My Judy

Fact: I fucking LOVE Judy Garland.

Hey – have you ever wanted a perfect soundtrack to accompany your rainy Los Angeles evening where the large drops of water outside are pouring down so hard that they’re slowly trickling into your apartment ceiling from a hole in your porch gutter but your landlord can’t do anything to fix it until the rain stops which at this point may never happen so instead you’re just gonna watch the water build up into a sort of ceiling hole bubble while humming a melancholy song?


Well then Side 3 of the Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall vinyl is the record for you!

It has everything you need. Come Rain and Come Shine, A Foggy Day (“Do you all like a foggy day? I do,” she coos), Stormy FUCKING Weather. For those inclined to have a happier resolve (I’m not but whatevs) you can always flip to Side 4 and get your fill of Somewhere Over The Rainbow – if only to be reminded that yes, indeed, the rain will eventually stop, and, sure, I guess happy little bluebirds do fly.

It’s safe to say that Judy Garland has been following me around my whole life. That’s what it’s felt like anyway – that she’s been right there, behind me, lurking… poking out at times when I’ve needed her, bringing me out of my gloom and doom and taking me back to a fake nostalgia I never existed in; a time when she was alive and (sort of) well. The only problem is: Judy Garland is not alive. In fact, she was gone long before I was even born.

And isn’t that the oddest things about loving the greats? My whole life I’ve grown up feeling like I’ve truly known someone who could never have possibly known me. Not that I’m so cocky to believe Judy Garland and I would have been BFFs under different circumstances, it’s more that, well…

It means I’m in love with a ghost.

So be it. I deeply love and connect with a ghost. A ghost thought. A thought of an idea of a ghost person. An idea of a ghost person thought whom I can’t help but pretend is my dear friend.

I don’t think I have anyone else in my life quite like that. Sure there were some old timey black-and-white movie greats I’ve discovered in adulthood – Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant (Why yes that is the cast of Philadelphia Story, gumshoe.) – and greats I learned of in childhood – Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney (Yes, the cast of White Christmas, super sleuth.) – but Judy, my Judy, was the one I gravitated to through it all – relatively evenly for all of my life, and not just for seasonal viewing.

The love may come from a blend of universal childhood favorite Wizard of Oz (minus the actual Wizard. Flying monkeys I can handle. Big floating yelling head? Get the fuck out of here with that scary nonsense!) mixed with the swash buckling bite of her 1960s TV show, with interviews that only an adult who reads between the passive aggressive lines can wholly appreciate.

My favorite Judy Garland movie is Meet Me In St. Louis. I love her mature singing voice, her ornery attitude, her comedic timing, and, most importantly, her bangs. I love that movie so much that I will put up with the annoying child actor who plays Tootie just so I can hear Judy’s rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and The Boy Next Door. I think that movie is when Judy was at her best. It was then that she met and married director Vincente Minnelli, and of course because of that coupling we got Liza. (Hot take: I am so happy the world has Liza.)

Perhaps my favorite fun fact about that relationship is the engagement ring Vincente gave Judy. It was a pink pearl set in a giant, obnoxious, (ah-hem UGLY), black onyx casing.

I loved that ring. It reeked of marriage doom.

Judy Garland was married five times.

She died at age 47 of an accidental drug overdose.

The thing I have to be careful about when it comes to loving Judy is while I certainly idolize and devour and connect to the hallow sadness that accompanies all of her comedic performances, I have to be sure not to romanticize her tragedy.  I have to remind myself that her slow fade into darkness was not the reason she is interesting. Though, you must admit, that is part of what made her interesting.

It’s what makes all idols interesting.

No, no in fact, I should be disappointed that her life ended the way it did. There ought to have been a time where Judy Garland really turned it around. If she had, then maybe I could have met in her in real life. Wouldn’t that have been something?

Maybe I could have met her and she would have met me and I would have loved her and she would have hated me and then that would have been that and I would not have spent my entire life worshipping a thought of a ghost.

But we love to worship ghosts, don’t we? There’s something we can control about them. After all, they have a beginning middle and end. They have a Side 3 for when it rains and a Side 4 when you need the pick me up. They are there when you need them, with no new information to later disrupt your admiration. They can’t do anything new to fuck up your love.

And yet their ghostliness allows them to move through you with ease. Nothing can make me well up in crocodile tears like the final chorus of “San Francisco” or smile until my face hurts like the convo Judy and young Barbra have about how much they hate each other.

Judy makes me feel feelings. She makes me feel my own feelings. She makes me feel like I have depth and insight like she did… when she was alive.

But she’s very dead and I don’t want to be her. I don’t want to replicate her life choices. I’m thrilled my wedding ring is not black onyx. I’m thankful I am scared of pills. I never want to jokingly tell anyone how much I hate them. My bangs kinda suck.

But, truth be told, I worry that in order to have what it takes to be as moving or as interesting or as influential as someone like Judy Garland (Frances Ethel Gumm if we’re fact checking), it means I need to have a whiff of tragedy in my own story.

It seems like every time Judy comes out of the shadows – let’s be honest, she’s coming in on a trolley – it’s during a period where I’m in a deep state of worry that I don’t matter.

