My Dentist Appointment

It took me much too long to find a dentist in LA. Like I just found one, and I’ve been living here for almost eight years. I would always just make appointments when I would go home to Oregon. I put off finding an LA hairdresser, doctor, car repair shop, eyebrow threader. Finding good service people is just as difficult (IF NOT MORE) as finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. You have to make sure you vibe, be sure to take things slow, and feel as though they don’t just like you for your money. It can go south very quickly. But, just like a boyfriend, when it goes well you RAVE about them to your your friends and family and make them promise you’ll always be their favorite.

Speaking of friends and family, you remember Joe, my boyfriend? I’ve always been very adamant that he is Caroline’s boyfriend I am not Joe’s girlfriend. So much so that, when I introduce myself to his friends, I say, “I’m Joe’s girlfriend, but I am so much more than that.” Typically, the other person then stares at me as if I am an insane person. Because only an insane person would say that.

Joe is an Australian who has been visa-challenged for the past year or so. He’s been in and out of the country on short-term visas ever since I’ve known him. To his credit, on our first date, he told me this was the case. Then I said “Okay” and “You have no visa? You should try MasterCard!!!” Because it was a first date and I’m FUN and CHARMING.

Then we started dating, I had to quit with the jokes (lol never), and my new boyfriend was in and out of the country.

Back to the dentist, because I ended up finding the perfect one. Her office is right next to my place, it’s clean, and… MOST importantly, it is open on Saturdays. That was a must. As a writer, I always feel like I shouldn’t ask for time off for things like dentist appointments. Show-writing gigs last around six months so the feeling is always: Get your appointments done before and after you’re working. You’re not here for very long, there’s no need to take time off for anything non-time sensitive when you’re gonna be done here soon anyway. But, if you’re lucky enough to work on shows back to back, you’re in a pickle. I was in a pickle. And my teeth were getting fickle. (lol kill me)

But my dentist office is only open one Saturday a month. Which means that all of us patients are fighting to the death for those appointments. I’ve been trying to get an appointment for so long. October had no openings. November? No go. December? No go. January? One spot open. I TOOK IT, obviously. And celebrated. With red wine and popcorn, because I wasn’t headed to the dentist for a very, very long time.

Joe thought that his visa was going to come through early this month. He was in Mexico, so I was going to drive down to snag him and drive back up together. That’s right. We were gonna do a ROADTRIIIIIP! MUSIC! SUN! SNACKS! GAS! PRICES! HOPEFULLY! DON’T! GO! UP! I called to cancel my dentist appointment. But, before they even answered, I decided to just wait and see. With my and Joe’s luck, something was going to go wrong and our plan was going to fall apart. After all, this appointment was harder to get than my college degree. (This is me reminding you that I’m smart and have a college degree.)

If you saw me in the past year while I’ve been with Joe, I probably bitched about immigration to you, because it just felt like it was never going to happen. Things always went wrong. And it did this time, too. His visa didn’t come through and my Mexico road trip was cancelled. Yep. CANCELLED. I mourned the loss by going to Cabo Catina on Wilshire and drinking 16 margaritas to dull the pain. Don’t worry. I was not alone. My friends were gonna meet me there! But they never showed up, because I never invited them.

I was so fed up with him not having his visa that I started to tell him and everybody else that we were just going to have a green card marriage. I mean, I love him!!! I’m in it!!! I am determined!! I am doing this for my man!!! But then… his three-year artist visa FINALLY CAME THROUGH!!! Thank God. I was so happy for him. For us. Truly. I only shed one tear when I deleted my Pinterest page of wedding dresses. 

So Joe completed his interview and was to pick up his passport from the embassy on a Thursday. He had a flight booked back and everything. It was happening. I was ready. I hadn’t seen him in a month. I was going to pick him up from the airport right after work. In a dress, so that he would remember that his girlfriend is a ladylike bitch. With kneecaps!!

I wanted to spend the weekend with him without interruptions or early morning appointments, so I called my dentist to cancel. A dentist visit in the middle of our romantic weekend!?! Hell no! But could I get another appointment in the next few months? Hell no! Turns out, my dentist’s door is truly the hottest spot in LA. I remembered that my mom had a sign in our bathroom growing up that said “take care of your teeth or they’ll go away” and my teeth were about to run for the hills if I didn’t get in soon. I told the receptionist that I would keep my appointment. I would just have to leave my newly American boyfriend for a few hours. It would be fine. Maybe I’d even make him come hold my hand while I lied about how much I floss.

Thursday came and I got more ready before work than I ever have in my life. We’re talking perfume. It was a BIG DAY. The dress was on!!!! My boyfriend was coming back into the country!!!!!!!!

Then Joe texted me while I was at work. He said that the embassy didn’t have his passport ready and he was told to come back next week. Without a passport, he couldn’t fly. Without flying, he wasn’t coming back to LA. Without him coming back to LA, my perfumed kneecaps were to be enjoyed by nobody.

I was pretty devastated, understandably. On the bright side, I didn’t cancel the dentist appointment, so I still had big weekend plans.

That next night, I was going to a Shabbat dinner with my new Birthright friends. Joe was invited, too, since he also went on the trip. But of course, after the recent set back, he couldn’t make it. He went to the embassy in Mexico on Friday hoping he could get the passport back earlier than they originally thought, but texted me that it didn’t work. Instead, he met some guy and they were going to go to a circus show at a castle. I didn’t ask a lot of questions because wtf kind of questions do you ask about a circus show at a castle. It was weird. But also, Joe’s weird. (FYI, I’m not.) (Meow.)

I went to my dinner with my prepared dish. I had attempted to make potato kugel. By attempt, I mean that I did in fact make it but also nearly sliced my thumb off in the process. I put a bandaid on it and then sat on my hand all night to make sure nobody noticed that part of my thumb was missing and the kugel tasted vaguely of it.

I put my purse and coat in a closet. The only person I would be texting that night is Joe. And he’s at a circus at a castle. Cause he’s weird. I figured it would be fine.

We ate dinner. We sang songs. We gossiped about Ellen Pompeo. Then around midnight, someone asked me where Joe was. I told them, then proceeded to explain that in my relationship, Joe is the “reacher” and I am the “settler,” when…

JOE. WALKED. IN.

 

I was so shook. Clearly. Because, as we all know, I HAD A DENTIST APPOINTMENT THE NEXT MORNING THAT I COULDN’T MISS!!!!!!

Yep, he surprised me. Do not worry, I still made it to the appointment. And Joe is back in the country for at least three years!!! He got his passport that day like he hoped would happen, went to the airport, go on the first flight to LA, and Ubered to the dinner where he knew I was.

Also, we’re not engaged. My friend Jay S took those videos and was also clearly swept up in the moment. AS WE ALL WERE. DID YOU SEE ME LICK MY TEAR?

The most upsetting part of this whole thing was that the circus at the castle was all a lie. He could have either gone to a circus at a castle OR surprise me and make me so happy that I cry? Dunno if that was the right call. I mean, there could have been a trapeze act.

 

 

PS! If you want to get e-mails whenever I post, put your email in under the instagram pictures over there –>

Even if you used to get them, put your email in again. I somehow lost the email list because technology is CONFUSING.

2017 RECAP

HELLO!! DO YOU REMEMBER ME? CAUSE I DON’T

You guys. WHAT is happening with you!? I haven’t been on this blog for a year. A full year. Longer than a year. It was middle of December 2016 when I last posted. Cardi B was still stripping. What a whirlwind it’s been. For both me and her. I just looked down through my posts and realized that a lot of photos on my old posts don’t even show up anymore. This is because I was charged a yearly fee that I used to pay to keep this blog a .com and not a .wordpress.com and I was like yeah nahhhhh and I think that by stopping that, I lost all the image mapping. I think I lost my e-mail follow list, too. Or that’s totally wrong. Is “image mapping” even a thing? I have no idea, I’m literally making things up. Sounded smart tho.

