I’ve started a new screenwriting job that has me working at an office.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been a part of corporate culture. I worried it had been too long since I worked business hours with normal people, having co-workers who didn’t have tails or wear diapers. I worried not for me, but for them. It’s been a very long time since going to work means I have to put on pants.
Oh, this is nice. I’m outside.
I’M OUTSIDE! WOO!
Yes, I’m outside, with my friend, like a real lady and I am going to have some lunch. A lunch date! Oh, I’m on a lunch date with my friend like I’m a real, live, normal person. This is fantastic.
She’s been talking. My friend is definitely talking right there. I should probably pay attention.
Man, it’s pretty outside. I forgot how nice life is when you’re around it. Look at all these people, just having lunch. Enjoying their day. People all look so pretty and happy and nice. These people all look so nice.
I hope the baby is napping.
Can she see my breast pads through this shirt? I hope I look okay. I am almost positive I remembered to put on deodorant before I left. I could check the app to see if the baby is still asleep, but —
NO. I will NOT check the app! This is MY TIME and there’s nothing I can do if the baby is awake anyway, because I’m way over here, enjoying my lunch with my friend like everybody else gets to do and I should do because I’m still a person.
[AUDIO NOTE: I performed this piece this past weekend at Anna David's True Tales of Lust and Love (also starring Melissa Villasenor, Morgan Walsh, and Claire Titelman.) I highly recommend listening to this tale in all its mortifying glory -- it's better with the sound of an audience screech-laughing in horror. Here's the link to the recording of the show. (On iTunes here in the 11/12 show.) I'm the third story.]
[WARNING: This story is not for the squeamish.]
So I’m super pregnant. And with that comes all these horrible things. Like, I can’t feel my fingertips – haven’t been able to in weeks. It’s carpal tunnel, it apparently happens to pregnant women, and it’s shitty. My gums bleed when I brush my teeth, I’ve lost all the hair on my arms, I am down to one position in bed where I can sleep without my legs going numb, I’ve got this cold I’m not allowed to take anything for other than hot baths and pity parties, and there’s a parasite that lives inside of me that absorbs all of my nutrients. Or as my El Salvadorian housekeeper likes to say: “Your baby is stealing your beauty.”
Wednesday: Dallas Quill Awards Gala
It is my first gala. It is my first time being a keynote speaker. I fear that these two firsts will combine to give me a moment like you see in comedy pilots for clumsy-girl-you’re-supposed-to-relate-to-but-will-be-worse-at-life-than-you-are-so-you-feel-a-little-better-about-yourself shows. You know, where I accidentally knock over the podium because I made a joke that didn’t go so well because I didn’t know someone important to the organization had just died of whatever thing I was joking about, and then when I try to fix the podium I accidentally rip off a toupee or two while having no choice but to bust into a freestyle rap about Dallas and then eventually I just grab the mic start talking about Tim Riggins because it’s the only way I know how to get all girls back on my side.
* When I’m in a public restroom and a lady comes out of the stall, I really want to stop saying “Thank you” to her when I pass her on my way in. And I mean, I really thank her in a genuine way, every time. There is no need for this thank you. It’s not like I was about to pee my pants. If anything, all it does is draw attention to the fact that I’m about to use the toilet she just finished using. I will be in her “pee space,” as the mother of an ex-boyfriend of mine used to say when she’d scold him for using the bathroom before I did.
That has also stayed in my head forever, so I will now share it with you. She said when boys pee they stand in front of the toilet, and there’s a “stream of pee space” that is created that is exactly where my head goes when I sit down to pee right after him.
* I need to work on not being so obsessed with the pee space.
So I’ve had this cold. It’s been going on for over a week at this point, which is ridiculous. Listen, if I go through all the trouble to be responsible and get the flu shot before flu season, I shouldn’t be able to get sick for ten days straight with anything. I should get credit for letting someone stick a needle in my arm in the back of a Vons next to the frozen food section.
I am headed to the Austin Film Festival tomorrow (click here for my panel info), and some of you who follow me on Twitter have already warned me to be careful since Johnny Depp will be there as well and there’s the potential for me to do something like that time I accidentally made an asshole out of myself in front of John Henson. Well, listen. I just want you to know that I have evolved.
A Short Play to Demonstrate the Amount of Control Anna Beth Chao Has Over My Life
[Two women sit 1736 miles away from each other.
An unemployed blonde with absolutely nothing to do for months stares at her living room bookcase, picks up her cell phone and sends a text.]
PAMIE: What if I moved the Flurgen* to the other wall? Where the puffs hang? And put tiny couch where the big couch is?
[The other woman is tiny, wearing Hammer pants, and is currently painting the area behind her kitchen electrical sockets, using a toothbrush made of unicorn eyelashes. Her phone buzzes. She looks at the message, and immediately texts back:]
ANNA BETH: No
* Flurgen = code for the IKEA bookcase that almost killed us.
And for those of you who can’t get enough of watching me look like a dork, Glark posted his footage of Zipline Badass. In HD. Bonus: He aligns both POVs, so you can Zapruder my humiliation.
Happy Mardi Gras! I’m totally flashing you my boobs right now, I promise.
“Good morning, America!”
He says this to me every morning, usually as I’m passing him on my way out the door, while he unloads the power tools I’m trying to escape.
“Good morning, Evidio.”
“All this noise I’m making. I’m going to have to take you out to dinner to repay you.” He raises both hands in surrender, beaming. “I have no choice! I must take you out!”
He’s a smooth operator. Always smiling, always cracking jokes. When he and his crew have to work at my place, I make coffee and breakfast, and it’s been nice getting to know him over the years. He was very supportive during the strike, even though it meant less work for him, too. He started working on a project just at the same time my job ended, so we’ve been seeing more of each other lately than usual.