April 17th, 2007

158IgnoreConsensusReality

The stage is my office elevator.

The stage is my office elevator.


Told jokes and people got 'em. It feels good to kill somewhere other than in the elevator at work. In the elevator at work, I leave to a chorus of laughter every time, and I never consider whether people are going to get what I say. They laugh anyway.

Last open mic went very well. After my set, I talked to Clay Miles about why I'm funnier offstage than on, and how I change personas when I take the stage. When I'm killing in the elevator at work, I never consider whether people are going to get what I'm saying. On stage (and just before I take the stage), I worry about whether they're gonna get it or not. Clay gave me a breakthrough insight.

He told me when I have fun performing to have fun free of concern about whether they get it or not, I kill. He laughs too, even if he doesn't get it right away, because he's laughing at my delivery and gets the joke later.

He says there is no stage, that the concept that the stage mandates different thoughts and feelings and behavior is an illusion. From now on, when I take the stage, I'll be stepping into my office elevator.

A confession: Just like in the office elevator, I don't know what anything I say means, so I just remember what people laugh at and I say it again. If any of you come to one of my shows and can explain what anything I say means, explain it to me after the show and I'll buy you breakfast.

As always, tell me what you think.


Basil White

158IgnoreConsensusReality

The Agony and Ecstacy of the Disabled Parking Permit

The Agony and Ecstacy of the Disabled Parking Permit


I had knee surgery three months ago. During my course of therapy the doctor signed a form allowing me to have a temporary disabled parking permit, a plastic hanger that hooks on the rear-view mirror. Since then, I've had a glimpse at how the other half lives, the life of knowing I can go anywhere I want, knowing that parking will be there.

I recovered from the knee surgery quickly, so I didn't need the parking permit anymore. But instead of throwing it away, I kept using it. To resolve my guilt about using a disabled parking space I didn't need, I followed a code.

I never took the last disabled parking space, and in fact, almost every time, every disabled space was empty. When I returned to my vehicle, there were always multiple disabled spaces available. If I had denied someone a disabled parking space, multiple people would have had to arrive and leave while I had parked, so the odds that I inconvenienced a single driver are practically zero.

It still nagged at my karma, though. A couple of times when I thought people were looking at me as I got out of my vehicle, I would exit slowly and deliberately, so people wouldn't see me bounce out of my vehicle onto the best parking space on the lot.

Which brings me to my discovery about disabled parking spaces: With the exception of the unbridled joy of parking right in front of IKEA, disabled parking spaces suck. To use them, you have to back into traffic or into the space where pedestrians walk. Even right after the surgery when I needed the parking space, I wouldn't use it for I couldn't escape the parking lot safely.

My knee still hurts, and I still qualify for a disabled permit, but I'm not renewing it. I give disabled parking privilege back to society. Now it's time to heal my karma.

As always, tell me what you think.


Basil White

158IgnoreConsensusReality

Eat like a Junior High School Teacher

lj-tags: nutrition, coffee, cigarettes, tacos

Eat like a Junior High School Teacher


I eat in a cafeteria every work day. I've tried brown-bagging it, but I'd rather have my weekends free to do things other than planning meals and portioning lunches and cleaning plastic containers. I'd like to say that cafeteria lunches are like high school, except that I went to boarding school where the bread was handmade by monks and the milk jugs came from a dairy five miles away, so I have to go back to junior high school for a reference.

My parents gave me $1.10 for lunch in 7th and 8th grade, but for an extra nickel I could buy two cinnamon rolls and a half-pint box of Jungle Juice, a fruit-flavored punch which as far as I know had no juice in it, the beginning of a lifetime of bad nutritional choices. Thursday is taco day at my grown-up cafeteria, just like at several junior and senior high schools, I imagine. Here's my taco day theory. Friday is fish day indeference to Catholics, so Thursday is the last chance to grind the remaining beef and sell it before the weekend. The cafeteria also offers sandwiches wrapped in tortillas, which grant cafeterias a low-carb option and a nod to multiculturalism in one move.

And there's coffee. We had undrinkable coffee in high school, and the coffee at junior high was for teachers only, forbidden fruit guarded by the cashier like a cigarette dispenser. Both habits I adopted as soon as possible. I drank so much coffee and smoked so many cigarettes in college that I have a had time remembering a college meal free of nicotine or caffeine. So now I eat like a junior high school teacher. Slop with privileges. All the coffee I want, and I want a lot. And I still look forward to taco day.

As always, tell me what you think.


Basil White