It’s a bizarre season in my chicago life as I trifle through the loud downpours of the morning to the sniffly allergy infested sun of the afternoon. I find myself becoming stagnant, presumably anxious, and utterly unmotivated. My comedy troupe is on hiatus, I am sitting comfortably in a routine of working out, working, holding on to money and sleep. I stress that this is all my life has become as I am forever hesitant due to excuse after excuse for not doing MORE. Granted, my excuses are good. Namely that my troupe is picking up the pace again come the end of the month and within the next three months I will have six, count them six, visitors coming for some Chi-town summer fun. Not to mention a long anticipated and exciting trip home for a week in June. Needless to say, I am busy!

I am busy… but am I the correct busy… for me?

I think about the me in college who was too busy to do the life she wanted. And she justified that busy-ness as a means to get to the next step. Once I/she had a degree in hand, then I/she could do what I/she wanted. Yet, here I am post college and I am yet again busy justifying this chapter as a means to the next step. The next step, I am now guiltily thinking is called “L.A.”

And I feel stuck. My thoughts toil to all the good I am doing right now to improve my life. I feel very one foot in and one foot out in this scenario. I am doing this life like a robot would.

I am at second city, in two conservatories.
I am auditioning for little projects here and there. Just filmed something on Thursday.
I try to read every day and write every day.
I have my money in check, more or less.
I have two flexible jobs and an internship at second city training center.
And once a week I try to see a live comedy show.

Go robot me!

But still I ache with my anxiety and my constant need to be in a hurry. If I am not performing always and every day. If I am not famous by now, I should be writing the best shit of my pre-famed life. But my writing sucks. I’m scared of it. I am scared that I am just not that good. And when I force the muse, the muse shits on the paper.

I again justify. “Ali, you must be content with the many false writing starts you’ve collected on your laptop. You should be proud that you’ve written two screenplays, still in first draft but once you get the courage you can revise to brilliance. You’ve also written this, and poems, and ideas… Right? And hey, you are in a weekly show again starting in two weeks, and I just KNOW you will get jazzed for that eventually.”

But I can defend my choices and justify my hard work all the live long day. (And yes, when I talk to myself, I deem myself cool enough to call me Ali. Calling me Ali is a right of passage, even for me.)

In truth, I know I am not doing what I want to be doing. And there are new habits evolving to prove it. For one, I am watching way too much hulu. No matter what people say, it is not an achievement to have successfully watched all six seasons of Lost in three months. Not to mention getting hooked on four more shows. Second, I can sleep forever. I tried it once, to see how long I could keep going. And if it weren’t for my roommate asking me to see Iron Man 2 that day I am certain I would have kept sleeping through the day and again into the night. Third, my daydreams have gotten way beyond the normal realm of whismy. I have a playlist on my Ipod that I can equate every song to a scene in a movie which star me. I have so many future fake gigs in my head, complete with famous co-stars, directors, and late night talk show interviews. I used to think fan fiction was pathetic, until I realized I am doing the same thing in my mind.

Last – and probably most dreadfully, I have gotten inexplicably addicted to Snood. Snood. A simple, mind numbing computer game that I stumbled on again when one day about a month back I decided to get nostalgic. When I was little, we had a floppy disk of a burned game of snood. Online today, it’s called ‘Bubble Popper Game.’ The premise is simple. It’s like a tetris in reverse. You shoot a little bubble at matching bubbles and when three of the same connect, the bubbles disappear. And the goal is to get rid of all the bubbles. Now the game I had on the floppy had these funny faced bubbles who made silly noises when you shot them. Online it’s a simplified non-noise making ball. Even as a novice the game is near impossible to win, because as time goes by, more bubbles are added. And I played this game last month and won right away. My soul hasn’t been the same since.

This addiction is sadder than any of my daydreams and hulu and sleeping patheticnesses combined. Because SNOOD has taken precedent over even those lame priorities. I play it while watching hulu and miss key scenes due to the focus on the bubbles. I have to slam my snood-ful computer shut just so I will go to sleep each night at a reasonable hour. Last Thursday I successfully sat in front of two hours of must see tv, one hour the shit-tastic marriage ref, and forty five minutes into the news all in an attempts to win just… one… game… of snood.

The nights when I give myself assignments to write, I almost instinctively play snood instead. I understand addictions now, because even as I type this I assumed I would end on a “I’m Quitting Snood” soliloquy, when really I know after this is published I will go back to trying to win just one more game.

I think I have won a total of three times. And the sad thing is, once I won, I just started yet another game.

Snood is how I know I am not doing all that I can. Snood is how I know I am not happy. It is weirdly my biggest shame and saddest fall from determined grace. And I need to let it go. Perhaps I can replace the hours spent on, I don’t know, making my daydreams a reality. Or making my body less lethargically sleepy. Or just…trying harder.

I’ll make a deal with myself. Win one more game, and then it’s time to bite the bullet. No matter how hard it is.

It’s time to stop the snood and get busy. And I mean the good kind of busy. Visitors and trips aside, I’ve got some actual work to do. I’ll keep you posted.

– One El

“What we need to get our asses in gear for saving the environment is a personification of pollution. We need the polar ice caps to be terrorists. We need to bring back that tar monster from Fern Gully.”


One thought on “Snood

  1. I think the game you’re describing might be an evolution of the game Bubble-Bobble, which then became Bust-a-Move–a game that I also loved in my youth, and so did my mom. We spent many an hour playing Bust-a-move together on my old Playstation. Really really fun, and really really addictive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s