Unemployment Watch Day 50: The Sun Is Dying And So Can you!

The American Museum Of Natural History is my favorite place in the world period. As I have covered countless times in this blog despite my current city of habitation, I am a born and bred east coast elitist through and through. My life is always evolving, people and places change, but the Natural history museum largely stays unaltered. Sure, renovations and updates are done as needed, but in space of 25 interconnected buildings that takes up almost 1.6 million square feet it is not hard to believe that there are entire wings of displays untouched since the 70s. In college I used to cut class and go to the Hayden Planetarium. Then I would wander around the dioramas quietly in the dark, feeling oddly cozy among all the wood paneling and pre-teen girls skirting about in school uniforms. Before I would leave, I would silently weep in the hall of Biodiversity feeling helpless and young and directionless in a vast world inside a vast universe. It was very beautiful and dramatic and important because I was very beautiful and dramatic and important. I was in art school okay!? GOD. FEEL A FEELING AMERICA. The burden of the privilege of possibility was too much for this suburban rich girl. Not much has changed for me since then, same hobbies just less weighty scenery.

I am the queen of a public existential meltdown, and now you can be too!

Are you nostalgic for the gut-punching, nausea inducing frenzy big feelings you felt in your "Live Journal" days? Maybe things are just going to well for you and you just want to mix things up? Or maybe you impulsively stopped taking your lexapro because you wanted to have an orgasm again and the only metal health safety net you have now are sugar free energy drinks? Are your feelings the most important sacred thing in the world? A public existential meltdown may be for you!

Not everybody has the skill set needed to stage their own dramatic life altering spiral. A background in film is not required, but knowledge of cinematography, lighting, and a knack for location spotting is a plus. Here I will guide you through step by step in staging your ideal meltdown. 

A Guide To An Ideal Public Crisis

Step 1: Lose Your Mind

Before you can reach your goal of a perfect sobbing epiphany you first need to loose your goddamn mind. For first timers the task of losing all the marbles may seem daunting, but it turns out with just some simple neglect and one well planted seed of doubt even the sturdiest pillar of self actualization can come crumbling down to the ground with the rest of us animals. There are a lot of factors that can help counjre up the black hole of your soul to open up and swallow you up. Try some of these activities, and you will be losing your shit in no time!

  • Get into a large amount of debt.
  • Become a codependent.
  • Try on clothes in a dressing room with really harsh florescent lighting.
  • Have a terrible family.
  • Only eat once a day due to laziness or poverty.
  • Sleep either all the time or never again.
  • All of the drugs.
  • Watch "Dancer In The Dark" by yourself.
  • Be in a relationship with someone who fundamentally does not understand you. Never leave.
  • Listening to music from when you were a teenager.
  • Be a woman. Do anything. Wait for commentary.
  • Try to remember in chronological order the name of everyone you have ever slept with.
  • Look at photos of your parents as children.
  • Get a fever on a 90 degree day but still go to work because you are afraid of getting fired and get there and realize you might actually die so you leave but first you have to go to the store to buy medicine and by the time you get there you realize you literally feel like you are going to faint and as you lay your head against a display of insoles looking at your phone you realize you have nobody to call and that if you were to actually pass out and crack your head open on the concrete floor of the Fred Myers in this very moment it would probably be a few days before anyone realized you have died because you are alone in the world and its all your fault because you are too scared to be loved and you are the kind of person that is fundamentally unloveable to capable people and you will always be with people who hurt you because you deserve it or worse someone who is super boring and bad in bed and likes super lame shit like kayaks or the tv show Bones and also remember when Big Bird was sad and blue in that movie oh god why did they let kids see that movie oh fuck what if you actually die for real I mean it could actually happen this time people die in stupid unimportant ways all the time and you sure are stupid and unimportant and I wonder if Nümetal really is making a come back and also you still get fired from that job.

Feel free to mix and match as you like! You may even be inspired to create new and interesting ways to crack open your psyche that have never been tried before! Get creative! And don't forget: HAVE FUN!

Step 2: Location

Location is essential to an existential crisis of any magnitude. Where you freak out will set the tone and become a part of you forever. There are many great places to choose from, here I list the pros and cons of a few:

Your Bed

Pros: Open you eyes, roll over on your back and bleakly stare at your ceiling, You are already there! Bam! No travel costs!

Con: You are not in public. How are your emotions are supposed to have any weight and meaning in the larger narrative of the world if you can't weird out other people in process

The Grocery Store

Pros: The grocery store offers all sorts great props for your crisis. Crying in the frozen food aisle? Reach out and grab a cold pizza for one for extra dramatic effect! Want to freak out some whack dudes? Weep in front of the pregnacy tests! Try walking around clutching your EBT card in a haze. Hold a bunch of storage containers and bawl to help you signify getting over your old relationship. Somberly stare at paint chips to show that you aren't! Stare in disgust as you watch a gaggle of children fight over sugar cereal as their mother stares with her dead eyes back at you. The possibilities are endless! You are going to buy a lot of cheese.

Cons: You are going to buy a lot of cheese.

A Concert

Pros: You. Are. Everything. People will look at you and be like, "Man they are an ugly crier but THEY ARE IN IT. ART IS SO BEAUTIFUL" You can flail your body around like you wish you could all the time. Feeling makes your arms feel heavy and the only way to relieve it is to wave them around like those balloon noodle men in front of car dealerships. For some reason this is acceptable to do when live music is playing. Get into it. Feel those lyrics! Let that bass scramble your heart up and spit it out again! Be all sweaty and gross. Throw up on a terrified teenager! The possibilities are endless!

Cons: Somebody may try to talk to you. sorry.

A Public Restroom

Pros: Crying in the bathroom is an art in itself. You get to sit down and hold your face in your hands. You can keep a quiet wail going for quite awhile, as everyone will just assume you have diarrhea. I have a terrible digestive tract and I make it known, hence how I have maintained my title as the West Coast Divion Bathroom Crying champion three years running. 

Cons: It may smell like poop. There may be a line waiting for you when you get out. Everyone is going to get worried about your eating habits.

A Park

Pros: Look at you, aren't you deep! Sobbing at the glory of nature, grasping onto trees and bushes. Rubbing your face in grass and pulling up dandelions and throwing dirt clods at no one in particular. You are so in touch with the earth that it moves your to maddening, bawling tears.

Cons: Mushrooms can be expensive. 

These are just some places to start! With a little imagination, any place can become a great place for existential dread. At a party? Cry it out. Buying a bagel on the way to work? Add some extra salt with them tears! On a bus? Everybody is crying on the bus weather you can see it or not!

Step 3: Go For It

You are tired and totally coocoo for cocapuffs. You got your spot, and you put on a ton of mascara. Now is the time. Let the weight of every choice you have ever made sweep over you and let it rip. Start slow with a single tear. Make sure to make eye contact with the most gorgeous person in the room when you do this. If you aim that arrow just right you may get a terrible mumble core movie or a folks song written about you! After your opener, slowly work your way up to a full on body roll. Breaking down is great for your abs so make sure to make it count. You may feel like an actual object is sitting onto of you, some sort of gremlin or maybe a the entire sun. Great! Go with that, and just let your self crumple into the shell of the person you are. You may feel like all of your bones have been replaced with lime jello. This makes the most sense because if you are anything like me that lime jello will start making a mass exodus from your nose. Bring some tissues or a roll of toilet paper.  If you aren't one for making a spectacle you can shove your face into your beanie and let out a muffle scream. Don't have a beanie? Who are you? Its fall dummy. Don't worry about looking pretty, if people can't see the BUEATY OF EMOTION then they are dead inside or one of those They Live aliens. Lets go. Give in. Get weird. Try not to choke.