And I want to matter. I so want to matter.

This is a very common and yet complex fear of all creative people. This hypothesis that in order to be something great, you also have to be something that sucks.  You cannot possibly be great and okay at the same time.

I’m not immune to this complex. How can I be when it appears to have been true since the dawn of storytelling? How many fucking A Star Is Borns need to be made to confirm that this is the way it is?? Happy is mediocre! Broken is important!

(And YES I know Judy was in the 1954 version of a Star Is Born and YES I know she didn’t win the Oscar in a huge upset and YES I know they even had a camera crew at the hospital where she had just given birth to her son so she could accept the Oscar on air at the hospital but she didn’t win and that is very sad but that is also showbiz, kid.)

There’s a moment in Judy At Carnegie Hall, right near the final song, where she proudly proclaims that she will “sing them all and we’ll sing all night!” It’s my favorite part of the album, even though I know fully well that what she’s actually saying is she doesn’t want to get off the stage. She doesn’t want to go back to her real life.

Why do I revel in her misery? Can I not? Can we not?

I love Judy because as my ghost friend I can always choose to find her at her happiest AND her greatest. She makes it seem possible, even if for her it wasn’t. And in the weirdest of ways, her popping up always gets me out of my worried melancholy.

Judy Garland inspires me to find the balance of being okay and being great. It’s a noble quest, one I will likely spend the rest of my life trying to find – but at least I’ll not be alone.

Judy’s with me, baby.

She’s with me always.

Come rain or come shine.

– One L

“Personally, I think I have too much bloom. Maybe that’s the trouble with me.” – Judy Garland, Meet Me In St. Louis



I have successfully written a monthly blog for a number of years now. I am very proud of this blog – even if no one reads it. I enjoy writing on and about things that strike my fancy, and these entries have created a nice time capsule for who I am/was over the years.

These last 6 months of writing here, however, have felt more like a dreaded homework assignment over a fun, writing exercise. I am learning in this new year that I am stretched a little too thin, and not really living so much as doing a list of various tasks daily. I want to change that. I want to be happy, and want to prioritize my happiness and prioritize how I am choosing to live my life. That means taking a few things off my plate.

So, that said, I will no longer be doing a monthly blog post. This doesn’t mean this blog is done, far from it, (in fact I am working on a post about my love for Judy Garland, stay tuned!) – it simply means that I am allowing myself more time to write entries that mean something to me – that allows me to play with prose and talk about things I am passionate about without this ticking time clock and an attitude of “oh fuck it, I’ll just post whatever.”

I don’t want this to be a “whatever” blog, so it needs to cease being monthly.

Whew! I few better already. Again, stay tuned for the next entry — whenever it may be!

– On L

“Happiness is the moment before you need more happiness.” – Don Draper, Mad Men

Screen Time

Scroll scroll

Link in the bio

Scroll scroll

Cinco de Mayo

looked fun

For my sister-in-law, the mother-to-be

She set up piñatas, her marg was booze free

She had fun fun

On cinco de mayo

Now back to the feed

we scroll

Scroll Scroll

A puppy in dirt

Scroll scroll

Oh that’s a cute skirt

I can’t

Pull off that look, my stomach’s too squish

My skin is too pasty, and I have no tush

To feel good good

In that cute little skirt

So back to the feed

we scroll

Scroll scroll

Stop with comparing

Scroll scroll

That’s oversharing

No one

Wants pictures of that, hangnails on your toes

The stitches you got, or other things gross

It’s all barf, barf

Stop TMI-ing (Tom)

Now back to the feed

we scroll

Scroll scroll

Scroll scroll

Scroll scroll

Scroll scroll

The day is over

And all we have to show for is

tired eyes


– One L

and death i think is no parenthesis” – e.e. cummings

Things Only My Love And I Find Funny

I’m getting married to my dude this month– so in his honor here is a post only he will laugh at.

– “Where Did It Go?” – a quote from SNL in 2009 when Justin Timberlake was hosting and the sketch, “Immigrant Tale”, had JT playing his great great grandfather on a boat coming to America telling other immigrants about the dreams he has for his great great grandson (very meta). Cornelius Timberlake says he dreams that his great great grandson will someday bring sexy back. Bobby Moynihan then says, “Bring sexy back? What does that mean?” JT: “It will be gone and he will bring it back.” And then at that point, Will Forte, who can basically make us laugh by just standing there, slowly says in an undistinguishable accent: “Where… did… it…. go?”  Zach and I say it all the time when we’re looking for things, and it’s now to an exaggerated point that it doesn’t even sound like Forte anymore, and that’s why it makes us laugh.

– The Tiny Crab On Pirates Of The Caribbean At Disneyland – Blink and you’ll miss her, but one of the first set-ups on the pirates ride has a bunch of skeletons on an island who have clearly died in a sword fight, and in the shadows there is this little robot crab with his claws up, pinching away, as if he is still part of the fight. The corpses have no flesh left on their bodies but for some reason it was important to an Imagineer to have the dumb crab still fighting the fight for maybe one or two people on the boat to see, and that’s why it makes us laugh

           Honorable mentions, even though we’re aware other people find these things funny: the end of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a baby crying every time the Haunted Mansion elevator screams.

