friends

"How to Tell a Friend That She’s Mad at You" by Emily Ball

Uh oh! Your friend posted a vague message that could have meant anything, but you KNOW that it means she’s upset with you. Now the two of you are in a fight, and the worst part of it is, she doesn’t even know! Here are a few tips to let your friend know that she’s mad at you:

  1. Give her a taste of her own medicine. Post a status referencing her post that starts out with “I guess some people think”, but don’t tag her in it or draw her attention to it in any way. She’ll see your post and realize that her status actually WAS about you, not about a rude stranger in the grocery store!

  2. Fight fire with fire. Message her directly and say “If you were upset with me, you should have just come to me about it.” This will open her eyes to the fact that she actually is upset about your choices, and definitely not about an illness in the family.

  3. Bring up old arguments. Statements like, “So I guess you’re still not over the Arby’s incident,” will remind her that she has plenty of reasons to be angry with you already, so this newest argument is just adding fuel to a fire she didn’t even know she was burning!

  4. Tell all of your mutual friends. Just because she doesn’t know she’s mad at you doesn’t mean that everyone else shouldn’t! This is the time for screenshots. Get everyone on your side so that by the time she realizes she’s upset with you, your allies are already set.

  5. Hire a skywriter. Nothing says “You’re mad at me” quite like expensive cloud calligraphy that literally says “YOU’RE MAD AT ME”.

I hope these tips have been helpful and informative. Please feel free to tag a friend who’s upset with you – happy fighting!

Emily Ball is an improviser, bartender, and stand-up comedian based out of Dallas, Texas. In her free time, she likes to moderate arguments between her cat, Debbie, and her dog, Tucker.

(Photo: Reyner Media/Creative Commons)

Doing Dallas: Meditation Medication

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. Not gonna lie, this past week has been stressful. As a college student, I’m entering into that wonderful time of the semester in which professors feel the need to assign a million papers, and then conspire together to make them all due on the same day. Higher education, man. To give you an idea of how it’s going, I’ve put together a brief storyboard:

Doing Dallas

When I found out that the Crow Collection of Asian Art offers hour-long meditation sessions every Sunday in its galleries, I knew I’d stumbled across this week’s Doing Dallas.* A chance to find inner peace and feng shui? Why not?! More important, a chance to procrastinate all my work in the name of stress relief? Heck yes! Unable to pass-up such an opportunity, I headed on down to the Crow for an afternoon of Zen and deep-breathing. Here’s what happened.

*The Crow also offers weekly Tai Chi classes, which I first read as "Chai Tea" classes and misunderstood to be weekly tea tastings. I was crestfallen to learn this is not the case, as I do love a good cup of chocolate chai.

Getting There

Never having meditated before, I had no idea what to expect. Well, that’s not true. I read Siddhartha in high-school and watched the Friends episode on Unagi, so I wasn’t going into this experience completely blind. Even though I knew this would only be a mental workout, for some reason I felt compelled to also dress in workout attire (perhaps, subconsciously, I was hoping that elements of the Tai Chi/Chai Tea would be incorporated). If you were wondering, this wardrobe choice led me to stick out like a sore thumb as I wandered through the museum’s sacred ancient artifacts.

As I set off toward downtown, I suddenly became aware of my gnawing hunger. Checking the clock, I knew I’d be cutting it close if I stopped to grab some grub. A mental war then ensued – boy, would this meditation be good for me – as I tried to decide what would be worse: arriving late to a mediation or having my stomach rumblings distract from others’ practice. I opted for food and grabbed a coffee, too; suddenly scared that keeping my eyes closed for longer than 10 seconds would have me out like a baby.

Please note the small, circular butt pillow stacked  atop the larger butt pillow. Mediation doesn’t really play around when it comes to the comfortableness of your butt.

Breathe in the Light

Thankfully, my insatiable hunger did not make me late, and upon arriving I sat down on one of the many floor pillows, ready to dive into my inner consciousness. Moments later, the teacher arrived and we started right into the practice.

“We’ll start with a simple opening mediation. Breathe in, and as you do so, visualize yourself inhaling light.”

Hmm…okay. As I tried to imagine this visualization, all I could think of was the scene in the first Harry Potter movie where Dumbledore uses a deluminator to collect light from streetlamps. Distracted, I couldn’t help but think of my nose as doing the same thing, and so I started chuckling to myself. Clearly I was off to a good start.

“Now, I want you to imagine that with every out-breath, you’re exhaling thick black smoke.”

