ROUND-UP OF NEW THINGS I'VE BEEN UP TO LATELY
New Thing #150: I have a new writing group. (Which means I now have three writing groups--one that meets weekly, one that meets bi-weekly, and one that meets monthly.) (But each group is very, very different and they all really help me in different ways.) (And the most sure-fire way to make me productive is to have a meeting coming up because whenever I have a meeting coming up I'm like, "damnit, I want pages, I need pages, write pages, you have a meeting coming up" and then I'll have a furious flurry of writing activity.) (So I'm really excited about having a new group.) (And the writers in the new group are excellent and inspiring, which is a great bonus because it's always nice to be surrounded by people who inspire you, you know?)
New Thing #151: As a result of the new writing group, I have a new webpage. (Clink HERE for my bio, and clink HERE for info about my plays.) (I've been wanting a webpage with info about my plays for a really long time, so this is totally rockstar.)
New Thing #152: I have a new (short) play currently in production. (I wasn't involved in the rehearsal process at all so I didn't know what to expect, and when I saw it I couldn't have been more happy--my director totally "gets" the play--he's awesome--he just did some really nice, subtle, assured directin'--and the actors are wonderful.)
New Thing #153: I paid off Credit Card #1. (The Big One.) (Fuck yeah.)
New Thing #154: I paid off Credit Card #2. (Not done with #3 yet--that one's kinda in flux, i.e. still in use--but I'll get back to paying it off soon.)
New Thing #155: I have a new, quicker route to get from Orange County into LA (but I won't say what it is because it's top secret.) (And I realize one of my previous New Things was having a new route in and out of Los Angeles, but this one's even better and quicker and more secreter.)
New Thing #156: I made myself less of a slave to television. (I had decided to try watching every single new series this season, but in an effort to appease some of my readers who think television is turning my brain into mush, I just deleted about 15 "season passes" from my Tivo.) (Though I still plan on watching the Real World/Road Rules Challenge religiously.) (The only thing that could stop me from watching the Real World/Road Rules Challenge would be nuclear holocaust.) (I'm serious.)
New Thing #157: I have a new favorite fast food joint, Chipotle Grill. (And I think I can admit this without feeling ashamed because, as far as fast food joints go, this one's relatively healthy.) (Right?) (Well, even if it isn't, I'm obsessed with this place now.) (I've never been a huge fan of Mexican food.) (It's all of the cheese.) (I don't do cheese well.) (But the fajita burrito at Chipotle Grill makes me feel kinda sorta slightly orgasmic in the mouth.) (It's just too too good.) (Like, illegally good.)
New Thing #158: I made my MySpace page "private" because some kids at one of the schools I substitute at were like "do you have a MySpace page" and then I was like "I so totally do NOT fucking have a MySpace page" to them, except I didn't say "totally." I just really don't want high school kids looking me up on MySpace, that's a kettle of worms I don't want to open, or whatever the cliche is.
New Thing #159: I made a vow never to teach 1st grade ever again. See, the thing is, I enjoy teaching kindergartners because kindergartners are way fun (because you basically get to spend the day reading them stories [I am a really good reader of stories] and building Lego castles [I am an awesome builder of Lego castles]), whereas 1st graders are way not-fun because they still want to play like they're in kindergarten, but it's time for them to buckle down and LEARN, which they don't want to do AT ALL, yet it's still your responsibility to Teach Them The Building Blocks of All of the Knowledge They Will Need As They Embark On The Next 16-ish Years of Their Formal Education, and it is T-O-U-G-H work. And as much as I enjoy writing things like "The pot got hot" (we were studying rhyming) and "Erik the Elephant likes to Eat" (we were studying alliteration) on the white-eraseboard, I would prefer to teach kids who will at least pretend to be more interested in what I'm teaching than they are in drawing indecipherable pictures on their desks or stealing ghost-shaped erasers from the teacher's cupboard. (Wow, did I really just write a mini-diatribe about why I don't want to ever teach SIX-YEAR-OLDS ever again? I am a heartless bitch.)
New Thing #160: I organized the files on my computer. (I'll admit, this is a boring New Thing, but it's something I've been meaning to do for a really long time. I'm generally not a particularly "neat and tidy" person [cough cough understatement cough cough], but I can be really anal about organizing things like my books and my computer, but the files on my computer were so haphazard and saved all over the place and it was getting out of control. Like, I'm working on this new play, and some of the files for the play were saved on the desktop and some were saved in "my documents" and some were saved in my "theater" folder, and some were saved in another random folder--they were just all over the fucking place, and I finally buckled down and organized the hell out of all of my files and now I know where everything is and it feels blissful.)
New Thing #161: I backed up all of my files. (Again, this New Thing is kinda boring, but it's so essential--I mean, I've come *this close* to losing EVERYTHING before, and that would be hellacious and sad--so I finally got one of those things, I don't know what they're called, but you know what I'm talking about--those sticks that have copious amounts of memory--and I backed everything up and now I can rest easy at night.)
