This is me doing my best to explain the D word and the A word. You know, the ones that AREN’T Dick and Ass.
If you ever have trouble with crippling, incessant thoughts about how you’re the absolute worst… then you get it.
Things to remember:
1. Just because you have been mean or terrible doesn’t mean you ARE mean or terrible. It just means that you had lapses in judgement in the past and you should learn from them like an adult. Make kindness to others a priority.
2. You are not the worst. You are not the worst. You are not the worst.
3. For real tho, I’m sorry about being such a bitch about those wigs.
Living in a studio apartment with another person and a cat is fine – except for the times you have to wait for them to shower just so you can squeeze in a little Destiny’s Child and get stoked for your day.
Speaking of getting STOKED, this NEXT song makes me think of a post apocalyptic world where one’s crowning achievements are serenaded by jaunty Europop music. In this scenario, a hero must jump off a cliff and dive bomb into the ground, breaking barriers into the next plane of existence where literally journey through what’s left of Hell for a week or so to fight DEMONS and retrieve a sacred item or save humanity – something CRAZY. I don’t know why the hell these guys are in a club in this video. Who needs to pop bottles when you could have a giant, winged gargoyle looking asshole chasing you through another dimension?
Since we’re jumping, not falling, into a black hole of all around music fuckery, I guess I should go ahead and tell you that I used to have DREAMS of completing the VengaBus challenge – it’s this challenge I just made up one day where you prove your UNDYING LOVE to someone who locked themselves in their room or office by dancing outside their window to the the Vengabus song – LOUDLY – in front of God and everyone – until your true love or best friend or whoever the hell it is leaves their confinements. In most cases, you’d be dancing for at LEAST 72 hours.
And because I think it’s absolutely amazing when ridiculous pop acts from the 90’s reunite over 10 years later to perform their obscure hits for an enthusiastic audience, here are the Venga Boys performing at an I Love the 90’s themed concert.
HAPPY HUMP DAY, EVERYONE!
I’m so stoked to be able to share this internet spot for the app, QuizUp, that I worked on with the super duper team over at Sandwich Video. It features some awesome actors and comedians, cool tunes, and a hilarious cameo from the Chancellor of all things Sandwich, Adam Lisagor (“Friendship is magic!” guy).
See me pwn some folks in My Little Pony here:
I remember my mother yelling at squirrels as a small child. If she spotted them hanging out in places like the bird feeder or her roses, she would stop whatever she was doing and grab a broom or anything long enough to get a good swing in. Then she’d run out into the yard and just go to town. It wasn’t unheard of to be in the middle of a conversation with her and watch her morph from a chatty southern woman into a wild, back yard viking. Her battle cries could be heard from the porch:
“They’re stealing all the pecans!”
“They’re eating up all the bird food!”
“They’re chasing my cats!”
Our yard boasted three massive pecan trees that yielded generous quantities of nuts each season. That combined with all the acorns made our house a prime hangout for squirrels. I knew that there were a ton of them, but I had no idea that it bordered on infestation for years. I simply accepted that Mother had an inexplicable hatred of squirrels and accepted her campaign against them as a fact of life. Besides, I remember experiencing pangs of resentment whenever I found a pecan pod that looked ripe for eating… only to turn it over and find that a squirrel had beaten me to it.
If Mom was tired, or had experienced a particularly trying day, or if we had simply been home from school for more than two days in a row, she might send me or my sister out against the squirrels in her place.
“Go chase those squirrels away from the garden and my bird feeder,” she’d say, “and make sure they are good and far away before you come back inside. Scare them good.”
At first it was fun to run around the yard and wave my arms, screaming loud enough to wake the neighbors across the road. Eventually, though, I could never muster up the same vigor and pent up rage as my mother did. Unlike Mom, who somehow seemed replenished after a good squirrel run, I couldn’t seem reap the same benefits.
“Try raising three kids and managing a business with your father,” she’d say later, “You’d be surprised at the little ways you cope.”
After all of her us were grown and out of the house, Mom and Dad got serious about their lawn. They built a stone patio off the side of the house. They installed a fire pit and set up a hammock. They really stepped up their game. Apparently this meant they had to step up their defenses.
I learned that Mom bought a gun when I called my dad one afternoon and he said,
“Wanna talk to your momma? She’s around here somewhere. I think she’s shooting squirrels in the back yard with her new toy. Lemme go holler at her.”
“I’m sorry,” I asked, “Mom’s got a gun?”
“Oh, yeah!” he replied, “She bought herself a BB gun and she goes out into the yard and shoots those suckers. She’s getting to be a pretty good shot.”
By the time I was able to go home next, Mom had graduated to a .22 caliber rifle. It was open season at the Sams house; a territory war of domestic preportions.
“These squirrels were running around in packs,” said Mom, staunchly defending her position, “I mean they had t-shirts and rolled up sleeves and camels tucked in their jackets. They were thugs.”
I couldn’t help but think of those old evangelical propaganda booklets – you know, the ones where all of the sinners tried to lure the protagonist away from Christ with their cigarettes and cool leather jackets.
This is the way my mother chose to depict the squirrels. You know, right before she shot them.
I kind of love it. I wish I had been able to go home and see her shoot one on Mothers Day. She probably would have taught me how.
Like so many other people the world over, I, too, went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I have a sizable feminist twig in my asshole. I am tired of male driven damn near everything.
