The Ultimate High Five

*****WARNING WARNING ALL THE SPOILERS EVERY SPOILER WARNING WARNING*****

Guys, CBS’s once-great sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, is over. And I, who have been begging for the formerly hilarious, more recently hokey and lazy show to end, am devastated. I’m an easy crier, but I think I bruised something watching that episode. My heart.

The episode starts out with Ted being the absolute fucking worst, as is his wont, by making someone else’s wedding reception all about him. Ted is leaving tomorrow for Chicago, even though tonight is Barney and Robin’s wedding reception. Jesus. I have clutched many a friend’s hand over the year, fearfully asking, “What if I’m Ted?!”Now? I’m good.Ok Im Ok

Then Ted is annoyed by an older woman at a bus station. Go-ud, lady! Can’t you see Ted is trying to feel feelings about a moment he’s artificially infused with drama? Then there is romance (interspersed throughout many, many other scenes).

I knew I was going to need a bigger wine glass was when Robin, now divorced from Barney, reveals that she has to step away from the gang. The fissure is what makes this show great. Rarely does a group of friends have as dramatic a dynamic as these five, but the love they share is very relatable. And the idea that we can’t stay young and close forever is an omnipresent reality for those of us who were young and foolish at the same time as Robin, Barney, Lily, Marshall, and even fucking Ted. It’s the real thing from a show that gave up trying to give us a funny, honest reflection of reality a long time ago.Close

I realized there was no glass of wine big enough for this evening when Barney holds his daughter and tells her he’s fallen in love with her. Ugh, the same clichés I’ve been bitching about for two seasons had now turned on me like Wormtail’s artificial hand, ready to snatch the very breath from my lungs.

I cried so hard I choked on a carrot.

It only got uglier. “Even when she got sick…” referencing the mother (Tracy)’s tragic demise that leaves Ted, now somehow slightly less annoying, widowed and raising his two patient children.  I’m re-tearing realizing Ted, who wanted a wife so badly, really only had one for a few, very short years.cool cool

People will hate it, but Ted and Robin should end up together. The show should end with that stupid blue French horn. The show was a journey about love, a love so great that it survives two terrible seasons of a sitcom and comes out on the other end somehow still believable. I give it four and a half out of five Roseanne finales.

I hope all of you who loved, and maybe hated, How I Met Your Mother enjoy the rest of your evenings. Do not watch anything else serious on television. Someone in this studio apartment just told Once Upon a Time that she didn’t have room for it in her heart for it tonight.

Good luck gang.Kk

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A Little Story From Out West

Happy Monday little pandas! Sorry there are no memes, all the news seemed either too sad (wage disparity, the second attack on protesters in Egypt, every train/plane/boat crash) or too obvious (Lindsey Lohan is out of rehab on Thursday, Shep Smith loves True Blood, the royal baby is in the world) to meme this week. Please accept this panda picture and a little story instead.Panda

Last week, I was in Wyoming for my cousin’s wedding. I saw two moose and rode a horse who did not care for me, so it was all very exciting. I also met a guy who commutes between Jackson Hole and Boston. Let’s call him Ralph. We chatted at the rehearsal dinner and kind of hit it off. He makes software, I make calendar appointments. He likes mountains and I like improv comedy.

Whenever I mention that I do improv, most people react by telling me how funny they are. This is incredibly weird to me, given that when someone tells me that he is a lawyer, I don’t talk about the time I argued my way out of a speeding ticket from a bike cop in college. Ralph told me a story about how he and his friends think it’s so funny to go out and make up facts about themselves when they talk to girls. It bears mentioning that Ralph is in his forties.

I am currently trying to be more open-minded in my dating life so even though a million tiny, creepy bells were going off in my head, I told myself to not be a bitch.

By the reception the following evening, the bells in my head were getting louder and creepier though not from tangible behavior so I just tried to remain close to my family and be cool. However, just like a fawn in the woods, at some point I had to separate myself out to go get some cake.

I stood there weighing the options between strawberry lemonade and chocolate caramel when I felt a presence. I turned, and there was Ralph. He remembered another funny thing he’s always wanted to try: “Ok, so it’s my wedding and the cameras are on and everyone is there. My parents, her parents, everyone. And it comes to the ‘you may kiss the bride part,’ and it starts out real nice. Then I start biting her lip, she starts spanking me, I’m pulling her hair, then I turn her around and bend her over….”, etc.

Um.

Have you ever had someone ruin the small piece of strawberry lemon cake and small piece of chocolate caramel cake that you’ve picked out to enjoy for yourself at a family member’s wedding? It is terrible.

Biting back contempt, I responded, “There’s a bride and a groom here tonight; you should go share your idea with them.” He mumbled something about it not being the right crowd to appreciate something like that. I agreed and excused myself.

You guys, what the fuck? At best, this idea was a derivative sketch concept found in the back of every aspiring writer’s high school portfolio. Like, if you want to tell a dirty joke to a lady while her entire family is steps away in the hopes that it will somehow help you get in good with said lady, 1)make the joke funny and 2)don’t back down like a pussy as soon as she dares you to take it to the next level.

