Playlist 10 - The Snake in Dallas

1. The Snake in Dallas - Gorillaz
2. Champagne Showers - LMFAO
3. My Neck, My Back - Khia
4. Hold the Line - Major Lazer
5. Sexyback - Justin Timberlake

Playlist 10

Track 1
I wake up five minutes before my alarm, as usual. Spend fifteen minutes sitting on the toilet, as usual, while checking my email, Instagram, Facebook. I then sit down at my computer while I wait for the coffee to brew. As usual. But this time, instead of spending the next two hours uselessly dicking around on the internet, I go through my task list, figuring out what I need to do today. Planning out my day and trying not to just do the opposite. And most importantly, if I don't get it all done to plan, not feeling like I failed.

Track 2
Later that day I am waiting for an Uber with my boss. It's the first time we're in a car together and it's pretty much what I expect it to be: him thumbing through Instagram while we occasionally have short bursts of conversations about random things like Spotify vs. Pandora. We arrive at The Wooly for an event his team is hosting for a New York based design organization, a professional mixer that no one from our office is actually doing any mixing. Instead, they're just standing under a giant screen playing sitcom clips talking to each other. I quickly try to make the rounds, talking to ex-employees, former interns, the occasional stranger looking for work and woman who's friend with a cute pocket guy I'm hoping is gay. Cupped in my hand is a random collection of homemade buttons with popular mothers and drawings of a breast. The pocket guy seems more interested in the buttons than the person offering them to him so I move on. Before I leave, I steal all of the buttons.

Track 3
Everyday that week I make a point to spend whatever time I have working on actual projects, even if it's just 20 minutes. I've decided that most days I might be only able to find time to draw or write, not both. And tell myself I am fine with that. My number one focus is to get Abel Boddy back on a regular schedule, but a 12-Inch Roommate reboot is on my mind too, as well as my live action script, world building for another project and a new caricature project called Followpack. The entire week is about trying to focus on what's important and when I'm not doing that, planning and organizing. "It sounds like a lot of work." A woman in my office tells me, she's been hired to help streamline our process and we're talking about to-do lists and how we process. Admittedly, my process seems a little confounded, "I usually follow the GTD method but have begun to integrate some elements from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People..." I start. It's not the best sales pitch for my system, but right now it's working for me... or is it?

Track 4
Later that day, while heading across town to measure some sculptures that my boss is interested in loaning to a museum I get a text from Angie: "When's your lunch break?"
Me: "Now, why?"
"I'm in midtown, standing at 44th and 9th drinking a coffee."
"I'M on 44th and 9th..." I turn the corner and coincidentally there she is.
We haven't hung out in a while and sorta gave up after her reluctance to the pull the trigger on tickets for the final show of American Psycho: The Musical. It was my third time seeing it and I tried the balcony this time, which would've been fine but the crowd was rowdy. "It was probably all theatre people" Angie explains. "Coming to show support." I spent my last dime on the ticket and later on, while g-chatting with Zach, he'll remark at how "dedicated" I was to see the show again.  I've seen the show exactly the same amount of times as he has, the only difference is he never had to pay for it. When I tell him I bought a ticket, he rolls his eyes as if I'm being silly.

Track 5
Before the show, I jot down notes at a hotel bar. Alternating sips of my Moscow Mule and wondering why the fuck I chose a hotel bar. Broke people should not be paying $14 for a cocktail. The trouble with being productive, for me, is that I am generally unhappy with the work I produce, so work sessions usually end with me in an emotional tailspin. While I am fundamentally fine with being an emotional wreck - I live alone - like when I "fail" to do something on my task list, I'm trying to be okay with not producing "great" work. "I should hate the work today that I loved yesterday," I tell myself. "It's a sign of growth." "Ninety percent of success is just showing up" I say when I make myself post the work when it's done, even if I don't love it 100%. "Perfect is the enemy of good" I platitude. Ultimately, I know that my problem isn't bad work, I'm simply not putting in the effort and the best way to do that is to refine my process.