– Taco Tuesday – the night of the week that we make no other plans and just spend quality time together. We never actually have tacos on Taco Tuesday, and that’s why it makes us laugh.

– Photos Of Our Cats – Every. Single. One. Of. Them

– Jesus Christ’s Blood – a line from In Bruges. “Yeah. So, yeah, I’m gonna go up in the queue and touch it, which is what you do.”  “Yeah? “Yeah. You coming?” “Do I have to?” “Do you have to? Of course you don’t have to. It’s Jesus’ fucking blood, isn’t it? Of course you don’t fucking have to! Of course you don’t fucking have to!” We laugh about it out of context so I’m going to post it here out of context. Jesus’s Christ’s Blood, that’s why it makes us laugh.

– The Fact That The First Verse Of Sublime’s Santeria Fits Perfectly Into The Melody Of Folsom Prison Blues By Johnny Cash – It really does and we’re working on a list of verses from other songs that fit perfectly (no, not all verses fit, unless you are pushing or shoving words, you know?) It’s a weird juxtaposition hearing a 90’s banf lyric in the form of a legendary lick and that’s why it makes us laugh.

– The Good Med Student – We have never seen the show The Good Doctor, but we know it’s about a real good doctor who happens to have severe autism that works in a busy hospital in a city. One day we realized that it would be way more fascinating to see how that character got through in med school! Did he have friends? Did they keep telling him he couldn’t make it and he constantly proved them wrong? Is this the season he may have to drop out of med school? How did he pay for it? Did he get a cool scholarship from a support team who will always stay by his side because he is the first person with autism to be admitted to that particular med school? The Good Doctor skips all that juicy good plot and gets right to him just in the job. But what about a person working toward getting the dream job? Right?? The reason we laugh is because we know it’s only a matter of time before that prequel show is made and it’s definitely be called The Good Med Student and it’s going to be so satisfiying when that happens and we called it and that’s why it makes us laugh.

– Sluck – A line from a Michael Buble song Just Haven’t Met You Yet where two words he says next to eachother sounds like “sluck.” Lyric: I guess it’s have timing, and the otherhalf’s luck. Wethink it should totally be a new word that means half luck half something else. It’s sluck. Used in a sentence: “I passed med school with autism because I had a focused, brilliant mind, a passion for saving lives, and, I guess, a little bit of luck, so I guess you could say I passed med school with sluck.” The only reason we don’t think it’s a word is it sounds awfully close to slut, which is a shame but regardless Buble invented it in his song on accident and that’s why it makes us laugh.

– Baby Metal Performing The Song Gimme Chocolate On Stephen Colbert – just watch it for yourself, it is awesome:– that’s why it makes us laugh.

– It Should’ve Been Us – a song by Tori Kelly. There was a year that we were in and/or attended a bazillion weddings and every time this song played on the dance floor, Zach and I would belt “it should have been us!” as in we should be the ones who got married. Hey, now we’re getting married. I guess it doesn’t make us anymore.

       Honorable mention: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran – another good belter on a wedding dance floor “SO BABY NOW….”

– One L


I Forgot To Post In November Because I Was So Busy

So please enjoy some of my favorite movie quotes:

Check-Out Woman: Where’s your mom?

Kevin McCallister: In the car.

Check-Out Woman: Where’s your father?

Kevin McCallister: He’s at work.

Check-Out Woman: What about your brothers and sisters?

Kevin McCallister: I’m an only child.

Check-Out Woman: Where do you live?

Kevin McCallister: I can’t tell you that.

Check-Out Woman: Why not?

Kevin McCallister: Because you’re a stranger.


Jimmy: [Speaking about Diane Dane ] She told me never trust a label. And I’m beginning to believe her.

Lenny: Well, sure. I mean, come on. They put us up in a first class hotel, all expenses paid, while our record climbs the charts; bunch of lyin’ snakes.

Jimmy: Sorry I’m buggin’ you! I guess I’m alone in my principles.

[leaves the room]

Lenny: Oh come on. Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song “Alone in my principles.”


Phillips: It’s easy when you play with rejects and a fat kid, Rodriguez.

Benny: Shut your mouth, Phillips!

Ham Porter: What’d you say, crap face?

Phillips: You shouldn’t be allowed to touch a baseball. Except for Rodriguez, you’re all an insult to the game.

Ham Porter: Come on! We’ll take you on, right here! Right now! Come on!

Sandlot Kids: Yeah!

Phillips: We play on a real diamond, Porter. You ain’t good enough to lick the dirt off our cleats.

Ham Porter: Watch it, jerk!

Phillips: Shut up, idiot!

Ham Porter: Moron!

Phillips: Scab eater!

Ham Porter: Butt sniffer!

Phillips: Pus licker!

Ham Porter: Fart smeller!

Bertram: [sniffs] Ahh.

Phillips: You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!

Ham Porter: You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!

Sandlot Kids: Yeah!

Phillips: You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!

Ham Porter: You play ball like a giiirrrrrrrrl!

[entire group stands in shocked silence]

Phillips: What did you say?

Ham Porter: You heard me.

Phillips: Tomorrow. Noon, at our field. Be there, buffalo-butt breath.

