The Season of Irrational Fears: Supervolcanoes

One of my dearest, dearest (dearest) friends posted a link to a terrifying news story today.  It may not hit others as particularly terrifying, but for me, it kept me from focusing for much of the day.

Yes, I’m talking about the story of animals fleeing Yellowstone National Park in an eerie foretelling of the supervolcano super-eruption of DOOM.

We're all gonna die

In case you don’t know about this phenomenon, a few easy facts to remember:

1.  Yes, Yellowstone National Park sits on a supervolcano.

2.  If you’re looking at gambler’s odds, it’s due.

3.  It will probably kill us all.


Flashback to my childhood self: I’m watching a special on natural disasters and their potential for a mass human extinction (e.g. Dinosaurs) –

You know, "light" watching.

You know, “light” watching.

-and after they finished with the melting of the polar ice caps (and the subsequent swelling of the seas that would drown us), they started talking about volcanoes.

Pish posh, I said.  How the hell are volcanoes going to scare me after I just watched a diagram of America DISAPPEARING??

Well, dear readers, it didn’t take much.

If Yellowstone were to erupt, we would die.  Not a quick death of  “Oh my GOD LOOK OUT FOR THE LAV-”


No, it would be a death where ashes black out the sun, food doesn’t grow anymore, the air is filled with smoke, and we’re going to starve.  It would kill the population, and be pretty damn thorough about it.

After I watched scientists discuss the inevitability of this fate, I went to my room and did my best impression of sleeping.

Oh, when I said "sleeping" I meant "wetting myself."

Oh, when I said “sleeping” I meant “wetting myself.”

I spent a lot of time worrying about it.  At school I tried to tell people about what I’d seen, about how Yellowstone is actually TERRIBLE and it’s going to destroy us, how we’re on a ticking time bomb of nature’s fury.  But no one was listening.  And I was panicked.

So today I read this article and felt the irrational fears of childhood once again – like a friend you’re never happy to see who you don’t even like and you’re like “ugh, what does friend mean?”

And then I went to and read about it a little more here.  And I feel slightly better.  But only just.  I’m so relieved that I had some bourbon when I got home.

Yellowstone will kill us.  Just not today.

You're welcome, freedom.

You’re welcome, freedom.


Let’s Get Lost

At many points in our lives, unconsciously or not, we lose our way and lose sight of things that are important.  We get caught up in being caught up, we abandon things we like  for things we deem more necessary, or more urgent, or more easy.  I’ve lived an entire adulthood bouncing from one thing to the next.  It’s no wonder that I build a blog and then abandon it.  Or become comedian and then let that grow weeds.  It’s a part of my nature to do these things.  The act of not doing is what I do best.


A brief history of my comedy career, as I see it:

There were moments where it was fun.  There were moments where it was exhilarating.  But, ultimately, the life of a stand up comedian was not for me.  What I thought it was, and what it actually is, is not at all what I thought it was.

There’s an innate craving for attention and adoration that gets people into comedy in the first place.  Anybody who goes on stage has that desire.  But comedy isn’t the scholarly pursuit you think it is.  Sure, writing material is something you do alone that tests you, but being a successful comic has way more to do with who you schmooze with, who you know, who you get high with, who you sleep (or don’t sleep) with, than you could imagine.  And I’ve never been that person.  And I don’t love comedy enough to become that person.

So that’s it, really.  I fulfilled a lifelong dream of saying that I was a stand up comic.  I tried it out and decided it wasn’t for me.  I’m at peace with that.  I may decide one day to come back to it.  I might write something that can only be truly appreciated on a stage in front of drunk people.  And if that happens, I’ll do it.


But trying it out is always the most important thing.  I’m not going to wake up when I’m 60 and remember my wild days as a 27 year old – wondering what if I’d tried it – why didn’t I try it – why didn’t I do it when I could?

Don’t worry, 50 year old me, you did.

"In the old days, we told jokes about wieners and boobs for fun."

“In the old days, we told jokes about wieners and boobs for fun.”

And now that I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m not doing that thing, I’m on to the next thing – whatever that is.  That’s always the part that gets me – figuring out what I’m supposed to do now.

I’m writing more short stories.  I’m trying to get involved in local writing clubs here in Atlanta.  I’m building myself up to try something new.  I’ve been dormant long enough, I suppose.


But getting lost, it seems, can also be an end in itself.



How to get fired. How to be happy about it.

I’ve been very unproductive for the past few months, partly because I started a new job that took a lot of my time and energy away.  Well, folks, that new job is no more.  I’d never been fired before and even as it was happening I thought, “Really?  You’re firing me?”  It can be a blow to your pride.  But do not fear, I’m going to tell you how to be happy about it.