Trying to get my brain back on track, I sincerely tried to imagine this image, too. But, as I did so, I kept thinking about blowing smoke rings. This got me thinking about smoke in general, and then fire, then chestnuts roasting over an open fire, and before I knew it I was crafting my Christmas wish-list. No! Focus, Chelsea, focus.

“…and so you now have your object, so let’s think about that for the next 10 minutes.”

Crap! Somewhere between dreaming of new boots and sweaters, I’d missed the explanation of this what this “object” I was supposed to be thinking about was. Oy vey. Well, I guess the next 10 minutes would be devoted to experimenting with the feasibility of sleeping while sitting upright.

Mental Olympics

Possible dresses for my next sorority formal y/n?

By the start of the next round of meditations, my mind was gone. Hummingbirds, The Great Gatsby, the thumbs-up emoji, popsicles, you name it, I thought about it. For a while, I was consumed with worry that we weren’t saying “ommmm” like in Siddhartha, but after a few minutes my mind moved on to the next topic, even as the teacher instructed us to “focus.”

Thirty-five minutes into the hour-long meditation, the coffee I’d drank on the way over hit my bladder, and I could think of nothing else. Knowing that my practice was doomed, I decided to silently stand and head toward the restroom. On my way, I wandered through the Crow’s special Japanese fashion exhibit, and sidetracked (obviously) I stopped to take pictures.

 

What I Learned

Sunday, I learned that it is possible to fall asleep sitting upright. And that it isn’t a good idea to consume a lot of liquids before meditating. And that I might have ADD, and that I am not cut out for meditation. All in all, I’d say a lot of great lessons were learned!

And, while I may be too mentally weak for meditation, the experience was relaxing and enjoyable. So now, I’m much less like:

IMG_7435

 

And a lot more like:

IMG_7434_2

Chelsea is a Level 5 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!

(Photos from https://twitter.com/ColIegeStudent)

Doing Dallas: Well, Kinda

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. Ben Rector

If there is one thing I’ve learned from my time in Texas, it’s that Texans have a lot of state pride. A LOT of state pride. Seeing as how I’ve never been outside of Dallas, and so have only ever experienced a tiny sliver of what Texas has to offer, I often feel like I’m missing out when Texans gush about this state of theirs. So, this past weekend I decided to take a road trip to get up close and personal with the good ol’ Lone Star State. My decision to travel may have also been slightly influenced by my having tickets to a Ben Rector concert in Waco; but, regardless. With a destination plugged into my GPS, Lana del Rey pumping through the speakers, and a bag of sweet potato tater tots in my lap, I hit the road. Here are some thoughts on my #WildInWaco weekend.

Waco? More Like Way-Co

This is embarrassing to admit, but until last year I didn’t know how to pronounce “Waco.” I definitely thought it was pronounced “Whacko,” and always heard Joey Tribbiani’s voice in my head saying “whack” whenever I read signs for the city’s exit. Thankfully, I had no such pronunciation mishaps this past weekend. Unfortunately, though, because I pass these exit signs so frequently, I assumed Waco was just a stone’s throw away from Dallas—30 minutes, tops. Nope. An hour-and-a-half into the drive I realized, I’ve been living a geographical lie.

Waco Walls: s’artsy

iloveyou

Austin is a popular travel destination for many of my friends. And, every time people go there, they inevitably take a picture in front of the “I love you so much” wall. All of their Instas and Facebook pics are always so edgy and avant-garde; like, “Look, I’m candidly leaning against this wall laughing as the sun shines on my face and I look so hipster and s’artsy.”

Since apparently wall pics are necessary to prove that you’ve actually traveled through Texas, I decided I needed a Waco wall pic ASAP to keep my street cred up. Unfortunately, all of the walls I saw in Waco were either gray or a neutral sandstone color—nothing that screamed Insta gold. Shucks.

walls so hot right now

Not one to face defeat, I refused to let anything stop me from getting a wall picture; otherwise, who would believe that I’d actually left Dallas?! While waiting in line at the concert venue, I saw the perfect opportunity: behind me stood a dull, gray brick wall. Could this be the signature wall of Waco? “Carpe diem,” I thought. Pushing my friends onto the pavement, I asked a random passerby to take our picture. “I really need a wall pic—they’re so hot right now. Would you mind?”

“I totally know what you mean. Not a problem.”

Reviewing the picture, I was worried about how the sidewalk coloring blended seamlessly into the gray brick. Would people recognize this as a wall pic, or just think we were weirdoes sitting in a corner?! Would my efforts be in vain?! Did I travel all this way for nothing?!