Ham Porter: Count on it, pee-drinking crap-face!


Ken: Up there, the top altar, is a vial brought back by a Flemish knight from the Crusades in the Holy Land. And that vial, do you know what it’s said to contain?

Ray: No, what’s it said to contain?

Ken: It’s said to contain some drops of Jesus Christ’s blood. Yeah, that’s how this church got its name. Basilica of the Holy Blood.

Ray: Yeah. Yeah.

Ken: And this blood, right, though it’s dried blood, at different times over many years, they say it turned back into liquid. Turned back into liquid from dried blood. At various times of great stress.

Ray: Yeah?

Ken: Yeah. So, yeah, I’m gonna go up in the queue and touch it, which is what you do.

Ray: Yeah?

Ken: Yeah. You coming?

Ray: Do I have to?

Ken: Do you have to? Of course you don’t have to. It’s Jesus’ fucking blood, isn’t it? Of course you don’t fucking have to! Of *course* you don’t fucking have to!


Dorothy: It really was no miracle. What happened was just this…

Dorothy: [singing] The wind began to switch / The house, to pitch / And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch / Just then the Witch / To satisfy an itch / Went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch!

Munchkin: And, oh, what happened then was rich!

Munchkins: [singing] The house began to pitch / The kitchen took a slich / It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch / Which was not a happy situation for the Wicked Witch!


Nun: Who can name all the apostles? Yes, Delores?

Little Delores: John, Paul, George… and Ringo!


Jimmy Dugan: Taking a little day trip?

Dottie Hinson: No, Bob and I are driving home. To Oregon.

Jimmy Dugan: [long pause] You know, I really thought you were a ballplayer.

Dottie Hinson: Well, you were wrong.

Jimmy Dugan: Was I?

Dottie Hinson: Yeah. It is only a game, Jimmy. It’s only a game, and, and, I don’t need this. I have Bob; I don’t need this. At all.

Jimmy Dugan: I, I gave away five years at the end my career, drinking. Five years. And now there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give to get back any one day of it.

Dottie Hinson: Well, we’re different.

Jimmy Dugan: This is chickenshit, Dottie, if you want to go back to Oregon and make a hundred babies, great, I’m in no position to tell anyone how to live. But sneaking out like this, quitting, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.

Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.

Jimmy Dugan: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.


Jude: [about Paco] He’s a shagger.

Lucy: A what?

Jude: A shagger… a Dong Juan. A seducer of young, vulnerable women.


John Hammond: [as they gather around a baby dinosaur hatching from its egg] I’ve been present for the birth of every little creature on this island.

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Surely not the ones that are bred in the wild?

Henry Wu: Actually they can’t breed in the wild. Population control is one of our security precautions. There’s no unauthorized breeding in Jurassic Park.

Dr. Ian Malcolm: How do you know they can’t breed?

Henry Wu: Well, because all the animals in Jurassic Park are female. We’ve engineered them that way.

[they take the baby dinosaur out of its egg. A robot arm picks up the shell out of Grant’s hand and puts it back down]

Dr. Ian Malcolm: But again, how do you know they’re all female? Does somebody go out into the park and pull up the dinosaurs’ skirts?

Henry Wu: We control their chromosomes. It’s really not that difficult. All vertebrate embryos are inherently female anyway, they just require an extra hormone given at the right developmental stage to make them male. We simply deny them that.

Dr. Ellie Sattler: Deny them that?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: John, the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

John Hammond: [sardonically] There it is.

Henry Wu: You’re implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will… breed?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: No. I’m, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.



– One L

25 Things I Learned At My Bachelorette Party

Hi. I had my bachelorette party this month. It was a lot of fun. Here’s what I learned that weekend.

  1. That having a Best Man instead of a Maid Of Honor was the best decision ever. (Thanks John!)
  2. That I get heartburn when I drink an old fashioned, three seven and sevens, two Hazy IPAs and eat Chinese food (who knew?).
  3. That while I hate crafts, I love watching other people do crafts about me while I drink and take selfies.
  4. That if an AirBnB house has a fireplace in literally every room and has a beautiful exotic bathtub in literally every bathroom and has no furniture in any room except for beds, just… beds, then it is very likely that the house is a porn house, and you should photograph it as much as possible.
  5. That any LA weekend in October will be unbearably hot, unless it’s the weekend you want to lay out by a pool, in which case it won’t be hot, but uncharacteristically rainy.
  6. That red peppers shaped as penises printed on to socks is a very real thing someone will buy for you.
  7. That co-ed is the new girls only.
  8. That I never thought I’d wear a bride sash, but then I got the bride sash and I wanted nothing more than to wear it forever.
  9. That every single one of my friends knows how to do their hair better than me.
  10. That when in doubt, find the blueprints of the weird house and thoroughly look through them just to try to make sense of it all.
  11. That none of my friends know how to play pool.
  12. That I will cry when things are so awesome I can’t handle it, like seeing all your favorite people in one big room, as well as reading old emails from 2010.
  13. That if you set a ten second camera timer and tell everyone to keep a straight face for the picture, one second before the photo snaps someone will break and that someone will be Mariah.
  14. That holding a card with your chin is bad for your neck.
  15. That bachelorette truths are more fun than bachelorette dares because then you can ask people sentimental questions that makes everyone go: “ahhhhhhh.”
  16. That the only reason one should invite their fiancé to their party on the second night is so he will jump into a freezing swimming pool in front of everyone at one in the morning.
  17. That a mail slot that drops into the corner of a living room is just as logical as a mail slot that goes through the front door.
  18. That bachelorette bingo will lead some out-of-towners to believe they have met a former child star.
  19. That a bottle of champagne, a bottle of rose, and 12 Coors Lites is the proper endowment to present to a Colorado girl in the absence of attending.
  20. That my friends clean up nice.
  21. That my friends like champagne.
  22. That my friends will pose for photos.
  23. That my friends are great at making me feel loved.
  24. That I am in my 30s and after it was all done, boy was I tired.
  25. That this might have been one of my favorite weekends of my life, but it’s all leading up to a bigger one in a few months.