In the end, I’m grateful for that joke. Though it ruined my perfectly whipped icing and deliciously light cake, it reminded me to listen to my bells.

The Fly in the Ointment

Happy Sunday Internet! I have to say, this was one of my favorite weekends ever. A Friday night spent doing too many bits with my improv group to productively agree on dinner. A Saturday spent frustratingly waiting for someone to pick up my couch from Craigslist and then getting my own furniture delivered and being reminded why I’m glad to no longer be 22 (primarily because I wouldn’t keep someone waiting for four hours while I pretended to get a Uhaul to pick up a free couch) and catching up with Gigi, the Awesome Opossum, and the Marvelous Meerkat. A Saturday night doing my first show with our full improv team and then drinking with awesome friends. A Sunday beginning with old friends and ending with new ones. This was a great, great weekend.

Blog posts and Facebook status updates giving a laundry list of good (or bad) events over the past increment of time of someone’s life are so annoying. “I had the best sandwich I’ve ever had and then I did laundry and then I bought new shoes and then I watched Enchanted!” Who on Earth cares? But, maybe I shouldn’t be such a naysayer about the joy of others*. Life is hard. There is no perfection. There are no promises. No matter how many things are going right, there is always something that’s frustrating or sad or infuriating. There’s always someone wanting to keep you down or shut you up. It’s easy to get caught on that one frenemy or forehead zit. I’ve spent the better part of my life stuck on the chip in the glass, blinded to the perfectly chilled top shelf tequila inside of it. I’m consciously working to change that. I’m focussing on the good (of which there is so much) rather than lying awake at night obsessing about the thing that’s currently hard.

Much of that conscious change has to do with improv. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons in my time at UCB (tomorrow is my anniversary-wootwoot!). The biggest one is to unclench. I can’t plan. I can’t map out everything that’s going to happen today or tomorrow. There’s a difference between having dreams and goals and hopes, and pinning all my happiness on one specific outcome. Additionally, finding something to love and people to love it with is a huge gift.

By nature I’m a bratty pouter. I’ve thrown temper tantrums and been passive aggressive in ways that most mature adults can’t imagine. I’m trying to break those patterns. Counting blessings over curses is a step in the right direction. I’ll be referring back to this post a lot in the weeks and months to come.

*j/k, I’ll always be a snarky b-word** at heart.

**I’m scaling back on swearing for Lent. It’s not going great. I had to rewrite that footnote like seven times to not just say “bitch”. Oh…fuck! Sorry!…d-, f-, mothe—….crap!

To Try When Your Arms Are Too Weary

Last night I as I rode the A Train home, a merchant boarded the train, peddling incense and exotic oils contained in a Ziplock bag. After shouting flavors and scents, he closed his pitch with the old adage, “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.”

I do not disagree that this must be a tough job. We are in (barely out of?) a recession. People have tightened their belts, especially on luxury items such as incense and exotic oils. I imagine getting that 11:30 PM impulse purchaser is incredibly difficult. But I don’t know that someone has to do it. Like, if no one did that job, we’d all still be ok.

For the record, I hate incense. It is the last thing left on earth that really bothers my asthma.

For the record, I hate incense. It is the last thing left on earth that bothers my asthma.

But there are jobs in this world that someone indeed must do. On Sunday night, I met the runner up of the 200_* Rock/Paper/Scissors World Championship**. Let’s call him Adam. I am always delighted to find someone who has dedicated his life to something that I have never even thought about as a thing. Multiply said delight times twenty if I’m drinking when we meet. It all began when Adam approached my group and offered to play any of us in Rock/Paper/Scissors for a dollar. Word to the wise: if someone ever comes up to you in a bar, claiming to be an expert in something that he or she will show you for a dollar, you are in for a treat.

I refused the initial challenge, but took the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the world of competitive Rock/Paper/Scissors-ing. I learned the serpent’s kiss of his 2006 taste of greatness: he continues to return year after year, never again reaching those heights. Sadly, this year the official chairman of the Rock/Paper/Scissors World Championship passed away. Adam plans to step fill those shoes. Unfortunately, due to his own strong R/P/S ethic, he refuses to simultaneously chair and compete. So unless he can raise the money from an independent sponsor, he will have to sit out this year, once again brushing up against glory unable to lean into its tantalizing embrace.

Sometimes there is no context for a panda picture.

Sometimes there is no context for a panda picture.

I am not judging Adam. This world is hard and if you find something you love, you should pursue it to the limits of time and space. I like to play make believe with my friends, sometimes to music. It is my passion and I still dream of doing it professionally. When asked what makes me pursue such an ambition, I long for as true a response as my new-found friend, who simply taps on his beer and winks and sort of makes a clicking noise with his mouth.

For the record, we did play Rock/Paper/Scissors that night, free of charge. He beat me two out of three***.

it's all there

* I fact checked him on the internet, so this is a real thing, but he doesn’t need the whole world to know this story.

** Narrowly beaten by Australia right at the end.

***For the double record, that may be his MO to get girls. I cannot attest to that success rate.