I felt like I should pop in and update you guys with what went down in my life in 2017. Some of you were really riding dirty with me on this journey of life and then I bailed when I stopped blogging. You were like “Caroline, what’s happening?” and I flipped my hair back and said “Mmmmm I’m super busy!” but listen I lied I’m not really that busy I mean I’ve literally never missed an episode of The Bachelor, who am I fooling here.

For most of 2017, I worked on this little gem of a show called One Day at a Time. If you have somehow missed my incessant posting, it’s a sitcom on Netflix that I’ve been lucky enough to write on for two seasons now. The second season, that we spent most of 2017 writing and filming, is premiering THIS MONTH! JANUARY 26TH! Get out your phone and set yourself a calendar reminder because what else are you doing that day? Oh, you got a date? You got a party? You got chili to make? TOO BAD you’re watching the show and texting me your thoughts.

That job ended in September so I spent September and October sitting in my apartment, staring at the wall and organizing my nail polish drawer. The most structured part of my day was when I would do a face mask mid-afternoon. It was very exciting when it would dry. Because I would then have to wash it off, which was something to do.

Buuuuuut I got another job in November that I’m still doing. I’ve been writing on a show called The Bold Type!!! It’s this amazing female-empowered show on Freeform and I’ve been lovvvving working on the second season. I don’t know when it’s coming out yet but you’ll have to cancel your date/party/chili then, too. I’ll let you know ASAP so you can plan accordingly. Watch the first season on Hulu!!

I also got a boyfriend. As you all know, I was crushing my single Carrie Bradshaw life. I would go on dates with all the expectations that I was meeting my husband, it would go horribly, and I was then free to complain to anybody that would listen about how men everywhere were a disappointment. It was an artform and I was a artiste (with an e, that’s how good I was). I then went on a Tinder date with a guy. He was easy on the eyes and had quick wit. He never called me back, and then I met Joe, my boyfriend.

Just kidding. Joe’s the witty cutie. On most days. A few hours into our first date, karaoke started. He asked me if I wanted to sing. I told him that I would rather cartwheel into quicksand while lit on fire. He left for the karaoke stand (which was of course the DJ, who doubled as the bartender, with a laptop). Joe came back to announce that he put his name down… and mine. Not one to ever turn down a challenge, I ended up doing the one thing I hate – karaoke – in a dinky dive bar in front of a bunch of toothless hillbillies and this one really charming guy, all while on our first date. MUCH to my demise, I actually had so much fun.… I know. It sounds like the worst romantic comedy ever. 2% on Rotten Tomatoes. At most.

But I totally fell for it. I really like him. We actually have this weird origin story where we’ve been in the same place 70 million times and had each others number before we met, but I’ll tell you more later. I don’t want to bombard you with stories because who wants to be the person who only talks about their — Did I mention he’s Australian??

But really, he is. So we barely speak the same language, which is why I think it’s worked out this long. He says colour, I say color. He says g-day, I say hello. He says Americans are not very well educated about the rest of the world, I say but is true that your toilets flush the other way!?!!???

This winter I went on a Birthright trip and spent ten days exploring Israel and made 50 new friends. To answer your next question, my dad is Jewish. To answer the question you didn’t have, I got Bat Mitzfahed there!!!! My Hebrew name is Shalva. I’m getting it embroidered on towels soon. You CAN’T use them when you come over, as they will be my show towels. With tassels.

I still own a cat. He has not turned into a dog yet. And he does this thing where he sits on my chest so I can’t see my laptop whasliel I’ms typiinjdng.

That’s the gist of my life. I just checked my instagram to see if I missed any highlights. Oh, I started experimenting with red lipstick at the start of this year. I always HATED lip color when I younger because it felt dry and I didn’t like the way it looked. Then, in college, I actually was curious about it but still never used it because I had made such a point of hating it before. You know what I mean? I couldn’t just use lipstick now and give up this important facet of who I am as a person!!! This is actually how my brain works.

Anyway now I try it out once in a while. I think I will master staying within the actual lines of my lips by the end of 2018. If I take until 2019, fine. Self improvement is a JOURNEY, people.

How was your year??

xoxoxox

Caroline

My Jury Duty actually didn’t suck

WHAT A WEIRD TIME, GUYS.

Obviously, the election. I’m going to spare you guys on my rants. I can’t say the same for my poor mom and sister, who received all my backlash that had nothing to do with them on election night. I was 56 margaritas in and 600 texts in before my mom wrote: “Stop texting us. I can’t turn my phone off because I have an alarm for a flight in the morning. So stop texting us.” But did I stop? Did I tell let them go to sleep? Did I tell her there’s a Do Not Disturb feature where she didn’t have to turn her phone off but would stop receiving the notifications of crazy texts from me? Of course not. I did none of the above. I kept texting and then I went out on the town. Because it was my birthday.

Yes, people. I turned 25 the day that Trump got elected.

I woke up the next day to realize that the unthinkable was very thinkable. I mean I, quite literally, broke up with someone earlier this year because he told me he would vote for Trump. But here I was: On November 9th, at 7am, severely hungover, 25 years old, with Trump as my president. 

Also it was like 90 degrees out that day. It felt like I woke up in hell.

So today, I’m going to tell you a story I heard a few weeks ago that continually reminds me that really cool things happen in this world and will continue to happen no matter who the prezzy is. I had thought it was going to be a horrible day and it turned out pretty okay. I was proved wrong. Which, with this election, I hope to be again.

I had jury duty a few weeks ago. I showed up at 8am to the Santa Monica courthouse to do my due diligence of being a United State citizen. When I first walked into the jury room, it was completely empty. There was no one there to check me in or tell me that I looked great in the slacks and blazer I haven’t worn in 6 years and had rummaged out of the back of my closet. So far I was doing my part and the court system was NOT doing theirs.

I took a seat at one of the tables and waited for more of my jurors to arrive. A dude walked in who was probably in his 50s and sat right next to me. He told me that he had done jury duty there before and they usually open the door to check everyone in at 9am. Which is frustrating because they told us to arrive at 8am.

Needless to say, I was annoyed. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and just wanted to climb back into bed. But this guy was a talker. You know the type. Who keep talking and talking, no matter how little or irrelevant your answers are. They say, “What’s your favorite TV show?” and you say, “No,” and they say, “Interesting, I’ve never heard of that one. Tell me more about it. Is that on HBO??? I don’t get HBO. Do you get HBO?” After about ten minutes, I realized I had no exit route and decided to just lean into the conversation.

We kept talking and, as the hours passed, we learned a lot about one another. We started off small. He asked me what I did for a living and I asked if he preferred to load toilet paper coming from the top or bottom. What I ended up walking away with, however, was the most amazing story ever: How he met his wife.

Back in the day, he wasn’t in much of a hurry to meet someone. His friend kept trying to set him up with his girlfriend’s best friend. He said that at one point he had even agreed to go on a double date and realized a half hour before that he really didn’t want to go. He told his friend, “Hey, I’m not coming.” And continued to play video games. Or chess. Whatever it is dudes played before Fifa existed. Other than with themselves.

As a perpetual single man, he enjoyed his alone time and never really asked girls out. He said he didn’t even “know how to date.” Which, in my opinion, is such a crock of shit. Guys who say “I really like you.. I just don’t really know how to date!” are the bane of my existence. Ummmm, YOU HANG OUT WITH SOMEONE AND SAY NICE THINGS TO THEM AND SEND THE OCCASIONALLY EDIBLE ARRANGEMENT TO THEIR WORK SO THAT THEY CAN BRAG ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY ARE LOVED AND HOW MUCH THEIR CO-WORKERS ARE NOT. Watch a Rachel McAdams movie and get back to me.