Playlist 09 - Billionaire

IMG_5083.JPG

1. Billionaire - Travie McCoy
2. Who's That Woman? - Follies
3. Baptize Me - Book of Mormon
4. She Walks on Me - Hole
5. You Give Me Something - Jamiroquai

Playlist 9

Track 1
It's 8:04 and I'm on the A Train, almost at my stop. A man coughs behind me and I have forgotten whatever it was I was just thinking about. An hour later, I'm at work thumbing through emails, updating a spreadsheet with summer intern candidates, chatting with my boss. I feeling of easiness washes over me which makes me feel uneasy. Yesterday, everything quietly got on my nerves, from the receptionist being late, to someone messing up a lunch reservation I had made, to my boss ordering his own lunch and then the day ended with Zach and I getting the start time of a Broadway musical incorrect and showing up at intermission. On the way back uptown his tone is flippant and mocking. This bothers me for the rest of the night.

Track 2
I'm on the phone making a car reservation, the dispatch woman is fast talking and efficient, the kind of mundane character in movie that would say something profound to the self-centered protagonist. I want to ask her opinion of what I should be doing with my life. I imagine her words.

Track 3
I buy a ticket for the show I missed the night before. Grab some Chick Fil-A at the new place in Midtown and wander over to pick up my tickets. I eye a blonde WASPy gay at the theatre, complete with a sweater draped over his shoulders. He's companion is Asian, almost a full head shorter and wearing a spearmint colored cable knit. 

Track 4
The next morning I stumble around in a weird, unmotivated fashion. I poke around my reference file, then on Tumblr and then I masturbate. I do my stretches and then go into the bathroom and pour my coffee into the bathroom sink. My phone rings, which terrifies me. The idea of answering a phone fills me with dread now. "What's wrong?" "Who got hurt?" "What bill did I forget?" "Am I in trouble??"

Track 5
One the way in to work, I notice two Latin teens chatting closely, their body language says friends and smiles and demeanor say gay boys. At work they're researching memorable TV parents, the email chain is endless and sent to the entire company despite the fact that the original sender made it clear that they intended otherwise. I learn how to mute conversations in my email and I feel like my life is literally changed.

Princesses of Power

shera02.gif

I've been watching a lot of She-Ra: Princess of Power lately.  I'm delightfully perplexed by the pastel covered planet Etheria which is ruled by these kingdom-less Princesses. The population of Etheria appears to be equal parts diminutive cutesy creatures (Tribbets, Bibbets, Squidgetts, etc) and rural peasants. Which would make these leggy, ridiculously voiced Princesses of Power the 1%!! 

After slogging through about 30 episodes (which hasn't always been easy) I have a few thoughts.

1) Adora is a big old lesbian. This comes across because they are doing their best to de-sexualize her, and because women can't be more than two things what's left is a rather detached and a little butchy. The immediate thought is that she and Bow would be an item however, while he will on occasion express affection for She-Ra, he seems more often attached to Princess Glimmer. Also, there's an early episode where Princess Frosta was seen leaving Adora's tent-house very early in the morning. We know what that means...

2) The Masters of the Universe/Princess of Power worlds are of fallen technological cultures. However, these are worlds without watches or telephones. If Hordak really wanted to rule Etheria, he should sell some of this technology to regular people. He would probably do a lot better at taking over the world by selling modern conveniences to the endless stream of townsfolk he's trying to subdue. He already has the market cornered on military robots, he could just reprogram some of these to farm and make a mint putting Etherian farmers into a never ending cycle of debt and jumpstart capitalism on this effing planet.

3) Whispering Wood is being occupied by the Rebels. It seems like every time She-Ra and The Rebellion go to another village, there are humanoid, oddly dressed peasants and munchkin-like cutesy characters seemingly co-existing. When I see the latter, I immediately think that these tiny plush toys are the Native people of Etheria, who have been dealing with slavery and genocide for generations. The primary little people, The Twiggetts who live in Whispering Wood clearly have no control over the Rebels having their base there. And while they are smiling and happy, there are like, 5 of them, so they are probably facing extinction.

