Thursday, April 23, 2009

My life is a clean slate! (Or how I'm justifying my complete mental breakdown)

One month ago, my life was very different.  Well, I guess I should say my reality was very different as I'm still alive and (mostly) functional.  I could childishly whine about what changed and how it negatively affected me.  (BOY COULD I!  I'm a champion whiner.  Just ask my family.  They are so happy I live 3000 miles away.  And often remind me of that.  Which I think is rude.)  In broad strokes the last three weeks of my life have shaped up like this: lost a writing gig, lost my grandmother, lost $3400 to Uncle Sam, divorce was finalized (but then recently found out, it wasn't!) and then the guy who I thought was my boyfriend after 8-months (and PS, who I had fallen in love with), let me know that he was not my boyfriend and that I would remain unloved by him.  Sigh...  I had a broken heart, broken wallet and a sad, sad soul.  It was all too much, so I did what any sane person would do.  I quit my job.  You know, that one piece of stability in my life?  Gone.  Adios.  Outta there.

Now, quitting my job has elicited two very different reactions from friends and family.  The most popular reaction is: "Ohmigod!  Holy shit!  Are you out of your mind?!  It's a recession!  People aren't working!  Grapes cost $12 at the grocery store!  You had a job!  You could afford produce!  HOW IS SOMEONE AS PRETTY AS YOU SO STUPID AND WHAT IF YOU GET SCURVY!?"  (Okay, I added the "pretty" and "scurvy" part.  I needed to soften the blow somehow... but grapes really are $12 at a nearby grocery store.  That's for REALS.)  Then there was a distant second reaction, but my favorite nevertheless:  "GOOD FOR YOU!  Congrats!  I hope you find that job/career that you deserve and makes you happy!"  (Note:  the second response elicits fewer tears and name calling on my part.  Unless you happen to add the "pretty" bit, then I might actually go on a date with you.  Just saying.)

I've worked as a reality writer/producer for over 9 years.  It's never been what I wanted to do, but I'm pretty good at it, so it kept me afloat for the past decade.  I came to LA to write sitcoms.  I started as a writers' assistant on Seinfeld.  It was a great ride (the last two seasons) and I learned more there than I ever did in college.  Then I got an agent at Endeavor (big time!) and wrote an episode of It's like you know (w/ Jennifer Grey and her new nose) and was commissioned to write a script for Kevin Smith's animated series of Clerks.  (Which was cancelled as I was writing my outline for the show... F!)  Then this ass-clown of a show called Who Wants to Be A Millionaire came on and BAM, all the sitcoms went away and reality television moved on in and set up house in prime time.  Endeavor dropped me as they couldn't get anybody a writing gig due to there being only 4 sitcoms on the air.  So knowing that I needed (and liked) to eat, I acclimated to the new television climate.  I wrote for the following:  Blind Date, Change of Heart, House Calls, 4 seasons of elimiDATE, E!, Bud TV and ultimately House Hunters and House Hunters International for the past 3 years.  This was Plan B, folks.  It was supposed to be for 2 years TOPS, not 9.  

I came to earthquake country to write/perform fictional humor.  And I finally got the courage to let myself honor that.

So as of next Wednesday, I'm  completely unemployed.  

Scared?  Shitless.  

Excited?  You bet.  

Remaining positive?  HAHAHAHA!  Best I can.  Mostly.  

I will be pursuing a few things that will hopefully recharge my soul and creativity (in no particular order!):

*  I will FINALLY start writing the books I've been wanting to pen for quite some time.  
*  I will start painting again.
*  I will be able to devote more time to stand-up and performing.
*  I will exercise and eat right.  (Except for chocolate, ice cream and candy.  What?!)
*  I will snuggle with my dog.  A lot.
*  I will see my friends more often!
*  Drinking tea.  Cuz it's awesome.
*  I will make sure that every day is spent living, not merely existing.

So that's the plan.  Oh and to not go broke.  Financially or emotionally.   To stay the course and not regret the past.  Cherish the mistakes.  Take pride in my risks.  Admit my shortcomings and learn, learn, learn from it all.  And to seriously not get scurvy.  Seriously.  Ew.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This would make Grandma very proud...