Step 4: Suck It Up

These two screen shots are from my first ever comedy submission tape shot in my first year of doing comedy. My then (the now infamous) boyfriend had left me a note the day after Christmas informing me that he has cheated on me. Because I was crazy, I decided to let the note stay a secret as promises of getting back together started flooding in (which we eventually did, sadly.) I had been crying for about 42 hours straight. That day at work I was basically getting paid to weep on the bathroom floor quietly to myself. At the end of the day I wiped off my face, took a breath, put on a dress and makeup and made my way to the show. The tape got me into 4 different festivals that year, some of which are still considered to be my most high profile gigs to date (oh god.) I have and will always be struggling with my constant and unending existential nausea. It's the brain I have been dealt, and I am doing my best to deal with it. I have been to shrinks, on and off medications and had long winding conversations on friend's couches. I am not saying I am all better forever, but definitely better than before. The truth is it is truly dazzling to completely break down. To question who you are and what your life is about, to be deconstructed to dust and built back up again. The trick is to just keep it to that moment. To move on, and make it count. Back in my youth I knew eventually I would have to leave the strange safety of the darkness in the Hall of Biodiversity. I would walk out the doors from the dimly lit room back into the stark future of the planetarium and out the side entrance of the museum. I would have to step out back into the real world, get on the subway, and go back to my life. I would have to be okay. Because I can't just spend all of my time wallowing and wailing and grabbing onto strangers. I have a fucking life to live.

xo.

 



Unemployment Watch Day 26: Clothing for the Social Phobia Clusterfuck Apocalypse

I currently live in the suddenly booming city of Portland Oregon. I moved here from the much larger city of New York about five years ago to escape my family and to naively be with my then boyfriend. That guy is dead now (dead to me anyway!) but I had already started building my new life in Portland and wasn't ready to bail out. Don't get me wrong I love it here, but anyone that has lived here for two or more years can tell you Portland is damn small. Despite boasting the title of "bridge city" one can find it very easy to burn every variable bridge, crossing, and rope-swing-over-a-ditch within a swift six month period. Additionally Portland's brand of pacific northwest passivity passed as "politeness" means you won't actually find out about those fires until months, even years later. This physical and emotional smallness has made any sort of social life an actual hells-scape. It's laden with potential land mines waiting around the corner at every grocery store and friend's friend's party. Lucky for you lovely arrested navel gazing headaches my east coast take charge attitude has not completely left me. This combined with Portland's "D.I.Y" spirit has moved me to come up with a solution that is not only functional but fashionable. 

Presenting the new fall line of my Social Awareness clothing brand. These products are designed to cut down on awkward miscommunication in any uncomfortable situation. Wear it on the bus!

"We Went On One, Date Don't Be So Weird" poly blend t-shirt

Anyone who has ever participated in online dating knows that there is a lot of chafe to get through before you can get to the slightly less creepy-yet-somehow-still-totally-boring-but-they-are-nice-so-whatever wheat. Most grown people are smart enough to realize that just one date is a minor blip on the radar of your terrible life choices and doesn't need to be a "thing". But what if you live in a city where there are no grown people to be found? Just an endless rain of adult poopy diaper babies shouting "WAHHH WIPE MY BUTT!" into the darkness. Don't fret! let this shirt be your unbrella! At a party and that person you got coffee with just once won't stop making giant exaggerated arm gestures from across the room? Point at your shirt! Getting weird text messages at three in the morning saying things like "well I guess you are one of those sorts of people"? Send a cool selfie of your shirt! Someone you went to a movie with once in December of last year keeps standing weirdly close to you at karaoke and then gets all mad when you sing "Violet" by Hole? Yeah I don't know what to tell you, you should probably buy this shirt though.

 

 

"U Don't Have 2 Talk 2 Me" Racerback all over print tank

You are waiting for the bus, or maybe grabbing an after work drink. Maybe you are at the Planned Parenthood with your feet in the stirrups. You see them, they see you. You recognize them, maybe they are a regular customer at your job, or someone you have been introduced to causally a few times. Maybe its someone you got in a fight with on the internet recently. Maybe it's your ex-boyfreinds childhood friend looking down at you with some forceps in her hand at the Planned Parenthood. You know you both know who each other are, and you know you both don't really have anything to say to each other. Societies' pressure to be "polite" tells us that we have to engage in small talk in these situations or we are "rude". But are we? Sometimes a simple head nod will suffice and everyone can move on with their lives. It's hard to break social contracts, so why not make it easier with this tank top? Once one or both parties realize that they don't have to talk you may find yourself in a considerate comfortable silence. Now, was that really so hard?

 

 

"Everyone Here Has Slept With Each Other" Pom Beanine  

Do you work at a restaurant?  Do you belong to a large friend group with a long history?   Are you part of a small niche community? Maybe you preform stand up comedy? Or maybe your personality is bland yet completely insufferable at the same time so you are in an improv troupe? Did you live in a "commune"? Do you play in a band? Do you play on a cross country team? Do you work at a small business? Do you work for an activist organization? Do you work at a church camp?

Buy this beanie to let anyone new that shows up "Hey, things are already weird. It's never going to get less weird."

 

"We Only Talk Online" Baseball tumblr-t

We have tiny computers in our pockets. There are so many new and exciting ways to communicate with people without actually having to smell them. As one of the most outspoken champions of the anti-eyecontat movement I will say that this is a vast improvement to the days where you had to hear a person mouth breathing in oder to tell them what you think about their politics. We have whole new categories of relationships where there used to only be one or two, (three if ya nasty, or like, super religious, so still nasty).

For example: 

  • Friend's girlfriend you only met once but you always like each others Intstagram posts. (but also WHY WONT YOU LET ME HANG OUT WITH YOU GIRLFRIEND!?)
  • Person you have long correspondence with on OkCupid but have no intention of ever dating.
  • An old roommate's mom who added you on Facebook and is always posting pictures of her dogs.
  • Person who stars every single one of your tweets no matter what.
  • Terrible trash person you refuse to hide on social media because their human tragedy makes you laugh more than it makes you angry.
  • Thirsty person who blows up all your shit at once and you just sort of let be because you are too poor to donate to charity.
  • Person you made friends with on LiveJournal in 2002 and have followed from platform to platform ever since. (But seriously one of my old LJ buddies got married a couple of years ago, because I am old and I am dying oh god I have wasted my lifeeeeeeeeeeeee)

All these relationships have value. A value that only applies to the internet. IRL, not so much. Wear this shirt to make it clear, "I think you are cool, but this is a strictly online thing 😉

 

 

"Stop Creeping On My Friends, We All Hate You" French Poochie Mama Canvas Tote Bag

Hi. Hello. Yeah. You. Do you think women who are friends don't talk to each other or something? Like its a thing we just fabricated to help lubrcaite plots in unimaginative straight breeder porn? Like we have a millon photos with each other on Facebook and are constantly hanging out. Did you really think we weren't going to text each other as soon as you start getting hella gross? Like, we aren't just randomly orbiting space derbies, it turns out that like minded people want to be around each other. If something you pulled was awful to one of us, do you really think the rest of the squad is going to be down? Do you know what a screenshot is? Do you suffer from some sort of memory problem? Have you ever gotten checked for early onset alzheimer's? I mean, I guess we should thank you for giving us such great fodder for some seriously well crafted inside jokes. You are like a drunk suburban white boy doing a hip-hop song at karaoke: funny in a car wreck way for about a minute, but then everyone is over it real fast and leaves to go smoke. Nobody likes you, okay bye.

Any way, buy this bag I guess.

 

 

" Everyone Knows What You Did" Classic karmic revenge-t.

sorry bout' it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

xo

Unemployment Watch updates whenever, but feel free to donate money to our esteemed and beloved sole author/fashion designer Katie Rose Leon.