– One L

“Ladies. Focus. I found the blueprints.”

Bucket List For The Vain Dreamer  – Part 3

The third installment of my vain, nearly impossible bucket list. Read the first entry here
and my second entry here.

And now we continue….

61. Have Buffalo Exchange take all of my trade in items.
62. Be in the next season of Jack Ryan as the POW who may have been turned but no one knows for sure especially Jack Ryan who, after all, is “just an analyst.”
63. Have sick ass arms that can only be described as “to-ight.”
64. Just, like, know Tig Notaro.
65. Have Emma Thompson play my mother in a fun and poignant rom com about age gap romances.
66. Be complimented after singing a karaoke song AND DESERVE IT.
67. Create an Etsy shop called “Stuff Alison Wants” based on items I wish existed in real life (that I proclaim I’d like to have via twitter) and all the shop is is just someone making said items for me but then other people would totally like the stuff and buy it too. Example product: A t-shirt with a photo of Monica from Friends on it that says “I’m Breezy.”
68. Be able to name a beer.
69. Do a scene on Sesame Street with Big Bird.
70. Throw out a first pitch at a Colorado Rockies game.
71. Beat my fiancé at Connect Four.
72. Live in a world where I don’t have to carry mace when I jog.
73. Be a talking head character in the next season of American Vandal.
74. Wear a fancy dress on loan from a designer, but like a cool, hip designer like the one Helena Bonham Carter plays in Ocean’s 8, and then nail the joke when they inevitably ask me “Who Are You Wearing?” (Spoiler: I’ll say “his name is Roger.”)
75. Have the one online feud with Trump that will lead to his demise (a final nail in the coffin fight) and end his reign as our president once and for all because I said the exact thing that would get him to admit something that is so very very illegal that he is done sonnnnnnn.
76. Afford a therapist that I like.
77. Host a travel show even though I have no qualifications to do so.
78. Just , like, be in the Marvel Universe.
79. Play the guitar at a Beyonce concert, once I learn how to play a guitar.
80. Have a holiday tradition that is so adorable and pretty it gets written about in magazines.
81. Have my name be the standard with how you spell Alison.
82. Buy gym shoes NOT from Payless, but like from a real gym place.
83. Finally have good hair… yes, like Becky.
84. Be a guest on the WTF podcast with Marc Maron that he refers back to a lot in later episodes.
85. Just, like, make fall happen in LA somehow.
86. Throw a big bash like Billy Madison did every time he passed a grade.
87. Get an award so I can thank my mom and dad and my future husband and my brothers and my best friend and all my friends and my reps and the people I work with.
88. Get my makeup done while lying down – only because that seems like an important person thing.
90. But what I really wanna do is direct.


– One L

“Dream a little dream of me…” – Mama Cass

You Don’t Got It

Ever feel like you don’t got it? Like at some point you must have got it, only you didn’t know at the time that you got it, and it’s only now that you realized that you definitely had got it once before because what you are currently feeling is the absence of gotting it, which can only be felt if you had got it in the first place and now you wish you would’ve appreciated it when you had got it then, because now you definitely don’t got it and so you’ve got to spend the rest of your life figuring out how to get it again if being able to get it is even possible now. Ever feel that?

Ever wonder if it was actually easier at some point? Like maybe it didn’t feel easier to you at the time because your world was smaller then so obviously the stakes in that world were higher, but it most definitely was easier because as your world got bigger the stakes increased in amount and even though they decreased in highness you have piled up so many  stakes that the sheer amount of these low stakes have added up to become incredibly hard and if only you had less of these stakes, which could only happen in a smaller world, then maybe you would be able to manager it all easier but was it really ever easier or does it always break even with the balancing out of world and stake sizes? Ever wonder about that?

Ever think about if you’ve ever really changed? Like maybe the ability to change is a falsehood that we all think is real when in actuality the essence that has been you since birth can never go away, and even though you have hypothetically “grown” and “flourished” and “changed” into a relatively newish person over time, your “change” is essentially not but rather just an elaborate reveal of the core trait you’ve always had inside of you, and it’s only a matter of time before you realize that no matter how much you try you can’t be someone completely different, you can only be a maybe less shitty or more okay you? Ever think about that?