4) A whole planet of powerful women and there's one black girl? Netossa is the only POC on all of the Etheria, (which I think is twice as many as MOTU) with her vague African accent, she makes two appearances during the entire series run. She is introduced in s2/e13 with her gal pal Spinnerella, while the two are on vacation looking for a place to dance, The Horde target Spinnerella for her spinning abilities, but for some reason don't seem to care about Netossa's net throwing skills.... yes, that's her "power", throwing a net. Which she never mentions or does in the episode.

Playlist 07 - "Murder"

1. Murder, Justin Timberlake
2. I Want the Good Times Back, The Little Mermaid Bway '07
3. Plastic Beach, Gorillaz
4. Picture of my Life, Jamiroquai
5. Coconuts, Junior Senior

Playlist 07

Track 01
New Years Day was all about coffee, yoga and Orphan Black. Not that I actually did yoga, but I did walk over to a yoga studio in my neighborhood to pick up a schedule. That's probably worth one downward dog, right? When I lived in Brooklyn, I used to do vinyasa in Tribeca on a weekly basis and considering my back has been fucked up for like, a month. All I think about is how much I need to stretch.

Track 02
I made some coffee and watched scenes with OB's Krystal Goderitch over and over. Sometimes you just need that. I head to work, eat a bagel, research passport renewal for my boss. One of the new hires in my office is named Elsa. Every time I see her, Do you want a build a Snowman? starts playing in my head.

Track 03
I didn't sleep well, which means I woke up incredibly late and didn't have time to write. And along with my back, my foot hurts as well; the result of a botched self-pedicure. My boss leaves for a photo shoot, and I end up working until 9pm. I don't usually make resolutions, but I decided that I would set some better boundaries.

Track 04
More of a rule than a resolution, I've decided that I should no longer jump on my computer before I go through my morning routine. Piddling around on Facebook or reorganizing my reference files is killing my productivity in the morning.

Track 05
The next morning, I force myself to go through the proper motions and as a result everything was on schedule. I ate breakfast, got in an hour of writing and cleaned the apartment. And worked on Abel Boddy for a few hours for the first time in longer than I want to admit.
 

Playlist 06 - "Violet"

1. Violet, Hole
2. Bad Romance, Lady GaGa
3. Slow, Kylie Minogue
4. I Don't Give a Fuck, Peaches
5. Walking in the Rain, Grace Jones

Playlist 06

Track 1
I am meeting Zach downtown for Sisters Follies: Between Two Worlds at the Abrons Art Center, I am walking, drinking a beer out of a paper coffee cup and appropriately listening to Sandra Bernhard's version of Is that all there is? The crowd is full of downtown mainstays like Taylor Mac, Tigger! and Mike Albo. As well as Amanda LePore and Edie Windsor. "Oh look, it's the old crowd," starts Zach, "Only now they're old." We watch a small caravan of 80's club kids in electric wheelchairs cruise down the aisle and take their places in the front. "My lips are so dry," I tangent. 

Track 2
The next morning, I'm too busy standing naked in front of the mirror analyzing my foreskin to notice that my internet is down. Even though I am cut I feel like I am not cut enough. I slowly inch the loose skin up from the base and wonder if I can make the edit permanent through non-surgical methods. "Just a stitch or two."

Track 3
The new receptionist at my office does not know how to make coffee, it is really weak and the pot always overflows. It's never overflowed before. She also does not know what "skim" milk is and says "Left side please" instead of "Pull the Left Handle" when guests do not properly ring the buzzer for entry into the building. "PULL the LEFT HANdle" is clearer than "Left side please" when saying it through a scratchy outdoor speaker.

Track 4
Because of the internet outage I spend extra hours at work, when I do leave, I waste time by going to New York Beer Company. Two bros sit down next to me. I slowly begin to realize that they are talking about Aquaman. I go home and fall asleep.

