like a piñata and hung up at an unsuspecting child's birthday party.
Um, kids.  That's not candy.
But I don't get depressed about Growing Older because I do something crazy every year.  I go on quests, jump out of airplanes, shoot guns, and so on.  While this kind of celebration does lift my spirits, it also taxes my imagination.

I'm running out of ideas.

Except this one.
 After some thought, I decided 46 will be my microbirthday!

Here's the deal: I will bring my birthday party to you.  Pick a date and time and I will visit you, bringing:
·         Enough cake for everyone
·         Utensils, plates, cups, and napkins
·         Candles and lighter

You don't have to bring anything.   No, seriously.  Don't feel you have to bring a present.  You are my present.
Um, scratch that.
Some small requirements:
  • If you are more than an hour of Silicon Valley, I'll have to see you on a weekend.
  • Umm...
  • Hm.
  • Okay, that's about it.
Stay tuned.  I'll post a calendar here next week.... Or whenever I figure out how to do that.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Ingénue Schedule

You have to want it.
High school plays.  Local theater.  The Disney Network.  Voiceovers for Comedy Central.  You have to want it so bad you'll wade through all the shit and prove yourself again and again.
You have to really want it to be a famous movie star.  And the only woman you could trust to get you that, was Rosa Silber.
She oozed money, from her jet-black hair ("Styled by Nathan LaTour, of course!") to the tips of her glittery, red pumps ("I have a designer in Italy; I'll set you up.").  It was her job to be rich, to be confident, to be abrasive to just the wrong people.  It was her job to use that rich, confident abrasiveness to make me famous, keep me famous, for as long as possible.
Getting Rosa Silber ("The Rosa Silber," as everyone in SAG called her), to represent me had been one of my lifelong goals.  I'd sent her letters and had always received polite rejection letters ("Thank you so much for your inquiry, but...).  I kept every rejection taped to my front door so their gold letterheads sparkled at me when I left for an auditions, warning me against failure.  One day I didn't fail.
A small part, but I nailed it.
After Time mentioned me (a full paragraph!) I sent another letter, received another response on the sparkling letterhead.  It wasn't until Judy (who shares the rent) noticed ("Hey, this one is different!"), I realized she'd accepted me.  I called three seconds later, in a cab ten minutes later, riding up an elevator thirty minutes later, and escorted into her office (by a deliciously handsome secretary with a thick, German accent) an hour later.
I sat trembling in her sharp, wooden chair while she sparkled at me.  After a few hours (probably seconds, but how could I tell?) the silence became unbearable.
"You don't have a computer!" I said, shocked how organized she could be using piles of paper to do her work.  My room was best described as a mound of clothing and old food wrappers I periodically burrowed into to sleep.
"Of course!" she said.  "Nothing's safe on a computer.  Paper is the ultimate security, because everyone's too lazy to break into an office.  They'd much rather pay an eastern European teenager to do the dirty work.
"Speaking of which," she said, and pressed a button on her desk.  "Rowan, sweetie, could you bring in a copy of the ingénue schedule.  Please and thank you."  She released the button and turned back to me.  "By the way I loved your turn on Never Autumn Again.  You looked fabulous."
"Oh," I said.  "I didn't think anyone even knew about that part.  I mean, I had one line before they killed me.  Killed my character."
She leaned forward, smiling.  "Honey dear, it's my job to know everything about you].  Your roommate also wants to act.  Your mother taught at Julliard, but did local theater after she moved to Kentucky to be with your father.  Blah blah blah.  So forth and so on."
Her secretary came in with a manila folder.  Rosa looked at her watch and sighed.
"Thank you," she said, taking the folder.  She cocked her head sideways as he left.  "Rowan's frightfully bad at his job," she said to me in a conspiratorial undertone, "but he keeps the clients so distracted they don't mind waiting for me."  I got the sense she'd told that story to everyone.
She slid a confidentiality agreement in front of me and then a thick, black pen.  "You need to sign this before we go any further.  I'm about to pull out The Big Guns, and I need to know you won't give away my secret.  I'm afraid the agreement is quite strict.  Take your time to read it."
I looked down at the contract.  I knew I was "Pe--- Dr---, hereafter known as CLIENT," but the rest of the three pages swam through my head and disappeared.  What did I care?  This was the agent to end all agents.  I signed and passed it back.
She opened the folder and spread out two pages, each with long, two column tables on each.  The right column (Events) was already filled in.  The left column (Dates) was empty.
"This is your future," she said.  "All we have to do is pin it to the heavens."  She took a pink highlighter from a drawer and uncapped it with her teeth.  "So, here's the big plan."  She drew a pink line across a row near the middle of the first sheet.  "Movie one."  Another pink line at the bottom.  "Movie two."  Two pink lines in the middle.  "Movie three and four."  A final pink line one row above the bottom.  "Movie Five."
"And then what?"
She waved her hand dismissively.
"And then, you're no longer leading lady material.  You play the other woman, the quirky mother, the too-young grandmother.  You direct.  Do television."  She glanced up and noticed the look on my face.  "Don't worry, dearie.  Everyone who's anyone uses the plan.  From J------- Lo--- to J------- La------."