I like to watch films with badass, funny, or at least prominent female characters. That said, I absolutely do NOT think that Avengers: Age of Ultron is worthy of a feminist backlash. SPOILER ALERT.
By now I’m sure that you’ve heard the hoopla surrounding the scene where Ultron kidnaps Black Widow and how her teammate, Bruce Banner, rescues her. By the way, this all happened right after she jumped out of a truck hundreds of feet into the air to push an android incubator into a moving jet.
Allegedly, some people were so offended that they took to Twitter to make threats toward Joss Whedon and his children. Whedon, whose canon of work boasts an impressive number of strong, intelligent, and powerful female leads, left Twitter – presumably to write a version of Avengers where Ultron destroys the earth because it’s just a bunch of assholes.
Whedon has since said, “Nah, man, I just quit Twitter because I was sick of Twitter and I’ve got better shit to do.”
There is this alarming, growing theme in movies where the human race has to defend and/or account for itself. The hero’s argument is always, “Yeah, we’ve turned the earth into a giant piece of shit and we are absolutely doomed and have rejected pretty much anything and everything that can save us in favor of indulging classism, racism, systematized poverty, destruction, irreversible pollution, war, genocide, etc., but it’s our piece of shit and there’s beauty in that, so fuck off!”
That’s a little more disturbing to me than the scene where Black Widow gets kidnapped. It’s more disturbing than some man throwing the word slut around in regards to Black Widow on late night television when we KNOW that Tony Stark is Marvel’s supreme big old slut.
Vision just grinned and said, in so many words, “Humans will destroy themselves, those cute little buggers.”
I recall a similar message in Simon Pegg’s The World’s End. I recall a similar message in a lot of movies and shows, actually.
Apparently our right to slowly take advantage of and destroy each other is something worth defending.
THAT is what’s more disturbing to me than Black Widow and her place in the current incarnation of The Avengers. Here’s the thing: a team of writers can save the character of Black Widow.
They can’t save us.
It’s Taxi Cat-urday. I’m going to start posting cat stuff on Saturdays because Taxi is regal as shit and eats awesome food all the time and is the size of a small Shetland pony with the attitude of Garey Busey.
Here are the two best photos of Taxi Cat from this week:
A photo posted by Jas Sams (@jas_sams) on
Something cool happened in one of my classes. It wasn’t related to acting or improv, but it was a big step for me personally.
Maybe you’ve read this entry, “Abuse and the Lingering Idea of Relationships as Traps.” It’s a long one, but I think it’s worth a look.
The class exercise called for two people to sit beside each other and have a conversation in which they played “larger than life” versions of themselves. Think Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld. I partnered up with another lady and we took our seats in front of the class as the instructor asked for a suggestion.
“Nitrous!” someone said.
I blurted out, “I used to work in a Ben & Jerry’s.”
“Yeah. There was this kid there named Nick who was totally deep and listened to really cool music and he would do whip its with the nitrous oxide.”
“How long did you work there?”
“Did you leave or did they fire you?”
“Well. I had to leave.”
“Well… I was dating this terrible guy who controlled my money and didn’t let me have friends or see my family that much and he told me the job was damaging our relationship.”
“So is that what you told them?”
“No, I actually told them I had – this is so terrible – I told them I had a heart condition and that I couldn’t work there anymore.”
Yes. I said heart condition. A beat passed before some of my classmates gasped. Others laughed. Some gasped first and laughed second.
“Holy crap! Why did you lie?”
“Because I was too embarrassed to tell them I was leaving because my idiot boyfriend felt emasculated by my ice cream store job.”
“Yeah, but couldn’t you have… you know, just quit? Why did you lie?”
“Um. Well. I was young and stupid.”
I should have added, “Maybe it was a subconscious plea for help,” or, “Because I felt like I owed them something, anything more than, ‘Well, I’m caving into pressure from an insane person.”
A couple of things. One: This story is 100% true. I blatantly lied about having a heart condition because I was afraid to tell people that I was in an abusive situation. Two: it was the first time I had managed to tell a story about him and laugh at it. It’s weird and fucked up, but if you laugh then… it kind of loses its power. I found this approach works with many memories. It’s better to make something funny than to allow others feel sorry for you. It’s better for people to think that you’re funny and have great relationships with the people close to you than to learn how you really feel about loaded issues from the past.
I have not talked about this particular story or the ones like it to anyone since it happened. I’d rather not remember them and coast through life, blissfully unaware that any of it ever happened in the first place. To bring it up to people and hear them laugh at the ridiculousness felt, simply put, good.
I promise that the scenario didn’t feel nearly as heavy in class as it might come across here. It’s a big deal to me because I have never been able to use a story from that time to entertain. I made fun of him on my blog a few times before, but I always ended up taking them down because they still felt too open. Too personal.
With time, however, I have been able to take things back. Movies, shows, foods; I have avoided certain things for years because the associative memories involved were too much. With (much) time, however, I began to reclaim them for myself. Along with my sanity. I know that I will never entirely forget that it happened, but now I am working on the next best thing – re-purposing the memories themselves.
I feel like the following graphics accurately describe the evolution of his place in my memory.
I call it the Mel Brooks approach.
He had gone from monster to tiny, Napoleon-esque, sad little man. Nothing more than a story to tell people.
And with luck, one day that’s all he will be – a story.