Unemployment Watch Day 21: Everyday I'm Hustlin'

I am unemployed. I just turned 27. I have an apartment to pay rent on, utilities of various sorts, and terrible health. I have a B.F.A in what it is essentially drawing comic books. I live in a city that is opting for building condos and filling them with people shipped in from other states to work at tech companies rather than investing in some rent control laws for the people who already live here. Some would find this situation distressing and hopeless. Don't get me wrong, it is. Some days its really hard not to give into the endless ouroboros of depression, staring into the ceiling from my bed hopping the shapes in my ceiling will give me a sign. However, unlike most people, I am the fucking champion of bullshit. Someday you may find yourself unemployed. When faced with the vast sea of uncertainty do you know how you are going to handle your shit? Are you going to lay on the floor and say sad wet noodle phrases like "maybe I should apply to a trade school?" or are you going to realize what an opportunity has just been handed to you like a grown, fully actualized person. (fuck you) Look I get it, you need guidance because you are a little tiny poopy diaper baby. well fine.

Unemployment watch presents:

Waking up is probably the hardest challenge I have ever experienced as a privileged white upper middle class woman. The first twenty minutes I am awake everyday are possibly the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Good news: you aren't going to die. Turns out even though during those twenty minutes I have thought about having ovarian cancer, wished a piece of sky lab would tear through my ceiling and land directly on my skull, or fantasized that my entire life has turned out just to be a terrible fever dream in the mind of some great composer on his death bed, time keeps moving and I have yet to expire. Sleeping in seems like a good idea but the fact is the later you sleep the more depressed you feel later. The latest I try to be showered and ready for public consumption is by 10. It helps that two of my neighbors have chosen this time to have loud, not fun sounding sex followed by hushed but angered conversations about, I don't know, tooth paste? y'all bore me. Its time. Try my mantra, it usually helps me get right up:

Get up. Get up. Hey. Hi. Hello. Get up. Seriously. For real. Time to wake up. Wake the fuck up. Get up. Seriously. Fuck you, wake up. Get up. KATIE WAKE THE FUCK UP. 

Repeat as many times as needed or until your roommate asks "are you okay?"

Do what you need to do to make this happen. Set an alarm to wake up during human hours. My cell phone plays the melodica cover of the Jurassic Park Theme Song. When it goes off in the moring I like to hold it over my head, point dramatically to my messy room and turn to whatever doughy non-thretening open micer/bike activist/person-who-I-didn't-anticipate-what-they-would-look-like-without-their-glasses-on mistake laying next to me and shout "ONE DAY ALL OF THIS WILL BE YOURS!". Once I come to from the emotional blackout I suffered from laughing so hard I find not only am I alone but also totally energized and ready to start my day. I keep my fridge stocked with Lemon-Lime Hi-ball. When the grocery store runs out I send them threats about how I will tear a hole in reality and drag them down with me. Nothing propels me more than either anger or caffeine. The holy grail is combining the two. Hygiene people. Don't slack. I have been hoarding fancy lady soaps and shampoos and lotions for some sort of cosmetics based apocalypse. Never throwing anything away is not hoarding, it is being prepared. When you loose your job you are going to be super happy that you impulse bought a crate of 12 bottles of c.Booth rosemary mint shampoo (BTW: If you are the person who bought out Ultra's stock of the Egyptian argan oil body butter just know that I have a lot of fucking free time, and I will find you so I can congratulate you. Then I will push you down some stairs. See! Anger! It inspires!) If you have left the house, are you wearing underwear? This is serious, its summer time and you just lost your health insurance girl. The other day I may have gone 8 hours before realizing I had failed to put on any underwear that day. Eat. For fucks sake. You are broke sure, but you can get on food stamps easy. And guess what? Pretty much every place takes them. I am the GOP's worst nightmare. A progressive half Jew on birth control using EBT to buy La Croix and tuna fish from New Seasons. (Man this chapter isn't about corporate sponsorship but I am unemployed and ready to sell out at any time *hint* *hint* hi-ball/la croix/c.booth/the government) Have you left the house yet? Just fucking go. Get motivated. What's your vibe? Early 90's NYC club tracks that are heavy on the bass? (Fun fact: Rhythm is a Dancer and Mr.Vain are basically the same song and work really good next to each other on a play list) Here is a retrospective of female fronted heavy metal if thats more your jam. Maybe you are a scared white person who likes some super boring indie rock band where the lead singer wears a blazer with elbow patches and is named "Schuyler" or whatever. Whatever it is, play it often and play it loud. Make a playlist of the same four songs and put it on repeat. While you do this go on Facebook and look up the popular girl you went to high school with. Laugh obnoxiously loud about all the double code speak she uses on her status updates to cover up her coke habit. You are ready for battle. 

All right. You are awake, you showered, you ate, you are blasting Beeze in the Trap and you made sure fucking Dan or whoever that was will never text you in three weeks with some bullshit like "whats up stranger?". Now the boring part. There are a few basics that you just have to get through. Apply for food stamps and Unemployment. Your job may try to fight you but don't worry, your rich doctor jew step dad said he get you a lawyer! (relatable!) Apply to three stupid jobs a day. Yes you are too close to 30 to be taking movie tickets for minium wage or sweeping up vomit at the grocery store but this is just a show of effort. You got to put a few nickels into the bullshit machine before you can win a prize (and by winning I mean any wage over $11.50/ an hour). Write yourself a budget so you know how much your lifestyle costs, leave in room for shit that people may not deem "needs" but you FUCKING NEED like netflix and klondike bars. Make a list of interesting people you know with cool jobs. Make a very loud sad announcement about needing a job on social media and check off your list as they start to send you Facebook messages asking how you are. Make it cute and light. They will eventually say, "I will let you know if I hear anything!" Realize that most of these people are just trying to sleep with you and don't put much weight in it unless you are trying to get a free meal. Then put all the weight. Make a second list of cute people you know that know interesting people with cool jobs. Go to their homes and lay on their couches or floors and make them laugh. These people are actually your friends and are not trying to sleep with you even though sometimes they still buy you lunch. (Because FRIENDSHIP. TRUST NO ONE ELSE.) Eventually you will get an weird email from someone like "Hi! COOL CUTE FRIEND gave me your name and told me you are  good at logo design/p.a work/falling down on command? Want to come help me for the day at my design firm/non-profit/clown college?" Score. You have officially started hustling'. 

You did the work. You have combed over every job listing website and filled out all your paperwork. There is nothing left to do, yet there are so many hours left in the day. Your new job now is not to turn down anything. Invited to the nude beach? It doesn't matter that your monthly wax was the first thing to get slashed in the budget, you are fucking going. Non-paying  tv-clean comedy show in an art gallery during the day? Screw it! Booked! Reptile expo? BDSM safety workshop? Some outdoorsy bullshit? Yes, yep, and yeah suck it up you recovering rich girl you're going! Sure, being unemployed means you are broke and that sucks, but it turns out if you are a halfway decent person people want to spend time with you and take you places. Take a prompt from me and try to get fired around your birthday. What once was a single day occurrence is suddenly a month long celebration! Everyone "owes you a drink" or "a burger" or a "oh fuck for real? I seriously thought you were 34. this makes how you dress make a lot more sense". You hone your Batman detective mode, but instead of finding clues its finding free shit. Buy one get one free coupons to chipotle! Parks! Other peoples drink tickets! You now don't have any obligations. Stay out late. Be really loud. Get weird. Who gives a fuck. Start a podcast, call up that friend with a real job you could never coradantie schedules with, drink a martini in the day time and pretend you are an affluent 60's housewife. Start drawing again, get your snappy comeback game on point, start a blog about losing your job. Know that you are a rising star coming up from a ocean of garbage. Know that only good things are around the corner and you look cute a.f in those shorts. You are the champ. Now go knock em down.

xo.

Unemployment Watch updates whenever, but feel free to donate money to our esteemed and beloved sole author Katie Rose Leon.

Unemployment Watch Day 14: An In Depth Analysis of Selected Selfies

Anyone who reads this blog regularly or has spoken to me for more than 30 seconds knows out of all the topics in the world there is one subject that interests me above all others: Myself.

You may not already know this but I am terribly interesting. 