She dropped the highlighter and took out another thick, black pen.  "Let's concentrate on the goals, first.  Who's your favorite director?"
I thought about it.  There were so many.  "Well, I love J--- Wh----."
"Who doesn't?  But he's big fan of the casting couch.  Are you up for that?"
"What?" I practically screamed.  "But he's...  I mean, everything he does is..."
"He makes a good show of the feminism angle, but he's out to nail pretty young things as much as everyone else.  Not into that?  How do you feel about J--- Tr---?"
I shrugged.  "I haven't seen any of his work?"
"His last film was a disaster, but the muses have smiled upon him.  He'll be back.  Also, he's gay, so you won't have to take one for the team."
She scribbled his name down with a date.  I'd be working with him in five months.
"Let's dial it back to the present.  There are red-carpet galas on the third," she scribbled in a date, "the fifteenth," scribble, "and on June twentieth.  I'll set you up with makeup and hair.  And, dear, your nails are a disaster."
My hands fidgeted on my lap.  "I bite them when I'm nervous."
"I will not have you wearing press-ons.  Drink a lot.  It works for me.  Plus, it helps with the image.  'Oh, poor thing has a drinking problem!'  Now, I have a service that connects fashion designers with starlets.  They'll show up the night before with the gown, accessories, and a card with what you need to say when the reporters ask.  Boyfriend?"
"What?"  I felt the blood rush from my face, but managed to keep my smile in place.
"Who's your boyfriend?"
"I don't-"
"No, no, no!" she said, sounding just like my Nana.  "You have to show up to premieres with a man on your arm.  If you're a lesbian-"
"I'm not!"
"If you're a lesbian," she said, ignoring me, "we can't reveal that until after the second film.  Let me see."  She pulled open another drawer and took out two dark green, hanging folders.
"Athletes," she said, throwing one folder across the desk at me.  "Musicians."  She threw the other.
The folders were full of photographs of shirtless men.
"You can't date other actors.  They always get mad when you're successful.  Musicians are good for longer-term agreements.  Athletes don't get fat or take drugs.  Pick one.  They're all available.  No, wait."  She took a picture of a blonde man with hooded eyes out and dropped it into a wastebasket.  "Killed in a car accident.  Drugs.  And he," she grabbed a musician with perfect abs, tore the picture in half, and tossed it, "joined William Morris.  Little cunt."
They were all beautiful.  Tan.  Pale.  Exotic.  Classic.  Muscled.  Slender.  Tattooed.  Pristine.  Long hair.  Short hair.  Every color.  Every shape.  Every height.  I was supposed to hook up with one of them?
"While you're choosing," she looked down at her pages again.  "I'll get on with this.  Oh!" She looked up again.  "And make sure you look at the names.  They're on the back.  You don't want to be seen with someone who's name sounds bad with yours.  I paired a Mary with a Barry and you could hear the laughter from coast to coast."
I shuffled the pictures randomly and finally grabbed a man with blue eyes and red stubble.  Well, if I had to have someone...
She looked up from her scribbling.  "Now get two more.  And put them in order."
"Order?"
"The order you want to be with them.  You start with..." she turned the photo I had picked over.  "Z--- L---.  Nine months later, you break up with him (seen with another woman at a gala).  The news hits the tabloids for a few months, until you sign for movie two.  The producers will want you to calm things down until the publicity tour starts.  Maybe a photo and side bar in People about how great it feels to be moving on.  Then you'll pick boyfriend number two.  Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat."
"But..."  I remembered the firm scowl my parents gave me when I talked about boys.  "But when do I..."  She stared at me blankly.  "You know.  Love.  Kids.  Marriage."
Her eyes went back to the schedule as she made the dismissing gesture again.  "Movie five.  Always after movie five."
I sorted through the flat, shiny faces of a dozen empty men as she muttered and scratched my life into her schedule.  "Drunk driving arrest," she said to no one.  "Maybe possession.  No more than five months.  Movie three.  Have to go for a vacation after that.  Jamaica.  Topless in a boat with boyfriend number two.  Need a charity.  Mm!  Haven't done education in a while.  Movie three.  Going to have to give it up for the director on that one.  Maybe S----- S--------.  He's gentle.  Get someone to hack nude pictures off her cell-"
"Stop!" said, practically shouting.  She jumped so high she dropped her pen.  The room was still except for the rattling of the pen on the stone floor.  "I'm sorry.  I can't do this.  Can't I just be me?  I like me."
Her surprised look faded, to be replaced with one of amused condescension.  "It doesn't work that way, sweetie.  You can't be perfect in Hollywood.  Fans want someone tortured, stupid, exciting.  Nobody's interested in the perfect princess who never screws up.  Those girls get ignored until they're down to dinner theater in Florida.
"The world wants gossip.  It can't stand that you're pretty, rich, and happy.  It wants to feel superior.  'Yeah, she's pretty, but she's a mess.'  People want to watch you fall in the mud so they can feel clean.  So they can ignore their own weaknesses."
"But that's not me," I said; I sounded like a scared little girl.
She opened another drawer and slid a box of tissues over to me.  "This is just a part.  Do you want to be a star?  Then this is who you have to become."
I stood up.

I guess I didn't want it enough.