Ever stare at your face in a mirror saying: “This is me. This is me. This is who I am. I am only me and no one else. I am in this vessel of a body and will forever be in this vessel. I will never be in anyone else’s vessel. I can never be anyone else. I only get to view this world in this specific place as me and never in the place of someone else. And also no one will ever get to really view my world from my exact place but me…” until it clicks for a half second and totally freaks you out? Ever stare like that?

Ever worry that you are missing something completely obvious that everyone around you universally understands and assumes you know and once you finally figure out this obvious something the relief is only temporary because it just means there’s now likely a very new completely obvious something that you are missing out on that everyone else universally understands and assumes you know that didn’t exist until you discovered the first obvious something? Ever worry about that?

Ever focus on breathing for so long that it becomes this sort of panicky oh no if I stop thinking about breathing I will stop breathing altogether and eventually die thought followed by a how stupid of me to think about breathing in the first place it’s something that comes naturally and yet here I am stuck thinking about breathing until end times thought? Ever focus on that?

Ever consider the extreme barriers of language and how knowing the very real superiority that music has over our ability to emote is proof that there is likely some bigger form of communication out there that goes beyond language and music that wholly embodies a feeling we will never be able to express because we are trapped by the confines of language? Ever consider that?

Ever feel and wonder and think and stare and worry and focus and consider only to conclude that yep, you definitely don’t



Really? That’s weird. I don’t.

– One L

“You’re very clever, young man, very clever. But it’s turtles all the way down.” – Old Anecdote

Admit One

I know I have graduated into a certain level of adulthood when new, joyful and unshakeable absolutes appear in my every day life. I love me a good documentary. I enjoy a healthy shake in the morning. I prefer day drinking to night drinking. Randomly going to bed at 9pm makes me feel accomplished. I’m a fan of an organized spreadsheet.

But no other experience quite solidifies my secureness in adulthood more than my new favorite hobby: going to the movies alone.

Now I am not saying I don’t like attending movies with others. I love it, actually. Zach is an amazing movie date, and when a real epic flick hits the screen it is always satisfying to make the experience even more epic with joining a large group eager to devour and dissect (the Star Wars franchise) afterward.

It’s just, included in these fun movies trips, there’s the pure joy of simply going to a movie by myself. It’s a date I take myself on, where I get some desired me time.

It’s to die for. And I love that I do it.

This hobby of being a solo movie seeker is of course aided by two very significant things in my life: 1. I got Moviepass as a Christmas gift so essentially every film I see is on the house (thanks Mom and Dad!) and 2. I am very unemployed right now.

I don’t want to get into the heaviness of the latter (ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!), or the shameless plug of the former (thumbs up to Moviepass though!) but I do want to acknowledge that if either of these things were not true, I would not be writing this blog post today. So, apologies if someone reading this is all like: “Well, I work full time and don’t have a free movie a day so I will get nothing insightful from this post!” First of all, awwwww, thanks for thinking my posts are insightful! And second of all, I just made you up so who cares?

I think seeing a movie alone goes beyond the simple act of doing it. I think it’s an acknowledgement of one’s own comfortability, a statement about one’s capacity to be alone. Considering I find myself incredibly uncomfortable in most situations, the fact that I can do this without a care in the world is a huge, unlockable achievement.

I remember the first time I saw a movie alone. I was a senior in high school and I had it in my mind that I wanted to see Garden State all by myself. It wasn’t an “on a whim” decision, I set out an objective. I had to marinate in it for a long ass time. Seeing this movie all by myself was a test of my strength, not a leisurely self date.

I remember specifically choosing a movie theater that was a 45 minutes away just so I could minimize me running into people I know. I remember buying my ticket, nervous as fuck, and only after I held my cell phone to my ear and pretended to have a conversation with my very close, very fictitious friend. “Okay great, save me a seat,” I said into my Nokia as I handed the cash to the ticket teller, just in case the teller was invested in whether on not I was really seeing a movie by myself. (The acting was choice, I surely convinced him I was meeting a very very important friend on the inside.) I bought myself a small popcorn and diet coke, stalling to get into the theater because the plan was to walk in when the lights were dim so no one would see me. I sat in the back so again no one could depict the outline of this lone wolf high school girl, empty seats on both sides of her, ready and excited to see Zach Braff wax poetic about death and… I wanna say, love?

After the movie was over, I sprinted out of the theater before the credits started so again no one could see me in the light. I quickly got to my car, slammed the door, and smiled. I did it. I saw a movie all by myself. I was an independent, albeit still nervous as hell that anyone saw me, woman. Hear me (quietly) roar!

The only snag with my Garden State solo escapade is I actually completely fell in love with that movie, (White high school girl who was a die hard Scrubs fan and soundtrack lover. This movie was made for my exact demographic. I am scared it does not hold up.) and since I saw it all by myself, I had absolutely no one to talk about it with. I had to wait until my friends who were old enough to see a rated R movie went to see it, and then I had to pretend I was with them when they did.

But besides that hiccup (What? Should I have seen a bad movie?) I had crossed the threshold of seeing movies alone. And I was hooked.

