I’m Not Paranoid, But…

I’m not saying I’m paranoid, but if you have a Mac (or a computer in general), then you’ve probably noticed the little green light near the camera lens glow when you haven’t turned on the camera. I’d taken to ignoring it in the past, but then I was babysitting my neighbor and she had a piece of tape over hers and I had to ask about it. It’s a precaution that is unfortunate and not altogether overcautious considering this world in which we live. Regardless of whether it’s necessary, the tape that now graces my screen makes me feel just a bit better. Let’s not be creepy, people!

I’m ashamed to admit that it didn’t take long for me to forget to snap a photo of my meals before I eat. The only meal I have to show you in the past 24 hours is this one from dinner. Chicken stir fry chock full of vibrant veggies and brown rice.

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It is a thing of wonder.

My workout yesterday consisted of strength training that hit my triceps, chest, and legs. Lately, I’ve been doing four exercises for each part of the body and three sets of fifteen reps each. It creates a good burn, but a burn nonetheless. Since focusing more on endurance, I’ve noticed that I’ve still been able to go up in weight, which is satisfying. After the strength portion, I focused on some core work before hopping on a bike for some Tabata sprints.

Other than exercising, writing, and working, I’ve been watching Chelsea Handler’s new docu-series on Netflix, Chelsea Does, and thus far, I’ve loved it. I’ve always found her funny- i.e. when I met her at a book signing and she signed my book “Caitlin sucks eggs, Love Chelsea.”- and I watched Chelsea Lately a ton, but this new series has a serious and poignant edge to it that raises a lot of good questions and portrays interesting perspectives to difficult or not well-known topics. I’ll go more in-depth once I finish the series, but I highly recommend it and I am looking forward to her new series debuting!

As to how I’m doing, I can admit that the pain isn’t as fresh, but I’m not healed. There’s a sorrowful glow that sits in my stomach. This morning, the blankets had bunched up around my legs and it reminded me of when he would curl up on my bed and later, I heard a noise that sounded like the thud Bandit would make when he jumped up on my desk. Then I remember what happened and it hits me all over again.

Yet, we keep on going because living our lives is a wondrous thing.

Joan Rivers and the Importance of the Bitter Comedian

This Thoughtful Thursday is very sad. With someone like Joan Rivers, you’re always surprised to hear old how she actually is. That kind of person, the Hollywood fixture, seems like he or she will live on forever. Death strikes me as particularly harsh when it happens so suddenly. Anyone who is of good health and mobility, who goes from the norm to death, takes the air right out of you.

It doesn’t feel right.

Many will remember Joan Rivers as the cranky old woman with the plastic face who made fun of celebrities. Sometimes I think she took a sort of pride in this, though I did not know her nor could I speak for her, but I think it was one of those things where she said, “Well, they’ll talk about it and then they’ll remember me for it.

And we are.

I’ve also never understood how people become so upset or defensive when she made fun of celebrities. Sure, sometimes she was way harsher than she should have been. Sometimes she was crass and offensive. I’m not sure how that’s different from other celebrities of her nature. Celebrities are put so high up on a pedestal, and okay yes I am guilty of this as well, but in reality, we should be making fun of them as much as we are making fun of ourselves for being so obsessed with this culture. No one should have as much power and wealth for doing what they do. Our culture being as it is, and again I do perpetuate that so I say this with a smile, celebrities do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t point out how ridiculous this is.

The biggest thing for me and so many about Joan Rivers was that she was the first true female comedian. Many point out that she had a bitter edge to her, causing her to make the jokes she did in the manner she presented it. Of course she did. In all great female comedians, and in male as well, there is a bitter tendency to them. This could in part be due to the fact that they are struggling through a male-dominated business, always needing to defend themselves as funny.

Not funny for women, but funny in general.

Chelsea Handler has too been called a bitch and a crank, but it forms a more interesting personality. We remember her for that. There’s also an intelligent purpose behind it, knowing that in order to succeed and to do her job well, she will be loud-mouthed and she will put the celebrities on blast when they do stupid things or take themselves too seriously. Celebrity culture is fun, but it’s absurd.

We see this from Tina Fey and Lena Dunham. Their shows are quirky and hilarious, but always with a touch of bitterness, as though as to say, “Eff off, just laugh.” Even in shows like Parks and Recreation, where the humor can be softened and sweet, though still hilarious and wonderful because Amy Poehler is a goddess, there is still that bitter undertone emanating from Leslie Knope as she too struggles in a male-dominated field. She, and Amy as her pen, are saying, “Enough already, I’m here, I’m successful, and that’s okay!” Julia Louis-Dreyfus certainly held her own on Seinfeld and in so many other excellent shows. (Sidenote: I want to watch Veep!) But Elaine, surrounded by men who are her friends, is the voice that’s saying women are funny too and she is hell on wheels if anyone tries to dispute that.

I’ve been told that my humor borders on the bitter and to that I say, thank you. Because that means in some way, I have something in common with these hilarious icons who are a fixture in our culture. Whenever I watch The Emmys- except for this year because my television was broken!- I don’t care who wins Best Actress in a Comedy because I love them all (though Amy deserves a win), but I love watching to see what antics the nominees are getting up to when their names are called. Even this year, when announced as a presenter- the only moment I saw- Amy asked to be introduced as “Beyonce,” clever, funny, and slightly bitter because who isn’t bitter that they aren’t Beyonce? Maybe Oprah…

I am not saying that females base their humor off of being pissed off by men or whoever stands against them. But there is something to this bitterness and their success. Miss Congeniality is one of my all-time favorite movies. Sandra Bullock is a gem, not afraid to fall face first and look anything like glamorous. Gracie Lou Freebush is a bitter woman trying to navigate through the FBI with her majority of male co-workers and she does it with a rough exterior and an attitude that will tell it like it is. In The Heat, both Sandra’s and Melissa McCarthy’s characters are pissed off at the world for whatever reason, are told that they have too strong a personality or too much gruffness, but they don’t care, they just are.