He was going to college at Santa Monica community college. One day he arrived early to class and saw this really gorgeous girl walking to class. The next day, he arrived at school on time and didn’t see the girl. He deciphered her class must be a little earlier than his. So, he started arriving early everyday to see her. Eventually, he asked if he could walk her to class. She said yes.

Let me just interject here by saying I am weary of ANYBODY that looks gorgeous while walking to class. Remember how back in college and in the beginning of the semester, girls would get ready and look good for class? Then once the semester was about half-way through, they would decide no one in their 8am stats class was actually worth the straightener burns so they’d start arriving looking like a piece of garbage? I always skipped that first part. I embraced my garbage looking lifestyle from day one. Once I wore a bra to class and my professor said, “Someone’s dressed up!” A bra, people.

So he was walking this girl to class everyday. A couple weeks in, she asked, “Are you going to ask me out or what?” and he said, “Is that how these things work?” And instead of vomiting on the floor immediately at his ignorance like I would have done, she said, “Yes. You’re gonna take me out to a restaurant this Friday. Somewhere nice. With a candle on the table.” LIKE THE BALLER THAT SHE IS.

Obviously we all know where this shit ends. They fall in love and he invites her to his family dinner on Sunday night because this sort of story only happens to people who have family dinner on Sunday nights.

When she walks in the door, she sees his grandma and says, “MARLA?!”

Yep. She already knew his grandma. She volunteers at Marla’s retirement home in her free time because she’s a SAINT. Marla was her favorite resident. She was Marla’s favorite volunteer. Marla had told him about this girl before. She had tried to set them up. But, as we all now know, he was a die-hard bachelor and didn’t listen to his granny.

When he ended up bringing this girl to a party with his friends, guess what they learned? Of course, this was the ORIGINAL GIRL THAT HE BLEW OFF. His new girlfriend was his friend’s girlfriend’s best friend that I told you about like seven paragraphs ago.

RIGHT!?!?!? It’s. All. Bananas.

He said that he’s always taken it as a sign that they were meant to meet each other on their own. Not through his friend, or the friend’s girlfriend, or even sweet granny Marla. Now, they’ve been married for almost thirty years and have two daughters in their twenties.

By the time someone opened up the jury window and checked us in, it was 10:30am and we had been talking for two and a half hours. The lady at the counter was very angry because there had obviously been some miscommunication on their end about who was going to check in the jurors that Monday morning. She gave us a slip that said we completed our year’s worth of jury duty and sent us on our way.

This annoying-turned-sweet man walked me to my car in the parking lot and, after he left, I realized that we never even exchanged names. He is just a random stranger at jury duty who gifted me his story that I haven’t been able to forget. I loved it. It confirms my belief that there must be a plan and a method to this madness that we call life.

Did I just talk about politics and religion in the same post? Whoops. I hope this isn’t our first date.

Everyone have a happy and thankful Thanksgiving! Go lean into conversations and situations that seem like they’re going to suck. Give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope you’re proved wrong.

Frank’s Birth Story

I’m a dog person, but I got a cat this week.

It all started one 99 degree “fall” morning in Los Angeles, when I announced to my friends that I really wanted to get a hairless cat. I was met with contention. They all thought I was insane and wouldn’t even listen to my reasoning. But I really wanted one because, on the feline spectrum of reference, I identify most with hairless cats.

Hear me out.

Hairless cats are undoubtedly uglier than all other cats and still require a LOT of work and maintenance. You have to wash those things all the time to make sure that their skin doesn’t get infected and clean their ears and smother them with a lot of attention and companionship or else they quite literally shrivel up and get depressed. 

You guys. That’s me. I’m a hairless cat.

This isn’t some woe-is-me I-think-so-low-of-myself type of statement. We all know I think I’m awesome. I have a blog which, quite literally, means I think so highly of myself and my thoughts that I believe people should take time out of their day to read what I have to say. And I don’t think I’m ugly. I’m always convinced that my waiters have crushes on me when, in reality, it is just their job to be nice to me. I think they’re a little extra nice to me, though. Because they have crushes on me. Because I’m awesome.

But, this? What you see here, people, requires WORK. It’s not effortless. And you know girls who are effortless. I can get to their level, sure, but I need time. If an event is coming up, I book out a full week for preparations which involves avoiding carbs and getting my nails done and plucking random hairs and buying a new dress and booking a blow out and texting exes “Miss you” so they text back “Miss you too” to prove I still got it.

I will then arrive at a friend’s house to pick her up, she’ll say “oh shit I forgot that was happening,” throw on an old dress and instantly be at (or above — usually above) my 7-day-prepped level. That bitch is effortlessly pretty. Nobody can deny the beauty. She’s like a Persian kitten.

I’m a hairless cat.

Back to my day. On this particular morning, I found myself surrounded by my Persian kitten friends who don’t understand what it’s like to be a hairless cat. They didn’t get why I wanted to bring something so off-beat and ugly into my home. This only made me want the cat more. Me and this hairless cat were going to teach these Persian kittens what it is like to be one of US! It’s tough work!! It’s not effortless!!! We walk around the house naked NOT because we want to, but because none of our clothes fit/we were born without hair!!

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You and me against the world, buddy.

I was a determined woman. I wanted my hairless cat and I wanted it now. Well, actually, I wanted breakfast first. It was 10am. I look forward to breakfast starting at 6pm the night before. I get out of bed solely for the promise of food. And coffee. And the Today Show. But after my pesto egg sandwich with delicious 12grain wheat bread and a side of Matt Lauer, I WANTED THE DAMN CAT.

We went to our local Adopt & Shop rescue adoption place and I truly felt like there was maaaaaaaaaybe a 5% chance I would leave with an animal. First off, I am a dog person, but I know that I could not handle a dog right now. Only one of us in the apartment can eat the scraps that fall off everyone’s dinner and I’m not giving that luxury up.

Secondly, I asked the lady right when we walked in if they had hairless cats and she said no. She said that hairless cats are actually super in demand and expensive so they don’t typically end up in shelters. I turned to hiss at my Persian kitten friends and said “TAKE THAT, BITCHES!” but they were confused and the lady was confused so I pretended to be confused too. Who just said that? Weird.

We played with a few cats. Word to the wise – don’t go play with kittens if you aren’t planning on taking one home. If you aren’t convinced by how adorable they are, you will be convinced when you watch their small bodies be put back into the even smaller little cages that they live in. Me and my Persian kitten friends even traveled to a “Catty Wagon” truck at a local farmer’s market where the shelter was trying to get people to take kittens home with their free-range olives.

And that’s where I saw him. My mind went foggy and the next thing I knew, I was signing a bunch of papers to take him home. I loved him. And you know how they say people look like their pets? It’s true. We look alike. Mostly because we’re both super white.

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He also has these two different colored eyes which I thought was cool and off-beat and, if I couldn’t have a hairless cat, at least I could have a cat with something off-kilter about him. I realized on the car ride home that his deformity was not something that made him ugly or weird, it actually made him cooler. Like Megan Fox’s bum thumb.

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Anyway, I now have a cat. His name is Frank. Or Frankie. Or Fr-awwwn-k. Or Bosworth. Or Buddy. Or NO DON’T EAT THAT. And about 50 people I’ve told have said to me: “That’s cool, but I don’t like cats.” I agree. I don’t like cats either. Nobody actually likes cat. But, I like him.

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Any tips on when it’s a good time to break it to him that he’s adopted, let me know.

CHECKING IN! & How a Writer’s Room works…

HIIIIIIIIIIII THERE PRETTY PUDDIN POPS!

How are you? How’s your mom? How’s your job? Did your roommate stop eating your eggs? Is your wrist still hurting? Did you ever end up checking out that new restaurant? Did your lisp go away?

