2018, Life, Things Happening RN


On Saturday, I had my five-year high school reunion.

I went in with low expectations, and by that I mean that I went in with the highest expectations and fully expected to be disappointed.

I regularly make jokes about the kind of person I was in high school; “I looked like a thumb with eyes” is a common one, given the fact that I had red, horrible skin, didn’t figure out a haircut that worked for me and I plucked my light eyebrows into impossibly high, thin arches that rendered them completely invisible in photos.

Embarrassingly (although everyone is guilty of this) I was obsessed with maintaining a façade even more than I was obsessed with maintaining a severe eyebrow arch. I probably even loved saying the word “façade” in high school. Difficult pronunciation and a squiggly accent mark? Chic! Essentially, I was kind of geeky and not-chic, except that I thought I was the most chic. Animal-print? Yes please. Neon? Why not! I was also perhaps most famous in high school for having a blog, and by that I mean, I was gay and literate and wrote about it.

Going into this reunion, I had one main goal: make everyone want to kill themselves with jealousy.

I assumed that this goal was very much attainable and also very much in the bag. However, things started to unravel very quickly. A tussle with a sheet mask ended up with me having a slight allergic reaction. A haircut ended up looking a little too egghead. My skin, which has been on a journey not dissimilar to Arya Stark trying to find her way back to Winterfell, decided to have a flare-up! Everything was coming up rosacea!

For reasons that I discuss extensively in therapy but will not disclose here, I feel a powerful need to prove myself to everyone, but particularly people who dislike me. Given the fact that I went to an all-boys Catholic prep school and was gay/wore leopard-print, I was not wanting for enemies or bullies!

I showed up to cocktail hour an hour late and dressed fucking cute, and immediately realized that I would not get through this night without alcohol. I was sucked into a conversation with a former classmate about his career track. He does something client-facing, and wears ties, and honestly that’s all I could remember because I was too busy scanning the faces of other classmates and making mental notes of everyone who got hot.

As I mentioned, I went to a prep school, whose main exports are insecurity complexes and people who work in square professions – finance, real estate, anything that has you start as an “analyst.” I was one of maybe four people who was in a creative industry, and reminder, I barely have a job! I was back in an environment that both fostered trust-fund fist bumps and discouraged me making any sort of “anal-yst” jokes! It was tough!

To overcompensate, when people asked me what I did, I formulated a square and safe response. “I’m a writer, and I’m going to grad school in July.”

Over the course of the evening, I got progressively looser and more annoying. “I’m a writer” became “I’m a freelancer writer,” which became “I’m a freelancer writer and I work at Trader Joe’s,” which somehow devolved into “I write about gay stuff!” and then completely deteriorated into just “Gay!”

To be fair, it always ends up that way.

But sometimes I realized, as my answers about “What I’m Doing” became sillier and more honest, is that people responded in kind. I got an accountant to admit that if I don’t pay taxes, there’s a possibility that nothing will happen (don’t do this though, pay your taxes). I asked a civil engineer if he got inspiration from that underground cavern in Marvel’s The Defenders. He did not laugh!

When I was saying hi to somebody, the person next to him saw me and made to do the “How are you doing!” facial shift.

The problem with this was that we never had a conversation in high school. I knew who he was because he’s hot, and he knew who I was because I’m gay, but no words passed betwixt us. So when he said, “How’ve you been?” I responded with “I’m good – I’m excited to have our first conversation ever!” And all he could do was laugh because literally it’s true.

And once we got over the truth, we actually had a conversation. We talked about high school, his work, my work, marijuana dispensaries and being hot.

I detest small talk because it kind of defeats the purpose – it’s meant to facilitate conversation, but it actually becomes a barrier against having real conversation. It becomes “Where did you go to college again?” and “What have you been doing?” instead of “Did you love college?” and “What do you think of Cardi B?”

By the way, people have high praise for Cardi!

I understand the impulse to put your best foot forward – I’m the fucking mayor of Putting Your Best Foot Forward – so I’m not sure exactly what snapped in me, but I’m glad it did. Because instead of exchanging meaningless pleasantries, I actually dug into real conversation with both old friends and people that I had never connected with in high school.

High school was messy in roughly eight thousand ways, and these all made going back into the Vineyard Vines viper’s pit quite stressful, which is probably why I became acutely obsessed with my appearance. A classic redirect to avoid confronting past trauma, sis!

But despite it all, I’m glad I went. I got a chance to look hot in suede boots, call everybody “hon” and “handsome” and snag an alumni baseball cap. And at the end of the day, that’s really all I could ask for.

