This is a test. This is only a test


I will write something today. I will write something today. I will write even one joke. Just one sentence. Doesn’t even have to be a joke. I will write one thing. One thing. One word? There. One word. I’ve done it. I managed today to create a schedule for myself that includes time to write. Because nothing says, “I’m a writer” like doing things AROUND writing, that are not writing, that I tell myself are in the service of writing. Intense successful people make and keep to schedules. Top athletes, top scientists, top writers (? – double check this.) They are strict. They have schedules. They get things done. They don’t just fly by the seat of their pants and hope. And that’s really what I have been doing without a schedule. I have been waking up every day and just hoping that at some point I’ll be able to get some work in. Some real work. Instead, I don’t. I don’t do it. I think about doing it. I tell myself I’ll do it. I tell people I’m doing it. (“Hi, yeah, no, can’t talk. About to write.”) Then, I don’t. I have so many ideas. I should put them down on paper. I shouldn’t be afraid to write them. Write the thing, make the video, do the joke. Then I don’t. This is the refresh (refresh number 78,7877.) This is the restart. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Again. Today I will be different. Today I will conquer myself. I will do what I have not successfully been able to do before. I will create routine. I will create habit. I will do the write thing Ha! RIGHT thing. See what I did there. Boy, it’s already working.

Writing is the only thing you can say that you do without ever actually doing it. It’s the only job/passion/talent where you can say “I’m a writer” and actually you’ve not written a word in like a decade. You’ve got all the accoutrement. You have a computer, and three notebooks, and holy shit you have some great pens. Terrific pens, and the non-acid paper in some of those notebooks WITH the pens, with those pens. That shit is amazing. It’s so smooth. You look at all that stuff and you doodle a little bit with your nice pens in your fancy notebook and you’re like man, I’m a writer. But maybe you’re not a writer, you just say you’re a writer because you’re a big fan of good pens. Construction workers don’t say: “hey I’m a construction worker, but I’ve not touched a hammer in a decade.”

No one says: “I’m a surgeon who simply cannot find time to surger.” I mean listen, you wake up in the morning, but the time you’ve had coffee and breakfast and let’s face it second breakfast, (hello dessert muffins!) by the time you’ve had all of that, and you’ve checked the internet. All of the internet. All of it. It has all been checked. By that time, it’s like who the fuck has time to surger. No one. What? Now I’m going to pick up a scalpel and just start cutting into people? I’m tired. I sat all day. And I sat in different places. I moved from this place to that place on the couch and I am just really exhausted now.

But with writing you can do that. Because “writer” is a thing everyone wants to be. A thing everyone thinks they can do (myself included). Comedy writing particularly. Tell anyone, tell ANYONE  at all that you do stand-up, that you write comedy and they will immediately tell you how they also do that. Well, they also sort of do that. Well, they’ve also always wanted to do that. They always thought they would be a writer. They always thought that they would be, and that they could be if they’d wanted to, but you know what? They didn’t get around to it. And believe you me, if they’d wanted to, if they WANTED to, they could become a writer too. In a heartbeat. And they’d do stand-up, and they’d be good at it (better than you, is the implication) probably. They would absolutely do it and they’d be great at it, they just haven’t. Yet. But they still might.

And there you are listening and you know you’re THIS fucking close to being that person standing in front of you. You’re exactly one half-assed-writing-session-from-a-week-ago-where-you-were-mostly-on-your-phone away from being just exactly the same as this other person who tells you that they too are sort of a writer and comedian. So that’s the only reason you do anything. Because that’s really all that you have. That is the only thing separating you from just being one of the people who says they want to write – it’s the writing. So it’s terrible and it’s hard and you don’t want to do it and you question every line, every thought (You should quit. You’re not good. Did you see how many followers s/he had? You don’t have that many. Did you see how you’re the only one who didn’t get into that contest? Do you have a stack of rejection letters piled to the sky? Because you’re not good. Maybe just quit). But you don’t quit. You don’t, because you don’t want to be the guy at the party telling everyone you could have been writer if you’d only fucking bothered to WRITE something. And so you write this, because this is all you have.

Flashback: Grad School for Grown-ups – Random Highlights

3 months post-grad is better than never okay. I don’t need your judgement!


I live in….a hovel would be extreme….it is not a hovel. It is more of a dump that doubles as a sort of comedic device. It’s full of teenage physics majors who are involved in varied whackiness, random occurrences where things don’t work, and a landlady who walks the line between slumlord and legit business woman. This is an actual excerpt from an actual email from my landlady –   there’s not even a funny comment to make here.  This is just my life and it’s funny in its own right. Emphasis added is mine:

“We are busy with a final solution [whoa!] for the heating system. For now the radiator at the entree [delicious!] has to stay on at all times [note it’s late August at this point]. If we shut it, you don’t have any hot water anymore. A firm needs to come to look for a solution. [I’ll say!]

In the kitchen sometimes the metal appliances seems to be give electrically little shocks. There were already 3 firms who checked this and they could not find anything what could cause this problem. [So basically all the appliances shock you, allegedly, but we have no real evidence of that. The moral of the story is, the shocks will continue.]

