Category Archives: Humorous

Why the Office is a Teeming Cesspool of Miracles

BrightTALK hqAre you familiar with the term the built environment? It’s not the mountains or the ocean or the forest or a rocky outcropping. It’s the places that humans have built for themselves to spend tons of time inside. An office, for example.

An office is a teeming cesspool of people operating according to three things: their innate animal nature, the needs of the business, and their levels of coffee intake. The office, as a human creation, is kind of disgusting and kind of a miracle. On the one hand, you’re stuck in the same room or building as a group of essentially random people.

These people may or not make you laugh or care about you. Not only that, there are millions of other beings out there in the world that you could be interacting with but instead you’re stuck with the bozos that HR hired.

On the other hand, it’s miraculous. No where else in modern life are we able to interact with the same group of people so continuously and together-ly. In Western culture, the extended family has pretty much broken down. Both parents work and are 50% divorced, and the rest of the family is dispersed. In many ways and due to sheer time spent together, the office has become a family replacement. And as depressing as that is, after a while you start to notice things like hey, Aaron is attractive and wow, Sunita really loves nuts. But mostly you notice that everyone is a freak in their own special way. I mean this only in a positive way.

Everyone’s a freak with incredibly distinct gaits and styles of talking and weird food habits. Even a complete lack of personality is awesome, because cool! They have the personality of a cabinet. That’s so….interesting. How did they lose their ability to have a point of view or add anything useful to a conversation?

It’s fascinating! And so you might walk into an office (or any other built environment) on your first day thinking, “wow, everyone here is normal.” But by month 6, you realize that not only is everyone incredibly normal, but they’re also wildly bizarre beyond your imagining and you’re part of it too.

You’re all freaks and awesome together and you get over it and work with your pseudo family, bound together by a non-human entity known as the business. The office is also an actual cesspool in that you share everyone’s germs and weird anger outbursts and acts of kindness until you or the business leaves. And that’s what an office is. It’s a built environment teeming with freak miracles. Unless you don’t like where you work, in which case everyone is an idiot except you.

P.S. If you’re in the Bay Area, you absolutely MUST check out the Femprov fest coming up April 24th – 27th because Women + Improv + Comedy = Awesome Sauce. Yours truly will be performing with True Medusa on Thursday, April 24th and you can check out the whole line up for Femprov fest here, and read more about Leela here.

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Hey, My Weekend was Great. Thanks for Asking.

Hey, thanks for asking how my weekend was. I appreciate you thinking of me on a Monday morning when we’re all desperately crowding around the coffee like bison around a watering hole in a dusty, dry summer. I’m going to choose to believe that your question was sincere and not just a way to distract me so you could take the second-to-last cup of coffee and avoid having to make another pot. So, thanks again. It was great.

Ask about my weekend. I dare you.

Ask about my weekend. I dare you.

Oh, you want to hear about something cool that I did. Oh great. I did tons of cool stuff that I can tell you about and I’d love to do that right now. I’d love for you to know every single thing that I did this weekend just so you can know how cool and relaxing and fulfilling my life is and how it completely validates everything I do at this office for 50 hours a week.

Oh, what did I do? Great. I’m so glad you asked for details. I’d love to tell you all the things that I did, so I’ll go ahead and do that now I guess.

On Friday I went home at 8:30 after going to happy hour where I tried a drink that was hot pink and tasted like a scream. I got home and tried to watch an episode of Arrested Development but IT WOULDN’T LOAD. So like a baller I wrote in my journal by candlelight for a little bit before going to bed at 9:20.

But get this, on Saturday I woke up before dawn and did a whole morning of vision-casting, trying to figure out what to do with my life. I created mad google docs and made sure to update my mint.com account with my recent cash purchase of coffee ($2.00) and answer any personal emails from the week. I pounded down some peanut butter oatmeal and a calcium chew and futzed around before taking a leisurely walk around Stowe Lake where I saw a couple making out.

But wait, it gets better. On Saturday night, I did things with my friends – like eat food and see a show. And on Sunday, I slept in until 8 am and took a freaking walk in the park and talked to my sister who I love and then I went to West Oakland where I bought 8 candles and did improv and then came back and made a mother flipping lentil dish before going to eat dinner with a friend.

So are you happy now? Are you happy now that you know every detail of my weekend? Do you feel like you know me better? Do you think what I did was cool? Because it wasn’t. Nothing of what I did was cool, and it never will be. BECAUSE MY WEEKEND WAS JUST LIKE YOURS. WE DID THE EXACT SAME STUFF AND WE HUNG OUT WITH FRIENDS AND ATE FOOD AND OUR LIVES ARE NOT INTERESTING.

So thanks for asking how my weekend was. How was yours?

P.S. What’s the deal with mayonnaise. Why does everyone hate it?

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Why You Should Laugh at Yourself

broccoli_in_teethBecause sometimes you notice that you have broccoli caught in your teeth from dinner a couple of hours ago and it’s now 8:30 and you’ve been making eyes with someone all night.

Sometimes your shirt is stained and you’re already at the networking event.

Your pit stains, though not smelly, are formidable but you don’t want to live your life with your arms down.

Sometimes a food object flies out of your mouth while you’re having a meeting with someone and then lands on your neck and you have no idea where it went but both parties try to ignore what just happened while you silently search for it without saying anything and the other person can see it shining on your neck.

You were completely wrong about something that you were adamant about being correct about. Turns out, Conan O’Brien stayed in a different hall before living in Mather Hall at Harvard.

Your body made a strange sound at a meeting.

You called her Michele. Her name was Rachel. You’ve known her for 3 months.

You said hello and they had no idea who you were.

You sent an email to Clara and George. You meant to send it to Claire and George. Clara is from a different company.