Track 5
I wake up at 6 am and draw comics until a quarter to eleven at night. Stopping only periodically to eat, stretch my legs and have a meeting about the webseries my friend and I are planning. I've been slacking a little on comics this week and am so happy to crank out so much in one day. I upload my works-in-progress on Patreon and discover that I've lost followers. 

Playlist 05 - "Thinking of You"

1. Thinking of You, Lenny Kravitz
2. Samantha, Hole
3. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), Sylvester
4. Tha Shiznit, Snoop Dogg
5. Burn, Hamilton cast recording

Playlist 05

Track #1
The C train is running express, which is making me feel extra effective this morning. The last few hours of my life has been running uncharacteristicly on schedule. I can just feel success beaming off of me.  A cute boy slouches to my right; he has short cropped hair and glasses, I've caught him in a pensive moment, he doesn't realize his mouth is cartoonishly downturned. So cute, yet such terrible body language. "Such a pity," I think to myself. I press "shuffle" on my phone and Thinking of You by Lenny Kravitz begins to play.

Track #2
I've been writing a live action script off and on for the last two years. We have auditions at the end of the week so I've been trying to make sure I get some writing done everyday in preparation for the open call. I managed to get some in before leaving the house, I go to the gym and try and some exercises I found on the internet. They hit muscles I clearly have never worked out in the past. A kid on a skateboard rides past me doing one of those kick flip things, I imagine the board flying out and hitting me in the ankle. The imaginary pain is excruciating.

Track #3
Work has become a parody of itself. At least my interaction with one specific co-worker has. Every day she'll tell me exactly what she's going to do. But in this exasperated, "I CANNOT focus" kind of way. "Alright. I'm going to tuck myself away elsewhere so I can get away from this" she says as she motions to the room, full of people quietly working, "and get something done." 

Track #4
Spotify on my phone will not let me play any of my playlists, it's forcing me to shuffle. This is the point in the day that I begin to feel lazy. "What are my rules again?" I always insist on making little rules for myself like "Get up and go to the gym everyday" and "stop eating sweets at night before bed". I'm usually very good for like, two days and then it all falls to shit. 

Track #5
After work, I run a couple of errands and agree to meet Zach at a shopping event at John Varvatos. I don't take it very seriously until I arrive and then realize I am completely underdressed. Turns out Neil Patrick Harris' helicopter could not get out of the city ("Because of the Pope" an online magazine editor tells me with 100% sincerity), so he and David Burtka are in attendance. As well as Mr. Varvatos himself. I lie low, trying to not draw attention to my running shoes and casual shirt, emerging only to get to the open bar. An hour later I am sitting on a curb in SoHo, drunk on too many Manhattans and listening to the Hamilton cast recording.

Playlist 04 - "The Story of Lucy and Jessie"

1. The Story of Lucy & Jessie - Follies 2011
2. Cheerleader, Grizzly Bear
3. Children's Story, Slick Rick
4. When Heroes Change Professions, Gentleman Reg
5. Elastic heart, Sia

Playlist 04

Track 1 -
It's morning and I'm researching how to properly cut the sleeves off of t-shirt. I find a video on Youtube and lay out a freebie that I don't care about destroying but think it would look good with the proper "slut cut".  I watch the video and cut each sleeve a different way. They both look terrible and I throw it in the garbage, opting to squander the next few hours with refiling my reference material and watching Escape to Witch Mountain on Netflix.

I don't think I am alone in the fact that I have always dreamed of being someone else, y'know, like the way little kids want to be Superman or Wonder Woman. I think about this a lot while simultaneously watching Witch Mountain and moving endless images of well built models and narcissistic meatheads in tight workout clothes into different folders. The kids in the movie, Tony and Tia are psychic orphans on a voyage of self discovery, Tia is also a telepath and Tony is a precognitive and I was always drawn to how each of the kids have their own personalized versions of telekinesis. Tia's abilities were more traditional while Tony had to channel his powers through his harmonica - which he played expertly. Even as an adult, it is impossible for me to not imagine myself and my sister in these roles.