I hope one of those questions applies to you so that we can feel like this is a private conversation between the two of us, as it should be. I have been M.I.A., I know. But, I did warn you that this would happen. It doesn’t mean I didn’t feel the distance growing between us, because I did. Sure, distance makes the heart grow fonder… but sometimes, given too much distance, the heart will get bored and walk down to the neighborhood bar to find a new body with a larger chest to live in. I know this. It’s been done. AND I’M NOT OVER IT.

But, let’s catch up. What’s new in life? In about two weeks, we wrap on season one of the show I’m writing on. Which is INSANE. The show airs on Netflix on January 6th, which means YOU have got some weekend plans with your bed. I’m HIGHLY encouraging everyone to Netflix & Chill that first weekend of 2017. Find a good mate on NYE and then use me as your excuse to see them again. I’ll even provide the first move. Text them this around January 3rd: “Hey, I know we JUST met but this weird chick is making me lay in my bed all day this weekend and watch this One Day at a Time show. Maybe you’d want to join? We can pick up some some chocolate covered strawberries. She’s making me do that, too. Also, I have to wear silk pajamas. UGH she’s so demanding.”

I guarantee results. Except anytime the “Chill” part takes over, pause the show, You may unpause it once you’re back to the “Netflix” part. I can’t have you miss some key story points and prime jokes.

Anyway, I thought I would check in. Because I miss you. I was stewing on what exactly I should check in with, until I realized that most all of my recent conversations with my Trader Joe’s cashiers have been the same. Once I tell them “I’m a sitcom writer now!” completely unprovoked, they ask: “Cool. How exactly does that work?”

So, I thought, why not write a post dedicated to the basic idea of what it means to write on a show, given what I’ve learned in the five months? Will I regret this in six years when I realize that I really don’t understand the business at all at this early point in my career? Is my personal experience vastly different from the experience of everyone else in the industry? Am I going to regret this in years to come, possibly hours after posting? Probably! Let’s get started!

Again, disclaimer. Everything I’m about to say is just my own experience. Like how, growing up, I thought cops were just dudes that handed out cool badge stickers. Or how I thought flannels were made to keep your arms and chest warm. After I moved to LA, I learned that their real purpose is just to be tied around your waist in 90 degree weather. Silly, silly me.

Being a sitcom writer is usually all about the writers’ room. If you ever perused the television career book section of Amazon you would see selections entitled “GETTING INTO THE WRITERS’ ROOM” and “THINGS TO SAY IN A WRITERS’ ROOM” and “WRITERS’ ROOM: A ROOM TO WRITE IN.” These titles are real books. I know this because they should all be arriving to my home in 5 to 8 business days.

Our writers’ room is essentially a conference room with a long table in the middle, many chairs surrounding it, dry erase boards covering every wall, a desk in a corner with a computer, a big TV that the computer is projected on, and more sweets than the inside of a piñata.

Who sits at the table in the room? Great question, Kathleen. It’s the writers. Though there are different titles that affect pay and rank, everyone essentially has the same job: to pitch ideas for the show. The titles ranges from low (staff writers) to high (executive producers). The big bad boss the room is called the “showrunner” because they RUN THE SHOW. They’re badass and the hardest working people in the world. They deal with not just the writing, but everything. Literally, everything. What are the main titles like? What about the font for the posters? What are the characters eating for dinner? What do they wear in every scene? How should their hair look? Should their bowls be yellow or red? Where should we place the clock in the apartment?

Fun fact: There almost never is a clock in a set because it would be so annoying to try to always make sure it’s entirely accurate. The character would be like “Good morning!” And you’d be like “WTF, WHY DOES IT SAY 2PM THEN, HUH CAROLINE?!” cause you’re rude and detail-oriented and like to kill any good vibes.

One confusing thing is that the showrunner’s credited title is “Executive Producer.” So, by just looking at the credits on a show, you can’t tell who is truly the showrunner of a show, because there are also other types of EPs. You also don’t even know whether someone with a title of “producer” is a writer in the room or is a different kind of producer. Maybe they’re the post producer, who deals with the editing? Maybe they’re the line producer, who deals with budget and hiring? WHO KNOWS!? NOT US! Basically, the credits are super unhelpful to know exactly what somebody does. You can use some contextual cues (if they’ve written something on IMDB and are also a producer, they’re most likely a writer-producer, not another kind) For the most part, though, we’re all in the dark.

Are you confused yet? Good, because I always am.

All the writers sit around the table all day. A writer’s assistant job is to sit at the desk and type the notes into the computer as ideas get tossed around. I haven’t had this job but I know you have to be mindful of what is relevant and what the showrunners would want to look back on later. What if, when pitching on different ideas for a meal in the show, I pitch that they should eat bagel bites dipped in grape jelly? (Ew) Then laugh REALLY hard like it’s the best idea I’ve ever had? The writers’ assistant would decide whether it’s worth the 5 seconds it would take them to write that into the notes. Essentially, they decipher whether anyone would want that idea to enter their minds again. Clearly in this scenario, because my idea was SO great, the answer is yes. Sometimes it’s not so clear.

When dealing with an episode, everyone pitches on what the story should be. What if the main character goes to the mall for a Beyonce t-shirt but they’re out of her size? THEN has to go to the other mall, across town and where her ex-boyfriend works, to get the shirt? AND the concert starts in 20 minutes! AND her water just broke! AND Jay-Z is the father!!! (I know, guys. I’m a well of innovative ideas.) The showrunners decide whose episode it is, (who it says “written by”) and then that bitch (or bitches, if a team like Michelle and me) goes off and actually writes down the episode to look like this:

GIRL BUYING T-SHIRT

So, do you have a medium or not?

HER EX-BOYFRIEND WORKING AT JC PENNEY

Why is the floor wet? Did… your water just break? Are you pregnant?

GIRL BUYING T-SHIRT

No, I’m just fat.

HER EX-BOYFRIEND WORKING AT JC PENNEY

You’re totally pregnant! I knew you and Jay-z weren’t just ‘going fishing’ 9 months ago!

GIRL BUYING T-SHIRT

We really did go fishing! It just gets super boring out there! Gosh! (SHE TAKES A BITE OF HER BAGEL BITE DIPPED IN GRAPE JELLY)

I know what you’re thinking: That is genius. I do not disagree with you. Truly, it needs no work. The entire town will fight for it. But, writing is re-writing, so all the writers would take this masterpiece to work on in the room and make it even better that whatever I just vomited up.

That’s it. That’s all I know so far.

I mean, there’s more to my current job, like hearing the episode multiple times at table reads and run-thrus and re-writing like crazy and joke pitching and eating so much free food all day then wondering why my pants don’t fit, but this is the general gist of how a writers room works. I hope that makes a little more sense than when someone heard I’m writing on this show and asked if I wrote, by myself, all 13 episodes. Definitely not the case.

So the next time someone asks me, “How does your job work?” I’ll groan and direct them to this post and say LEAVE ME ALONE.

That’s 100% a lie. I like to talk. I’ll most likely just tell them everything right then and there and in more detail than they ever hoped to know. Cuz that’s the way I roll.

Thanks for checking in and not forgetting about this here bloggy!!! I’ll be back soon with some tragic tales that have been left untold. Which is, in and of itself, truly tragic. 

I Attempted the KonMari Tidying Up Method

Have you guys heard of the KonMari method?

Tidying

My boss introduced me to it this past week, but the book on the subject has been a best seller. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” The woman who wrote it takes tidying up very, very seriously.  I read the entire book in one day, so let me just tell you how this shit is done. Plus, buying the book would just mean one more thing to tidy up!! Who wants that?? Look at me, putting my new skills to work!! You’re welcome, friend!!

The book is all about downgrading and organizing your things.  My girl Marie (the author) says that the things you own are a big indicator of who you are in life and that you should only be surrounded by things that bring you true happiness. Coincidentally, my apartment closet is much too small and my clothes are nearly always falling out, which brings me sadness.