I often go back to when I was 18 and terrified to be by myself in a movie theater. It’s such an amazing representation of my youth, I think. Of youth in general. The world is so small, and the stakes are so high: every little decision matters. The fact is, it wasn’t that high school me hated being alone, it was that I cared too much about what other people would think of me and my aloneness.

The majority of adolescence is spent trying to sidestep being called a loser.

Adulthood is making the loser cool again.

Cuz now, I can’t get enough of alone time in the movies. I could give a fuck if people see me there. In fact, I assume they think I’m badass, or at the very least, that I write an intense movie blog or something. (Or, more accurately, they don’t think of me at all!) I love going to the movies alone so much that it makes me sad when I’ve seen most of them (again, unemployed here, ey-yo!), and it makes me wonder if there is anything comparable to solo trips to the theater.

There are, kind of. I like hikes by myself, but not when it’s 10000000 fuck degrees out. Jogging is nice too, but see above (and also that’s not a date, that’s work.) I like reading, but reading feels less eventful/accomplished than the self movie date. (When you read you’re just sitting on a couch, or if you’re rich, on a very cool hammock.) There’s doing meals alone, but I guess I’m a show over a dinner kinda gal. Plus I don’t eat. (LA joke!) I could go for a solo walk on the beach but…. Hahahahahahaha sorry I couldn’t even get through that one.  I hate the sun so much.

With the movies, I feel accomplished, like I completed a task. I am going into public and taking myself on a journey. And that journey begins in a dark, air conditioned room that smells like buttery popcorn goodness. And then, while in said room, I get to be entertained with a story. And then I get inspired to tell/write/perform my own stories. It really is a complete package. It has all the things I like about aloneness.

The only caveat I have with my present day solo movie going agenda is I’m getting a little too dependent on it. I maybe need to ease up on my need to get out of dodge and jump into a Spike Lee joint.

Because lately, I have been sad. A little lost and a little sad. Not in an overall sort of way. I mean, I have a lot of exciting things coming up, (Namely getting married to the love of my life at the end of the year!) but at the moment, yeah, I’ve been waking up and having this crazy, unspecified desire to cry. And do you know the perfect place to cry?

A dark, air conditioned room, smelling of buttery popcorn goodness.

Granted it’s not like I’m not going into the theater just to cry. I am more just allowing the movies to stupidly affect me in a way that they didn’t before: I’m caring about the dad’s love for his daughter soooo much, I’m inspired that The Incredibles worked together as a family, I am livid that Bobby Brown married Whitney and destroyed her life, and I think Winnie The Pooh is too cute to handle.

It feels so good to cry in there. I sort of love it.

Add it to my list of new, joyful and unshakeable adulthood absolutes.

There’s nothing like a good cry.

But I know these movie theater tears are probably a result of bigger things I ought to deal with. I am aware that this sorrow comes from my anger toward our country’s complacency, my helplessness with not working at the moment, my worry over finances, the sting of being cut from a comedy program, the confusion from the brief job I had that was cancelled, the guilt from the honest relief I have with being done with both of those things, and the worry of my own significance in this world.

I guess it’s nice to set all that aside and for a brief hour or two to be alone with my inner loser. Because honestly, that loser is a badass.

I like the person I am when I’m going to the movies by myself. I think her independence, her curiosity, and her comfortability with being alone must make her pretty unstoppable in other aspects in life. Plus, she’s really up to date with pop culture.

I’m okay with having a “rowdy” Saturday night of drinking a beer and petting my cats. I love not wearing makeup when it’s hot out. I am super satisfied and relaxed after I vacuum my entire apartment. I like attending dinner parties where we bring a bottle of wine and do that kissy huggy thing at the doorway. I enjoy playing old records in the background while talking about other people’s babies. I believe in the power of meditation.

And I love going to the movies alone.

Now, what’s playing?

– One L

“When a movie character is really working, we become that character. That’s what the movies offer: Escapism into lives other than our own.” – Roger Ebert

A Small Story

At the beginning of June, my cat died.  So I want to talk about that today.

I’ve talked about my cats before on this blog. (see here) This one, the one who died, was Smalls. He was our first cat (between Zach and I, I mean), he was a good cat, he died way too young from a sad cat disease (FIP) and I am very sad.

That’s the gist of it. That’s the whole story. It’s a small story, and at the same time a Smalls story.

Oh, yeah, Story.

Our other cat, Story, is totally healthy and fine but sad. We plan to get another kitty soon to help with her and our sadness.

And that is that.

Smalls had such a small, short life. Zach and I would joke that he probably thought of our apartment like the Jacob Tremblay character thought of the room in the movie Room. Running from place to place, meowing: “Hello table, hello dog bed from amazon that is my bed, hello TV, hello bookshelf I’m not allowed to climb…” Smalls’s whole existence was in a one bedroom apartment in North Hollywood.  I’m okay that that was his whole existence, I’m never going to be a person who walks our cat, I’m just acknowledging that is was small.

