I'm officially IN my 30s. No longer 30, but full-on in the decade. Part of me thinks this means it's time to grow up. For real this time, not like when I tried to grow up before but just ended up laying in a ball pit for a few days.
So I'm making "adulty" decisions and doing "adulty" things, in an attempt to seem more mature. I went to see Opera performed in the park last week. Culture! However the part I enjoyed the most was when the microphone shorted out and made a fart noise. Two steps forward, three steps back.
I'm trying to be more proactive in comedy, too. Doing more shows, and when I'm home I'm always working on new stuff. Responsible! However I still have the attention span of a 15 year old, so every hour on the hour I find myself looking up cat videos on the internet and loudly critiquing them to no one.
I'm also trying to cook more at home. I made a casserole for a couple of friends last night and was so overwhelmingly proud of myself that I got soundly housed on cheap corner store wine afterward to celebrate. But I think that might be the very definition of maturity, so nothing needs to change here.
I guess it's a compromise, really. If I balance my checkbook and separate the recycling on a regular basis, then it's not a big deal if I still cartwheel randomly or laugh at words like "unit" and "bosom". Because those are ridiculous words.
Gah. Blerg. Barf, and additional displeased onomatopoeia. I have quit smoking!
I am almost a week without cigarettes now, and I can report that everyone around me needs to shut the f*ck up and that the g*ddamned bus moves too g*ddamned slow and that the assh*ole rice I made doesn't look like the sonofab*tch rice on the cover you lying b*stards at Knorr. Suffice it to say, it has been a pretty testy week. I have been a smidge irritable.
I have also had a weird physical side effect, which is a TON of nervous energy. Like, cocaine-level energy. Wait - do people on cocaine have a lot of energy? I wouldn't know because I am a SQUARE. One time in the bathroom of a shitty dive bar in DC a chick doing lines off the sink asked me if I partied, and I was like, "Yeah, duh! All the time! My friend is having a house party tomorrow night, and everyone is bringing a mix tape! Right? Wacky, right?" Ugh - re-telling that makes me want to give myself a swirly.
Anyhoodles, I have had so much energy since quitting and I don't really know what to do with myself. I find myself pacing and muttering a lot, which is definitely a mark in the CON column. "Quitting smoking will greatly reduce your risk of heart and lung disease, but you'll also turn into that weirdo on the subway that no one wants to lock eyes with." Worth it? Also - what in the hell am I supposed to do with my hands now?!?!
It has taken me 42 minutes to write this much because I kept getting up and walking away from the computer. I need to use these new powers for good. What downtrodden people can I help by being constantly in motion? Newton fans? THAT WAS A SCIENCE JOKE. I need a drink.
I'm back on Twitter! I guess, technically, I never left. I just also never posted or followed or really understood the mathematics behind it.
But now I'm committed to tweeting! Far too many opportunities to be embroiled in a congressional sex scandal have passed me by because I wasn't tweeting. No more! You hear me, Leonard Boswell? *over-exaggerated wink*
So follow me if Twitter is something you're into! My handle (Handle? Is that even right?) is @ComicErinConroy. I promise to post nothing of any importance. That is a PROMISE.
So been pretty busy since my last post - trying to get more stage time and writing more. Love letters to Congressman Boswell count, right? I was also in Vegas a couple of weeks ago for a friend's bachelor party. That's right - my trailblazing ass was the only girl invited to a bachelor party in Vegas. I'm pretty much exactly like Susan B. Anthony, what with all the progress I'm making for women's rights. The bachelor party was really laid back - just a lot of gambling and drinking and hanging out at the pool. The most incendiary moment of the weekend might have come when I found the lions in the giant enclosure at the MGM Grand and gave them the finger. I'm living a life with no regrets!!!
That is a quote from John Lennon. Thanks, Google! Oh, and thanks John Lennon.
I was thinking about reality the other day. Not in a grand, existential way pertaining to the meaning of life, or anything. No, I have been preoccupied with a much simpler and more personal questioning of reality. Namely: there are a LOT of movies from my childhood that I've been worried I dreamed up, because no one else seems to know they exist.
Has that ever happened to you? It happens to me ALL THE TIME. Partly because my siblings and I were raised on television, so we've seen a butt-load of movies and TV shows that normal, healthier children may have missed while they were outside playing with friends. I also happen to have a super good memory, so I remember a lot of the movies I've seen (not to mention the books I've read and the murders I've witnessed) very very clearly.
