BlowCorp’s Next Big Thing – a Sketch

Here’s a comedy sketch I wrote a couple of years ago. It includes a corporate ideation session, an abusive boss, and Mark Wahlberg’s nipples, if that’s the sort of thing you enjoy. I never found a way to do anything with it, in part because we only had a very small stage at ImprovBoston to work with, and in part because it requires some camera savvy to make the last sequence work.

BlowCorp’s Next Big Thing



I’ve Got Dreams to Remember

I just found these on my phone from when I was keeping track of my dreams each morning a couple of years ago. I should start doing this again.

5/2 Dream: Two people are tuning music for some beach game. One of them is my sister. Horrible noise comes out of their stereo, then they fix it. They ask me: “Does that sound ok?” I Joke: “What?”

I have a kid in my back. My brother as a kid? Maybe my nephew? Flicking ants from my arms.

It’s announced that we will play a game. Here are the rules: We will be shown a picture. If it makes us want to take our clothes off we snap our right hand twice and take them off. If not we snap the left hand once. I run away laughing.

5/3 Dream: Very vague. Invitations being sent out. 3 were not addressed by workers, but were sealed. Wedding. Maybe? We were cursing them for not doing their job well.

5/4 dream: don’t remember

5/5 dream: Some rich people have a team of servants that they expect to be at their beck and call. One rich man starts talking about himself at length,not realizing that his female servant left the room. The servants are all played  by actors from 80s TV that I forgot about. Dixie Carter is one of them.

I start to read an article from a Harvard journal about men’s hands. What they say about a man’s health and character.

5/6 dream: Work stress dream. Colleagues were quantifying exactly how much I slowed down the processes at work.

5/9 dream: I only remember that I purchase something from a cashier. I think maybe I helped come up with a new way of selling to customers.

5/17 dream: I’m at a department party at work. H comes over and starts hugging me. Says I am funny, and that my gift to the department was hilarious. As it turns out, I packed up these fake severed arms and some weird angry mask accidentally. But people thought it was funny,so all was good.

5/18 dream:A series of obstacle course activities for the face. Most involve water spray and rotating apples.

How to Properly Hate the New Administration.

I need to find a constructive way to channel my anger. More constructive, that is, than daily insulting Tweets aimed at Trump and occasional baiting of vocal white supremacists online. It’s not wrong to do those things, exactly – but those activities don’t have any real impact. I may as well stroll pass the white house and give Donald the finger.

Oh! I have relevant media to share! Here are a few non-violent ways to express yourself in the coming weeks and months.


Also, call your representatives and let them know what you’d like them to do. Thank them when they do their job. We’ll all get through this together.

Confront Your Blocks

I’m determined to get back into a regular writing habit, but am suffering from major writer’s block. The appropriate way to address a problem is to identify them, right? Ok, then. Let’s do this, Kristen. It’s time to…


Laziness (“I don’t wanna.”) This is a major hurdle for me. Mainly because I fear failure, so a childish inner voice emerges to protect me before I’ve even sat down to work. “I don’t wanna write,” says the voice. “I like TV and I want to see my friends Continue reading

The Denial Dial.

It’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This week sucks, traditionally. The days are short, the air is cold, I’m often feeling less than healthy, and the blues ensue. Always, always, always. Why would this year be any different?

In some ways it’s worse. We’ll be saying goodbye to the best president I’ve known in my lifetime and ushering in the era of Trump. God DAMN it. That is just wrong. Every time I think of it, my mind starts to desperately backpedal. I’m looking for the UNDO button, and when I can’t find it and don’t want to linger on my despair, I instead hold the DENIAL dial in place. It produces a soft shhhh noise. Sometimes I have to put it on high, but it is never off. Maybe that’s unhealthy.


Reality is unsettling. I’m on the verge of possibly (probably?) being laid off, which is equal parts terrifying and exciting. It’s long overdue and forces me into action. I can’t stay in this apartment in Somerville without a regular paycheck – that is for certain. So, once I hear about the job officially, I’ll move in with Max in Providence. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do that.

So. I’ll have a warm, safe place to live with someone I love. I’ll have an opportunity to throw myself into writing, to finish some big projects, to start some new ones. Maybe I’ll make it happen this year.

Or maybe I am about to fail at life, epically, and maybe I will never-


Everything is an irritant.

Allergies. I suffer from ’em. When an irritant is within 50 yards, my body reacts in a variety of annoying ways. Sniffles, and a nose that is constantly just a little runny. Itchy eyes. The worst is a full-body skin itchiness that has no dependable cure. The itchiness can only be observed and endured until it is finished with me. Benadryl cream helps a little. Cortisone is also ok. Zyrtec is my friend. But these tools often seem like ineffectual psychological shields rather than actual weapons. Like facing down a gun-wielding outlaw with some choice Kahlil Gibran quotes. Would that we lived in such a world.

For a few years, I went to see a doctor whenever my face got itchy. Surely medical science would have some sort of topical ointment that could not be purchased over the counter at CVS. Nope. Sorry. I was generally told to stop wearing makeup, or using any product on or near my face for a time. Not only was this “cure” 100% ineffective, I looked as though I had spent a sleepless night trapped in a dirty shed.