In an effort to be less sad and more happy, I went to Barnes & Noble at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica to pick up the book… and a few new clothing items from Anthropologie next door to shove into my already full closet. Off to a great start!

The first step of Marie’s guide to eternal happiness is to go through and discard of about half of your things.  Then, you learn how to organize the survivors.

At first, I thought this encouragement of “discarding” unwanted things meant there must now be huge piles of gogo boots and sorority t-shirts in our dumps thanks to the trendy KonMari method, but she specified that to “discard” can also mean to donate. So, if you’ve been looking for a hideous green and rhinestoned homecoming dress worn once during my freshman year of high school, you’re in luck! Head on down to Goodwill at Washington & Sepulveda Blvd! Apologies for the sweat stains! It was a weird time! I was crushing hard on a soccer player! He wasn’t reciprocating!

In KonMari method, you must go through and purge your things by category, not location. She stresses that this mind-blowing technique is unlike anything anyone has ever done when tidying up. Most people organize their things based on location. For KonMari, you don’t do your bedroom, then your bathroom, then your kitchen. Instead, you need to use this order:

  1. clothes
  2. books
  3. papers
  4. komono (meaning, the rest of your crap)

Although, when you share a small apartment in LA with two other people like me, the order will most likely look like this:

  1. bedroom
  2. bedroom
  3. bedroom
  4. bathroom and kitchen (meaning, the rest of my crap)

Also, Marie thinks that you should treat this “tidying up” extravaganza as a marathon to do in one sitting rather than one little piece at a time. By the time I finished the book and had a jolt of inspiration, it was 10pm at night, I had 30 minutes until I would pass out, and I thought… LET’S GET STARTED!

First item of the KonMari list: my clothes. The correct way to follow the method is to put all of your clothes on the floor in the middle of the room.  Yet, if I put all my clothes on the floor, I would have no access to the door for all the necessary things I needed outside of my room like wine refills every half hour and consistent bathroom breaks.

So, sorry, Marie. I put all my clothes on my bed instead. Which was hard work. I have a lot of clothes. Hence, why I was doing this method in the first place. I then berated myself for having so many clothes that I don’t wear. I realized that I didn’t need them all and I should really find time to clean them out.  I then remembered that that was exactly what I was doing in that moment.  I then concluded I deserved a break.

My break turned into a full nights sleep and I awoke the next morning surrounded by every clothing item I own. Though it was crowded, it was nice to spend that final night with all of them before I evaluated each one and decided which ones I liked most. It felt similar to what I had to do with my friends in 2006 when Myspace told me there could only be 8. That was a fun slumber party.

The KonMari method of tossing works like this:  Without any other distractors (music, television, roommates asking you why all of your things are literally everywhere), you are supposed to pick up and feel every single item, then decide if it sparks joy within you. Close your eyes, coddle your clothes, and say, “J Crew sweater from three years ago with a sriracha stain on the front, do you make me happy?”

If the answer is YES, then that sweater made the cut and gets to stay with you in your home.  If the answer is NO, then that sweater gets discarded. If you discard it, you need to thank it for serving it’s purpose in your life and then send it happily on it’s way.  Oh yes, clothes have feelings. They also know whether or not they would like to be hung up or folded. You have to ask them. I know. This lady is a bit of a kook, but she kept promising that I was going to be Mister Roger-status happy by the end, so I pressed on.

I went through my clothes one by one.  Surprisingly, there were many things I could easily decide had served their purpose in my life and that I could discard. I realized I’ve kept items around because I want so badly for them to be cute, but whenever I try them on I learn that they don’t quite fit me like they fit the plastic model in Forever 21. Seriously, that bitch has a banging bod. I heard she’s super fake though.

KonMari method teaches us that you hold onto things because you are either holding onto the past or are scared of the future. For instance, if you have a bunch of clothes that are too big for you but you are scared that you’ll need them one day after eating one too many Samoas girl scout cookies, you must decide that you’ll never let yourself get there again and discard.  If you have things from the past that you don’t need anymore but you’re scared of letting go because they represent people or history, you need to let go of your past and discard.

Through this process, I realized I have a lot of things from ex-boyfriends. I officially don’t own jerseys of their favorite teams anymore. It’s really exciting for both me and the people who would ask me questions as if I had any clue about the team I was wearing.

Other things were harder for me to decide if I should let go of. Does this spark joy? I mean, it would spark joy if I was invited to a very specific party! What if I was invited to golf pros and tennis hoes themed party? Or a crocodile hunter themed party? Or a white trash bash? Basically, I have been prepared for ANY THEMED PARTY! In receiving those invites, I would have been sparked by lots of joy, followed by a “I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO WEAR!”

Alas, I discarded them all. I got rid of everything. Well, not everything. Still invite me to your Disney-princess-themed parties, plz.

Through this process (which took 6 days and 7 bottles of wine), I made many, many trips to Goodwill.

IMG_4594

So long, dresses that are getting inappropriately short as I reach my mid-twenties and hats bought on impulse.

To tell you the truth, purging these items actually made me feel like how Marie told me I would feel, if only 5% of the intensity that she promised. I felt lighter, clearer, and better.  I didn’t need so many things that were essentially useless all around me. Turns out, 90% of my nail polishes were actually dried up. I had 7 full toothpaste tubes hiding out. Holding onto old dance shoes does not also guarantee that you hold on to the actual talent of dancing. Who knew!!!!!?

The most challenging items to toss ended up being old electronics that were once the hottest new gadget or gifts that I never really liked to begin with.  Don’t worry, I didn’t give away all the gifts. I still have the one you gave me. You know it’s my favorite.

I got into a state of such pure euporhia whenever I “purged” an item that I became a little bit of a maniac about it.  Coats? It’s warm out today! I won’t need these, ever! Discard! Perfectly good food? Not planning on eating that in the next 10 minutes, it’s cluttering me! Stop disrupting my life! Discard! Swimsuits? Not planning on swimming today! See you never! Tennis shoes? I already exercised this month! You’ve served your purpose! Bye bye!

Unfortunately, when I got around to books, the first one that I held and axed was none of than the KonMari’s bible of throwing shit away.  Tossing that thing out gave me the greatest release of them all. The process pretty much ended there.

I would give this method a 7/10, would try again.  Though, Marie guarantees that once you adopt her method by successfully throw out half your shit and keeping the other half organized, you will never “relapse” into your messy ways again.

And I agree with her! I’ve learned what items actually spark joy inside me. So now that I’m an expert at it, combined with the newfound excitement of free hangers in my closet, I’m off to go shopping and refill my life with lots and lots and lots of things!

Of course, only things that bring spark joy.  Like new dresses. And shoes. And purses. And, apparently, toothpaste.

BEST ANNOUNCEMENT OF MY LIFE

What up my cutie Red Velvets! (Bachelor, anyone?)

How are you?  I’ve missed you.

Does anyone just lose all motivation and inspiration sometimes?  I have experienced such lack of both these things in the past few weeks when it comes to writing.  To me, writing is like working out.  If you take a few weeks off without doing it, it is so much harder to get back into it. I took time off during the holidays and am now experiencing the difficult after-effects. THANKS, SANTA!!!

I remembered a quote I’ve heard about how if you just sit around waiting for inspiration, you’re a huge doofus. Inspiration is like a bird flying around outside, too high above you to catch, and you have to literally get out your shotgun and shoot it down if you really want it.  Even though I’m very pro-gun control, I am also very pro-this quote.  I can’t just sit around and twiddle my thumbs anymore… waiting for inspiration to hit and then get upset when all that has hit me that day is water when I tried to wash a spoon under running sink water.

