This is the 12th regular weekly update, after a few weird ones. These are gonna be on Mondays now, and a little shorter than before. They’re going to start with stuff being done that you can join, watch, or see. Other stuff afterwards. The funny stuff will be on Fridays.
EVENTS IN NYC (ATTENDING)
Monday, November 19th
Going to this book talk, at Strand. I think I’ll learn some stuff, it’s a good panel. It’s not exactly free sign-up, but you get a $15 giftcard.
THINGS TO READ/WATCH/DO
I just got Early Work, by Andrew Martin, someone I know who wrote about a fictionalized version of a social scene with some of my close friends. Their apartment appears in the book! It will be really interesting to see how it happens. I hear the book is good, too. I’m amazed anyone can actually write a book and not be scared of people reading it.
Jeopardy is on Netflix now, and it’s a really good show to have on in the background. I think it’s easily the best game show, the questions are well-written, the pacing is good, the gameplay keeps it interesting, and most of all you can yell answers at the screen. I watch it home alone but it’s a good communal watch, I always like a bar that has Jeopardy but I don’t go to bars much.
I took Jess Adamiak’s “Math of Joke Writing” class at the Brooklyn Brainery, I think Jess does good work and is very focused on writing jokes that work and not getting caught up in clutter, which is something I need more of (she’s also a guest on the jokes podcast, which we recorded after the class). One thing that connects to the previous item - she talked about how “k” is the funniest sound, followed by “b,” and I thought of how in “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketches, the Sean Connery character (played by some SNL guy) would always end on “Trebek,” which is a great comedy sound. “Your mother” – not very funny sonically. “Your, mother Trebek” – hilarious.
Anyway, yeah, I feel better and do better things when I’m just focused on showing up and delivering some result or producing, or else just hanging out. The joke-writing class and podcast recording felt good, working out at the gym feels good, sleeping a decent amount, eating enough food, etc. are all good things, and people should do their versions of things. When I try to self-reflect, but don’t actually relax or work (either one, different directions) to get out of my natural defensiveness, lack of perspective, and self-aggrandizement, well there’s an emoji to express how that ends up, and it’s not even built into my computer for some reason (it’s used a lot on one of the Slack channels I’m on).
Just that a whole bunch of times. It’s whatever. You live and occasionally learn, but mostly just live and if you don’t pretend to have learned it’s at least easier.
So anyway, there’s a bunch of concrete things to do, and maybe you’ll see some results of the work. I’m taking a screenwriting class from a real professor starting next week, hopefully a good script comes out of it. And maybe I actually will work more on revising and workshopping stuff, because generally I just spew stuff out and well sometimes spewing isn’t the best, ain’t gotten shit published since starting this dang newsletter.
At least it’s Monday! I’m liking living and looking forward to Thanksgiving.