A teacher once told an improv class I was in that performers should always work to amuse themselves and have fun while they're performing, because "when you're enjoying yourself on stage, the audience will relax and have fun with you."
It's one of those things that seems completely obvious, but for a group of first-year students, it was incredibly valuable advice that made a big difference for a lot of us.
I mention this because I really amused and enjoyed myself while I wrote this week's LA Daily, analog folding @ home:
"Excuse me," I said to the bored teenage girl who didn't know how lucky she was to have a job, "I can't seem to find the Far Side calendar."
She stopped texting and gave me a look.
"There isn't a Far Side calendar," she said.
I laughed at her hilarious joke.
"Seriously," I said, "make with the Far Side calendar."
She gave me another look. "They. Did. Not. Make. One. This. Year."
I began to feel frightened and confused. "They always make a Far Side calendar! How can there not be a Far Side calendar? This is the worst thing since the Holocaust!"
"I'll be sure to let the company know that." She said.
My wife put her hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry. He gets like this when he hasn't taken his pills."
The girl gave my wife a look, my wife gave me a look, I gave them both a look, and before I knew it, we were walking to the bookstore.
"I don't think she appreciated my unique brand of tasteless humor," I said.
"Jee, do you think?" My wife said.
A few minutes later, we stood in the calendar area at the bookstore.
"I can't believe there's no Far Side calendar," I said.
"Yeah," my wife said, "I got that."
We looked for several minutes, finding a few possible candidates, but nothing as good as the Far Side calendar that, in my mind, had classics like Midvale School for the Gifted, How Birds See the World, and That One With The Cows Where They're All Standing Up And One Of Them Says "CAR!" So They Get On Four Legs While The Car Drives By And Then They Stand Back Up.
I took in a breath and opened my mouth to speak.
"No. You're not going to say another word about it."
...man, I really miss The Far Side.