Rambles, Thinkpiece


In a lot of ways, I’m so similar to Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Like her, I have red hair, blue eyes and a tail. My first crush was Prince Eric (hasn’t changed), and I love lounging on rocks. And like Ariel, sis, I don’t really have a voice right now!

Not literally: I’ve got a voice that has been described as “melodious” and/or “gay,” and it’s served me well. I’m talking about my writing voice. It’s a large part of why I’ve been so lax about posting. Ever since graduating, I’ve feel well and truly lost as to what my post-grad voice sounds like.

In college, I operated under a near-blind and almost entirely undue amount of confidence. Really, looking back, it’s astounding that I didn’t get hit by a car or fall into a river. I was so cocky, you guys. So cocky.

I wrote with the vigor of someone who had not yet felt the sting of a thousand-thousand job rejections and who has not had to answer the question, “So…what are you doing?” with pained laughter until eyes are averted and the question is glossed over.

In college, I assumed – without any proof – that my voice was winsome and inviting, a tone that would remain immortal. And while I will remain immortal – I’ve been pretty much guaranteed that – I don’t think I took into account that people, and their ensuing tones and beliefs, change and adapt.

And even nearly a year later – gulp – I’m realizing that I didn’t allow myself the space to grow, or the gentleness that growing and changing, and being lost, is okay.

There are a lot of reasons why my tone has changed. First, it would be naïve and impossible to ignore the fact that I advertise this blog on my resume, and potential employers would stumble upon it regardless if they Google my name. Well, they’ll have to go through a few search pages (there’s other Danny McCarthy’s but none are as hot as me, thank god) but eventually they’ll get there. So with that is the pressure of Am I writing in the right way and Is this the right thing to say and What will people think. That didn’t factor into my writing in college because, you know, delusion.

Second, is that I’ve been living my life and that’s changed how I think about things. It’s impossible not to evolve (ask any Pokémon, sis!), and it’s been a challenge to channel everything that’s happening into a cohesive, passionate tone. Ambivalence doesn’t sell, and I’ve felt dangerously close to ambivalent about a lot of things lately.

And third, my tone has changed because I’ve been kinda going through it. Graduating and job-searching and graduate school applications have shaken my confidence in a major way. Before I graduated, I was a Boston 8 with the confidence of a telemarketer, and now I’m a New York 6 with the confidence of the first baker eliminated on Great British Bake Off.

In a lot of ways, I’m navigating the unknown, and the unknown makes it difficult to suss out what to share and what to keep private. Things have bigger stakes now; it’s just not wondering if I’ve pissed off someone by blowing up their spot or weirding someone out by waxing poetic about the way their voice leans. I’m selling the brand of me, and honey people are not buying it – not even the free trial!

But I’d like to get back to that place. Not the cosseted, unaware spot, but the place where I am so brimming with a desire to write that other people’s perceptions of it are a distinct second thought. I’d like to feel more steady in my writing, if just for the fact that writing is how I process everything that happens in my life. It’s quite literally my lifeline and my method for understanding everything.

And I lied – I’m a New York 7.

Life, Rambles


As a writer, you’re constantly handling the balance of how much of your personal life to divulge to your audience. As a comedy person, you’re constantly balancing how much of the painful details to twist into a funny anecdote. So when you’re a comedy writer, you’re basically playing the game of “Which horrific moment of my life can be a funny essay without me completely selling my soul to the Devil, Faustus-style?”


Source: thatslutinthearmchair.tumblr.com via Giphy. Caveat: I’ve been watching a lot of Happy Endings recently and all of the gifs will come from there. You’re welcome.

I’m not a comedy writer, or a comedy person, or a writer. I’m not even legally a human. But as a professional Ina Garten drag impersonator and someone who operates a blog, I find that more and more, I’m running into that issue. When nothing was happening in my personal life, it was easy to write about it. But as I grow and evolve, and the issues in my life grow and evolve, I am beginning to notice a line in the sand that is harder and harder to cross.

And it’s only until things actually started happening in my life that I realized that the “life” that I was writing about was literally nothing. But now my life is actually starting to roll, and not just in the same sense as the Gloucester Cheese Roll Competition. Because that’s funny.