This may be a little easy for me because, in all honesty, I didn’t like the job.  I liked it at first – and then I woke up and realized what I thought was a hot job was really just a 4.

Nope, won't regret this at all.

Nope, won’t regret this at all.

But, you know, that’s how these things happen.  The timing was terrible, being broke sucks, but I wake up every day really glad that I don’t have to go into that dreary, dumb, gossipy office anymore.  And it’s given me a lot of insight into what I would rather be doing, and is making me a lot more careful in what I decide to do next.


So here’s to be happy about getting fired.  In 5 easy steps:


1.  You probably didn’t like it anyway,

I very rarely hear of people getting fired from jobs they LOVE (those people usually get laid off).  So, examine that.  Were you happy?  Were you doing what you were really good at?  Did you like the people you worked with?  If the answer to those things is “nope” then you have to see it as them doing you a huge favor.  Yes, it would’ve been nice to “shoot first”, so to speak, but a favor is a favor.

Fuck you....and thanks.

…..and thanks!


2.  You now have the time to do what you want.

One of the things I’ve always not liked about jobs, in general, is the lack of freedom.  I’m there to do a job, try to do it well, and then go home to do the things I actually like doing.  But life happens – your car needs an oil change, your house needs major cleaning, you have neglected errands to do, doctor appointments – and jobs have a way of getting in the way of your life.   And trying to get time off is always an exercise in beggardom.

Bless you for this PTO!

Bless you for this PTO!

Before you find your next gig, take this time to catch up on some things.  I recently got started on writing a novel.  I did some cleaning.  I took a good look at my finances.  I spent time with the greatest boyfriend ever.  I’ve signed up for online courses.  I went to job interviews, of course, but I’m getting things in order, too.


3.  Look back and see what you could have done differently (and try to learn from it).

In retrospect, there were signs that the job wasn’t for me.  I wanted to do something different because I’d been with the same company for 6 years.  I wasn’t being challenged and I’d learn all there was.  I wasn’t in a terrible job but I wanted to make more money and do something new.  When this job offer came along I jumped at it – a little too quickly, I think.  There initial offer was an epic salary lowball, but they countered with something a little better (still below starting…but better).  I’ll be looking for that kind of behavior in future jobs and encourage you to do that too.  Any company that undervalues you before you start is sure to do that afterward.

Also, do some research on a company before you work for them.

remember kids: research matters

remember kids: research matters


4.  Now you get to find out what you should be doing!

I’ve always had this problem: I know what I should be doing, but always end up doing things I don’t want to do for temporary safety, security, etc.

tisk, tisk

tisk, tisk

I do myself a great disservice by having a job I don’t like because it’s a job.  I’m going to look into serious career change, and might not have done that if I hadn’t found myself unemployed.


5.  Who needs em’?

Yeah, really!


So, anyway, new things afoot, as is usually the case with me.  I’d love to hear stories about getting fired, if you have them!

Dumb ways to die – courtesy of Australia

A bigger blog post later this week, but for now, enjoy this video.  It’s adorable and grisly.  That’s a twofer.

Youth is wasted on the young.

I just turned 29 years old on July 5th.  An exciting development, I suppose, when you think about the great uncertainty of everything – the chances of a sperm joining with an egg, the chances of that embryo actually making it, the chance of that baby growing up and not catching some catastrophic disease, or in some cases, just dying for no reason at all.  And then this grown embryo-person-thing walking through a big world long enough to celebrate a 29th birthday.  It’s miraculous.  You’ll notice there’s no God talk thrown in there.  I think it’s less divine more than just sheer fucking will and happenstance.

Well, there's always next year.

Well, there’s always next year.

I think about the fact that I grew up in a time where pregnant women smoked, babies were made to sleep on their stomachs, we were given toys with small, choke-able pieces, and were left for hours alone as latch key kids with big stoves, matches, and mischief at our fingertips.  I don’t know how I made it to 9, let alone 29.

I’ve experienced many happy things and some sad things.  I’ve gone to college, I’ve traveled abroad, I’ve experienced the loss of a parent,  I’ve eaten really good food, I’ve seen cool shit, I’ve almost been hit by a train, I’ve been married (and divorced) and thereafter met the man who may very well be the love of my life.  Oh, and I got a cat.  I can barely remember what I had for dinner and sometimes forget to brush my hair, but I’ve done all those things.

...for those who can't remember what cages look like.

…for those who can’t remember what cages look like.

