Nonfatal Embarrassment


Image courtesy of Stew Dean. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Recently, I’ve been taking an improv class. When I tell people about this, it sometimes seems to strike them as slightly adventurous, which makes me laugh. I am anxious about many, many things in the world, but never has being on stage been one of them. Heights, my own failure, smalltalk? Yes. Stage? No.

So, when I graduated, I decided that I needed a hobby that wasn’t drinking beer or crying on cars (an actual search term that led someone to this blog today–hello, whoever you are!), I settled on two things that I already knew I liked: class, and theater. The fact that I am not a particularly good actor (and am by far a worse improvisor) was immaterial. I dropped a chunk of my paycheck, and got myself a slot at Dad’s Garage for the next eight weeks.

Three classes in, I can say that I’m pleased with my decision. I’m firmly in the bottom quartile of the class in terms of skill, but I’m trying to build adult skills like not wanting to vomit on my shoes in embarrassment every time I do something asinine. Improv class is great for building your realization that–to paraphrase Merlin Mann–if you screw up, it’s okay, because no one’s going to eat you.

I was telling all of this to two of my friends on Friday night in the middle of drinking a mid-range hefeweizen, when I looked up from my seat and nearly spat out my beer. Standing next to my booth was my improv teacher. This shouldn’t have come as a shock, given that we were maybe two miles from the theater where I am taking the class, but it was still unexpected.

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Juggling Chainsaws

Do you ever have such a wonderful weekend that–though you totally intend to update your blog–you spend most of it baking cookies, watching Shakespeare, and drinking sangria with your friends (followed by napping!) and totally forget? Just me? Oh, whoops.

This weekend was wonderful, because that is pretty much all that I did for it. (I took a break to read 200 pages of class things, which involved learning more disgusting facts about monkey sexual behavior, ie the most lasting educational legacy of my time at college, fun fact.) And you guys, it was necessary for me to continue to get out of bed.

That’s because last week I simultaneously started my first week of my last semester of college and my fancy new 40-hour-a-week, yes-we-have-a-401k-and-snacks job. Which is great! Employment is wonderful! My coworkers are a delight! The snacks are great! I am taking a class with someone famous enough to have a Wikipedia page!

And I am so! Very! Tired!

That + my weakling college vegetarian immune system meant that I spent most of last week sort-of-kind-of sick. You know, when you feel like you can’t legitimately take medication without Raising Eyebrows, but you would still prefer to stay in bed? Super fun!

And you guys, I am kind of freaked out by the semester ahead. Continue reading

What I Found Today (2/7/11)

Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero Talk: I’ve been geeking around on, Mann’s main site. He writes about productivity, mostly through reclaiming your time by removing yourself from systems that constantly feed you information (like email, the subject of this speech). I think a lot of the points that he makes–particularly that non-personal email should be based on actions; you should be able to do something with your email and get out–are really valuable, particularly when emailing professors. Now, if only the people with access to the all-students email list at Oxford would learn this…

Poorly targeted Google Ad: From my inbox. If internships fail this summer…

Romance Novelists Uncover What Women Really Want: A Jezebel takedown (complete with Gawker’s new cracked-out layout–which on each of the affiliate sites has a different little explanation text because why not) of a USA Today column on how dudes should behave more like dudes in romance novels. “Please, men. Do not turn into a stone gargoyle while we are having sex.” Includes a link to the equally hilarious Tumblr Romance Club, a collection of ladies who do some truly excellent book summaries. “HOWEVER, since both of their names are on the back of the book, you know the drill (lol drill). SPOILER ALERT: FUCKING AHOY!”

Packers Won the Superbowl: Packers, woo!

Glenn Beck Loses His Shit About Spiderman: Why the hell is he a Jewish grandpa in the beginning? Who knows! (I want him saying “atheist, god-like scientist” over and over as my ringtone. It will soothe me to sleep.)

AOL Bought HuffPo and Paul Carr Wrote a Thing on It: For those who are not regular TechCrunch readers (avoid the comments, I’m warning you), the story so far is that a few months back, AOL bought TC. Commenters accused TC of selling out and were generally irritating because TC is where YouTube commenters go when they’ve been drinking. Today, AOL bought HuffPo, as part of an overarching strategy to eventually quit sucking quite so hard and become relevant again. Cue comments about teh leftists, worries about headlines moving towards Google bait, and several more months of jokes about AOL. Huzzah!