Hey, Here’s Fifteen Fun Fall Facts! – (aka “hot takes”)

Ooomph. This month has been a doozy for lady news.

It seems almost poetic that a year ago this month we were holding out hope that a sexist, racist, on-tape assault admitting, idiot-douchebag-narcissist would be rightfully defeated in the race to be our commander and chief.

And here we are today. He’s unfortunately there, continuing to top himself in offensive, dangerous behavior. We’re still here, and the hits of sexual mistreatment of women just keep on coming, this time in theme of Tinsel Town.

I write this blog every month. I do it for fun, and as an exercise at creative writing with a deadline. I also read a lot online, and am hyper aware that when big news hits, there is always a race in the blog-o-sphere to post an interesting “take” on said news.

I don’t play that game. Mostly because the “takes” bases are pretty covered once I get a chance to marinate in it. If I hoped for a post of mine to go viral, (you know, since I have such a huge following on this page. Hi Mom!) I would think it would be for entertainment value, and not for an agenda stance. Not because I’m scared, but because I am certain there are people out there who will do it smarter and faster than me.

I used to think jokes were what my Twitter was for too. A place for me to make exercise joke writing, attempt to be entertaining, and nothing more. However, if you go to my Twitter page (SHAMELESS PLUG TO FOLLOW ME @alisontafel), you will likely note the large amount of politics I’ve wound up chiming in on. I can assure you that happened by a big Trump of an accident. My goal was to write a joke a day. (Still have Late Night writer’s room dreams, ya’ll.) How does one come up with daily jokes? Read the news. Our country is so super saturated with the chronic fuck ups of Tang Boy and his merry men, it became impossible to not comment on the giant joke of man right in front of us, taking up our front page news and morning infotainment around the clock. Sometimes my attempt at a joke would miraculously come true. (I literally tweeted that 45 would probably look directly at the eclipse AND THEN HE FUCKING DID.)

So it should go without saying that over time, I didn’t want to joke anymore. Over time, I found myself chronically angry and just tweeting those angry thoughts. That’s right, I started doing the very thing I didn’t want to do with my writing. I was giving the world my take.

And thus my twitter has fallen into the abyss of hot takes, overshadowed by all the interesting, well thought out takes that smarter, more popular writers seem to eloquently compose and share before I have a chance to write: “He is SO DUMBBBBBBBBB.”

So, I’m going to work on that. I’m going to try to get my Twitter back into jokes, not just annoyed thoughts I would yell into an ether. It’s inevitable that many, many jokes will be at the expense of big news and Big Haircut. And yes, I will likely retweet the takes of those I admire. And I assume there will probably be slip ups and shifts of tweets depending on what comes next in our world. In this bed of nails world we live in, I will occasionally need to shout my “AHHHHHHHGGHGHGHH” into nothing. But for now, I’m  going to try try try to use that space for funnies. Today I tweeted how the lyrics to Thriller line up perfectly with a women’s thoughts when interacting with Harvey Weinstein at a party.

Meanwhile, off of twitter and on to here, I held true to this blog as being a personal, fun space, out of the hot take post share competition. I try to get some depth out of what I put here, finding a comedic take on darker, tougher subjects. Other times, I write quick lists that I hope will brighten someone’s day while they are taking a break at work. I think the closest I have come to an “ooooooo, topical” post was last November, when I was literally too heartbroken to write anything, so I simply said: “there’s nothing more to say.”

But I struggle with this at times because I also look at this blog as a diary of sorts. What was life like at the time that I made that monthly post? What was I going through in my life? What was happening in the world? Has my writing improved? And this month, when the universe in which I’ve pursued my career has had an explosion of super NOT SHOCKING revelations that, hey, women get treated pretty terribly in entertainment, I find it hard to come to my blog and make a list of Halloween treats I enjoy.

That said, I have also devoured many online statements made by celebrities, crew workers, bloggers, men who were friends with Harvey, women who are in other professions, and “Me Too” movement posters on this harassment epidemic. And frankly, I don’t have anything to add other than sincere agreement and overwhelming love and support.

What Weinstein did was awful. What others have done is awful. Women don’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve it. It should stop. This outpouring of admissions will hopefully aid in it stopping. After all of this, sexual harassment should be taboo. And yes, this should’ve happened a long fucking time ago.

Some take, huh? Nailed it.

So, what am I to post about this month then? I don’t want to ignore it, that feels wrong. I also don’t want to add to the takes abyss, that feels unhelpful. Essentially this super long preamble has all been a lead up to where I landed with this month’s post. I hope it is a suitable solution for you readers, or, really, reader (MOM YOU ROCK!). This month I bring you:

Hey, Here’s Fifteen Fun Fall Facts!