KRL Fun Fact Cheat Sheet 

  1. Pissed her pants at a Weezer concert at Jones Beach when she was 12.
  2. Once told Peter Serafinowicz where the pizza was.
  3. Injures herself comically two to three times daily.
  4. Hates your shoes.
  5. Is scared of spiders outside yet owns two tarantulas.
  6. Cried for a 24 hour period of time after meeting Blink-182 in 2004.

Wow! what an awfully fascinating and complicated person. One way I express to the world how cool I am is the art of selfies. A lot of boring people like to hate on selfies, saying they are vain and insipid. People who say these things also hate fun and probably have a lot of opinions on the TV show "Bones". As a woman I am constantly dealing with other people's (i.e.: men's) gazes and how they decide to define me. By taking photos of myself I am taking the lens away from others and casting myself as I see my own person: boss as fuck.

So without further ado, I give you my own in depth analysis of some selected selfies dated 2013-15. All pictures are culled from my (super dope) Ig account: OhhelloKatieRose . ENJOY

  

Title: Unapologetic Ugly Dog Sweater Realness

This photo has a lot going on. The composition is laid out in thirds, in order to maximize the amount of dope shit you see in the shot. First you have me, doing the now patented "dog with a flat face half tongue" look. This sweater was gifted by my dearly departed and talented friend Catherine Peach. I believe this sweater now to be haunted, but like in a good way. Like whenever I put it on I find quarters on the ground and someone tells me I look like a heroine in a John Hughes movie. (Because I am) After you are dazzled by my amazing dog sweater your eyes move to the background. "Aw dang look at that Lisa Simpson head and all those cool comic book!" The struggle to not fall in love with me is real. Thats why I try to blow my nose in public as much as possible. To give the swelling hearts of men a chance to catch their breath.

  

Title: Do I look Like Margot Tenenbaum Right Now?

A similar shot as the first but with one important difference: I kinda got a Margot Tenebaum thing going on. Also an important note, prior to 2014 how much eye shadow I was wearing was an accurate indicator of how depressed I was. In this photo we are at what is called a "Code Red". Nobody wanted to hug me but everyone wanted to touch my coat. Don't worry, my boyfriend and I break up soon after this and I can stop relying on coats to make friends.

Title: I Fell Down.

This selife is what the art world calls a "psychological self portrait". A psychological self portrait is not necessarily supposed to be an accurate depiction of your self image, rather a display of your emotional undercurrent at that time. The feelings I was having during this time was "I really don't want to build this fucking bookshelf by myself." and "I wonder If i take this picture looking cute and indicate I have booze someone will offer to do it for me" Fun Fact #7: it worked.

Title: I RODE A FUCKIN' BIKEEEEEE!!!@!@!*&!@!#

Now here is an action shot if there ever was one. See your old pal Katie in a rare moment of curated vulnerability. The shot may be staged but the asthma attack is real! Good people of the pacific north west I present to you KRL fun fact #8: I did not learn how to ride a bike until 4 years ago. I was 23. Here is the thing though: it turns out in order to find love in the grater Portland area you either need to be able to ride a bike or be into professional soccer. ("Katie what about rock climbing?" True, but I am not even going to entertain that thought for a second, I like my creative weenier men to be mainly terrestrial.) ANYWAY I went with bicycles because it seemed the less annoying of the two (but not by much). Here is a rare event were I actually tried to ride a bike anywhere other than in a middle school parking lot at night. The show I biked to let me do a 10 minute guest set because "you look so mad!".

 

  

Title: No Makeup. 

We out here, walking amongst the leaves, just thinking about death!

 

 

 

 

      

Title: Political Dissent In The Streets, Patriot In The Sheets.

I bought a pretty cool bead spread and thought of a pretty cool one liner. My eye liner is on point and hair is on point and now you are thinking about smoking pot with me in this bed. I am a social media witch.

 

   

Title: The Guilt Trip.

Once a year I get the gift of getting white guilt to work for me instead of just dolling it out like the caricature of a caucasian lefty feminist social media bullshitter I am. A famous catch phrase of mine during the winter holidays is "HAPPY HANUKKAH YOU ANTI-SEMITES" This photograph depicts the dichotomy of appreciating my heritage yet knowing that I am really just a white person but for some reason still have to deal with blonde women saying stuff to me like "Well you understand! This is my little girl last year, you know, with the whole Santa Claus thing." or a neck beard in a fedora saying "Don't jew me on this!". I am half Italian so this martyrdom is self inflected, but boy does it feel so superior! 

  

Title: White Girls With Cellphones

This is one of multiple shots in my "Hey look at me all causal just hanging out but seriously look at my stomach don't you just want to smooch it?!" series.  This shot is a complicated nuanced commentary on youth culture and the dangers of holding in your pee too long. Mainly it appears that I am a pretty cute summer goth hanging out in a set piece from the 1997 cult movie "Nowhere". This picture implies that I go out, have fun, and drink enough to get weird but not too much that I can not operate a cellphone semi-responsibly.  

 

  

Title: Hanging Out With My Boyfriends.

Haha! You guys! I am not really dating a bunch of arcade cabinets! I am just trying to get someone to give me free Super Nintendo games! ( it didn't work.)

 

 

       

  

Title: Fashion Blogin'

It is important as an artist to express myself everyday. A way I can do this without being one of those nightmare people who are constantly singing show tunes everywhere they go is through fashion. Here is a classic KRL look, which I have affectionately named "But, like, how old are you really?". I took this photo after an audition for something I knew I would not land, but it didn't matter because I am nailing the part of someone "super killing it at life". Try this self actualization practice. Dress yourself in your favorite outfit. Stand in the mirror. Take your photo. Look yourself dead in the eye and say "Nailed it." You are now officially unstoppable.

 

  

Title: You Canceled. 

O. You canceled our plans? Cool. Whatever. Just laying here with my stomach out. WHATEVER. WHO CARES. NOT ME.

 

 

 

    

  

Title: My Life.

Truth is everyone my life is awesome. I get to tell jokes, I dress super well, and my friends are way more attractive than yours. Gaze upon my selfies and let that feeling of FOMO fill your souls. Don't tell your self that "it's all in your head". You are in fact, missing out. Look how fucking hard I am killing it everyday! Step your Life game up, and maybe I will like something of yours on Instagram. Until then, just be jealous. 

 

xo.

Unemployment Watch Day 11: Enter The Void of Archie's Creepy Subconscious

Ever read so many Archie comics that you start to question the basic principles of reality and our basic need to survive? Who is Archie, why does he have such fantastic powers over his reality? Why does he torment Betty and Veronica with the knowledge that their version of reality splits and goes off into two divergent paths? Are they pawns? Toys? Or does he have a knowledge that everyone is powerless to their own reality.  He possess no age nor moral compass. He neither a villain nor hero, but more of a force of nature. Rolling in, destructing and creating. How often does he get diarrhea? Any mortal human would die of dehydration caused by the fury from their fragile bowls due a constant diet of malts and hamburgers and nothing else. He has control over the weather and its conditions, It is always summer except for ski trips or St.Valentines day.  Nobody questions him and everybody worships him. We should fear him and yet we spread his gospel to our children, our little girls. What life is this, under the redheaded minister of our perception that is "Archibald"? I do not know, but I welcome it as much as I fear it.

xo.

Unemployment Watch Day 08: A Breif History of Hating My Birthday

"IT'S MHHHAAAAAAI BIRUUUUTHHDAY" shouted the shiny woman from the crowd. I stare blankly for a minute unsure how to react. It was another Monday night open mic at the Boiler Room, one of the longest running open mics on the west coast. It is also happens to have an audience composed almost exclusively of people impatiently waiting for karaoke to start. Because of it's location in Old Town in downtown Portland our open mic often throws salt on many a school of bridge and tunnel young business professionals or bachelorette parties fun. I don't remember the joke I was trying to work on, it probably doesn't matter. Comedians think comedy is the most important thing in the world and when anyone dares reminds them that it isn't they get hella butthurt. However looking out at the shiny woman and her friends I couldn't conjure my ire because she was just having so much damn fun. Its so easy for people without a constant soundtrack of neurotic pathos to have fun. This is most people. I am the weirdo. Who the fuck am I to hate on this person who is just having a good time on a Monday?