But then when I mention these movie or TV shows to people my age, and I just get a blank stare in return, I start to worry that I imagined them. Even now, at the age of 30, I find myself disappearing into elaborate daydreams that I whip up at the mention of anything remotely intriguing. "Erin, there's donuts in the breakroom..." someone at work will say to me. And then I'm off - probably fighting crime in some dystopian future where donuts eat humans.
So I decided to end the speculation and look these movies up once and for all. It is with great relief that I can report that these movies have in fact been made, and most likely watched by someone other than the Conroy kids:
Unico (1981, 1983) Oh, these Japanese mind trips! There are two Unico movies that I remember seeing, one was "The Island of Magic" and one was "The Fantastic Adventure of Unico". Between the bizarre storylines (Princess turned into a cat because she was being mouthy? Normal) and the creepy Japanese animation, I was both fascinated and horrified by these movies as a child. And they haunted me well into adulthood - I mean look at this crazy f*ck: That is Kuruku - some evil wizard thing intent on killing Unico for whatever reason. But you better believe he was in my nightmares for years. Googling his picture just now has left me feeling very uneasy. On to a better movie!
The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (1979) 1979? That's even older than I thought. Anyhoodles, this absolutely perfect made-for-TV special remains one of my favorite things ever. It's got terrible special effects! It's got puns! It's got Judd Hirsch starring as an effeminate Dracula! What else do you NEED?!? The plot revolves around a witch threatening to cancel Halloween by not flying her broom across the moon. OK, because that's ever been a thing anywhere. But all the monsters get together to try and figure out how to save Halloween. Will they succeed in time? Of course. Oh, and that mess wraps up with a disco party. The Watcher in the Woods (1980) Oh man, this movie. It was actually a pretty creepy movie, considering it was a Disney "horror" movie. A young woman goes missing, and then 30 years later, a new American family moves into the girl's old English house. What's happening? A haunting? A possession? Something unholy with Bette Davis' hair?!?!The one really lasting effect this movie hand on my family was that the star, Lynn-Holly Johnson, quickly became my sister's favorite actress. Shannon loved her, and joined her fan club and everything. She did some other Disney movie about ice skating, and then some small parts in TV shows and stuff. And then, she just disappeared. For like, 10 years - no movies, no TV, no nothing. Shannon was devastated. And suspicious - she hatched this rambling conspiracy theory that Disney "took care of Lynn-Holly Johnson" because she refused to do any more of their movies. She was adamant - writing letters to the Disney Channel demanding to know what they did with her, threatening to go to the press, etc. Of course, a quick search of imdb.com shows that she is indeed alive and well, and even still acting. Try explaining that to my sister though, who will tell you quite seriously that her letters undoubtedly played a part in Lynn-Holly Johnson's release. Then she will tell you to stop bringing it up, because it embarrasses her and our neighbor's kid's bris isn't the place to talk about it anyways.
Wedlock (1991) First of all - Wedlock? I could have sworn this movie was called Deadlock. Deadlock would have made more sense - and I'll tell you why. This movie takes place in the prison of the future - where there are no walls, no guards, and NO ESCAPE. Because each inmate is deadlocked (Yeah, this definitely used to be called "Deadlock") to another inmate: they have explosive collars rigged around their necks, and if they and their deadlock partner are separated by more than 100 yards (or whatever), they collars are engaged and they get their damn heads blown off!! It's amazing. It's amazing, and it starred Rutger Hauer, who is also amazing. I don't think I can even properly do this movie justice, so please do be turning your attention to the trailer: I don't want to say that "IT'LL BLOW YOUR MIND" is the most clever and most appropriate movie tagline of all time, but I don't NOT want to say it either.
Two posts in one day. Whoa. WHOA. Relax, neither of them are very good.
So this morning Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, which means that maybe a respite from the non-stop and unnecessary coverage is imminent. I don't care who designed the bridesmaids' dresses or what brooch Camilla will be wearing to the ceremony. I would be interested to hear how drunk Prince Harry got at the reception - what a scamp that Ginger is!
Last night my friends and I got together to enjoy a pre-wedding viewing of the Lifetime original movie "William & Kate", a terribly-acted and ridiculously inaccurate 2 hour tribute to their romance. It was the equivalent of a Sci-Fi Channel original movie - except instead of laughable special effects and C-List actors; there was extreme overacting and terrible British accents. So we got all tipsy and MST3K'd it as best we could. (That's a valid verb now, right? MST3K? I don't care.)