Thankfully, I quickly concocted a clever hashtag to make sure people knew this was in fact a wall pic: #WallsInWaco. Throwing on a filter as the finishing touch, I smiled, knowing I’d reached the pinnacle of my Texas travel experience.

What Wild Waco Wackiness We Saw

The following things were spotted during the drive and on the Waco adventure:

—A restaurant called “Health Camp”  that only sold hamburgers and shakes.

—A billboard that questioned, “Who Is Jesus?” and then provided a 1-800 number to call for an answer.

—Cows. A whoooole lot of cows. This led me to ponder for a good while during our four hours in the car if cow-tipping is a real activity.

—Dr Pepper everything. Dr Pepper baby back ribs, Dr Pepper ice cream, Dr Pepper bacon burgers…Waco is basically the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. of Dr Pepper.

—An historic café where apparently you can only eat if you’re elite.

Ben Rector, hands down one of the greatest musicians of all time.

—Butter…with toasted coconut shavings on top. LITERAL COCONUT BUTTER that was good enough to eat plain (if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right). Previously, I had only known coconut butter to be a kind of body lotion sold at Bath & Body Works. This truly was a deliciously life-changing discovery.

**Note: the magical butter came from the Elite Café.**

Wise Words for Waco

Waco, you blew my mind; thanks for the memories. Stay wild. Stay whacky. Stay wonderful.

elite cafe

eating

 

Chelsea is a Level 4 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!

(I Love You photo credit:  http://meredithwinn.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/a-love-list/)

Doing Dallas: Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. This past week, I found out about free Zumba classes in Klyde Warren Park. While the prospect of working-out (oi vey,) dropping it low, and sweating with strangers made me nervous, I knew this was too Dallas-y of an opportunity to pass up. Here is a glimpse into what happened:

A Retroactive Live Blog of My First Zumba Experience:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

11:15 AM – It’s been a while since I’ve worked out. Will I have enough energy? Should I carbo-load? Am I supposed to carbo-load the day-of or the night before? Does Zumba even warrant carbo-loading?

Zumba

11:25 AM – Finally come to a decision. Going with tortellini for lunch. YAY CARBS!

11:30 AM – Watching Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” music video while eating to get into the Zumba spirit. Praying my hips tell the truth this evening.

12 – 4 PM – In English class. Cannot concentrate; thinking only of Zumba. What should I wear? Will I know anyone there? What if I’m the only one to show up and I’m so bad the teacher just leaves? I CANNOT BE THE ONLY ONE THERE. I retweet Klyde Warren Park’s tweet about the free class, hoping one of my Twitter followers will be really into the Zumba scene and decide to join.

4:50 PM – Zumba is in t-minus 1 hour, 10 minutes. Feeling low on energy. Decide another bowl of tortellini is the solution.

5:15 PM – Wearing spandex shorts and a Lululemon top. I totally look like a Zumba pro – no one will even be able to tell this is my first time. To Klyde Warren Park I go!

Zumba

5:25 PM – Sitting at a stoplight I check the temperature. 100 degrees! In this heat, I’ll sweat so much it will be like I worked out for six hours instead of just one! Or I’ll pass out. Does fainting burn calories?

6:00 PM – I’m not the only one! There are 30 women and one man here. One woman has a striking resemblance to Meryl Streep, and I find this strangely comforting. I’m already sweating.

6:02 PM – I’ve positioned myself in the second row on the far right end. While I at first think this is a prime spot, once we begin getting down to a song with the chorus “I’m gonna get it tonight,” I realize that I’m right next to the glass windows of the Lark on the Park restaurant. It’s dinnertime, and the restaurant patrons are gawking at us. Oh, sweet Lord.

6:05 PM – The immunization I got on Monday is still very painful and I am having trouble lifting my left arm. I decide to substitute any move involving this extremity with a Rockette kick of my left leg. #NailedIt

6:07 PM – Actively confirming I have no rhythm and two left feet. I start to think about how I am always one step behind and going left when I’m supposed to go right. Struck by the fact that this sounds like a song lyric, I start composing the song in my head as I awkwardly shuffle along to the music.

6:14 PM – Why can I not do a body-roll?!? I am painfully aware that my feeble attempts resemble Phoebe dancing for Chandler on Friends.

6:20 PM – Actual words from the instructor: “I want to see bigger pelvic thrusts, people!” Wait…WHAT? Is this Zumba or Fifty Shades of Grey!?

6:25 PM – Really regretting that second bowl of tortellini. I’m cramping up hard and quickly losing the desire to go on living. I look over to Meryl Streep – she’s still going strong. This gives me inspiration to power through.