I like cake, and drinking, and presents, and hanging out with friends, and getting to boss people around, yet I hate my birthday. I get paralyzed by the pressure I feel to have THE BEST TIME EVER yet am disappointed by the uneventfulness due to my own lack of planning. Here presented in summery is a history of me hating my birthday. The dates are estimated but the feelings are true.

1988-90

No memory of these birthdays. I am going to imagine at this point my birthdays were pretty chill and mostly composed of me looking cute af while pooping my pants.

1991

This is my first memory of having a birthday party, it is also my first memory of having a public meltdown on my birthday. Some things never change! My parents and I were living in a small grey house on Long Island that had termites but a really cool covered side porch area that was my play room. I am an only child so I spent most of my childhood either by myself or in front of my tv (NO SHIT KATIE) so I wasn't really used to having people all up in my space. My mom invited a bunch of kids from my preschool and their folks and set up tables to do crafts. There was a pinata and probably some bubble action. My mom was mad cute and hadn't been crushed by Long Island's insufferable keeping up with the Jones soccer mom mafia culture yet. I insisted that we also take my new rocking horse outside so everyone could see it. It was pretty dope, it was a large plastic brown pony that had white spots that sat on springs. I would sit on it for hours and just shout nonsense songs to nobody (#comedianpathos). Lo and behold, once the other kids saw how boss my rocking horse was they wanted a turn to use it. What? You guys aren't here to just watch me talk to myself? You are touching my pony? I mean I get sharing and everything, but this is like, my home. What are you even doing here? Its pretty rude to come over to someone's home and touch their pony.

Oh the crying.

1994-97

Long island has a class range from working class to super rich one percenters. Weather its because they had to work or they wanted to pop xanax and fall asleep in the pool with a glass of white wine nobody wanted their damn kids around for the summer. Everybody either sent their kids away to camp or to stay with relatives. If they were really rich they went on fancy vacations or, if they were Jewish to Club Med. I was only half Jewish so I went to day camp and went to Lake George. Anyway, the mass cull of children from suburbs in the summer meant there were not a lot of people around when it came to my birthday. I was born in the first week of August, and while I sometimes lucked out with a choice best friend or two, the rest was usually left up to chance. Casting from the D-list has left me with a lot of confusing childhood photos filled with unrecognizable faces of toothless smiling girls. Hope they aren't dead!

My family liked to push against the prepackaged birthday thing that was big where I grew up. You could paint a ceramic cat and then dance in a back room or a craft shop, you could go to the playground showroom and a pirate would chase you, all sorts of terribly questionable early nineties nonsense, and they weren't having it . In hindsight I don't know if this is because they were sincerely good parents who liked creating a unique and memorable experience for me or because they just wanted to protect me from the fact that I couldn't get enough people to show up to meet the minimum guest requirement at one of those pre-fab deals.

We started a tradition around this time of going to Rye Playland, an amusement park that I believe is actually weirdly owned by the city of Rye New York. It has old wooden roller coasters and old timey carousels and the same disaffected teenage staff that has worked every seasonal job ever since the dawn of minimum wage. Sometimes they would rent a van to take us, sometimes we would all fit in a car. All I really remember is one infamous trip, the one with the "Ferris Wheel Incident". I was a very squirmy kid, and we deiced to ride the Ferris wheel. The seats on the Ferris wheel were the large circular kind that you can fit a bunch of people in. In the bench seats were drain holes for when it rains. I was a tiny A.D.D tornado and if you left me unattended for even a second I was going to get my hand stuck in something. Within seconds I get my finger stuck in the drain hole and panic sets in over my face. I imagined an irritated teenager in a polo shirt opening up a first aid kit and cutting off my finger. In reality they had to stop the whole ride, stranding a bunch of concerned park guests at the top (an actual real life fear of mine) to put various greasy products on my hand until one aided me in slipping out. I am now totally terrified of Ferris wheels but that is more due to how rickety they feel and how high off the ground they are as opposed to childhood trauma.

2001

Do you guys remember being thirteen? What a fucking nightmare. You body and your feelings constantly hurt and nobody gives you a heads up on how clothes ruining your period actually is. Due to the events of this party I deemed it "the last" birthday party ever. It really wasn't that bad, its tragic and awful in the way that everything feels tragic and awful at that age. I had been going to a summer arts day camp that year where I had fallen into a group of friends. It was going to be the first year in a long time that I was going to have more than 4 people for my birthday, let alone in my house. I clearly had forgotten the lesson of the touched pony from 1991 (the lesson is I don't like people up in my shit).

I had made some really good friends that would last a lifetime, like my friend Jeremy who I still talk to this day or my friend Kelly who I was friends with in elementary school but reconnected with that summer. There were also some really shitty thirteen styled year old friends that I have to wonder if they are alive or republicans or something now. One of those friends was this girl, I cant totally recall her name, I want to say like Cassie or something? You guys she was soooooo cooool. She seemed to own every item of clothing that TrippNYC ever designed, her hair was long and that blue black color only the coolest mall goths had. She would say things like "only posers don't actually use their bondage pants!". I didn't even know what BDSM was, let alone that these supes cool pants with zippers and ropes on them were made for weird sex and not just looking bad ass. She told me she was bringing something "Huge that will make you feel loved!" I was terrified it was going to be a bong because my parents were home and I had yet to some pot and was so scared of being called out for it. It ended up being a giant carnival sized stuffed animal of Scooby Doo. I squealed real loud and hugged it around the neck. Other noted members of this party was a few non threatening boys, this is important because this is the summer of the most intense camp love triangle of all time. I liked Jeremy, Jeremy liked Hannah, Carol liked Sam and Sam liked me, and so did Kevin (who we called Kevinlution because of his "anarchist" views) which i did not find out about until much later. He told me I always looked so sad, which goes to show you my game has not changed in over 14 years. There was Shari who I went to high school with and was my friend, and she liked everybody, especially if you told her you liked someone. Turns out in that moment, she likes them too! Sam was a boy we liked to torture in that weird sexually repressed ways girls pick on dudes because they don't know how else to express their mixed up feelings yet. My best friend at the time from school was there too, Arielle. Something happened to her over the summer and unbeknownst to me she deiced to go "goth". She pulled it off very well unlike my summer look of awkward raver meets pop punk nightmare. Basically, it was a sea of hormones and feelings I didn't understand. And my parents were there.

Everyone started getting rowdy, people were shouting and trying to show off for each other. I had an elderly Italian neighbor who would bake me cookies and share peppers from her garden. Yolanda was starting to get senile and sometimes forgot to let her blinds down, and all my cackling teenage friends saw her shuffle into the bathroom as they sat on my porch. My stomach turned as they were making fun of her, I didn't like it. The pressure to not seem square weighted down on me, but I was so upset. "Leave her alone," I thought. "Most of you aren't even my real friends." I walk over to Arielle who is sitting by herself quietly looking off into the street, I ask her how she is doing, if she is having fun. I knew she wasn't and nether was I. It was the last birthday of mine she went to, our friendship would drop off after that summer by her choice. Shari and some of the boys are running around and screaming in the driveway, saying they are going to sneak over to my neighbors window. My dad appears in the driveway and sprays everyone with a hose. "GOOOODDDUUHHH" I shout.

I don't really remember how the party ended or everyone who was there, what I do remember is how awful I felt at the end of the night. It was definitely the seeds of a lifetime of social anxiety being planted and taking root. I did not have any "real" parties until I was in college, and even then I kept it  small and causal.

2009

21 years old. My dad took me to a comedy club, I got hammered, I heckled, Dave Attell called me a lesbian from on stage.