The winner of the night was my friend Kat, who knocked it out of the park with every other comment she made. I can't remember all of them, because of alcohols. But her shining moment came in the closing seconds of the movie. The end scene was the romantic proposal Will made to Kate on the Serengeti at dusk. (Lifetime's version of the Serengeti looked an awful lot like a backyard in Kansas at dusk, but that is neither here nor there)
So Will is proposing, Kate is accepting, and he is putting the ring on her finger. The ring that some of you may remember belonged to his Mother, the late Princess Diana. And in this most tender of moments, Kat busts out with:
"This ring belonged to my Mother. It's lucky...."
Oh man, I couldn't stop laughing at that. Because it's time, right? Isn't it time to start laughing again? It's been 13 years. Laugh or the terrorists win.
I hate that phrase with a passion. Dummies in NYC use it as a kind of weird declaration whenever something slight cool or slightly terrible happens; as if to convince themselves that the trade-off for living in one of the biggest and therefore toughest cities in the world is the promise of odd happenings in their daily life. Happenings that their relatives in Kansas could never understand, right? LOLz!
For example, one time last summer I was standing waiting for the bus. (Like a BOSS) I happened to be wearing a new dress that I had bought and really liked, and was feeling pretty great. As my bus began to approach, I suddenly realized that directly in front of the bus stop there was a half-full Gatorade bottle lying in the street. The wheels in my distracted brain began to turn, and I started to do the math - could that bus be pulling up directly in line with the Gatorade bottle? And if so, does that mean that I'm lined up perfectly with the -
My brain did not figure this all out fast enough, and the next thing I know, the bus most certainly did roll right on top of the Gatorade bottle. The pressure of the bus exploded the top off the bottle and expelled the entire contents at such a high and fast volume that I don't even think Mr. Wizard would have believed it. ("You LYIN', bitch!", Mr. Wizard would have said.) But I believed it, because every last drop of that Gatorade bottle was emptied directly onto me and my new dress. I stood there absolutely speechless and in shock, as what seemed like the entire population of Manhattan passed by with little smirks on their faces. Only one woman stopped, an elderly well-dressed woman with pearls around her neck. She stopped, looked me up and down with her hands on her hips, and then loudly proclaimed "ONLY IN NEW YORK!!!!!". Then she gave me a wink and carried on her merry way. I wanted to run after her and tackle her and smear my Gatorade soaked hands all over her surgically-enhanced face. Because no, Old Lady - that couldn't have happened "only in New York". A bottle could have been rolled over anywhere in the United States - nay! The WORLD. Unfortunate occurrences aren't exclusive to this city, so stop trying to act like New York is the center of the universe. I hope she got mugged on the way home. Not hurt or anything - but I hope someone stole her pearls.
This phrase popped up again yesterday morning during my commute. I was on the bus in, and all of a sudden a TORRENTIAL downpour started out of nowhere. Without any kind of warning, the bus driver got on the PA system and started singing to everyone. Some original ditty about how the rain doesn't bother him, because tomorrow is Friday, and that's when he sees his girl. It was harmless - if not charming. But then some big galoot turns around to address the whole bus with, "Only in New York, am I right?!?!", and that phrase immediately soured my mood. The guy next to me wasn't impressed with any of it either, because he pulls out his phone to call his wife:
"Hi, it's me. Yeah. Just thought you should know the bus driver is singing to us. No - SINGING. Yeah. And then I got an 'Only in New York'. Yeah. Because you should have DRIVEN ME LIKE I ASKED, that's why I'm telling you."
Haha! Comments like that are only heard ANYWHERE. Anywhere that passive-aggressive marriages are still alive and well.
This past week has seen me in various situations better suited for 23 year old me, rather than 30 year old me. It started last Thursday when my friend and fellow comedian Ryan Conner and I went to see a mutual friend's play. We had been warned by our friend that the play was going to be bad, but this warning proved grossly inaccurate. It was worse than bad, which meant that Ryan and I adored every second of it. We were the assholes in the back row of the theatre drinking booze we snuck in and laughing at everything. Ryan wrote a pretty comprehensive recap of the experience, you should check it out here.
