Bloggety blog blog by vanessa

Some upsetting news from the files of Products-I've-Never-Bought-But-Have-Wished-Many-Times-That-I-Had:

Polaroid is discontinuing the production of instant film. Read about it here. You know why this blows? I used to live across the street from a woman (Michelle, of Pat-n-Michelle) who would bring a Polaroid camera to parties and bars. Which was really awesome since no one wants to carry a camera but everyone's glad when the pictures come out. *Mostly.* Also, there are neat Polaroid processing techniques that now I'll never do, (e.g. image transfers), which would've prompted my friends to label me creative! artistic! wow - how'd you think of that?! To which I would've smiled graciously and told them: I don't know, it's just something I threw together, in the way that means that they'll never get it. But now, because I waited too long, I'll never experience the sort of fame and adoration that having a Polaroid B.D. (Before Discontinuation) will bring you. There will be no eBay-ing after the fact. That'd be like buying a Smiths t-shirt in '98.


My friend Todd sent me this SXSW link. . Apparently God saw my handiwork and decided I needed help.


In the latest New Yorker, Jack Handey writes this issue's Shouts & Murmurs column, entitled How Things Even Out. Since 'balance in the universe' is a cornerstone of yogic thought, imagine my excitement to get a modern perspective on a centuries-old philosophy! As great teachers do, Handey uses simple, easy-to-understand examples to support his position. Here's one:

"One moment you're depressed because the doctor tells you that you have alcoholism. But then you cheer up when you go home and find a hidden bottle of vodka you had forgotten about."

I think I'll save this gem for Frog.


Oh - and one final (disappointing) note: I won't be doing that last Improv 201 performance, after all. See I had to make a choice between yoga training and improv since I found out tonight I didn't have the option to go in and out of class. I'd have to make up (read: pay for a private) the yoga training if I did the improv thing. Since I'm going to SXSW and already have to pay for three make-ups because of that, there's my answer. And since you can't leave the court on a missed shot, I'll def be taking 201 again.

I do NOT have herpes by vanessa

I should probably explain. See, tonight in Improv class, we did these scenes where two people got on stage and closed their eyes. The teacher positioned each person on the stage. When he gave us the go-ahead, we could open our eyes, and then we were to build the scene based on information deduced about our placement on the stage. Confused? Stay with me.

So, this guy and I were on stage, and when I opened my eyes, I was on one end of the stage, and he was clear on the other side, in a corner. From this, I opened the scene with, "I just told you I have HERPES; not LEPROSY." Which got a laugh and then we built the scene around him trying to avoid me and me trying to hook up with him again. All went well. The scene ended. And then I sat down and realized that the adorable guy who dropped into our class this week is probably backing away slowly.

Anyway, I thought I should clarify that I, in fact, do not have herpes. Not that there's anything wrong with it -- I'm sure it's a very nice disease and all. I'm not saying it's bad - I'm just sayin' the light's green over here. Note to self: STD jokes are only funny when you're already married.


Speaking of improv, I went to class tonight feeling overwhelmed at my schedule and certain that life would be a little bit easier if I dropped it. I'm glad I've reconsidered. I had a moment tonight where I was like "f*&k it" and then I felt so much less pressure, which makes me smile.

i should water my plants. better yet, ask a friend to do it by vanessa

Delightful Phrases
1. Evidentally. When a Southern (as in, US) friend of mine uses this word, she says it with such authority that I feel like I've just served jury duty.

2. In other words... It's like the author knows I didn't get it the first time but saves me the trouble of having to pretend like I did.

3. ...,as it were. Ghetto verb tense, and yet it still sounds smart.

That's it - I could dazzle you with more later.


I've decided to lighten up on the whole improv thing. That's right -- I've DECIDED. As if I sat down and made a list of pros and cons. ...Let's see, on the left here, you have all the reasons it pays to stop treating improv like it's finding the cure for cancer and here on the right are all the reasons you should just keep hating it. (Reader, it didn't actually happen like that.)