My friend Emily threw me a small party, I got drunk on her couch and watched my ex-boyfreind Ian try to flirt with my childhood best friend forever ( who is also named Katie). She rolls her eyes at him and says "okay buddy."

2012

We are in the height of the "Larry" years, (see my post "I loved the monster") I don't really have any friends and I am sitting on the back patio of a local bar. There are only a handful of people there, the the only two I can recall besides myself and my boyfriend is the neck tattooed angel Trevor Thorpe and his then girlfriend. Nobody knows me that well and I am white girl wasted. I keep saying "someone buy me a drink! Its my birthday!". Everyone ignores me like I am a little kid throwing a fit except for the occasional benevolent gesture from Trevor. Finally Trevor's girlfriend said "for fucks sake its her birthday! Here!" and hands me a whiskey.

I go to bed early.

2015

Look you guys today is my birthday. Things have changed a lot, I have so many people here in Portland that I love and adore. Yeah I am still in my bathrobe typing this, but I swear once I am done I am going to put on makeup and go outside. Tonight I am on my favorite showcase in town, Its Gonna Be Okay. At the show there is going to be all sorts of people I like, and after I get to eat a steak and sing karaoke, just like the shiny woman. I have already received many gifts from many lovely people, and I feel like people actually like me and aren't just pretending for the first time in my life. Last night after a showcase I was booked on a group of us hauled ass to a bar down the street. I looked up at everyone in the mostly empty establishment and realized that there wasn't one person there I didn't like. David shouts (always fucking shouting) "Hey are you enjoying your birthday Katie?" from across the way. "It's not my birthday yet!" My friend Caitlin leans into me with that crazy cat smirk she always has and says "Katie, you get the whole week. The whole week is your birthday." I knock back my cider and start thinking those stupid sappy thoughts you get in your booze brain before any life event. I snap a picture of everyone and think to myself "we are all going to be so fucking famous."

Happy Birthday KRL, now stop complaining and drink this.

xo.

Unemployment Watch Day 05: The Institute of Katie Sciences' Friday Presentation

Every Friday I am going to make a presentation of some new research from the Institute of Katie Sciences. Its summer time here at the institute and we decided to have a little fun. Playing KRL The Emotionally Unavailable Manic Pixie Dream Girl bingo is enjoyable and easy. Just follow these simple instructions and rules. Don't forget, have fun!

  1. Save our bingo card to your desktop or mobile device.
  2. Call your one friend up who actually still owns a printer and ask if you can print just like, this one thing. Please? PLEASE? If your friend is being a total douche knocker then suck it up and go to the Fedex-Kinkos. They are open 24-7 so you can do it whenever and its located  by both a Chipotle and a Tacobell, Make it a day!
  3. Join OKCupid and find Katie's profile. The less content on her profile the longer she has been a member. If she has started writing stuff like "Known feminist killjoy so fuck off if that bothers you" or " Must be Paul Rudd" you better proceed with caution. There is a chance that Katie has gotten sick of online dating because she has been eating regularly and realized that she doesn't need YOUR FUCKING APPROVAL. In this instance you are going to have to show up at one of her shows. Usually the host will say her twitter or give you enough information to find her on Facebook. For bonus points after she gets off stage, stand close to her and mouth breathe, but don't actually approach her to talk! She might evaporate or turn to stone or something. Just keep standing there.....staring.
  4. Send her a message. Do not say something like "You are pretty funny I guess" or "I really like your shorts". Do mention how cool you think she is or something about thinking she is interesting. Do not say you want her to read your screen play/poetry/view a video project/show you around open mics/dissertation on the need for better bike lanes in developing neighborhoods/improv anything. If she replies "I don't know you." good job! You are in! If she doesn't know you she technically can't hate you yet!
  5. Go on a date. She will probably cancel several times before actually agreeing to meet you. She is either involved with multiple people already or she thinks you are a creep but is too passive and codependent to let you know. If you are not persistent she will forget about you, but if you are too persistent she will write a blog about how fucking PRIVILEGED FUCKING MEN ARE WHY DO THEY THINK WE OWE THEM OUR TIME FOR FUCK SAKE where you have a dumb fake name. Repeat two or three times.
  6. Congrats, you are now dating Katie Rose Leon. I mean, causally, whatever we don't need to put a label on this right? I mean what does dating mean even? Whatever. Anyway, you can now start filling out your bingo card. Each time Katie does something or you find yourself saying something on the card mark it down.
  7. Get five in a row and you get BINGO!

You win: A sad confusing story you will tell to your friends in a bar late at night!

xo.

 

Join us here every few days for updates on the Unemployment Watch 2015 and feel free to donate to my paypal while you're at it. 


Unemployment Watch Day 03: I loved the Monster

Open warning to the men of the world: I am a part of a powerful coven of witches. Since I have started hanging out with my witch mountain sister in power Jen, I have been on average getting my period twice as often as I should. This natural power combined with Jen and I's special ET style collective unconscious mental bond has cast some powerful spells. Sadly though, we have no idea how to properly wield this power. Our magic manifests itself mostly by way of weird coincidences, mostly social media related. We will be having a causal talk and a mouth breather from our past would make an appearance in passing conversatoin, and moments later there glaring on one of our screens will be a message from said dochenozzle. The phone lights up " Hey whats up?". "NOOOOOOOOO" we scream. "WE ARE OUT OF CONTROL!" "SHITTY DUDE MOON RISING!"

When I got fired It was the first day of my period. I go over to Jen's house to lay on her couch and eat spaghetti. A bunch tampons roll out of my bag and she sighs "girl do you have your period again?!" Last night at 1 Am my phone lights up and on screen is a message I never thought I would receive. It was from my ex boyfriend's ex girlfriend. The girlfriend he dated right after me. She said that a friend of her told her Venus was in retrograde and it was a good time to cleanse bad blood and wondered if I could meet her. I told her the bad blood isn't between us, and that I would love to meet her. Because women need to watch out for each other. Because despite what she has heard I am a very nice lady.

She sat across from me at the bar, she seemed a little uncomfortable but was well dressed. Her blue dress complimented her natural red hair nicely and I wondered to myself if I should have dressed up. I was half asleep and had shown up in a disheveled crop top with no bra on. (so like the usual Katie? Shut up Katie!) I wasn't nervous, I knew if she had contacted me it was because she has gone through and survived the whole sociopathic nightmare cycle that is dating my ex. I have had my time to deal with everything that I have had been through. It has been years. I just didn't want her to feel like I was even an iota upset with her. We escaped the same prison camp, we are practically old war buddies. As she started to tell me about all the lies he told her, about himself, about me, I felt a huge sick relief. All the cruelty and gas-lighting wasn't curated to punish me specifically, but is just a pattern that he is doomed to repeat in his own personal inferno for all eternity. Slowly she help fill in the cracks of the last days of our relationship, and as the feeling of awkwardness lifted we started to laugh. "Man, I am so fucking sorry" I say. "That guy is so fucking crazy." 

I would like to preface this by saying that my ex-boyfriend is the sort of lunatic that will read this and send me multiple empty threats in essay format so for the sake of putting a buffer on the inevitable I will make up a name for him. We will call him, i don't know whats an embarrassing name? Larry. sure. whatever. His ex who contacted me is really cool and she deserves a cool name. How about Xena? Aight cool. Glad we cleared that up.

Larry and I met after I had just started doing stand up. He pursued me aggressively at first but I had a boyfriend at the time. A few months later I would find myself single and suddenly there is Larry at my workplace waving in the front window. I had only been in a few relationships at the time and for me he seemed to be good to be true. He cared about politics and was smart and charming and he liked me! I had just gotten out of a tumultuous long term relationship where I was often told I was nothing and there was a lot of border line grey area sexual issues that I wont call straight up abuse, but I would not call fully consensual either. I was still very insecure about myself and hadn't figured out that I was totally hot yet, so attention from someone as attractive as him seemed special. I had only lived in Portland for about a year and had yet to familiarize myself with the "Career Activist" type. I had no context that there was a whole army of skinny dudes with clip boards that used progressive buzz words to try and get laid more. I still naively thought that people who did that sort of thing because they liked, cared. What a dummy! We were together for a little over two years.

