Tag Archives: hobbies

I quit my job to take my hobbies full time. Here’s what happens now.

Future daytime improv star

Future daytime improv star

On June 27th, 2014 I quit a (relatively) cushy corporate job to pursue my hobbies as a career, these hobbies being writing, improv, comedy, acting and amateur clowning. Many people congratulated me on this decision and told me I was brave (read: foolish). Maybe they’re right because the truth is I don’t really know how make this happen. I just needed to do something.

Two days later, I left the Bay Area bubble for a 7 week journey that will take me across the Eastern third of the United States, starting in Chicago and continuing through Nashville, Atlanta, North Carolina (Asheville area), Washington DC, Boston, NY and then Oklahoma City (Edmond area) on a miniature “Wassup USA” tour. I fully expect to get scurvy and lose a couple of teeth on this journey which can only be described as low-budget.

I’m doing this, the quitting and the traveling and the clowning, to test the hypothesis that there are no rules in life and no limit to what I can dream up and do, that nothing is in my way except for my own fear, and it is a formidable opponent that has some great arguments for why my dreams are a bunch of hogwash.

“Why should you be so lucky that you get the chance to quit a pretty good job and pursue comedy for a career? Not everyone has the chance to go after jobs they find meaningful – why should you? You shouldn’t look for meaning in your work, so why don’t you just do something that will get you a good income so you can be secure and figure out a way to work in your passions at nights and on weekends? Improv, really? Can’t you be passionate about something else? What if you fail?”

There’s some truth in these doubts, but at the end of the day they are just fear disguised as practicality, and I can’t convince myself to listen to them anymore. Not yet. But they are interesting questions.

In the next phase of my life and as I’m doing my hobbies full-time-ish, I want to explore these questions of meaning and career, who gets to follow their dreams and why, and who cares about this and does it even matter.

And for the next 50 days, I want to see what’s up with the USA. I want to do an Alexis de Toqueville “Democracy in America” except more along the lines of “Drevets in America.” It’ll just be me, in America, with my vision and dreams along with everyone else’s. Nothing much has changed except my morning commute and my inbox count.

So….what’s up USA?

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Bathroom Reading Rocks

Warning: this post discusses something so incredibly awesome your eyeballs are likely to explode on monitors and other electronic equipment. Consider yourself warned.

Some things are hard to say. Words choke in the throat. Cold fingers trip over keys. Sleepiness robs the mind of its sharpness. Synapses are replaced with teddy bear stuffing.

Yet it must be said.

The words must be forced out. They will be squeezed slowly and with purpose, zit-like. The entirety of meaning and expression, the enthusiasm and despair of everything will be pressed and molded into a loaf, a delicious loaf of meaning. Then the loaf will be eaten and everyone will know.

Emotion wells up within me. I cannot bear to hold it in any longer. The naked truth will burst out of me like 10 o’clock secrets at a cocktail party. Oh God here it comes. There is no stopping it! Reality is nigh upon us!

I LOVE BATHROOM READING!

Oh sweet bathroom reading! Is there anything more delicious than reposing on the commode whilst leafing through a Spring 2010 LL Bean catalog? Or the William’s Sonoma quarterly left in your parents’ bathroom? Or the ancient Wal-Mart receipt found in a newly discovered jean pocket?

Could there be anything better than taking the extra 3-5 minutes to finish the chapter in one’s current book or lingering over the pictures in a coffee table affair on the beauty of the Rocky Mountains?

Once upon a time I was afraid of the people’s opinions. I felt suspicious glances when I went off the restroom and imagined others silently taking notice of my absence and judging me for any delays and marking down the state of my return. Shamefully and hurriedly I would perform the bathroom functions with machine-like efficiency. I did not enjoy the time I spent in the pooper.

But no longer.

Bathroom time is me time, and I’m going to take a freaking Dickens novel in there if I feel like it. I might not even be going using the toilet. Maybe I just wanted a quiet place where I don’t have to wear pants.

Let the masses think what they will, but make no mistake, the stack of reading next to my toilet is for exactly what they think it is, and if they’re human—as they claim to be–they best avail themselves of it as well.

I’ve read too many shampoo bottles in my lifetime to be subjected to that monotony in the comfort of my own home.

Therefore I say: may peace reign over the earth, and may every man, woman, and child read while taking a dump.

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How to Heal America

I realize this is not a Disney character. But I have seen one with Winnie the Pooh. Also, why does this exist?

I spent 90 percent of my childhood dreaming in a room covered in Disney merchandise, frequenting the Disney store at the mall, watching Disney movies, and singing Disney songs. One of my first hobbies was repeatedly singing “Part of your world,” better known to me and my sisters as the “Ahhh…ahhh…ahhh…ahhhh” song. We would put pantyhose on our heads, call  it our long hair, and sing the “ahhhhhh” part of the song over and over again until my mother’s brain exploded. This semi-dangerous and highly annoying Disney obsession is by no means singular to the United States.

A brief tour through any toy store in Egypt quickly confirms that Disney controls the vast majority of children through the sheer bulk of its merchandising power. Disney characters  not only occupy every nook and cranny in kid’s stores, but they maintain a significant presence in other sections of life: stationary, clothing, lingerie, automobiles, etc. You name it, and there is a Disney character pasted on it. It’s almost like someone lasered a television playing a Disney movie, causing it to explode like alien guts all over Cairo and leave Disney goo everywhere.

I have learned that Disney characters/cartoon characters belong on everything. They are more important than saints, more dear than family members, and cuter than children. Anything can be improved through the addition of an adorable figure from an animated movie covered in sequins with a nonsensical caption like “Hungr nam drop.”

Today I went strolling through the markets around the Ataba Metro stop in an almost regrettable decision to leave the house during the day and go into the sun. The spirit of Disney was present everywhere. Disney infiltrates the minds of the children when they are young and here in Egypt this early obsession turns into the desire to cover the entire home in sparkles, flowers, and Minnie Mouse. If you’re desiring to create a more intimate bedroom, perhaps you should consider buying Winnie the Pooh sheets. If your pajamas seem cold and standoffish, surely it’s because they don’t have a big Minnie Mouse on them. Indeed, Disney appears to own a majority share in the women’s pajama market, and Bashar Assad owns a plurality (Syria is apparently well known for its pajamas). I have seen Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and others all gracing almost every part of the home.

Would Americans be friendlier if everyone was covered from head to toe in sparkles, teddy bears, and Mickey Mouse? Would we greet each other with kisses on the cheeks instead of hand slaps or grasps? What happened that caused us to become such an austere people, wearing black every day of the week and slugging every smiling stranger in the face (this might just be me).

I have made up my mind. I’m going to give back to my society, use my talents, and make my fortune by selling Disney themed pajamas for adults in America. I truly believe that this is the only and best way to cure the deep divisions that we have seen widening over the past ten years. I will not stop until President Obama wears Goofy to bed and Michele has a “Best Frien” nightgown with Daffy Duck and Minnie Mouse high fiving each other on it.

I will be the change. I will be the Disney themed pajamas that I want to see in the world.

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