  1. My favorite Halloween costume from childhood had to be when I was Kerri Strug in the 4th grade.
  2. I absolutely love the phrase “leaf peeping” because it could easily be “leaf looking” as it makes more logical sense to have the alliteration, but it feels like someone wanted to give the word peep a chance and the phrase has never looked back.
  3. I went apple picking for the first time here in California in an attempt to enjoy the fall, and there were no more apples, it was 90 degrees, there were lines everywhere and I hated it.
  4. When I was living in Chicago in my early twenties, I was sitting on a El late at night, looking out the window. It was fall. The train car was practically empty. There was one other person in there, a man sitting across the aisle from me in the opposite window seat. As I looked out the window, I could see this man’s silhouette in the window’s reflection. His hand was grasping something, moving. In the reflection, it became evident that he was holding his, wait for it, PENIS!!! Oh yeah! He had his penis out and was stroking it in this empty train car, with a young woman across the way! Once more, his face was looking right at me!! Woo-hoo! I couldn’t make out his face in the window, and I didn’t dare turn around because, you know, I was a bit uncomfortable at the time, and also suddenly incredibly scared for my safety! But yeah, he was looking at me, jerking off. Not a care in the world. It was an excellent example of a silent power dynamic, for all you writers wanting to learn how to write silent tension. Anyway, I had to decide if I should get off at the next stop, you know, go into the freezing cold in a dark area of Chicago that was not my stop, in order to protect myself, or, like, just let it happen? THANKFULLY, nice guy that this stranger was, the decision was made for me. I got to stay! Because the next stop actually had more people entering the train, forcing Mr. Salami Tugger to abruptly stand and exit, while I was left wanting to vomit in my mouth.
  5. Putting pumpkin in my morning shakes this month has been an excellent call.
  6. I want them to make another Hocus Pocus because I wish I liked the first one better.
  7. Another fun part of that “guy masterbating on the train while I was the only one there” story, is I decided to use it as an opener in my stand up act! I felt very proud of the joke as a way to have ownership of that experience. It goes like this. “I saw that this man was masterbating on the train across from me, and I couldn’t help but wonder, was he masterbating to me? I mean, I am the only one in there, you guys! What if he took one look at me and thought ‘nah, she’s not pretty enough. I would rather create a fictitious woman in my head than think about ugly her.’ Because, too be fair, I was having a bad day, I didn’t look my best. Or maybe, do you think he knew I was having a bad day? And he wanted to cheer me up? Bleh. I don’t know. I don’t Men are so complicated.” I constantly wonder the joke was me making light of  a traumatic experience or me empowering women with it. You know, TYPICAL COMIC STUFF.
  8. Lately, I’ve been loving a good fall candle to help me relax.
  9. One of the saddest things about October in LA is that when you carve a pumpkin and leave it on your porch it will rot in 6 hours flat. I never thought that I should be grateful for Colorado’s nightly frost, but those frosts preserved Jack-O-Lanterns, and I am retroactively grateful.
  10. I will never dress my cats in Halloween costumes. If I wanted to dress someone up who doesn’t want to be dressed up, I’d just use Zach.
  11. What’s also interesting about the “guy whipping out his penis on the train” story is it wasn’t the first time a stranger whipped out his penis to me! One time, before living in Chicago (I was a teen!), I was walking outside  in Longmont, Colorado and a car pulled up next to me. The driver had rolled down his window, laid back in his chair, and his dick was out for me glance at. Once I did, he sped away! Mischief managed. At first I laughed because, like, DA FUCK?, but then when I went home, told my parents, and they told me to call the police. It turned out this penis menace was doing this all around my hometown to young women jogging or just minding their own business. I think they caught him months later, but he only went to jail for a second. What fun. There’s also numerous cat calls from strangers, lower back touching from acting instructors, pet names, clothing comments, and all around general “lesser than” belittlement that I’ve been taught to ignore or “rise above” in Hollywood. The thing they don’t tell you is, once you rise above it, you never to feel triumphant, you just feel like you’ve broken even.
  12. We had an Octoberfest at our place this month with a beer/food pairing competition and the friends who won brought cheese. I think that speaks volume for the power of cheese.
  13. There’s a guy in my building who has decorated for Halloween by covering his porch in creepy clowns and each night shining a light on a red balloon in his window and I would be totally scared of it if I weren’t so dang impressed with his balloon commitment.
  14. I’m heartbroken about Ben Affleck.
  15. Really looking forward to the season 2 premiere of Stranger Things.

– One L

“It’s close to midnight. Something evil’s lurking from the dark”







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