My grandmother was a whiz-bang at memorizing produce prices.  She'd read the newspaper and then you could quiz her about the price of any given vegetable or fruit at the different grocery stores in the area and she would answer with 99.9% accuracy.  And to compound this, if lettuce was 5 cents cheaper a head in the next town over, she'd make Grandpa drive their Cadillac over there so she could buy it there.  Even if it was the only thing she had to get there, "Broccoli is 2 cents cheaper at Wegman's!"  (We dared not tell them that they probably lost their savings in gas...  It was quieter that way.)

So while my grandmother would plan her whole day around her produce purchases, I avoided it like Fox News avoids the truth (HEY-OO!).  Not because of taste (except for cauliflower - blech!), but because I live alone and the stuff goes bad within 2 days of purchase.  And I constantly fall into the trap of, "Wow, tomatoes look great in the store!"  So I buy them.  Then the next day I'm all, "Wow, I don't feel like tomatoes today."  So they stay in the fridge instead of coming to work with me for lunch.  Then a few days later I'll say, "I could go for tomatoes---EWWWW!  GA-ROSSS!  WHY DOES IT HAVE TWO HEADS?!"  And into the trash they go.  Along with the money they cost me.  Phooey.

While I avoid buying produce, I DO buy every As Seen on TV product I can get my hands on.  So imagine my happy fists when I saw this little item beckoning me at my local CVS:


However, I was wary and kept my happy fists to only two shakes instead of their usual fit.  After all, I'd been duped before.  I've renamed the Sham-Wow the Sham-Bullshit.  It doesn't soak up anything other than my dignity and remaining self esteem.   And $19.99.   (Stupid hooker beater dude is also a liar.  Go figure.)

But in a quest to not throw my blueberries away constantly (why does that sound dirty?!), I bought Debbie Meyer's Green Bags (and why does that sound even dirtier??).  And low and behold.... THEY WORK.  Honestly, they do.

I have tomatoes that are over a week old from Trader Joe's (you know, the kind that you buy and they are already half rotten by the time you get them home).  I have week old blueberries that haven't shriveled up like Papa Smurf's man-junk yet.  I have bell peppers and grapes that are still edible and don't look like biology experiments!  IT'S A MODERN MIRACLE!!!  These bags WORK!  

So in honor of my grandma, I'm passing along my good find in hopes that Debbie Meyer's Green bags will help keep your produce happy and non-mulchy.  But if you drive to the next town to save five cents, I'm sorry, but you're on your own as I don't know an As Seen on TV product that will help you there.  I'll just send you the five cents, how 'bout that?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dear Grandma...

Today is my Grandma's funeral service.   She had been struggling with congestive heart failure for quite some time now.  But it was shocking that she died last Thursday as my parents were on the way to the hospital to pick her up as she was being discharged that afternoon.  She passed a half hour before my parents arrived.  It was quick and painless.  What we all wish for our loved ones.

It's been a rough few days.  What upsets me the most is that I'll never have make another memory with her.  But thankfully, I have a million memories to keep a smile on my face.

Her funeral is in NY and I'm still in CA.  But I wanted to be a part of the service so I did what I could do, and wrote her a letter.  My mom will be reading it aloud today for me.

I wanted to share it with all of you.  She means so much to me and I wish you all could have met her.  You'd have loved her after five minutes.  Everybody who met her did.


Dear Grandma,

I’m writing you this letter because it’s how I’ve come to express myself best.  (Well, I also yell pretty good, like all Eolins do, but that seems inappropriate to say the least.)  I wanted to thank you for all the contributions you’ve made in my life, but then realized that would literally take days.  So instead, I’ve compiled a quick “Top Ten List” of my favorite memories of you.   I hope you like them as much as I do. 

#10 – You got me addicted to Olay lotions at the age of 8.  Drugstores across the land thank you for this as well since they will be the only companies to make it through the recession unscathed.  (Oh and also my hairdresser will do pretty well – nothing interferes with Hair-Do Day!)