The nonsense continued when my friend Kathriona came in from Ireland for a visit. Kathriona and I were both drunken menaces to society when we lived in DC about 7 years ago. She has since grown up - gotten married, bought a house and had two beautiful kids. On the other hand I have since purchased the entire box set of "Eerie, Indiana", arguably the greatest TV series from the early 90s (Who would ever argue that?), and have every intention of some day watching it: So obviously, we've both really grown as people. But this time Kathriona came in for a visit without her husband and children, which meant she was sans responsibility for 4 whole days. This in turn meant that she should be spending the majority of those days drinking heavily. And good friend that I am, I decided to join her.
So Friday night we were out until about 3am, which is crazy enough. 3am? That's blurry-infomercial-watching time, not drunken-CVS-shopping time. And what is the appeal of a 24 hour store when you're wasted? I wasn't even looking for snacks or anything fun, I was swaying back and forth in front of their scotch tape selection, wondering aloud how much scotch tape is too much.
Saturday night was even more eventful - after spending a good many hours at a bar in Astoria with friends, Kathriona and I hopped in a cab to meet up with her sister in Sunnyside. The cab ride was only 10 minutes, but it was more than enough time for me to lose my cell phone. At least, I think that's when I lost it. Who knows - I may have thrown it at a lamppost that I thought was disrespecting me, such was my state. So we get to the final bar at around 3:30am, not holding out too much hope that they'd still be serving since bars close at 4am in NYC. Well, it was our lucky (ridiculous) night, because when the bar closed at 4am it did so with us and about 20 other people in it. It was a lock-in, and it was surreal: everyone was smoking (Indoors! Heavens!) and everyone was dancing to some weird European techno and for a solid 6 minutes I was convinced everyone was rolling but me. So we kept drinking and dancing and probably throwing bones; until about 5:15am when I looked around and realized the sun would be coming up soon, and that I had lost my phone, and that there was a gentleman to my right at the bar who kept asking if he could braid my hair. And those were all very good reasons to take my leave.
The next day I suffered through an all-day hangover that seemed to disprove my belief that chanting "liquor before beer, you're in the clear" gives you a free pass on monster headaches.
And then last night I continued my "I'm still young and hip, LOLz and WTF and Spring Break!!" week, when dinner with my friends Doug and Gina turned into bar trivia night. I remembered that no contest is too meaningless for me to get overly-competitive about, something I learned at an early age when I accused my CCD teacher of cheating in a class game of 7-Up. So while I'm telling everyone to listen to me because I know a thing or two about European capitals (I don't) and toys from the 80s (I really do), I am simultaneously shooting down everyone else's suggestions with snide comments like, "What are you, some kind of expert? Some kind of human body expert, Dr. So-and-So? Whatever. You're an anesthesiologist, you don't know shit."
In the end we came in second place, which won us a free round of shots. These free shots helped dull the pain of losing, though not as much as keying the car of one of the guys who won. Or so I would imagine.
What a week. Time to take a break. As Roger Murtagh famously said in Lethal Weapon 2, "I'm gonna die on a toilet, aren't I?"
Wait, what? That doesn't relate to me at all. Fuck you, imdb.com.
I think I've mentioned before on this blog my brother-in-law Paul's obsession with chinchillas. He is a breeder, and also a member of the National Board of Chinchilla Breeders. What? You didn't know there was such a thing? Oh, there is most definitely such a thing. Don't you feel stupid now.
Anyways - this unhealthy (and some would say "ultimately deadly" (I would say that - just me)) obsession of his dates back to college when my sister got him one as a joke gift. Now the joke's on her! They're married and he has over 200 chinchillas that he raises at their house, and she's allergic! Hahaha! Good joke!
Anyways - my sister sent me a text last night telling me that Paul had just gotten back from another chinchilla show (also real - I'll wait while you pinch yourself....I know, right?!?!?), and had brought with him a large framed charcoal drawing of a chinchilla that he planned to hang over their fireplace. In the main room. Of the house they live in. Where people can see it.
I can't even put into words how delightful I find this news. Something akin to this: Will be greeting family and friends who come to visit. I told Shannon I was just surprised that he got a charcoal drawing as opposed to a velvet painting, or something that glows when you put a blacklight over it. Although I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
This is good news for me though - because I feel like this picture is the first step down the slippery slope into "That Weird Chinchilla Guy" territory. At which point we can all drop any and all pretense and just start getting him terrible chinchilla-related crap for all birthdays and holidays and anniversaries. Last year for Christmas he got a Wii. This year he will be getting this: I just hope this adorable tote is big enough to hold all his crazy.