New Thing #162: I had a crazy, weird allergic reaction to alcohol last night, which isn't *entirely* a New Thing (see, when I was a kid, I used to have allergic reactions to Manishevitz grape wine every year at Passover), but I haven't had an allergic reaction to alcohol in a good decade, and this was more intense than anything I'd ever experienced before--the only side affect of the allergic reactions of my past was a slightly reddish face, but last night my face felt like it was el fuego, and I've never felt like that before. Like, my face literally felt like it had turned into The Hottest Chili Pepper in the World, and this was after only ONE SIP of this random mango martini that the crazy bartender had made for me. ("I'll make you something really good," she told me, and maybe she was trying to flirt, but it was all bad, bad, bad.) Honestly, I have no idea what I was reacting to because I don't know specifically what was in the drink--I think it was Mango vodka and saki--which sounds weird--I should have asked, but I was too busy freaking out about the fact that my face was melting off. Anyway, my face returned back to normal after about fifteen minutes, or so, but the whole thing was super-freaky.
New Thing #163: I'm applying for writing grants again. I used to be really good about keeping abreast of what was due and when, but the whole grant thing fell off my radar a while back and it's been at least a year since I applied for anything. Anyway, I'm gonna start keeping up with them again and I just got back from FedEx Kinko's, where I overnighted one of my scripts to a foundation in New York. The application is due tomorrow, which is Sunday, and they weren't really specific about whether or not that was supposed to be a "mail by" or "received by" deadline, so I just went ahead and spent too much money by FedExing it. (On a side note, I tried to buy some brass fasteners, i.e. "brads," at Kinko's, so that I could bind my script, because I'm out of brads, and I forgot that no one in Orange County knows what a "brad" is. I mean, seriously--I wouldn't expect everyone in the world to know what a "brad" was, but if you work at Kinko's, where your main job duty is to photocopy and bind things, I would think that you'd know what a brad is. I don't know why I find this so annoying. But I went up to the counter and I asked the woman if they sold brads, and she looked at me blankly and then she was like, "brads?" And then I was like, "brads." And then she gave me another blank look. And then I was like, again, "brads? Do you sell them?" And she was like, "what?" And then I remembered that I'd had this exact same conversation about a year ago at a different Kinko's in Orange County, and then I explained to the woman that brads are brass fasteners that hold scripts together, and then she was like, "yeah, I've never heard of that." And then I had to go to Staples, where I DID find brads, but even so, when I walked in and asked the man at the counter if they sold brads, again I got the blank stare followed by the question "what are brads?") (Why am I psycho about brads all of a sudden?) (I just feel like, it's fine if you don't know what brads are, a knowledge of brads is not necessary for daily life, but if you work at Kinko's or Staples, you should, like, know what brads are.) (Suddenly I feel like Brian Krakow. Like, this feels like something stupid that Brian Krakow would obsess about.) (Which is appropriate, since I'm so Brian Krakow.)
This is not a New Thing, but: It was my friend Lanie's birthday two days ago and I totally forgot to call her and wish her a happy birthday and I want to make up for it by sending her a shout out right now. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LANIE! (And yes, I'm talking to YOU, Lanie--there's only one Lanie, and you're the one, and I hope you had an awesome freaktastic birthday.)
New Thing #164: I peed on my pants. Now, before you react, read the sentence again. I didn't pee in my pants--I peed on my pants. It was really embarrassing and that's why I'm burying it way down here as the 14th New Thing in this round-up of New Things. Here's how things went down. Basically, this was last Sunday, right before my first meeting with my new writing group. I was over at my step-mom and brothers' house, and I had to go to the bathroom, and, okay, I won't get into details here, but suffice it to say, my phone rang and it distracted me for a beat and I inadvertantly peed on my freaking pants. And I was supposed to be at my new writing group in thirty minutes, and I still had a twenty minute drive, and I didn't have any other pants to change into, and there was a big splotch of pee on my pants, and it was kinda mortifying because I didn't want to go to my new writing group and have someone notice the pee blotch (splotch?) (what's a better word: blotch or splotch?) and then from that day on become known as the Pee Blotch/Splotch guy, and I realize that I'm outing myself right now by writing about it, but it's much better to laugh about it later after having gotten away with not being caught with pee on my pants than to have actually been caught with pee on my pants. So there I was standing in my step-mother's bathroom trying to figure out what the hell to do and I took my pants off and I wetted a wash cloth and I scrubbed the pee blotch with soap, soap, fucking soap, and then I furiously scrubbed the spot with a dry towel, just trying to dry it, dry it, dry the hell out of it, and then, for extra measure, I grabbed a bottle of my step-mother's perfume and sprayed some in the air and then swatted my pants through the rosy mist (better to smell like perfume than to smell like pee) and by then I was definitely running late for the group, so I threw my pants back on, ran out of the house, got in my car, and furiously drove through Hollywood. By the time I got to the house we were meeting at, the wet splotch/blotch had dried and I didn't smell like pee at all. Just a faint whiff of rose in the air. Crisis averted.
New Thing #165: I let go of my fear of death. Not to get morbid or anything. And when I say that I "let go of my fear of death," I don't mean that I want to die or anything--heavens no--but I've always been a hypochondriac and I feel like the hypochondria is rooted in a deep fear of the unknown, a fear of death--and now, I don't know, I'm just not afraid anymore. I'm not thinking about it. When it happens, it'll happen, and I'm not going to waste any more time obsessively fearing the inevitable. That sounds so blase, but I just mean that I'm spending more time focusing on living in the moment and less time on worrying about something that I can't control anyway. (That doesn't mean I'm abandoning trying to eat healthy and exercise and all that--of course I want to do the healthy things that will help me have a long, healthy stay here in the land of the living--I'm just saying that I'm not going to lie in bed at night anymore wondering if I have a brain tumor and then deciding that I probably do and freaking out.)