And next year, I will be 30.  With life expectancy the way it is with science and medicine and whatnot, I may only be a third through the American female lifespan.  A third!  And 30 is a bit of an arbitrary milestone that only has the power you give it.  I know implicitly that I will not go to sleep as a 29 year old and wake up as an old lady.  I know that just because I’ll be 30 and I don’t have kids (and have no plans for them) that I will not be a “failure”.  I know these things, I promise I do.  But being a thirtysomething isn’t a concept I had truly considered.  I remember as a kid thinking that 30 was a perfect age, but I was dumb because, you know, 8.

The older I get, the more I realize that THIS is my inner child.

The older I get, the more I realize that THIS is my inner child.

My boyfriend is 32 years old and he doesn’t mind being a thirtysomething.  I can’t really explain why dudes don’t have the same issue with being thirty (or maybe they do?) but I know that many women my age have a similar foreboding about it.

But, in the meantime, so begins the long farewell to my twenties.  Goodbye, mistakes chalked up to age and inexperience.  Hello, accountability.




Do stars fall butter side down: Thoughts on Paula Deen

As an honorary Southerner and longtime resident of the pimento cheese and sweet tea nation, there’s a culture around food here that I’ve never found anywhere else.  I love Southern food and the strong opinions on it.  Carolina or Memphis BBQ – Biscuits 101 – How much gravy is too much gravy?

Trick question - not possible.

Trick question – not possible.

The tricky question here, though, is where this good Soul Food comes from, and many times the answer isn’t a pretty picture.

Southern food, as we know it, was started by slaves working in white people’s kitchens.  It was written on the backs of a large, black community that took simple ingredients and created rich, rib-sticking food.  Influences and ingenuity by talented African American cooks made what we know today as Soul Food.  These techniques and recipes were passed down by these families as well as poor, white families.  It’s very easy to romanticize Southern food today far removed from the context.  But, make no mistake, the origins are not romantic – no matter how magical a good piece of fried chicken can be.

really.  fucking.  magical.

really. fucking. magical.

So, with these beginnings in mind, the PR nightmare of Paula Deen – the baroness of butter – takes an odd turn.  It’s hard to justify using the word “nigger” in everyday conversation.  It’s a word that boils over with memory.  It’s a word you can’t get away with, not as a regular person, and especially not as a white, southern cook like Paula Deen.

Paula Deen has done a lot to bring Southern food to the public and, needless to say, she’s made a shit ton of money off of it.  And good for her.  I’ve bought a cookbook of hers before.  I’ve watched her show(s).  But in her recent deposition in a civil case where, when asked if she’s ever used the n-word before, her response was, “Yes, of course.” she put a really nasty spin on a tricky situation.

Have most white people born in the South pre-1960 said “nigger” before?  My guess is probably.  But to say “Yes, of course” is both incredibly obvious and a little insensitive.  I don’t think I’ve ever devoted any of my personal time wondering just how racist Paula Deen is because I’ve never really cared.  But when you openly and without reservation admit to the casual use of a word, and you’ve made millions cooking the cuisine made by people that were the subject of that word, it’s a pretty dumb move.

I love Southern cooking and the humble beginnings of it.  But it’s sordid.  It’s beautiful and growing.  And I don’t personally think that Paula Deen is a distasteful person or a raging bigot.  But seriously, Paula?  You know better.  We all do.

"See ya later, y'all!"

“See ya later, y’all!”

How to Win People and Influence Friends

I did that thing instead of blog.  The moving into a new house, starting a new job, unpacking thing.  My b, boo.

The new house is good.  It’s cozy.  My cat loves my boyfriend more than me now, though I had a feeling this would happen.  There’s not much to dislike about Beau.  Also, I think my cat has a thing for hairy guys.

"And, just like that, she became the third wheel."

“And, just like that, she became the third wheel.”

Aren’t they cute?

Anywho, I suppose all is going well – at least on the personal front.  I’m still struggling with interacting with people.  I work in an environment where I’m surrounded by people – all of whom seem to be pretty cool.  Friend material, even.  But how does one make friends?  And, with that said, do I even want more friends?  Do I feel a need to be a part of a group because I want to be or because I feel I should be?  Does more friends equate to more fun?

w = t + f

w = t + f

I recently found a book I didn’t remember having called “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.  I forget the exact reason I got it, but regardless, I have it.  I decided to look through it and find something good worth writing about. I had a hard time finding criticism with it because I think we all, in theory, know what is important about connecting with people but we all majorly fail in the execution of it.


The biggest stressor in my life, at least right now, is relating to people in a meaningful and fun way.  I’m at a new job surrounded by people who seem pretty nice, I have established friendships that could grow even more than they already have, I’m in a city with a thriving comedy scene where knowing people can help you in a big way.  Making friends quickly is a good skill.   Sign me up for your magic, Dale Carnegie.

As an experiment, who has a good awkward story?  Gimme!