I saw an allergist to find out what was causing the irritation. This involved one of those nifty pin-prick allergy tests that I found fascinating. Science! I loved watching the little bumps emerge on my arm in reaction to the substances being tested. I would honestly like to have this test for home use. Why should science be left to trained medical doctors? I want in.

The results were not particularly surprising. My biggest triggers were cat dander and weeds. But I also had some degree of reaction to All Of The Things.


“Ok,” I said. Problems identified. So, now what do we do about it? The allergist handed me a list of instructions that included washing my sheets in hot water and avoiding things on my list of allergens. As it turns out, they hold off on administering allergy shots if you’re not an asthmatic 11-year-old. You must instead learn to incorporate itchiness into your life plan. Embrace the eye redness and revel in the sinus congestion.


Kahlil Gibran said it best “ Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” That’s all well and good. I just wish it would play fair.


My heart is a goddamned idiot. And I must live with that fact.

Sometimes, the married part of my past feels like a fictional tale. It’s a story I’ve told so many times that it has become a rote recital.

I visited a friend at his bar tonight, and while speaking of my ex, without thinking, held up my fingers to place virtual quotation marks around his name. It felt natural. Remember “Dagwood”? I took that trip with “Dagwood.”

I would love to laugh this off and move along, but I  feel like I’m having trouble processing my past in a healthy manner. It feels as if my mind is a computer that is unable to work with a string of code that represents a whole decade of my life. Of course. That decade does not follow any rational rules. Try to explain the concept of denial to a young child. Hell, I’d like to read a good rationale for taking a long car trip with a person who despises you. When you’re NOT IN the story, it’s a weird fiction. But when you’re IN it…it’s your Bible, your Koran, your Torah; and you must martyr yourself for this Very Important Story.

Maybe your heart is a lonely hunter. or something more poetic. Mine is a pathetic Valentine, written on faded construction paper, delivered by a pathetic Cupid, played by a sloppily-diapered Ernest Borgnine. Or at least it was at one point in time. When was that? Seven years ago? It’s so strange to think about now.

Time passes. Old wounds heal, and we find love again. Life is weird this way.

21st-Century Would-be-Expat Seeks Modern Day Paris

I went to the library today and browsed the “How to Write a ___” books before it occurred to me: I know how to write. I need to learn to work. Discipline is needed. I need to become my own taskmaster, and stop finding excuses to do anything else but the thing I want to do.

I was reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast this weekend. It’s an old favorite with a lot of juicy stories about artists and writers living in Paris in the twenties. But it also provided a window into how Hemingway worked. He didn’t merely sit in cafes, drink himself into oblivion, and then go home and write. He wrote all day, often in his studio apartment until his creative juices were almost — but not quite — completely spent. Then and only then would he drink himself into oblivion. He claimed the drinking kept him from thinking about the writing that lay ahead. The booze kept him focused on the present.

shakespeare-and-companyI’d like to have that kind of focus and discipline. It’s what I need. To sit and write, edit each draft, get the work into a state that feels satisfactory, and then stop myself. Put the writing down and do something else. Maybe not heavy drinking. We all know how that worked out for Hemingway.
typewriter reading: Bullshit.It’s the exact opposite of what I do, which is to:

  1. Think about the writing for many hours while doing anything but write.
  2. Remind myself that I’m a delusional idiot who doesn’t have what it takes to write a brochure for compression stockings, nevermind a story that people want to hear.
  3. Repeat.
  4. Finally sit down to write, and then freeze in terror.

Stuck. Where is my Paris? I can’t imagine it’s easy to be a starving artist in Paris these days. Where do the expats go? Is it warm there? Do they have wi-fi?

Please don’t tell me it’s Detroit.


Guten Freitag, meinen Freunden.

“I’m tired of talking about bravely overcoming deafness and blindness all the time. Stop tapping shit on my palm, and leave me to my day-drinking. Seriously. Fuck right off, Annie Sullivan.”

~Helen Keller, probably.

The Camry is in the shop until tomorrow morning, getting some long-overdue maintenance work done. So I’m stranded in Somerville for the night. I’m taking the opportunity to rest and maybe write a little. I need to get my writing muscles working again. I’ve become the intellectual equivalent of Alfalfa on Little Rascals, so I must pump iron.

Tomorrow, I’ll drive to Max’s place, and we’ll go on a Newport trip. We’ve been checking out the mansions – one or two each weekend for the last two weeks. The architecture is often interesting, but some of the interior design is a bit too busy for me. Also, the children’s nurseries with their stiff, scary dolls sitting awkwardly in tiny chairs set off many dormant creep-out alarm bells in my mind. It’s as if the dolls are whispering to me. Where are the children? Who murdered little Ronald? Why did little Ronald have to die, mother? 

So, there’s that. Then a Tom Stoppard play on Sunday, because we are cultured. I took Monday as a personal day, and I did not give a reason, because – hey – it’s personal.The truth is that I’m just planning on being out late in Providence and don’t want to rush home.  But if anyone does ask me, I’ll stammer and turn red to make that person feel sorry for asking. Maybe force them to assume I have an embarrassing condition like an ass rash or I need to visit the boobs doctor.