Friday, July 10, 2015

"Hi, my name is High." Part one: Therapy Dog

Well, it's been a week since I rolled into Colorado. I've been hiking every day, I have a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains from my porch, Monday I start my first piano student, and I'm preparing to teach music at a few schools this fall. I've encountered many pleasant surprises with my transition.

I've also encountered more high people in one week than in my entire life combined. (And this includes spending a good amount of time in LA comedy clubs.)

The morning after I moved in my neighbor from across the street came outside while I unloaded my car.

"Did you meet my dog?" she asked.

I looked around to see if she was talking to me, since I hadn't ever even met her, much less her dog.

She walked over and shoved a tiny, shivering dog into my arms.

"He's my therapy dog. He's helping me with my panic attacks and anxiety," she told me.

I looked down at the shaking micro-dog in my arms, who was now nervously clawing at my jacket.

"I think your therapy dog needs a therapy dog," I thought to myself.

"My last therapy dog got stolen out of my hotel room. I was so traumatized. I moved to Colorado for the medical marijuana."

I was so confused. Were those two separate thoughts? Did she move because the abduction of her therapy dog distressed her so much she needed powerful opiates to get over it? I don't know. She kept talking while I ran through my mental inventory of responses for high people but I didn't have many because I don't speak Highnese. Fortunately, I didn't have to think of anything because she changed the subject.

"The doctor prescribed me opiate drops, you know."

"Nice," I replied, trying to hand her back her dog, which for some inexplicable reason I was still holding.

"No, not nice!" she exclaimed. She pulled a red bottle out of her purse. "One drop too many and these will kill you!"

Nothing makes you feel more like an ignorant, over sheltered homeschooler than getting reprimanded by your high neighbor about your lack of opiate knowledge.

"Wow, that's crazy." I said. "Well, I've got to go finish unloading this stuff from my car. It was nice to meet you and your dog!"

I gave her back her dog. She cuddled him close.

"He's my therapy dog. I love him."

"I know," I said in a Hans-Soloish tone and walked away.

To be continued, I'm sure...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cruise Ship Comedy, Mediocrity, and Toothbrushes


Today I packed my entire life into my car. I'll hold for a slow clap.

Tomorrow morning I'll start my journey to Colorado Springs. I'm not anxious about this move, which is odd. Typically I second, third, fourth, and fifth guess every decision I make. At this point I don't know if my peace comes from my trust in God or total apathy. (It's a thin line between the two.)

It feels strange to be done with comedy. The cruise was a great experience and I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my short tenure as a stand up comic. It was fun performing among a fantastic group of comics (albeit a little intimidating). The comics were as down-to-earth off stage as they were hilarious on stage, the audience was kind and welcoming, and I had several "how the heck did I get here" moments. (In a good way. I didn't have nearly the success, experience, and popularity of the other comics, so I was extremely honored to be included.)

Most of my sets went really well. One of my sets in the middle of the week, however, went just okay. If you have any insight into the mind of a right-brained perfectionist performer, you'll know that an "okay" performance is exactly the same as completely bombing. I was mad at myself.

I've often received the well-meaning advice, "Brush it off." If someone can show me where the "brush it off" button is located in my head, I'd be forever in your debt. Cause I can't find it.

After my mediocre set I went and laid face down "plank-style" on my bed, wishing the cabin floor would open and drop me down to the bottom of the ocean. Maybe a pod of dolphins would adopt me. Dolphins don't care if you're funny. They only care if you have fish.

"I don't know what to say," my youngest sister, who had accompanied me on the cruise, told me when she came in and saw me in my state of self-depricating despair.

"Say nothing." I replied into my pillow. "If you say something nice I'll think you're lying and if you say something critical I'll cry."

She went and sat on our balcony. (Yes, we had a balcony. Once again, how did I get here?)

A few minutes into my internal monologue of how I obviously wasn't pretty enough or skinny enough or a skilled enough tap dancer to be good at comedy I realized my lips felt a little chapped. I got up to grab some chapstick from the bathroom.

Backstory: I go through toothbrushes like crazy. Not intentionally, but I'm paranoid about germs and my toothbrushes always fall out of my ziplock TSA bag, come into contact with the bottom of a shoe in my bag, or drop onto the floor, and I have to get a new one. Knowing I'd be on a cruise and a new toothbrush would cost me $20, I bought a cover for mine to protect it from the travel elements.

As I reached up to find my chapstick I knocked my toothbrush off the bathroom shelf. It bounced off the counter, popped out of its protective case, and landed bristles-first into the toilet brush.

Really?

Really?!

Really.

I started laughing. I laughed harder than I've ever laughed. I went out to the balcony and told my sister and she laughed too. In a very puntastic, ironic, ridiculous way, this incident enabled me to "brush off" my set. Thank you, Lord, for the joy found in outright silliness.

I showered, went upstairs to get pizza, and had a great rest of the week.

I even found another toothbrush in the bottom of my bag. Miracles still happen.

I have a looming writing deadline, so I'm gonna go watch Fast and the Furious 6 before driving (within the speed limit...mostly) to my new home tomorrow.

Goodnight, friends. May you be blessed with an abundance of silly moments.

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