The ball you were playing with fell under someone’s desk and you have to get on all fours and crawl under to get it, and you’re conscious that you look like an animal.

You’re painstakingly trying to put a piece of gum on your mug and the CEO walks by. You feel less than intelligent.

You were horseback riding and your pants ripped.

You were caught “accidentally” using the men’s bathroom when the line for the women’s was too long.

People who take themselves too seriously are a drag and will never get their hands dirty.

Life isn’t so serious, after all – didn’t we just make all this up?

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20 Pieces of Advice for My Sister’s Trip to San Francisco

We're going to paint the town.

We’re going to paint the town.

Dear Sister,

I’m so excited that you’re coming to visit me in San Francisco for Christmas, that you’re leaving parents and home far behind in Oklahoma and venturing out to the West Coast, a journey our ancestors and great-uncle made and one that it is now your turn to make. Welcome to this state. There are some things you should know to make the most out of your time here.

1. You will always feel like you’re doing something wrong as you ride public transportation. It’s as unavoidable as congealed gravy after a holiday meal.

2. Bring every kind of clothing you have. Because of witchcraft or something similar, the temperature varies wildly from day to night and from shade to sun. I use the handy phrase “sun-hot; shade-cool” to remember which one is which.

3. Bring cash; some places will not accept your plastic. These places will often have tasty pastries.

4. Most born and raised Californians know nothing about Oklahoma aside from either the bombing or the musical. Because of their ignorance, they will lash out and make fun of your native state. Don’t let it get to you.

5. Half shirts are a thing, as are sheer wispy shirts, all manner of hats and anything with a mustache on it.

6. Strangers might talk to you, and it’s not always a bad thing. Feel it out, and respond if it seems appropriate. If someone says “Good morning” to you, they’re probably being friendly. If they say, “Damn girl, you healthy. Them organic goods?” while you’re carrying groceries, you’re probably in Oakland.*

7. Green bins are for compost, black are for trash, and blue are for recycling. Don’t let anyone see you throw away something that can be recycled.

8. Leave your Styrofoam at home and bring a bag to the grocery store.

9. That weird smell is either dog urine or marijuana. It could also be people urine, if we’re downtown.

10. That delicious meaty smell is either coming from Hahn’s Hibachi or Yellow Sub. I’m never sure which one.

11. This city is full of stores selling things no one should ever purchase, like $40 bowls and many whimsical variations on the salt and pepper shaker. That being said, it’s all beautiful and you will want to purchase something. Don’t spend all your money at the first place.

12. No one knows what to do about the homeless people, so mostly we just ignore them. I’d like to find a better way to handle this but I’m not sure what it is.

13. This place is mind-numbingly beautiful and everyone who gets to live here is lucky. Don’t forget that where you come from is also lovely.

14. Avoid the Tenderloin and Upper Market area – no reason for you to dabble in those neighborhoods yet. You can tell you’re in the T-Loin from the missing teeth to broken glass to face tattoo ratio.

15. Don’t waste your time on bad food.

16. Climb every hill you see. You won’t regret it.

17. Buy me a present while I’m working. I’ve earned it.

18. Don’t be ashamed of being a tourist. It’s what you are and you don’t have to hide from any one.

19. Everyone does and doesn’t look the same. You’ll see what I mean. Most people are attractive in a “I’m going places” or “I’m unique” or “I took time to dress myself this morning” or “my clothes are expensive” kind of way.

20. Have fun! (and buy me a present)

*This was said to me once in Oakland.

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Feels like San Francisco to Me

Photo credit: torbakhopper, flickr

Photo credit: torbakhopper, flickr

I want to talk about Tuesday, when I was walking to a party. It was a nice night, a clear one with a couple of stars poking through. The deep blue black of the night here always reminds me of frosting for some reason, like I could dip my finger into it and taste it.

So it was a frosting color sky and I was walking somewhere in the Upper or Lower Haight, where the houses are so beautiful they make you want to barf and I was walking with my layers on – at least two or three for posterity, and I was strapped into my backpack – as one needs to be because otherwise there’s no guarantee your backpack couldn’t just fall right off – and I was wearing my tennies because those are my street shoes and play shoes and everything was normal.

Maybe I took a deep breath, or maybe I looked across the street and saw a cool tree or maybe the ghost of ET possessed my body for a second and imparted the secrets of the universe to me. I don’t know what happened exactly but all of the sudden, it hit me. I felt like I was in San Francisco.

So many times throughout the day/week/year/millisecond, I’m reminded of different times and places. That breeze makes me feel like Boston. These houses seem like they’re from LA. This hamburger reminds me of that one hamburger I had that one time that was really good in Chicago at that one place.

But this moment was the first time I’d related a certain temperature, sky, and house set-up back to San Francisco itself as opposed to somewhere else. It was cool.

It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside like somehow I know this place and its frosting sky and they know me too and I could wrap myself up in that sky like a big blanket and go to sleep on Ocean Beach and then watch the city get lit up from the other side in the morning since we’re on the West Coast in case you forgot. And I can mix metaphors like I don’t even care. Frosting, blanket, fishnet stockings – who cares what you call the sky? Not San Francisco.

And as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that maybe what I really wanted to talk about is how I want to be an astronaut and go into space and taste the sky. Is it frosting? If so, what kind – is it like a cream cheese, or a royal, or a ganache? And what’s under the frosting? Are black holes really some kind of molten chocolate pit, because that sounds pretty awesome especially with the possibility of time travel thrown in there.

But no matter where I end up, be it in an infinite spiral of swirling buttercream or wandering somewhere in Upper or Lower Haight, I know I’ll have that feeling of San Francisco sitting on the shelf of my mind in its mason jar, ready to be whipped out when it’s time to reminisce in the next city.

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