The sink in the bathroom seems to be a problem as you say to me. I did not hear about this before, but I will check this. There is a loud squeal. [For three weeks, every time you touched the sink, it would let out a high pitched squeaking noise for the next hour that you could hear through the entire house. I like the idea of a squeal here, though. The anthropomorphic idea of this thing literally screaming in protest of, I imagine, living in this house, it’s perfect].

Following that email – this sign appeared on the house bulletin board. I love my life.



Fun with ESL:

Got a text from a Dutch guy:  “Come to the bar, we’re all here.”

“Sorry I’m in PJs”

“Wait, where is PJs? We’ll meet you there!~”


Do you smell something burning?

Early one Friday night a number of girls arrive at the front door in search of Nigel. I send them up to his room, but it turns out he’s not there, and they want to wait around in the kitchen. Sure. Whatever. It’s his birthday, they inform me and we’re going to make something for him. Great. Go nuts. “Everything in the kitchen will shock you, although Danielle says there’s no evidence of that, other than, well, the shocks. So just best of luck.”

I head back upstairs and it eventually starts to smell like weed. So it’s the Netherlands and it always smells like weed, but this is extreme. I’m on the tippy top floor, it’s usually just a faintest scent, but today it’s really serious and…then…the fire alarm goes off.  Of course. I run down to the kitchen where Nigel and four screaming girls are beating a large batch of flaming pot brownies positively senseless with towels and oven mitts. The kitchen is a full on hot box.  What on EARTH?!

“They caught fire!” A girl screams at me. Yes. Clearly. I can see that.

“Well put it under the sink!” I yell at no one in particular. “Hello. Now! Run the water.”

“But…but…you’re not supposed to put water on, well I thought,..” Gotta love a pothead trying to puzzle it out after inhaling flaming pot brownie smoke for five straight minutes…

“Oh Christ, it’s not a grease fire! It’s chocolate and weed. Put it under water!”

I run and open the door and windows and smack the smoke alarm repeatedly with a broom until it stops. They all just giggle their brains out.

Whose life is this?


Working with world’s worst partner on an assignment. We’re meant to be writing a paper, so I’ve written it, and she’s been like, “Yeah I have a party I’m throwing, so I don’t really have time to look at it tonight [ever!].” And when she does look at it she’s got nothing of substance to say: “Should there be a comma there? Oh wait, no sorry, that’s fine. A period is fine.” – Due tomorrow, she’s now meant to do JUST the bibliography since she did nothing else. She sends me what she’s done at midnight  It’s basically this:

  • Author, Author. Is this the title? I think so? Probably Need the Year here. Is it Year first and then the publisher?
  • Author, Author. I couldn’t find the name of the Publisher for this one. Do we even need that
  • What if there isn’t an author? Title. I have no other information.

And that’s followed by a text “Does it need to be a certain format?”

Oh no. Just whatever you feel like. Academia’s really chill about that kinda thing. The 200 page APA book they handed you — merely suggestions. Definitely just wing it.

Going to be a long year.


In order to fix the heating situation in the “entree” area, someone came and installed a digital thermostat and since I was the only one home, he explained to me how it all worked, and showed me the new little thermostat. It’s not one of those ones that gets built into the wall, it’s just a free standing thermostat that works remotely or whatever. Fine. Basic. Okay.

After a few days it starts to get really unbearably hot in the apartment and I go in search of the little device repeatedly and can’t find it anywhere. Eventually I catch all the flatmates chilling in the kitchen and ask about it. They all look at each other kinda wide-eyed.

Dennis the Flemish Menance: You mean that little clock thing?

Me: Yeah, sure, it’s a thermostat. I guess it could have looked like a clock.

DtFM: Oh dear.

Me: Oh dear?!

They all look at each other and burst out laughing.

DtFM: We dismantled it. We needed the wires. We were going to make a robot.

Me: There’s no way you’re serious.

Other random guy who I don’t think lives here: We thought it was something someone just left behind. So we just figured….

Me:…That you’d immediately disassemble it and turn it into a ROBOT?!

They all sorta shrug at me and roll their eyes, like yes, of course, what else would you do in a situation like that. When in doubt, make robots! I give you, Huaycan, Netherlands.


Walked into the kitchen to find Nigel eating pasta out of a pan and giggling to himself. I’m like hey?…um did you notice you’re bleeding?

He grabs his neck.  “Oh yeah, rough one. I’m drunk. And a bit high. I’ve been at a squat all day with some people. Hippies live there and there’s like live music. You should totally come some time…”

….Right, sure. A squat. Definitely send me the address. You look at me, and you think, there is a girl who would enjoy some live music with unshowered hippies. Yes!


More awesome group projects

My partner and I are writing a paper on a Google doc that tells you when someone else is also in the document. There are little icons at the top right of the screen that show you who is in the document.. I get a text from my partner that she’s looking it all over RIGHT now and will send me her comments ASAP. RIGHT NOW.

Except I’m in the document. And she is not. And I spend most of the rest of the night in it, and my lonely little alligator icon is the only one that ever appears. This is a serious annoyance for two reasons. 1) Obviously she’s not doing the work she’s lying to me about doing RIGHT NOW. But 2) and more importantly, she’s clearly NEVER ever been on Google docs at all, or she’d KNOW full well that I could tell if she wasn’t actually working on it….and we’ve been working on this thing for two weeks.

Loving life.