(Also, that quote is from the documentary “Stripped.”  It is about comic strips and how they adjusted to the fall of newspapers and uprising of websites.  Go see it.  It’s amazing.  I have it.  You can borrow it.  Actually, just come over and we’ll watch it together. I just got a Nespresso machine for Christmas from my amazing boss and I can make you a 10/10 latte that we’ll sip on while we watch it and cuddle. Unless you’re not into coffee.  Or documentaries. Or me. It’s fine. You don’t have to come. Forget it.)

I also heard ANOTHER quote about writing that I loved (This time from the Pete Holmes podcast “You Made it Weird.”  I listen to this alone in my car so I’m not even going to TRY to invite you this time.)  It said how sometimes he’ll say that he “spent all day writing” when he really only spent like 2 hours actually typing words on a computer (also known as: writing).  The rest of the time he was showering, sitting down, staring at walls, drinking 9/10 lattes because I didn’t make them for him from my new Nespresso machine.  Basically, he described it as “sitting” in his writing.  He was cultivating ideas, gaining creativity, working up his courage to actually put things down on the word document.  I loved this so much because I’m the kind of person who does this exact thing and then feels guilty that I didn’t actually spend “all day writing.”

So, I got inspired and started to write. Then, like every other time I start writing, I remembered how it’s so much a part of who I am.

And I wrote. Like a crazy person.  I worked on a pilot and started a true Tragic Tale about my New Years Eve (next week, people, next week). And I wrote and I wrote and I wrote.

Then… I saw that something I’ve waited for about 2 1/2 months to happen, happened.  A show was announced in the trades called One Day at a Time… the Netflix show that I had been hired on as a writing team with my partner Michelle.  The show lead by Gloria Caledron Kellett and Mike Royce.  It was out there.

I’m going to be a television writer.  A sitcom writer.  A comedy writer.  My biggest dream in the world, literally, is coming true.

And it was announced. After MONTHS of waiting, I could tell the world.  Really, it’s been my whole life.  I have been dying to tell people.  In fact, I am encouraged to tell the world, as we need to make sure all you bitches watch the show.  You will watch the show, right? I’m watching it 500 times over.  Actually, just come over and we’ll watch it together. I got a Nespresso machine for Christmas from my amazing… You know what? Forget it.

Here’s the announcement:

Netflix Orders ‘One Day At A Time’ Latino Remake Series Co-Starring Rita Moreno

The moment after I saw that the show was announced, I started screaming and crying and talking to myself because no one was home from work yet. 

And I screamed and I screamed and I wiped my tears and I wanted to celebrate with a beverage but it was 4:00pm and I couldn’t decide if a 10/10 latte or a glass of wine was more appropriate. 

And I debated and debated until it was 5pm when a glass of wine was definitely more appropriate. 

And I poured a glass of wine. 

And I watched The Bachelor with my friends but I didn’t really because my phone was buzzing like crazy.

And about 10 of my friends posted their own statuses of how excited they were.

And over 100 people liked my announcement on Facebook. 

And I remembered how an executive producer on The Goldbergs told me that this was the most exciting part of my career and it was going to be downhill from here. And I smiled. 

And I cried.

And I passed out. 

And my heart was so full.

This could all blow up underneath me.  And now that it’s announced, it’ll be much harder to ever deal with negative repercussions. How embarrassing that would be! What if I get fired? What if I suck? What if something truly awful happens and stops everything in motion? What if I wear a cardigan and learn that writers are supposed to wear cargo jackets?

But I’ve wanted this for as long as I can remember, so I’m pushing out the negative thoughts.  Instead, this morning, I decided to look back through photos of when we celebrated a while ago with champagne.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This shit has been filtered for months now, ready to post.  To give you some time reference, here is what I had screenshot the same day that we popped bottles.

IMG_3309

What a TEASE this was… Right? #teamKhloeandLamar

Also, while looking for those, I just found this picture that I took after I got a ticket for being in the red to prove that I wasn’t. It re-sparked my anger and I just need you to confirm that I’m right.

IMG_3330

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Not in a crazy, mumbo-jumbo way that could justify why my childhood friend lost his life to cancer this year, but more the idea that things don’t just happen with no ripple effect.  We start ripples all the time and only later do we feel that same energy hit us back.  Usually, it comes back stronger and more forceful than the original that we put out into the world. Giving $20 to someone who needs it more than you takes barely any effort, but their gratitude and happiness often gives you so much more than you originally thought possible.  It is so worth it to put your all into things and watch how it affects the world. You just have to work up the courage to saddle up and do it.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that the moment I finally started to get into my groove and write like a crazy person and feel like myself again, everything got announced.  I needed to stop waiting for something outside myself to do what I could do on my own. I didn’t need the announcement.  I didn’t need all the excitement that I was waiting for.  I just needed to take out my shot gun and shoot it down.  Myself.

Again, I’m very pro-gun control, but you get what I’m saying, right? Actually, just come over and I’ll explain it to you.  I just got a Nespresso machine for Christmas…

What do you do?

This weekend, someone asked me what I wanted to do for work… eventually.

I met him through friends at a pregame before hitting the town.  We were actually trying to figure out how we knew each other and it took about 3 hours of putting things together.   His college roommate used to work with a girl that I became friends with because her roommate used to work with one of my best friends.  Facebook would probably say he’s ‘People You May Know’ or a ‘Suggested Friend’ but this time it’s not a person I’ve actually just avoided being friends with all my life.

He asked me what I did for work and I told him that I am assistant to a comedian.  Because, I am. Usually I just say that I work on a television show because my boss is an actor on the show so I spend most of my weekday hours eating craft service and bugging people on set, but I got specific this night.  I used to work as a production assistant and, this past May, was offered this job. It was an exciting and awesome promotion.  Even though both jobs have “assistant” in the name, it was a step up. I actually really love my job. I get coffee for one person now, not sixteen.  I don’t work 70 hour weeks anymore.  Last year, I moved about 15 mini fridges.  This year, I’ve moved about none. I’ve made it.

This guy, who I now know from 18 degrees of connections, listened when I told him what I did for work.  He smiled, nodded, and asked, “But what do you want to do… eventually?”

I do have an answer to this question.  I want to be a writer.  I want someone to pay me, preferably not with monopoly money, to do what I like to do in my spare time – which is write things.  Plays, scripts, blogs, journals, angry letters to my loud neighbors, texts to Sammie with the smiling poop emoji.  You get it.  I feel really fortunate that I have a very clear idea of what I like to do and, thanks to this here bloggy, can exercise it all the time. I’m also lucky that hopefully one day, I’ll get paid to do it, because people actually make a living off of writing.  They write “writer” on their tax forms.  It’s on their LinkedIn headline.  If they were on the Bachelor, it would be on their occupation line.  Their twitter bio says “writor” as a funny ironic joke that actually makes sense.  It’s a whole thing. And I want in.

But, in response to his question, I immediately felt like I had to justify myself and my work to my new friend.  I started spewing off the plethora of steps that I’m taking to reach my goals.  I am not sitting on my assistant job! I’m making moves! I’m leaping on outta here! Here’s my resume! Look at that formatting! Times New Roman! Proper use of italics!

So, it got me thinking.  The question was not meant out of malice at all.  It’s simply a conversation starter that has become a norm, especially in Los Angeles.  A major difference in culture that I’ve noticed between Portland and Los Angeles is Portlanders will ask what you do for work, Los Angelenos will ask you what you hope to do for work… eventually.

It’s the eventually question.  It’s the insinuation that whatever you’re doing right now must not be your end goal.  You’ve got plans in the works.

I’m not offended by it at all.  I rather enjoy talking about myself for extended periods of time so I’ll always take the bait.  But, what if I was offended?  What if I had no clue what I wanted to do “eventually”? What if I was completely fine making ends meet for now, figuring it out as I go, and enjoying my life day by day?  What if being an assistant was exactly where I wanted to be at this moment?  What if I am actually choosing to have 5 inches of grow out in my hair and not because I can’t afford to get it done as much as I want?