Pet lovers and friends alike have told us Smalls was really happy with us when he was alive, and we should be satisfied that we gave him a good life. But, the truth is, I don’t know… was he happy?  I’m not writing this to prod animal behavior experts to weigh in on Smalls’s level of contentment. For all intents and purposes, Smalls was a very happy animal. I’m pretty sure of it. But at the same time, I don’t honestly know! We, as humans, don’t ever get to know, really. Because animals don’t speak human speak. They bark, they meow, they purr. We just interpret their body language and behavior and, through many years of analysis by people who are much more passionate and smarter about the topic than me, we have determined what is “good” and “bad” and “happy” and “sad” in animal world and can zero in on what the long desired “happy animal” tends to be like.  Just as we have zeroed in on what a “good” animal is, and even if an animal is not technically good, we love the fuck out of them anyway.

I don’t know if Smalls was a good cat.  But Smalls was good for us. He was good to us.

Growing up I had a dog named Lobo (who had a pretty remarkable lost dog story, read about it here) who, in my eyes, was the absolute best dog in the world. He was quite a character. Excitable. Tail wagging. Loud. Loving.

He was also super overweight, and had fat deposits hanging off his belly and he farted a lot, and when you walked him he pulled so much that he was dragging you.

But still, to me, Lobo was the best. And he was happy. (I think.) And I loved him.

As I loved Smalls. Smalls was the best too.

I bet you’re wondering what my fucking point is.

I guess when I reflect on Smalls’s death, I find myself in awe that people can whole heartedly and deeply love something they never get to truly understand.

Zach and I probably knew Smalls better than we know most people in our lives.  And yet, in a weird way, we didn’t know the little dude at all. I had no idea what he was thinking or feeling at any given time. Everything was just an educated guess.

Again, we would joke that Smalls called us “The tall one” and “the not tall one” in his head, saying things to himself like: “I like the tall one more, though the not tall one is okay too.”  But, really, who knows? Who the fuck knows?

A pet is a chronic mystery. Their whole world is small and at the same time, an endless abyss of the unknown.

And I think that’s pretty cool, that we didn’t know everything about our pet. That’s part of having one, I think. That is part of what makes the relationship with an animal so special.

Because nothing is more human than loving something you don’t quite understand.

It’s also pretty fucking human to decide what is the “best,” even when it’s definitely not the best. And sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes being able to do that is important. Loving flaws is inherently good.

It’s hard to point out Smalls’s flaws, (as opposed to Lobo). Smalls was friendly, but not obnoxiously friendly. He wasn’t mean. He slept a lot. He was sort of fat. In essence, Smalls was pretty unremarkable. I mean, it’s not like he saved us from a burning building or hated Mondays or anything.

But, again, that doesn’t fucking matter. Because to me and Zach, Smalls was the best! He was the best at sitting on our laps and purring. He was the best at playing with toys and eating. He was the best at being around.

Zach and I were almost annoying in our excitement over his unremarkable ways. I’m not stupid. I am well aware that friends and family likely rolled their eyes at our pet obsession. The long list we left for pet sitters, the stupid amount of pictures we posted and sent via group family texts in response to actual achievements, like a baby’s first step or a job promotion. That said, Zach and I have made no apologies about the importance of our cats. After all, it’s our life, and this is how we live it.

When I take a step out of our small (yet Small-less) apartment, and I take an even bigger step out of LA living, and an even bigger step after that, I’m aware that there are much more major things happening in the world right now.

In short, the world totally sucks, you guys.

It’s angry. We’re all angry. We’re all angry at each other and especially the other. And it’s hard to understand people in this divisive, tribal-istic, hateful period that I believe historians will call “The Dumbest Times.” (see tweet) And to have my cat suddenly die on top of everything can easily be looked at as the diarrhea on top of an already shit dipped poop sandwich.

And it is. I don’t even want to get into my fear of joblessness at the moment. Or my helplessness in what was once exciting political efforts to change our current situation. Or Bourdain. Or Roseanne. Or my own self worth. Or immigrant children being taken from their parents. Or fear about how to afford my wedding. Or how one has to have a sex tape in order to meet a reality star president to do one tiny thing in the spirit of prison reform… but I digress.

In a way, while reflecting on Smalls makes me sad it also weirdly gives me a sliver of hope for people. Not to sound dramatic, but yes I am talking about HOPE FOR HUMANITY, folks!

Smalls reminds me that as individuals, we are amazingly good at love. We have an innate ability to love something we don’t even fucking understand. And we don’t give up on trying to understand it, either. We do our best with the knowledge we have, and regardless, our love is sincere. We don’t ask what we love to be anything different, because we know in its own little way, it’s the best.

It’s inherently human to feel that way. It’s inherently human to love the unknown.

And if I am crying over my 3 year old cat Smalls, I am reminded that we have the capacity to love many things even if it takes us forever to understand it. We can find the love and the care needed to be better human beings to each other. Just give it a whirl. Try to care about the things, and the people, you don’t understand.

Smalls didn’t see much or do much in this world, which is okay, he still had a small impact. His death just reminds me that we get a lot longer time to do much and see much in this world. And with that time I have some faith in people having an impact for good.

If we can lean in to loving the other that we don’t quite understand, maybe the other will figure out a way to love back.

Thanks for everything, Smallsy. You’ll be missed. And people, let’s figure out a way to stop being so angry. I know we are capable of loving the other instead.

– One L

“You’re killing me Smalls” –  Sandlot