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03/02/01 (continued)...


I have a friend who's competing tonight in the Miss USA pageant. No joke. I got to edit some of her stuff last summer when she interned with us, and she's bright and funny and really cool. And she downplays the whole beauty pageant thing even though she's COMPETING FOR MISS USA. My God.

If I were even competing for Mr. South Austin From Oltorf Street to Ben White Blvd., I'd be trumpeting it from the rooftops. I'd rent one of those vans with a megaphone on top so I could drive around South Austin, announcing, "Omar is a beautiful man! Everyone says so! He's competing in a pageant, so he is obviously the very model of a modern major hunk."

My friend is Miss Idaho. She was on the college edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire! She didn't win any money, but still! Go Liz!

Watch it tonight and root for her. She completely deserves it. Plus, if she wins (or even if she doesn't), I'll ask her to do a guest entry and spill all the dirt on some of those contestants from the more undesirable states that nobody ever remembers. Like that whack-ass ho from North Dakota. (Miss Dakota: I'm just kidding. I love your ass!)



A disturbing amount of my week is going to TV viewing lately. I don't watch lots of TV. Except for Sunday night TV (The Simpsons, Futurama, etc...), I don't make it a point to watch a lot of stuff unless I'm lucky enough to be getting paid for it. (Speaking of which, new Third Watch recap should be up today or tomorrow. Go check it out).

But now, I find myself watching or taping Survivor, Temptation Island (and what a disappointment that last episode turned out to be), the Sunday night Fox stuff and now, The Sopranos, which I vow not to miss a single episode of now that I've successfully made it through the first season DVDs and caught the one second-season episode I'd missed. I'm all caught up, Tony. Lay the smack down on me now. Season premiere is Sunday night. I can't wait.

I don't want to be a couch potato. I really don't. I have enough stuff to write and stress about every week without watching any TV. I don't play video games anymore. I've stopped cooking. My life right now is all about going to LCP rehearsals, writing Terribly Happy, working up my recaps and trying to go to bed early enought to sneak six hours of sleep in there now and then.

Oh, yeah. And there's going to work every day.

A couple of days ago (when I was in a bad enough mood to go seeking out dirt on David Copperfield), I was thinking about the nest egg I've managed to build over the last year. I went from having almost nothing in my bank account to saving up enough money to really start to think about what I should do with it. I still haven't done the financial advising thing, mostly because I never thought I had enough money to actually have a plan set up.

Now, I'm thinking that I work this hard to make this money, and I'm not really doing anything with it. It just sits in the bank waiting for some accident to come along so I'll have to spend it all on putting out a fire or buying my first house.

Last year I was broke because I traveled so much, but it was worth it. Now, I don't even have time to go shopping for anything. All the time is taken up. Every spare moment is accounted for. If I'm not writing or producing something, I feel like I'm wasting time.

I turn 26 in just over a month. How much longer am I going to let myself keep working this hard and keep pushing back vacations and setting aside money for a day of luxury that doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon?

Am I subconciously setting aside money so I can take a long sabbatical or quit my job and pursue my true writing dream? What is that writing dream?

I'm starting to wonder if writing those novels I always dreamed of having published is an old dream that doesn't appeal to me anymore. I feel compelled to update this site three times a week and make it as funny as I can. I check the page stats religiously. I get more joy out of adding someone to my notify list or seeing a link to my site than I've gotten in maybe the last six months of my day job.

I'm compelled to do this. Meanwhile, the first 25 pages of the novel I began sit, dusty, on one of my speakers.

Since October, I've written almost 50 entries for the site. It's all me. (Except for the occasional guest.) It stands or fails on the strength of my personality and writing. If it's no good, no one will come. If it is good, it's something I did, all by myself, without a comedy troupe or an entire newspaper staff backing my work up. I want this to be a success, in whatever form it takes.

Maybe this is what I've been working toward, all these years of tapping the keys, trying to eke out something meaningful.

Can it be that I found it? Or am I just grasping what's in front of me and what I enjoy most because it's fun and feels natural?

I've always been so intent on moving forward, progressing, producing, creating, achieving. Maybe all these steps I've taken to try to move forward are just bringing me back to where I started when I was 13.

A blank screen, a keyboard, and the beautiful feeling of wrestling with my thoughts, willing them into delicate order.



I have something I want to show you guys, but it's going to have to wait until Monday. It's not quite ready yet.

But it's something I worked really hard on just a few years ago, maybe the most complete thing I've ever written. I care a lot of about it, so I don't want to throw it on here before I've have a chance to make sure it's ready to go.

I'll tell you the whole story and then you'll have way more to read than you can probably handle in one sitting, if you're interested.

See you then. Be safe this weekend. It's cold and it's rainy around here.


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