It’s the same sort of nervousness I have when I ask people, “So, where did you go to school?”  It always just comes out when I’m getting to know someone. I usually immediately follow it by, “Or, did you go to college? It’s totally fine if you didn’t. If you did, that’s fine too.  Pretty much any answer to this question is fine. I’m really just making conversation. YA KNOW WHAT? I CHANGED MY MIND. Don’t answer that. Let’s go with something easier.  How much do you question your life decisions while listening to Adele’s new album?”

I totally get the question.  I think it’s just assumed that, when you’re at this age, you have places you want to get to and you’re just on your way there.  People are asking about your goals and dreams.  They’re interested in who you are and what you want to become.  They’re being nice.

I asked Natasha and Sammie if they thought this question was rude.  Natasha said yes; Sammie said no. So, what do you think?  I’m on a mission now to decide if this is an acceptable question to ask someone and at what age you should stop.  You wouldn’t ask a 60-year-old what they hope to do one day, right? I don’t know.  I’ll figure it out. 

Eventually.

What in the heck is wrong with me?!

Hello my darling dashes,

I’m coming at cha from the basement of my mom and Pete’s house in Portland for the turkey holiday.  You know how people say that they want to move out of their parents basement because they want their independence? That’s not the real reason.  IT’S BECAUSE IT’S FREEZING DOWN HERE.  Was Portland always this cold?  Was my skin thicker previously? I am wearing 3 coats, a blanket, and am constantly keeping my dog in a chokehold so that I can absorb her body heat. 

Today I thought, “I have nothing to write about because all I can think about is my food situation.”  Then, duh, I thought – I’LL WRITE ABOUT MY FOOD SITUATION.

This is the most tragic tale I have ever had to tell, by the way.  But, it’s not really that fun.  If you bow out now, I won’t judge you.

I sort of… (and sorry to everyone who is like this) can’t stand people who CONSTANTLY talk about food, weight, health, etc.  I can’t deal with it.  I prefer to only think about the food for the duration of the time it’s going into my mouth.  I’ve never been a cook, never looked at the ingredients on what I eat, and only like to look at calories during the 3 weeks of the year that I get on a real crazy weight kick where I’m sure I will lose 30lbs in a night and then decide I like cheese more than I dislike the way I look because I look awesome.

So, this has been weird.

My whole life, I have had weird allergy problems that I’ve chosen to ignore like a true moron.  My feet swell up, like, all of the time.  I have never understood why.  Ever since I can remember, one or both feet randomly swell up as a reaction to something that I never could pinpoint.  Also, my chest gets really red and itchy with hives once in a while.  Once, at a dance competition in high school, my entire body broke out in hives. I went back to Natasha’s where I stood balling crying in her shower completely naked while she put some ointment on me to help make it go away.  What a good friend, right?  More importantly, the answer to your inevitable question is yes.  We did go on to win that competition. And yes, I am currently wearing the medal.

I remember going to an allergist when I was younger and they told me to write down everything I ate to figure it out.  I was METICULOUS about writing down everything I ate… For about 7 minutes, then I decided triple layer grilled white cheddar macaroni and cheese sandwich was too long to write down and I chose to just live my life instead.

But the reactions have gotten to a point that I can’t ignore them.  In September, I went to my friend Katie’s house in Marin for Kira’s birthday and my foot got so swollen while tubing that I couldn’t even walk.  I spent the afternoon with my foot stuffed in the lake while everyone just shouted things they thought I was allergic to.

friends

Here we are, cheersing Kira turning the big 24 ! That’s not a deck we’re sitting on, it’s actually just that my foot got so swollen we could all sit upon it and drink wine.

A few weeks ago, I had such a bad reaction complete with abdomen pain, hives, and swelling, that I had to go to urgent care at work.  To make matters scarier, I learned that that every time you’re exposed to whatever you’re allergic to, you react worse than the last time.  That’s why my reactions are getting worse.  So, I have to figure it out, or I might be hitting the hay for good and Sammie would have to find a new roommate. Which would be a shame because, after five years, we have finally just discovered that 69 degrees is our perfect temperature.  She isn’t ready to go through that exhausting process with someone else.

So, I went to an allergist, kicked down the door, and said, “Figure this shit out!!”  The doctor decided that my symptoms were most likely due to a food allergy and we should do a prick test.  They would prick my back with a bunch of foods that I might be intolerant to and see if my skin reacts.  They laid me down on my stomach, poked my back around 75 times, and then left me in a FREEZING COLD room, naked, for 20 minutes (what is with this post and being naked and/or cold??).

I was expecting him to come in, say, “Girl, quit with the Brussel sprouts and you’ll be good!” and I would be like “YAY! I don’t like nor eat them so that makes absolutely no sense but who am I to fight with Dr. Pepper!” (I like to call Dr. Pepper since he’s a food allergist)

When the doctor came back, he said, “CAROLINE, HOLY SHIT. YOU GOT SOME CRAZY FOOD ALLERGIES.”

My body reacted to 36/79 of the things that they tested me for.  My back looked really disgusting (to put it lightly) (sorry if you were eating) (which I really miss doing).

What I now have to do is an “elimination diet” where I eliminate all of the things that I reacted to from my diet for 30 days.  Then, I reintroduce them one at a time and we monitor how I react to them individually and combined with each other to pinpoint the bitchy bullying culprit for my problems. I understood that those that I don’t react to when I eat are basically “false positives,” but Dr Pepp didn’t like that phrase.  He says that they are still intolerances but that they’re so low that they won’t affect my daily thug life and we may decide that I can continue to eat them.

So, want to hear what I can’t eat right now?

Banana

Barley

Beef

Blueberry

Buckwheat

Broccoli

Carrot

Cashew Nut

Clam

Codfish

Cottonseed

Cows Milk

Citric Acid

Crab

Flax seed

Lamb

Lettuce

Malt

MSG

Orange

Parsley

Excuse me, taking a break here.  My hand cramped from TYPING TOO MUCH!!!! (Oh no, we’re not done)

Peach

Peanut

Green Peppers

Pineapple

Plum

Pork

Rice

Salmon

Strawberry

Sunflower Seed

Sweet Potato

Tomato

Tuna

Walnuts

Brewer’s Yeast

IS YOUR JAW ON THE FLOOR!? BANANAS! TOMATO! LETTUCE!!!!  Look at the ingredients of whatever you’re eating right now and I can pretty much guarantee that it has dairy, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, or citric acid in it.

It seems like I can eat NOTHING, but in actuality there is some stuff left.  Eggs, apples, chicken, avocado, bread, what pasta, olive oil, corn, white potatoes, turkey, distilled alcohol, and more. I can eat soy, eggs, and wheat, which are common allergy problems. So I can now never claim to be gluten free.  My body was basically like YUM, gluten, I want more! Which is annoying because a gluten allergy would go great with these trendy new boots I just bought.

This also means… No wine or beer (because of the brewer’s yeast).  No ice cream, butter, mayonnaise, ranch, or cheese (Dairy).  No lemons, limes, or basically any drinks (Citric Acid). No sushi! (Rice, salmon, tuna)

I have now become one of those people who I usually get annoyed by who turn everything around in grocery stores to look at ingredients and ask the waiter to cook things in a separate pan. I’m basically a walking, talking nightmare.  How bad do you feel for me right now? On a scale of 1 to 10? Cause if it’s not 13, read that list again. You’re heartless.

Anyways, I’m lucky to have a great mom who called our time at the grocery store for this Thanksgiving week a “treasure hunt” and pronounced a type of food we bought as “vay-gen” (vegan).  Come to find out, there are actually a lot of substitutes to things.  I got some coconut milk ice cream!! We also replaced our beloved wine with a vodka soda tonight!! (Which is why this post has so many exclamation marks!!!!!)

