college, Humor, Life

THE UNIVERSE IS TEXTING ME AND IT’S COSTING ME A FORTUNE

Written after wearing a NASA baseball cap in Starbucks and running into a guy wearing an (acid-washed, but we all make mistakes) NASA t-shirt and saying goodbye to him as my “NASA buddy”. In related news, I’m planning a spring wedding, space-themed.  

I’m sitting on a bench in front of my college, having just ordered a “grande cold brew, with an espresso shot. Light ice” in a high, irritating voice, because if my drink order is going to be complicated as fuck, then I might as well go the full mile. Also, I didn’t get it sweetened because I firmly believe that if your order requires three specifications or more, you’re outing yourself to the world as a potential serial killer. I also put “three” because I’m trying to conceal the fact that I’m a potential serial killer for as long as possible.

I had my first “Zen Meditation” class today, and besides the mortal fear of farting into the silence, I actually found it to be a really interesting experience. We sat like pretzels—srry for appropriating dough culture—we laid down and listened to music, and we talked about shit like “being okay with mental discomfort” and finding more value in the “question, rather than the answer.” Because once you have an answer, you put yourself into a tiny little box and you die.

As I was telling my friend Shelby—remember that salty old bitch?—I feel like a lot of things in my life are getting together and producing a cosmic neon sign about my life. That’s such a millennial thing to think, by the way, that all the forces of the universe are cooperating to send some dickhead blogger a message about his post-graduate aspirations (asspirations, amiright hahaihatemyself). But let me back up.

Here are the signs the universe has been sending me (at the low low cost of $0.99 per text).

DO YOU THINK THE UNIVERSE HAS AN ANDROID OR IPHONE: 

1). Zen Meditation: Our teacher (professor? Shaman? Medicine man? Witch?) told us a lot of mdeditation is not following every thought and letting ourselves immerse in the murkiness of the unknown. He didn’t say it as eloquently as that, but I’m embellishing. So much of life is unknown, but the more you worry about it, the more you suck away at the present and lose life. Rough. Rough stuff.

2). Chelsea: I’ve been watching a lot of Chelsea Handler, and she was interviewed by Ashly Perez of BuzzFeed (wow, Microsoft Word recognizes “Ashly” but not “BuzzFeed”), and basically just talked about pursuing what you’re passionate about. That’s an easy thing for a multimillionaire to say, but she brought up Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal. Amoruso started out dumpster-diving for vintage stuff and selling it on eBay. She followed her passion for vintage clothing and it led somewhere lucrative. Doing things purely for money leads you to glassy-eyed, dead-souled hell.

As a graduating senior, the idea of following your dreams is scary as hell, and often gets masked by the need for “job security” and a “healthy income” and a “401k” (idk I think there’s a period in there somewhere but who knows?). our parents want to see returns on the investment they made, and so we feel this pressure (external and internal) to prove that the last four years have resulted in something.

3). Blerg: I’m taking a beat reporting class, and we had to do “mock-interviews” with a partner, research that partner online and then turn that interview into a 100-word profile. Mine was fucking well-written, and my partner discovered my fat whale of a blog. When people discover my blog, I treat it like an entertaining, but stupid, child of mine. Like I’m proud that it’s made you laugh, but I don’t want you to delve too deeply into it and see what I’ve done wrong. In the profile done on me, my interviewer said that I was “hesitant to label myself a journalist” (true) but that I had a lot to say (very fucking true). Part of my weirdness about school is that I’m not a very “journalist-y” journalist. Unbiased reporting bores me. I like drama, I like weirdness, I like being funny. I have no interest in being impartial, or ferreting out the “story.” So to have someone see my blog, arguably the most raw/polished online representation of myself, and ask what I wanted to do for a career, felt a little bit like someone bursting into me taking a shower and asking me what I planned to do about my problem areas.

FUCK IF I KNOW.

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The interview thing happened before the Zen thing, so I feel like the universe heard my question of “Da fuck am I supposed to do” and answered with “idk but chill out dude.” Technically the question is supposed to be more important than the answer, and I’m not supposed to be comfortable in answers, so maybe the universe actually didn’t answer me, or it was a wrong number. But I’m going to take it as my own.

I don’t have any direction. I don’t have any goal. But I know what I’m good at. And if the universe/Chelsea Handler has made one thing clear, it’s that that’s what I should focus on. Following what drives my passion, what I’m good at, and finding solace in that. And trusting in that.

Did this make any sense? Should it make any sense? Maybe I should pretend that the reason it’s all rambling is because it’s actually elevated thinking and it’s not supposed to make sense and then it seems like I’m smarter than you. Yeah, I’m gonna do that. Just ignore that train of thought and focus on the fact that I’m smarter than you. Much smarter.

In related news, what do you think the Universe thinks of the iPhone 7? Do you think it’s a matte-black or jet-black kind of bitch? What kind of bitch am I? Will I ever be confident enough to get a jet-black phone? Or will I forever float in the safety of silver?