That’s funny, male or female. We’re just starting to see it represented in women more and more.

That is the epitome of what Joan Rivers was about.

Yes, she was acerbic and borderline, okay downright, rude. She wasn’t afraid to tell someone if they looked like a turd in a dress because they did look like a turd in a dress. The woman had a crutch on her shoulder, was bitter as hell, but I’ve realized all the great comedians do. That’s what makes them want to make the world laugh. Because at the end of the day, with all the ridiculousness of this world, the stupidity of people, and those moments in everyone’s life when irony bites you in the ass, you have to laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh or else we’d cry. And that’s just sad.

I’m still laughing Ms. Rivers, though I might be crying a bit now too.

RIP

Go Suck An Egg

Let me start off today telling you about one of my painfully awkward, but secretly amazing celebrity encounters. My mom and I went to see Chelsea Handler last year and after her stand-up show, there was a book signing afterwards which I had to go to, obviously. You needed to buy a copy of her book there, which I already had but bought another copy anyways just to get that wristband. For some reason, my mom refused to buy her own copy so I had to wait in line by myself.

This is never a good idea because when I meet celebrities, especially ones who are my IDOLS, I tend to either stare at them with my mouth open and say nothing or mumble incoherently. Waiting in line, I tried to psych myself up because it’s Chelsea Handler and one day we will be best friends. I really wanted her to sign my book, “Caitlin, go suck an egg! Chelsea Handler” because she says that on her show sometimes, and of course I say that to my friends all the time.

When I finally got up there, I said something along the lines of “Hi Chelsea can you please sign my book blah blah blah,” but of course it’s mumbled and before I know it I’m swept out of the room. When I showed my mom all it said was, “Caitlin sucks eggs, love Chelsea.” Touché, Ms. Handler. I need to learn to enunciate. Apparently.

My incoherency has gotten me into trouble before but it has more to do with me being beyond awkward and shy than anything else. Like, if I’m not one hundred percent comfortable with you, or even if I am sometimes, I don’t always know what to do. This happens even within my own family, not my parents or siblings or really close people, but to cousins or aunts and uncles I haven’t seen in awhile. It’s painful. And completely, totally my fault. So sorry about that.

This can be especially difficult when I am around authority figures or people who I consider to be better than me. My job search is agonizing because when I first see something interesting I think it’s the perfect thing and I am going to own it. But as I start to write my cover letter and fill out the application, my confidence drains until I’m convinced I can’t do that job or any job at all. Of course, this is ridiculous because I have succeeded at every stage of my development (thus far), but before any big thing in my life happens, I have to go through a stage of, not so much self-loathing, as self-doubting.

Also, I should mention, it’s not so much about the tasks I’m going to be asked to do but the people I will work with. I live in a constant state of fear thinking that people are judging me or don’t like me. This used to really bother me, but recently I’ve been under the impression that I don’t care anymore. That’s a lie though now that I write it because I want everyone to love me. In my head, I’m famous and everyone loves me. Which sounds a little freaky, but it’s just my ardent imagination.

The point is though, the worry of people not liking me has lessened to the point where I can just push it back to the deepest corner of my brain and I can just pretend like it doesn’t bother me. Because if you don’t like me, then just go suck an egg and get over it. Not my problem.

In a complete reversal of topics, I was talking to my brother, Jimmy, last night about what would happen if we were to write a book collaboratively. He’s five years younger than me, but we happen to have a similar sense of humor which can be frightening. Our book would be really stupid and really funny, but everyone would read it. Then we started talking about what would happen if my sister, Lauren, who is three years older than me, wrote a book and my brother says that it could be described in one sentence, “If A Tree Falls In The Woods And There’s No One To Hear It, Then Shakespeare Is Really Good.”

A true humorist never explains her jokes, but since you hardly know me I’ll have to. Let me just give you a little back story and you can fill in the blanks. I’ll keep it short: I programmed Siri (on my phone) to call me “Princess Caitlin.” My sister asked Siri to call her “Shakespeare.” You can see how our priorities might be a little different. But she’s super smart and can take a joke so that’s why I’m putting it here. Hi, Lois!

Speaking of Lois, you may notice that I call my family members a lot of different names. Not to be insulting, I just sometimes get bored saying the same names all of the time, so I make some up. For my sister, I usually just alternate between Lauren and Lois and my dad I just call dad because I’m pretty sure he would just ignore me if I tried calling him something else. My brother tries to ignore me too, but that just makes me try harder to call him something like Jambalaya or Jimmy pronounced “Himmy,” Jaime, or Jay-mez. My mom has the best (worst?) nicknames as I make a new one up every time I see her: Margeau, Magic, Madge, Madonna, Moo, Moo-moo, and the list goes on.

FYI: Red Sox start in three days. Prepare yourselves!!!

BTW: I don’t remember if I ever really introduced myself in my first post. My name is Caitlin and one day I will be a princess. Have you seen my crown?