So it doesn't come naturally for me and it's awkward as shit, but it's only 6 more weeks, 5, really, since I'm gone next week and the upside is I get to laugh a lot and I'll probably end up a better person for it, and so-motherscratching-what and jesus do I have to bleed EVERYTHING dry and don't you know complaining about not being funny is about as funny as a lamp, and oh yeah, who cares? It's bad when even I'm sick of writing about whining.

I do have a goal with improv though -- and that's to get up on stage more. I'm always so afraid that I won't be able to think of anything because when I get up there my brain figuratively goes all foggy and messy like when you first drop an Alka-Seltzer in water. There's lots going on but it's just a big cloud. And I guess I'd like to get up there anyway. I mean, everyone is required to go, but I always end up at the end.

On a related note, after class last night we all went to UCB to see Cage Match which is this improv game between two teams. The Conroys beat The Universe. I bet they like saying that. I bet The Universe picked its name because they wanted to hear the announcer say, "Ladies and Gentlemen, hailing all the way from state schools, I present to you: THE UNIVERSE!" (The crowd roars.) I bet they probably didn't count on the announcer saying "Ladies and Gentlemen, by a nearly unanimous vote - your granny beat THE UNIVERSE!" As it were.


And one last reason you can thank your lucky stars you don't live in the 2nd biggest city in the U.S.: today I walked out of lunch to find Ventura Blvd closed off in both directions and a SWAT team outside the restaurant across the street. Good God it was unsettling. I freaked a little bit about how to get out since my car was parked in the middle of all of this. I still don't know what happened. (Not to me -- I know what happened to me. I mean why the police were there.)

Improv 201? Improv 20-Funnnnnn! by vanessa

You may have thought I had enough of the improv, especially since I crashed and burned in the last class. Oh no, no, no. That would be smart. I am neither smart nor funny. I might've mentioned before that I have to go to class after work which means WORK clothes which means TOOL. No one cool wears work clothes to improv. Last session I finally got wise to this and started bringing clothes to change into. Great, except that this morning I went to spin (I'll save that gem for another time) and when I packed at 5:30 in the morning I only packed clothes for teaching and work. I can't be held responsible for decisions I make before 7. Anyway, by the time I got to class, I realized that I only had the dressy dress that I was wearing to work, or my yoga clothes with flip-flops. I opted for the latter since we have to jump around a lot but I ended up freezing and didn't have a padded bra to hide that little fact.

So I started off in my head and pretty much stayed there. You know how much I've improved since last time? Roughly zero. Serious. And I keep thinking it will be different. Since it could be different.

Well enough about me. The other students are cool, and the instructor funny. That's all. (It's much easier to talk about me. Ahem.)

updates by vanessa

FRIDAY: Tonight Renee, Christine, and I went to UCB to see the Worst Laid Plans show and Janeane Garafolo, or the COOLEST CHICK ON THE PLANET. Anyway, it's a show where 8 different people (all girls and one gay guy) recount their individual one-night-stand horror stories. The preseters left little to the imagination. So much so that when I saw Girl #1 outside after the show waiting for the valet, all I could think about were the indecencies she described in graphic detail, all done to her by a guy who had just broken up with her. It seemed funny to me that had I never heard her story I might have noticed her in the valet line guessing that she was like a kindergarten teacher or a nun. Not so.

SUNDAY: Improv performance is over. I felt smoove the whole time, right through the warm-ups. Until it counted. Then seeing the first team -- my classmates perform -- I totally freaked. I got like two lines out. Crickets. And then we were finished. I thought of all these hilarious lines in the car. HILARIOUS. I'll be saving them for next time or using them in this blog.

TUESDAY: Writing's been the biggest pain in the ass lately. I'm just not inspired. Speaking of, the writers' strike is still going strong here. They picket outside of the studio which sucks for me since I'm always running late and I have to wait for them to get out of the crosswalk. They do appear to be the happiest picketers I've ever seen. Their chants are pretty clever and they're a well-dressed bunch. If you don't live in LA you may not realize how much press this thing is getting. Seriously, more than the fires of last month. Priorities, of course.