Things moved fast, and he was vague about his relationships of the past. I knew he was divorced but i didn't know for how long or to whom. I found out he was seeing someone before me but I didn't know the extent of their relationship. Suddenly he was around all the time, staying over most nights. He had strong opinions about everything, all others were considered irrelevant. He was smarmy and smooth, if he wanted to he could transfix whole groups of strangers at a bar. However, he just as easily turned abrasive and obnoxious, I did not retain any close friends during this time period because of this. He had a huge drinking problem, I would often find him blacked out on street corners or passed out on the stairs of my apartment, unable to make it all the way up to my bedroom. He had a job at the time registering people to vote, it was non partisan, the goal was just to get people to vote. I admired it. He was always meeting with volunteers and chatting people up at restaurants or bars with a clip board in his hand. I told him I saw how much he loved charming people and that I would be okay with having an open relationship if we discussed some rules first. I brought it up three times and each time he said "baby baby please, I only want you!" He often talked to me about adopting kids and getting married. I am not totally sure when the cheating started but its safe to assume it was during the entire course of our relationship. I now have reason to believe that there are whole swaths of people who still didn't know we ever were together at all.

He had all the hallmarks of a narcissistic sociopath. Big romantic overtures, separating me from other people, he was paranoid and often thought people were spying on him, gas-lighting, purposely bringing me to events where there would be women he was cheating on with me with just because he knew he could, all that fun manipulative bullshit. We had a fake breakup that i told no one about and we got back together. Stuff got more and more twisted, things made less sense. He finally told me he hadn't ever stopped cheating on me near the beginning of January of 2014. He had started seeing Xena in October of 2013.

Some of the most frustrating situations with Larry and I's relationship happened after the fact. I would tell people what happened, all the cheating and manipulation, how he used his job in activism to meet women, how he passed out face first at my step sisters wedding from drinking, and they would be unfazed. "Oh well I don't want to take sides." I wasn't asking for sides, I was asking to have my abuse acknowledged! I remember being on one of the first dates I went on during my seek and destroy all men tour of Portland Oregon. It was with someone who Larry used to work with and even kind of looked up too. I told him the most basic version of what happened, which still sounds totally nuts ("o well well he cheated on me with like 10 people? maybe more? Hahah whatever what kind of music do you like? O. cool. lets bone"). He looked at me and said "Well Larry is my friend, so I can't be that mad at him. If we get more serious I will have to tell him about us but we don't have to think about that right now" We didn't get more serious thank fucking god. But it was like the gas-lighting from my relationship had spilled over into my new life. Was I being crazy? Was I overreacting?  I know now obviously not, but god damn. Thanks for nothing chumps.

Now I have always been curious about all the various lies told about me to all those poor women over the years ( I want to say there was somewhere between 8 to 12 different women over the course of our 2 year relationship), but now here sitting across from me is someone who could actually tell me specifics. I wasn't sure if I wanted to know but I knew I needed to. When I wasn't horrified at the shit he tired to get away with some of them where just down right funny. I did a spit take after Xena tells me through a smirk that he would tell her about how "mean" I am and about how he was "responsible for introducing me to comedy". My favorite was that he told her that we did open up our relationship at one point but I got too jealous because he was seeing other girls but I could not nail anything down. Ha! Are you kidding me bro? Have you seen how I look in this dress? Why don't you go ahead and gag on that.

Mostly I was floored at how he started their relationship. The fucking gall of it. He met her at a bar down the street from our apartment. The apartment that both of our names are on the lease. He told her he had only been divorced for a year (lie) and that he was living on his friend's (lie, he has no friends) couch up the street while he gets his life back together. He would have her drop him off at some random apartment in an neighboring area, telling her he doesn't want her to see how he lives until he gets his own place. He would then stumble back to our apartment, acting aloof and irritated when I asked him about his night. He told her he wanted to keep her away from comedy, because he didn't want that toxic influence on her or whatever. In reality is because everyone in comedy knew we were a couple who lived together. He pulled a power move with her that he often did with me, and invited her to the birthday show for the beloved open mic host of the boiler room Kevin Michael Moore. When she later found out who I was she realized I was there, I don't have a memory of this probably because at this point I was very used to him parading women in front of me in an attempt to get a rise out of me. He promised to hang out with her on new years, he called her and said he would be over in an hour. Then he phones again and said he was at a house party, but her friends and her shouldn't come because it's mostly comedy people. In reality it was because I was there. He was acting cold that night when I was getting dressed to go out, he meanly turned to me and said "I don't even want to go out!" That night at our (my) friend's house party he came up to me on the dance floor and said "Iris's roommate is really cute, I totally have a crush on her." In a healthy relationship this comment would never phase me, I would even say something like "Oh totally! She's a manic pixie dream babe."  But by this point I was at my wits end and was in a state of constantly not knowing which of my feelings were true and what was an "overreaction" anymore. I pushed Him on the floor and shouted "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO STOP?"

We broke up a week after that, but he refused to leave the apartment for another month. My mind was still so warped that I didn't realize I had all the right to just throw him on his ass. I remember him sitting on the couch and in a rare moment of honesty, probably the only time he was honest with me, he told me about how he never wanted an open relationship because he liked sneaking around. He also told me about how he didn't really give a shit about voters rights, he just liked the attention and accolades it got him, but that honesty evaporated as soon as it appeared and he immediately started crying and putting on a show about how "all his comedy friends abandoned him!". I comforted him. I was so gone it would take me another month and a half before I started getting actually mad. He may have still been living in the apartment for a few weeks but he immediately latched on to Xena. She still had no idea I existed until they had dated for about half a year and he brought her to a comedy show at the now extinct Tonic Lounge. My talented friend Stephanie was on stage telling a joke, and he heckled. I cracked and shouted "SHUT UP LARRY". Everyone laughed because either they knew me, or because I have impeccable timing since I am super duper funny. Stephanie smiles calmly on stage and says "Oh that is funny, Larry just texted me the other day to let me know he ran into my ex-boyfriend and he was drunk. I then immediately called Katie to say 'Hey! Your drunk ex-boyfriend is texting me to talk shit about my drunk ex-boyfriend! How meta!'" He stormed out and proceeded to send me threatening text messages to the tune of "You're mean! You are a mean girl!" and "You better keep my name out of your mouth our I will tear it out myself!" for about an half an hour straight. What I know now is he had this freakout because he got caught. Xena had no idea who I was, let alone an old girlfriend. 

Its crazy to fill in the gaps, and even crazier to think that this is just one story of many that happened behind the scenes of my own relationship. I got to say though, the worst part is knowing that its a cycle that never ends. I had no idea about the girl before me when we first started dating but now the trail of wreckage is visible. He is on to the next girl now, I'm sure. Xena and I talked about pitying her the way that I used to Pity Xena. But there is nothing to be done, warn her and you are a "crazy ex-girlfriend". So that is why I typed this out, I hope that maybe someone who is in a manipulative relationship right now might read this and say to themselves "maybe I'm not crazy after all. This really does make no sense."

Heres to the coven, for women looking out for other women. Because the sad truth is the shitty dude moon is always rising, and it never comes out of retrograde. Good luck and be careful.

xo.

 

Join us here every few days for updates on the Unemployment Watch 2015 and feel free to donate to my paypal while you're at it. 



Unemployment Watch Day 02: New York Shitty You Broke My Heart

I knew when the news broke about me losing my job it was only a matter of time. I timed it out. I left my former job yesterday at approximately 11:30 AM. I called my mom to quietly tell her what happened at 11:45 AM. I then walk down the street to go lay on my friend Jen's couch and stare at the ceiling while she gives me calm affirmations to all the animal noises I kept grunting out. at 12 PM I get a call from my Dad. The call. They well why don't you move back to New York Call. 30 minutes. The Game is called.