So, I hope you all have lovely Thanksgivings full of lots of food that I can’t eat and (more importantly) surrounded by friends and family!! Be sure to watch The Goldbergs Thanksgiving episode.  It was a monster to make but may be one of my favorite episodes.

Also, if you’re in Portland, call me.  Let’s meet up and share a plate of corn.

I tried to be a Lifestyle Blogger for a day

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I am obsessed with lifestyle bloggers.  Do you know who I’m talking about?  It’s these women who are usually around my age, married, with children, living in big beautiful houses in Salt Lake City, mormon, graduated from BYU, and are the most fabulous women on earth.  I swear, those temple… meetings? I don’t know what you call church when you’re mormon but those get togethers they all go to on Sundays are surely the next best thing to fashion week.

I’m mostly weak to their home decor.  The home decor is next level.  I love the idea of someone going to the farmer’s market with the sole purpose of getting peonies for their table and not just scarfing down the fruit samples like I do.  I feel like these are the type of people who walk around and touch things as if they have freshly painted nails.  So graceful.

My favorites are the ultra-feminine ones.  Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam, Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies, Emily Jackson of Ivory Lane.  They’re doing a type of advertising.  They make women around the world want to live, be, and look like them, so that essentially we’ll buy anything that they suggest.  They make A LOT of money.

I don’t think like these women do.  I don’t have cute pajamas.  In fact, I sleep naked 98% of the time (ask the boys who kidnapped me senior year of high school for prom court) (and yes, I did just mention that so that I could point out that I was, in fact, a prom princess.  It’s been a slow decline ever since and I like to revive everyone’s memories of those days whenever possible.) 

For instance, the other day, I was laying next to my roommate Sammie watching a documentary on mail-order brides (Netflix – highly recommend) when she mentioned that she wanted to get matching PJs.  I was SO on board and got very excited.  I mean… matching outfits?! YES!  We would snuggle and share secrets and take photos and laugh every morning while MATCHING!  She then revealed that she just meant she wanted matching top and bottom pajamas for herself.…  She was thinkin’ like a lifestyle blogger.  I don’t think like that.  I think like a 4th grader at a slumber party.

But, I’d really like to think that way.  I find myself looking through their instagram feeds and instantly feeling like I need to tidy up my apartment.  So, I decided that I would become one of them.  Why not?  There’s plenty of room in the blogosphere for all of us. I don’t have a husband or kids or a religion or a huge home but I DO have a blog and I decided I would GIVE YOU GUYS THIS GIFT and turn myself into one of those women I admire.  I did this for YOU.  My readers!  Or, reader!  Or, mom!

First things first, I needed to clean up my place before my home decor photoshoot.  We still have our halloween decorations up, but it’s only November 3rd, so I decided it wasn’t too late.  The fact that we even HAD decorations dialed me right into my new lifestyle.  I began to take them down with care.  Touching things lightly with my new faux freshly-painted nails technique that I decided I would use forever, I saw something on the floor that needed to be wiped up with a wet cloth.  With a dry cloth already in my hand, my first instinct (and what I did), was spit on the floor to wipe it up.  I SPIT ON THE FLOOR TO WIPE UP GRIME.  A lifestyle blogger would use a swiffer or clorox wipes or hire a maid and go to a spin class when faced with this problem!  What had I done!  I was so upset that I punished myself with ten sit ups and completed three of them.

Next, I needed to get my sister in on it.  This new fancy Mormon blogging team that I just discovered are four sisters that are all fabulous.  They do things like support each other while cheering for BYU, make cookies together on rainy days, and likely hold each others’ hands at weekly colonics.  So, I sent my sister an e-mail informing her we were going to move to Utah and provided her with links to the blogs that we would emulate while we spent our days finding our own voice.

She called me, minutes later, and said, “What the fuck, Caroline?” I informed her in my new cute, airy, and delicate voice that we, as sisters, don’t curse anymore and that I wanted her to join me in becoming like these lifestyle bloggers that I love. I need her to get on board because it’s a family event and also, since she already has kids, we can start with our, “Family fun!” posts and “Tips for handling your toddler at the Met Gala! Not as hard as you’d think!”  3-year-old Kendall would wear heels and smile and I would caption things with, “Kendall was nervous but LOVED the clothes. Fashionista on the rise!” 

My sister replied, “What?” and told me she didn’t hear what I had said because her 2-year-old son Luke just took such a huge poop that his diaper was now dragging on the floor as he walked, creating a trail of shit so she needed to take care of that instead of joining me in my new undertaking.

Ugh.  So, sister is out.  She is NOT prepared nor appreciative of my new lease on life.  It’s cool, though.  I can get her in later after I build up a good following and can start with, “Follow my sister! She’s the best <3” posts.  It was not over.

I sat and stared at a wall, wondering what to do next.  I didn’t want to mess up my new, clean apartment so I just didn’t move for a while. Then, I remembered seeing all the cupcakes on my feed, and decided that my first, WELCOME TO MY NON-MORMON BUT MAYBE I’LL CONVERT LATER LIFESTYLE BLOG post should be a photo of a cupcake that I made, with a freshly lotioned manicure holding it, casually showing off my clean kitchen in the background.  This photo is a STAPLE in lifestyle blogging. So, I went to the store to buy my supplies.

I drove very elegantly, using my blinker, smiling wide at homeless men who tapped on my window asking for dope, and letting people in front of me who were clearly in a bigger hurry than I was (lifestyle bloggers are very patient). I parked my car, walked to the store (light steps), and looked up at my destination.  I was at Ralphs.  What the fuck was I doing at Ralphs? Lifestyle bloggers go to WHOLE FOODS!  I AM SUCH A SLOW LEARNER!!!!! I immediately rushed to my car, made sure I was unnoticed, and googled where the nearest Whole Foods was.  It was 1.3 miles away.  Phew!

While at Whole Foods, I looked around for cupcake mix.  Because, you know what? I just started this new lifestyle and need to ease into it.  I’m not ready to make my instagram eye candy from scratch, okay?  Lifestyle bloggers never push themselves too hard.  They take it easy, do things slowly, and allow themselves time to feel comfortable in their perfectly bow-tied Nikes.  I checked out, telling the cashier (in my delicate voice) that I was “ceasing Monday!” and giggled at him (lifestyle bloggers giggle, not laugh). My phone buzzed with a new follower as I walked to the car.  I hadn’t even posted my cupcake picture yet and people were already catching on.  The high I felt was indescribable.

I got home and watched the appropriate choice of Legally Blonde while my cupcakes baked (Couldn’t wait until Thursday for my #tbt! *giggle*).  Though, when I pulled them out of the oven, I realized something.

I didn’t buy frosting.  Or sprinkles.

I looked down at my sad, ugly, mix-made cupcakes and wept 4 tears while realizing my failure at this new lifestyle.  These are not the cupcakes that the women over in SLC make.  They were not pretty.  They were not perfect.  They were barely cupcakes.  They were muffins.

And you know what?  They were FUCKING DELICIOUS.  I decided to throw in the towel on this new adventure.  Or, more specifically, hang up my new polka dotted apron and cancel the ombre hair appointment I had made.  I’ve written about this before, but I’m still learning how to continue to love me for just being me in this perfectly filtered social media world we live in.

And though I’m joking about them, I really do think that these blogging ladies who are able to portray such a clean, feminine life are so wonderful and needed.  I will continue to swoon over their photos.  They keep the world beautiful and provide candy for our eyes.  But, I will NEVER be able to emulate that.  Instead, I give bridal shower gifts in October wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper complete a card written in orange highlighter on a piece of printer paper because it’s all I could find. The actual gift, though very uglily wrapped, make my lovely friend Elizabeth laugh really hard, like it was supposed to. I know I have something wonderful to offer just as they do. You just have to dig in to find it.

Surrounded by cupcakes, I am perfectly fine being a muffin.