Track 2 - 
I'm walking into work whistling the "Reading Rainbow" theme song and I think to myself, "Should I cross the street to get a better look at that guy?" He is a fit young Asian guy in a black tee and backpack, sipping from his Starbucks drink through a straw. I stop and take an assessment of my thirstiness and decide against it. The day at work rockets by, an All-Agency meeting announcing the launch of a new food delivery app for stoners, the planning of a going-away party that everyone has opinions about but no one wants to make decisions, a late lunch at the local deli buffet.

Track 3 - 
I spend an hour setting up a call that everyone is late for and then rescheduled without saying anything to me. "Hey, its not my time." I try to tell myself as I disconnect. A similar thought pops into my head when I'm standing by meeting my boss is in, and I desperately need to pee. I realize that I've gotten to a point where urinating comes fourth on my list of priorities during the work day.

The highlight of the day is an all-agency email about lockers that I have carefully crafted using infomercial GIFS. The more I watch it, the more it cracks me up, I really cannot get enough of it. It is the highlight of my day. I round out my day looking through the responses to a casting posting I put up on Backstage.com.

Track 4 -
"You're not a nice person" Angie texts me. This is her reply when I tell her I was called a harsh critic in the office. "I just wanted ppl to do their best" I respond. "But some people won't ever do the best you see for them". I vow to be "less judgmental at work", to which she replies, "Lol. Let me know how that goes." Soon after, alight with forced positivity and the open heart of changed man, I step on the C train and immediately hear two women laughing hysterically with each other. "Ugh. Seriously??" My mood is ruined.

Track 5 -
It is 6:30 the next morning and I've been working on my script since 3:45. I am not successful in sticking to the routine I set up for myself. So I try to make a plan. Elastic Heart comes up on shuffle. I hit "repeat song" and just let it play. I decide to go into work even though the office is closed. It plays all morning and during my commute to the subway. On the platform, I let it play one more time, as the C Train arrives, my music automatically shuffles to...

Playlist 03 - "Poor Unfortunate Souls"

1. Poor Unfortunate Souls - The Little Mermaid '07 B'way Cast Recording
2. Pretty Lady - Pacific Overtures '04 The New B'way Cast Recording
3. Drip Drop - Empire Soundtrack
4. Let the Groove Get In - Justin Timberlake
5. The Healer - Erykah Badu

Playlist 03

It's morning and I am washing dishes, I realize I have no plan for the day so I decide to fix it. I write for an hour and before hopping into the shower, I hit shuffle in iTunes on my iPad and Poor Unfortunate Souls from the 2007 Broadway cast recording of The Little Mermaid comes up.  An hour later, as part of my new daily routine plan, I am adding Studio Museum Harlem's free day to my calendar. Should i just go to every free museum day in the city? I ask myself.

I figure out which of my bills I should put onto my AMEX, and get ready for the gym, Whats the plan? I need a plan. I keep going without a plan.

While passing Port Authority, my thoughts about how disgusting Penn Station is is interrupted when this hot Latin pocket straight passes me by, he's with his friends but he is hands down the cutest. I pass a pack of young bums chilling out on one of those little metal fences they put around trees in the city. A guy with vitiligo limps by with a cane.

I decide to do all pulling muscles, when I leave my triceps feel heavy. I eschew wearing something to cover up my gym clothes on the way home, reminding myself looking fat in my gym clothes now will make it all the more satisfying if I start seeing results. As i walk to my office I pass gay couples with nice bodies. There are so many over here on the Westside, near the river during summer.

In the crosswalk outside my office, a bus with a Ray Donovan ad crosses my path, I focus on the slogan, "Hire Power" and can't help but think it should belong to a Human Resources reality show or something. I'm going through my emails; schedule requests for the creative directors and removing old email folders.  It's a rather ineffective day, working hard not to take on everyone else's crazy energy.

"What ever happened to Lilias White?" I ask Angie over a burger.

I get home around 7:30 and start drawing, sketching a caterpillar character for an Abel Boddy fantasy sequence. I fall asleep early.