#9 – You’re one of the best cooks I know.  You’re so good that even our dog, Maggie, knew as soon as we turned onto Oneida Place that we were coming to visit you and she’d start drooling like a crazed maniac.  (Maggie kept hoping you’d drop that entire leg of lamb on the floor, but much to her chagrin, you were pretty nimble and coordinated.)

#8 – Only you knew every butcher’s name in town and would tell them when you weren’t happy with their work.  (I used to be VERY CONCERNED for your safety as a child since they made a living CUTTING things and often had blood on their aprons from a fresh slaughter.)  When I asked you, “Grandma, why did you tell him that?” you said, “Because he needed to know, that’s why!”  (Which, by the way, I came to learn over the years is a phrase that should be on the Eolin Family Crest.)

#7 – You taught me to speak my mind, no matter the issue.  Because, as Eolins, we’re usually right. (But I still wouldn’t tell a butcher off.  But that’s just me…)

#6 – You always wore a piece of jewelry like a necklace or a pin in addition to your rings.  This just added to your graceful demeanor, and to this day, every time I put on a piece of jewelry, I hope that I carry it off as gracefully and beautifully as you.

#5 – I never understood your charity work for the Red Cross as a kid. I really thought a blood bank ran like a “money bank” did (I wasn’t the brightest).  So years later when I figured it out, (I eventually catch on!) I never got to tell you how proud I was of you for doing all the volunteer work you did.   What an enormous and self-less gift.

#4 – You and Grandpa taught me how to play cards.  And every time I see a deck of cards I think of you and how you would give me the stink eye when I “put you in the bucket” score wise.  Or when I would steal your bid.  Or take your ace.  Come to think of it, you spent the most of our card games giving me the stink eye.  And guess what, I loved every minute of it!

#3 – One time when I was 6-years-old or so, I was staying with you and Grandpa.  You asked me what I wanted for dinner and I said, “A Happy Meal!”  So you got in the car and drove me to McDonald’s to get a Happy Meal.  Then when we got back to your house, you let me watch The Brady Bunch in the den for dinner.  This is still one of my top memories from my entire life.  You made me feel very important and loved, simply by letting me do something a little out of the norm. 

#2 – I love that you took time to make clothes for me growing up.  Some of my favorite pictures are of Sara and I in clothes that you made us.  I vividly remember Sara and I wearing our matching pink dresses and going to the Corning Museum.  Everybody in the museum stopped to tell us they loved our dresses and I remember saying proudly, “My Grandma made it for me!” 

#1 – You always had a hug and a kiss for me.  You always had a laugh and one of the warmest smiles I’ve ever encountered.  Your eyes always sparkled.  You always had wisdom and knowledge to bestow.  You always had an answer for everything.  You were strong and were always around to help and support where you could.  You always made me feel loved, even when we were miles away.  You brought light into every room you entered.  You grew the most beautiful flower garden and the healthiest vegetable garden.  In short… you made me want to be a wonderful person who has a positive effect on those around me.  And for that, I can never thank you enough.

I love you with all my heart, Grandma.  You betcha I will.

Love always,

The "EWWW" Report

I rarely say the word "EW" out loud.  It's usually something I think in my head.  You know like, "Ew, I gotta pick up dog doodle," or "Ew, my pants do NOT fit anymore," or "Ew, why is Tori Spelling so skinny that I can see her kidneys through her dress?"  You know, basic every day stuff like that.

But today... I said "EW" out loud.  WHY?  Because I saw that someone had Googled "old biddy porn" and my INNOCENT WHOLESOME site popped up.

EW!!!!!!!!!!!  BLEH!  ICKY-POOH!  I needed a anti-bacterial wipe for my brain after seeing that.  Ga-ross.  

WHY would anybody Google that in the first place?  What kind of sad life is that person leading that Googling "old biddy porn" took up part of their Sunday afternoon?  (Maybe Queen Lizzy the Second is makign sure her sex tape wasn't leaked?)  Either way, it's just ...  EWWWWWW.


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