Of course I would love to move back to New York. I retain my title as a east coast elitist and insist that it is still in fact the greatest city in the world. I miss people who walk like they have some place to be and cutting class to go over to the Natural History Museum. I like real bars that are open late and bodegas where a non judgmental man will make you a sandwich at 4 am.  I miss diversity and sloppily shoveling a square knish in my mouth, and wearing a tiny black dress and humoring dudes that work in "New media development" (whatever the fuck that is) at rooftop parties.  I grew up on Longisalnd in a commuter town. (I even get weirdly home sick for there too. Long islanders can be trash but I miss real beaches and tiny Italian restaurants and Billy Joel could make a surprise appearance by crashing into the front of your house at any time but that is a whole different blog post.) As soon as I was old enough to go out on my own I was in the city every chance I got, terrorizing tea shops and going to punk shows. Its what you did. I went to art college in Manhattan where I learned how to stretch canvas, how to bullshit my way through anything, and what gallery openings had the best free booze. One of my childhood best friends still lives in my old beloved Brooklyn apartment that I affectionately refer to as the Greenpoint Cry Castle. You only name apartments that you love. 

It's not that easy though, first of all have you met my family? I can't move back there without a banging career (In either television or looking hot at club openings. That's success right?) otherwise I will be hearing about "that time you wasted in Portland" for the rest of my life. Some stereotypes are true, and I am not about to volunteer for the intellectual upper middle-class nightmare version of Everybody Loves Raymond my life would instantly turn into. Also I don't know if you are aware, but only rich people get to have fun anymore. And by fun, I mean live in apartments where the toilet isn't free standing in the kitchen and they get to control their own heat instead of the bodega/Laundromat/Russian mafia front down stairs. Everybody I know that still lives there has had to migrate further and further into Queens while gathering new roommates like a disaffected Craiglists Katamari. Do you guys know about "railroad" styled apartments? You probably don't because you live in a magical well adjusted wonderland. Its where there are no hallways, just rooms attached to rooms, and because you are a "young urban artist", you have three roommates in each one, who are all sickly smelly bearded dudes coming off heroin. You have to go through each others rooms to get to say, the kitchen or to escape a fire. It's an actual death trap. And the worse part is, you are grateful to have it because it's only $2,000 a month which is "REALLY GOOD FOR THIS NEIGHBORHOOD".

Things People Don't Understand About NYC Unless They Have Lived There:

  • It always smells like feces and garbage in the summertime. It doesn't matter how wealthy you are, you can't escape the stink.
  • The more someone hates on Long Island is proportional from how far away they actually grew up from some place as cool as NYC. Like the most hateful person is probably from Wyoming or some other bullshit symmetrical state.
  • If you decide to be the red flag of gentrification in your neighborhood you better sooth it over with the locals or nobody will look out for you. This will result with you either getting robbed or your laundry or bike stolen. Find the old dudes that run the block. They are sitting on the stoop. Buy them the liquor or beer of their choice. you are now cool. When some other white whiny weenier creative types move in, don't tell them your secret. High five the dudes on the stoop when their laundry gets stolen.
  • There is a ghost baby that died by pooping itself to death that haunts the subway. You know you are on a train with the ghost baby because the whole car smells like someone took a dump. If the train pulls up and is super crowded like everyone is trying to escape a war but there is one car that is totally empty, do not enter! Its a trap set by the ghost baby! It will have one defiant turd sitting in the middle of the car and no air conditioning. This is the ghost babies commentary on urban growth boundaries or celebrity culture or something.

"But Katie, New York City is an epicenter for comedy and television! Isn't like that your entire steeze? Why are you wasting away in the sea of complacency and questionable aesthetics that is Portland Oregon? WHY? ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID OR SOMETHING HUH? KATIE WHY KATTTTIIEEE" Well I am glad you asked. First off, in Portland I can get stage time any day of the week and have a ton of opportunities to figure out how to be funny while not having to worry about like, how I am going to eat. Sure NYC is a cultural monolith but thats why every blue hat and red hat and no hat from bumble fuck nowhere moves there to "make it!!!!!". Seriously,  have they renamed Williamsburg "Little Ohio" yet? The point is, why struggle against all the chafe when I can just go Super Saiyan over here in the pacific north west and then kamehameha my way to wherever the fuck I want to go. New York Shitty, I love you but you broke my heart. See you around.

xo.

 

Join us here every few days for updates on the Unemployment Watch 2015 and feel free to donate to my paypal while you're at it. 


Unemployment Watch Day 01: Ground Zero

Hello, my name is Katie Rose Leon and today, Monday July 27th at 11:26 A.M I was fired from my job at the pet store where I held the prestigious titled of  "Customer Service and Animal Care associate" for three years. The fact that my manager was planning to fire me did not stop them from letting me work four and a half hours before they informed me of my unemployment. It is the first job I have ever been officially fired from. 

I have always had a tenuous relationship with the employment scene in Portland Oregon and as I look at out at the landscape before me I can't help but feel bewildered. Its a bittersweet victory, today I lost a pay check but I also am now officially a working comedian. I know I am a working comedian because my former manager sat across from me, teary eyed and pale and told me so. He told me that the store could not afford to staff around employees who hold a second job, and then he told me my second job was comedy. This is how I found out I am a working comedian. I thought there would be more money, or press, or at least snacks. The fact that I no longer have to wake up every morning to paste on my "Black Hole Sun" smile while a rich lady in yoga pants lectures me about how her cat can't eat GMO's hasn't quite settled in. Mostly I just feel aloof and hungry. Where are the snacks?!

 Many creative types struggle with having a day job, they feel like they are "selling out" or being suffocated by the capitalist machine. I can relate to that and even sort of agree, however rent don't pay itself and where would my brand be if I couldn't afford a different fuzzy monster coat for every weekday. Working at a pet store came naturally to me, because I care about animals and hanging out with boys takes the same skill set as most small mammal care. Talking to pet owners made me feel stable and smart. There is a genre of person out there in this lonely world that only talks to their animals, and that means for the past three years the only human contact they ever had was me. I shaped minds and possibly derailed a few public shootings, all with a nodding smile and a knowledge of proper reptile lighting. I have had some genuinely good days, mostly involving dumb cute creatures or snacks. I am still hungry you guys. As much as I liked to pretend I was some budget vet tech, it was still retail, and retail is rough, there is so much standing and smiling! 

 Once I remember incredulously watching an old white man watch his dog take a slow wet shit across the store. Come Sail Away played in the background as the dog teetered around making sure not to miss a spot. My wide eyed alertness and straight muppet mouth did not phase his owner, who was watching slack jawed and generally uninterested until the deed was done. Once the crime was committed I got on my hands and knees to clean it up, because I am good at my job. As I scour away like the peasant scum I am I hear him take a long breath. It's the kind of breath that alerts you that someone is about to say something stupid, and as a customer service rock star, you are going to have to hide how much of your soul they are actively crushing. He looked down at me and squinted in the same way I imagine he looks at anyone he deems "unsavory" in his manicured neighborhood. "Hey, didn't I see you do comedy last week?"

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I knew my job was going downhill for awhile. The store was suffering finically after some poorly thought out impulse business decisions and there was a general feeling of unrest amongst the staff. Clearly our manager had not heard about the historical lesson of Napoleon and his foolish quest to try and open a pet store in Russia. Ultimately it is a good thing I was "let go". I am over having stress dreams about pet food recalls and almost all of my long term co-workers have already quit. I look forward to whats next and hope this snarky blog post won't hurt my chances of rejoining the work force.

Thanks job, you gave me money, a few asthma attacks and taught me that I am a "working comedian".

Best Wishes xo.

Join us here every few days for updates on the Unemployment Watch 2015 and feel free to donate to my paypal while you're at it. WINKY FACE