Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Notebook

I have something like four notebooks in my pocketbook and I write in exactly none of them. One's for my therapist: an emoooootion diary. In an effort to rid myself of distorted thinking, I am supposed to write down every time I say "God damn, I'm an idiot!" and then track back to see what the triggering event was, and what emotion I felt when I talked down to myself.

I think I kept that for a week. It has a windmill on it.

Another one is a checkbook-sized book where I'm supposed to track my outgoing cash. Ha.

A third one -- this one's actually funny: the first page says "The things that I don't know could fill a book," and on each page there's something else I didn't know, that I learned sometime after moving here in 2006. For instance:
"I do not know the way to San Jose. There are signs all over the place, but I'd really have to check Google Maps."

"I have no idea what an ESTUARY is. 'A small estuary?' I don't even know what a big one is."

"I didn't know people still used hot water bottles!"

"I had no idea how sad an object a cold hot water bottle is."

"Grits? Polenta? Same shit!"
It peters out after that. I started putting rehearsal notes from a show I was in on the next few pages. I also have a shopping list, but that doesn't really count.

The point is, when I was doing standup, I had a notebook with me constantly. All the time. And anything that struck me as funny went in that notebook, and every day or so I'd go through it and spin some of that straw into pure comedy gold. I've had so many sweet little moments that could go into my fiction, and sometimes I have the impulse to run to the computer and jot them down... but usually I just think "eh, I'll remember it" and -- blort. It's gone.

Even when I DO jot it down, it goes into a file that somehow migrates away from my desktop so that, probably, my hard drive is littered with documents with a single line like "girl who's so anxious not to fall that she stares too hard at the ground an walks off a cliff" or "character has the odor of panic attack."

hm. i did say comedy gold, didn't I? I suppose there's comedy bronze and silver as well... and a little lead...

anyway maybe i should jot stuff down more often, is my point.

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