There is an intense impulse to publish for writers. My journalism professor talks about that impulse all the time, or at least I’m assuming he does, because I spend most of my time in that class reading RuPaul’s Drag Race recaps. But when something happens to me, like that time I fell down the stairs or the time I sat on a plate of quesadillas or any time I make a fool of myself in front of a boy, my first instinct is to share it, Tweet it, or blog it. And that instinct is more than just the desire to share something that happens. It’s the desire to take back control of the situation.

Blogging incapsulates your life, packaging it into palatable, hilarious little morsels. The tale of me getting hurt by the first boy I cared about becomes a funny essay. A bad date becomes fodder for griping. The various aches and pains of existing as a real-life scarecrow—my brand—translates into rubbery antics. Writing takes the sting out of embarrassment and hurt and pain, and turns it into comedy. And on one hand, it’s extremely cathartic. It provides me the distance to process and dissect something, to take myself out of the equation.


Source: jparx.tumblr.com via Giphy

Recently things have been happening to me. Some are amazing. Some are terrible. And my first instinct has always been to blog about them. But for the wrong reasons. I want to take myself out of these moments, but I’m also afraid to. I’m afraid to talk about the crazy, shitty things that are monumental in my life because then I relinquish control of them. They cease being intimate to me. They become content, public domain. They are no longer mine. And that’s been hard to come to terms with. That some things could easily be sting-less and funny and palatable, but that would mean losing my place in them. It would be accepting them as past and renaming them as something meant to be consumed.

My wanting to blog them is my wanting to stop them from hurting. Things have been rough lately, and that kneejerk reaction to make the bad thing stop is very much in play. But sometimes things have to hurt. I can’t—I shouldn’t—blog my way out of this. I’m trying not to make it into a joke or a punchline or a laugh. I’m trying to give it gravity. It’s really fucking hard, and lousy and frustrating. Because my instinct, as a writer and a former dork and a wannabe cool kid, is to cannibalize, produce and de-sting all the awkard’s and ew’s and damn’s of my life.

I’m a memory cannibal, and that’s not always a bad thing. A lot of amazing things come out of shitty situations, but I’m in this weird position of realizing that if I mean to take this writing thing seriously, there are lines in the sand that I have to respect. One of my favorite writers, Ryan O’Connell, wrote about the same kind of experience. And as he got older, he realized that he couldn’t just write about every drug trip, bad sexual experience, and “Ouch-funny” moment that happened. That knowing the difference is the divide between “writing” and “being a writer.”

So in true self-absorbed writer fashion, I’m writing about writing about something. Maybe one day in the future, when I have enough money to hire a defense lawyer, I’ll tell some of the stories that I’m keeping in the vault. They’ll be good then, and I’ll have distance. And in my tell-all book, Telling It All—The Tonya Harding Story (Just Kidding, It’s Me, Danny), I’ll reference this blog post, and people will go to their antique Macs and pull up the article while sitting in their hover-houses with their pleasure-robots (I hope).

Humor, Life


Disclaimer: This post is alternatively titled “Sad and the Pity,” for mostly jokes but also truths. Also don’t sue me, Sex and the City, for copyright infringement!

Okay, now onto the Bradshawisms!

I collapsed onto my bed, kicking my socked feet up and releasing a loud, Neanderthalic groan. My shoulders hurt. My back hurts. My legs hurt. My heart hurts. And my bank account hurts. I was an intern. I had been lugging a messenger bag around all day, from the office to the hotel where the event I was covering was being held, then back to the office, then back to the hotel, then home.

I was coiled tight from a massive headache and the fear that if I kept carrying a messenger bag, I would end up with shoulders like Caroline Stanbury—she put an Instagram up the other day of her and her shoulders were very lopsided and while I’m not bodyshaming anyone, that’s just not on my to-do list.

And so, as I nearly climaxed in relief with my body in one long horizontal line, I had to wonder: how did adults do this all day, every day?

Side bar: I actually don’t know what else Carrie Bradshaw does other than say “I had to wonder” because I haven’t really seen the show that much and I’m using her name in the title as clickbait! Tricked ya! Keep reading! Where are you going? Mom?

Side side bar: I also ripped off Friends with “The One Where x,y,z.” CLICKBAIT.



In college, I’ve done a lot of different jobs. I’ve been a radio deejay, a blogger, a fashion journalist, a columnist, (briefly) an editor (before I fucked that up, oops, sorry guys lol), and a copywriter for an ad team (for a project that we then won, because—probably—of me). And for the more interesting things I’ve done, the stuff I actually enjoyed, I had to wonder: “Do jobs like this actually exist in the amorphous ether of the ‘Real World’*?”

*Not to be confused with The Real World.