Also I can’t wait for all the horrible monster-gays to decide what phone means what sexual preference you are. I don’t even know if they updated the chart (cuz there’s definitely a chart) for the inclusion of Rose Gold. If anyone says the gays are beasts, they’re totally fucking right.

Omg I just saw someone I have a crush on and I need to look hotter but I don’t. Fuck my life.

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pop culture, Review, television

REVIEW—CHELSEA & THE FUTURE OF THE TALK SHOW

Season 1, Episode 1

Grade: A

When you’re a comedy kid growing up, you study comedians. When you’re an unfunny comedy kid, you really study comedians. When I was a kid, I watched clips of Dane Cook obsessively—relax, this was when we were all on that Cook train, you liars—and then I moved on to people like Mike Birbiglia, Demetri Martin, Jim Gaffigan, Loni Love, Amy Schumer, Gabriel Iglesias, Tina Fey and Bo Burnham. But a huge influence on my comedy and my writing and my funniness—besides Lorelai Gilmore—was Chelsea Handler.

After Chelsea Lately ended, Chelsea Handler went soul-searching. She did a bunch of standups—Uganda Be Kidding Me—and books—Uganda Be Kidding Me—and then the hilarious and insightful docuseries Chelsea Does.

And more than anything else, her new Netflix “talk show”, Chelsea, feels like a natural extension of Chelsea Does, which in turns is a natural extension of Chelsea Handler in a way that Chelsea Lately never was. During Lately, you could always feel the tension, the vague bitterness that Chelsea had towards E! and the sense of a caged tiger pacing behind bars.

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Source: Netflix

Chelsea made no bones about the fact that she kinda fucking hated E! and felt like an idiot doing Lately. And something she made very clear on the first episode of Chelsea, centered around education, is that she hates feeling like an idiot.

In a year of trying to “shake up” the talk show game, Chelsea manages to succeed where others have failed. And by “others” I know that you know that I’m talking about Kocktails with Khloe. Now, don’t get me wrong—I would take a bullet for Khloe Kardashian in a way that I would never for Chelsea Handler—but Kocktails felt like a total money-funded passion project, aimed at giving a new network star quality and a ratings boost.

In a similar way, Chelsea feels a little indulgent, and is the first step Netflix is taking at live-streaming rather than binge-worthy season drops. But Chelsea is smart and funny and not talking itself too seriously, whereas Kocktails always felt like it was a little too aware of the cameras. In the first episode, Chelsea does—but doesn’t—do a monologue, and sits behind a—very fancy, black—desk, turning it into a “meta, breaking the fourth wall” version of every late night talk show. And it feels almost on purpose—like Chelsea knows that she’s going to get compared to everyone else, so why not beat them to the punch?

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Source: Netflix

Some of the show was a little weird—the “Netflix University” faux-commercial was boring and didn’t feel cohesive—but Chelsea had some fucking impressive guests. Her first guest was the U.S. Secretary of Education, John King. At first, when he was testing her on basic education, it felt a little like “This is about you but it’s really about me,” but after that, the interview is actually interesting. They talk about the need for education, personal mentors, and other cool stuff. After that, Chelsea brought out Pitbull, who spent twenty minutes trying to chase down Chelsea’s dog Chunk, who was loitering in the background like a beautiful teddy bear. Pitbull is starting a charter school in Miami—Slam Academy—and continued on the theme of “teacher mentors.”

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Source: Netflix

I think this could really be Chelsea’s strong suit. Since it’s a three-times-a-week digital stream, rather than doing “trending topics” like Lately, Chelsea could do much better by connecting pop culture to a larger episodic theme, similar to each documentary of Chelsea Does. Like, who the fuck would’ve known that Pitbull would’ve started a charter school? And also how he got his nickname “Mr. Worldwide?” It’s cool.

Side bar: they did that thing I hate, which is having the first guest sit in on the second guest’s interview. You had the U.S. Secretary of Education watching Pitbull try to be BFFs with a dog. It always seems so awkward, like when Bill O’Reilly had to stay while Jimmy Fallon interviewed Lorde, and I was like, “Who tf is Bill O’Reilly?” and my mom was like, “Who tfudge is Lorde?”

After Pitbull went back to his kennel—someone stop me, please—Chelsea brought out Drew Barrymore. She began by talking about how she, like Chelsea, didn’t really receive an education, but how that drives her. She read the dictionary as a kid, which is the ultimate nerd-out. The conversation veers towards Drew’s divorce, which was surprisingly honest and raw and real—a testament to the intimacy of the stream—and then how she wants to be a cheerleader for women by discussing divorce, and raise her daughters to be awesome women. The interview felt fun and fresh, unlike when talk shows bring on guests who are forced to hawk their latest project.

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Source: Netflix

In one episode, Chelsea made me do what Kocktails couldn’t accomplish in twelve—make me want to keep watching. I want to see what the next topic is, and who she brings on. I want to see what this turns into.

Keep on, keeping on Chelsea.

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