6:36 PM – “Sexy and I Know It” comes on. THIS IS MY JAM. All thoughts of cramps vanish as I drop it lower than I did in the discotecas of Spain.

6:40 PM – So much sweat in my burning eyes that I can no longer see the instructor. Clearly I put too much of my soul into that last song. “Womanizer” comes on. Though empowering, I decide to make this song my last.

6:44 PM – I came, I saw, I conquered (or so I tell myself). I act like I’m going to get a drink of water but really pick up my stuff and scram.

Zumba

6:46 PM – A safe distance away from the action, I stop behind a pillar to take a picture of my fellow Zumba-mates continuing the workout. I realize how extremely creepy this looks. I look around to see if anyone notices me. I realize that looking around makes me appear even more creepy. I make a dash for the car.

6:55 PM – Sweet, sweet air-conditioning!

7:00 PM – I stop and get a cookie on my way home to reward my efforts. I have enjoyed my Zumba experience and plan on returning next week.

Chelsea is a Level 4 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!

 

How To Seem Successful When You're Not

 

Snake_in_basketWe've all been there: After a few months, sometimes years, apart, a group of friends meet at a bar to catch up. One guy finally got his Masters, another has been happily successful with his "biz" (that's what he's going to call it the entire night, by the way), and for the most part everyone has something going on. But you? Not a damn thing. It's not that you don't care about anything, it's just that twice-daily naps and binge watching television has more allure than spreadsheets and 9 a.m. conference calls. Or pants.

If you feel less accomplished than your friends, your best bet is a fictional story that makes you seem important.  And for those who are lacking in the cool facts department, here are a few things that can boost your cred with the buddies. Now, the key to most good lies is being believable yet vague enough to where no one can double check or challenge your new found hobbies.

Snake Mating Expert:

Yep, you have begun legally breeding snakes in your mom's basement for a few months now. Throw out how there was a ton of paperwork involved in getting permits to start a small-batch reptile farm within the city limits. Be sure to note how the experience has been a great vehicle for you to make the best of your time management skills, as well as how it will make you a better, more nurturing parent in the future.

Pro Tip: Use one of those staple removers to make tiny snake bite marks in your arms.

Sold Your Movie Rights:

Tell them you're not fully committed yet, but you've had talks with a mid-level production company about the rights for your life story. Use a confidentiality agreement with the project as a way to diffuse any direct questions your friends will lob at you because everyone will want to know what aspects of your life, and theirs for that matter, will be the focus of the film. Calmly tell them with a light smirk that it's for another side of your life, and if they're in it, it's because they were, and are, a huge part of your story. Ass kissing achieved, situation handled.

Pro Tip: Casually name drop informal versions of famous directors throughout the night. “Yeah, Stevie loved the way you were stood up at prom.”

You Ghost Wrote a Novel:

How can anyone really know that you didn't rewrite the first draft of Bill O’Reilly's "Killing Jesus." I mean who has the time to find out if you really did something that specific? By the way, this can be the toughest one to defend so you have two options: Learn a little bit about random chapters, or claim that your version ended up in pieces on the editing floor. "That's just the ghostwriting world," you say, with an air of confidence. "Sometimes they want you, sometimes they just want your words."

Pro Tip: Create a fake author account -- i.e. bill.o.o.o.oreilly@aol.com -- and send a couple of chains of correspondence claiming how superior your writing style is to the original author's.

You're Recovering From Very Specific Amnesia:

You can't remember a whole lot, but it was immediately after the last time you saw everyone. The roads were slippery, and your single-gear bike lost control on the ride home. Next thing you know, life has become a puzzle, and most days are a feeble attempt at reconstructing the life you once knew.  Tell people you're remembering more and more every day, and that you will cherish the hell out of everyone's help as you continue to get back to you being you.

Pro Tip: Tell them that it only affects points of your memory, and use that for emergency moments like when they need you to pay them back or to sidestep embarrassing questions about other lies you've constructed over the night: “Wait, my mom said I don't really tend to snakes in her basement?," you say panicked and frustrated. "What's real in this life?!"

With these simple fibs, you now have the confidence to express how your fake life is full of incomprehensible badassery. But if you really want to be the most successful guy at the next hangout, maybe you should put on some pants and actually do something with you life; messaging Bill O’Reilly is not recommended.

Andrew Plock is a blogging intern and a Level 2 student at Dallas Comedy House. When he’s not impersonating everything in earshot, he is sorta doing his best as the Managing Editor for THWRD Magazine in Dallas.