I was sitting in a small Persian green-eats restaurant—which Jenny tells me is not a thing that is real even though I was sitting in it Jenny—with my co-intern—Amanda (?)—and we were discussing jobs. And I said something—deeply profound—that went along the lines of: “I always used to hope that the college jobs I write for would have real-life counterparts.” Because if they don’t, why the fuck am I writing a 1000-word article called, “Jeans Or Khakis?” and interviewing people in the dining hall?


Meanwhile, across town, my friends are in their own internships. Some are living it up in their fields—moi—some are doing jobs they like in fields they don’t—Sebastien—some are doing jobs that they thought would be glamorous but aren’t and that makes me really happy—some random hot guy in one of my classes—and some are making IKEA runs in return for work that might someday lead to a real job—Charlie—and all of us are operating under this notion that jobs are unicorns. People in the Middle Ages believed they were real, but now everyone is telling you your dreams are dead and that you’ll never make a career as a writer and you might as well marry rich—um, I meant to write that everyone is telling you that unicorns aren’t real. Sorry. Got off track.

It’s interesting because I know what I want to do, it’s just I don’t know how. Or I read articles like “I’m a Homeless Writer” or “Give Up On Your Dreams, Danny” or “101 Ways To Be A Successful Writer” and 100 of them are “exploit your mental illness” and one of them is “World War II books.”

I feel like Carrie Bradshaw asks a lot of rhetorical questions and makes a lot of generically vague, moderately uplifting/poignant sentences (depending on the episode). So I’m gonna do that here.

So what did I want to do? I wanted to write, I wanted to write until my fingers were stiffer than the heel of a Manolo Blahnik and my creative voice was stronger than a Cosmo*. I wanted to be everyone’s agony aunt, except instead of asking me for advice, people learnt from my mistakes. I wanted to make people laugh and not cry and cry if they need to and laugh while crying. I wanted to be the someone that I could’ve used when I was twelve.

*Not to be confused with the “cosmos,” the popular outer space phenomenon.

But how does one do that? How does one take that leap of faith? The answer, I wondered, might be deceptively simple. Jump. Write everything. Write anything. Throw caution to the wind.

Because, like men, there is a great job out there for me. It might not be perfect—I might have wake up early to get there on time. It might be a little annoying sometimes. It might not tolerate my unabashed stanning for the Kardashian-Jenners. It might ask me to stop wearing sweatpants in public. That I won’t stand. That’s a dealbreaker. But in general, jobs can be like men. Not perfect, a little bit weird, but there’s a match out there for everyone.

And unlike men—unless this is a Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster situation—you can create your own job when you’re a writer if you don’t find one. Our craft is in our head and—if you’re like me—your head is a vast whirlpool of weird, funny ideas and mild depression.


Maybe I’ll have the job of my dreams. Maybe I’ll make it myself. Maybe I’ll write a fantastic book that helps a lot of people and gets me on Ellen. And not just as a video segment of me running naked through a McDonald’s drive-thru. A real, sit-down interview. Maybe I’ll find a job where not only do I not have to hide my weirdness, I can actually celebrate it and write about it. Maybe I’ll find the perfect job when I stop looking for the perfect job.

*Closes eyes and walks into closed door*

So in the meantime, I’ll enjoy only really having my blog to worry about as my thing. Eventually I might have kids—aka a dog—or a husband—aka a bottle of white wine—to occupy my time. And I’ll have a high-powered job where I can wear flannel to work and write about pop culture and make penis puns. Wouldn’t that pe-nice? AYOO.

That was really fun to be inspired by the ghost of Carrie Bradshaw. I know that I’m not as glamorous/old as Sarah Jessica Parker, but I hope—for just a moment—I was your Carrie Bradshaw. I hope that my angst was your angst in this moment, and that you could see me slow-spinning in a tulle skirt right now.

Me @ myself

Me @ myself

I find inspiration in writers—even fictional ones like Carrie. I love my Sloane Crosleys, my Tina Feys, my Ryan O’Connells. But I love one writer even more than I love all my idols. I love myself. So while y’all are great—previously mentioned writers—I will rise like a phoenix above all of you, but if—in the meantime—you could help me out with a connection or an internship or just spit in my face quickly, that would be awesome. Let me, readers, be your new literary best friend. Not your real best friend, because I’m a lot to handle. Also that’s a lot of commitment, and I’m not looking for anything serious right now.

Signing off now, your very own Carrie Bradshaw, your very own “Sad and the Pity.”