These are my words…

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Please check out the relaunch of my blog that focuses on the Boston Red Sox minor league teams from Pawtucket to the Dominican Republic. I’ve decided to rename it Minor Threat. Thought it had a nice ring to it. What do you think? Hoping to get some traffic over there via my social media accounts, this blog post, and more. I may offer giveaways, shoutouts on Twitter to get you more followers, and other fun stuff. If you have any ideas on how to promote this relaunch, please let me know. You can contact me through the site.

http://www.minorthreatredsox.wordpress.com

I will continue to contribute to a a great New England blog site, Sportsofboston.com. There are a great team of writers and articles on the Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, and Patriots. If it’s sports related and happening in New England, there is a good chance we cover it.It has been fun. I am very, very grateful to be part of this talented group of sports writers.

Follow me on Twitter @KaraJ1979 for more!

Thanks for reading!

100_1761I hate the attention my feet get. They stopped growing around seventh grade. This is when I do remember at least one person a week, on average, asking me what size shoe I wear, commenting on how cute my feet were, where I purchased my shoes, how did I find shoes, and on and on.

To answer all your questions:

1. I wear size 1 1/2 U.S. children’s, 30 European.

2. Thanks. I don’t want cute feet; I want sexy ones.

3. I, like you, buy my shoes at the store or via Amazon.

4. I go shoe shopping.

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I want to love my feet and what better way than to celebrate them in a blog posts with photos. They get me to where I am going. They allow me to walk, run, play tennis, and have taken me through the first 35 years of a wonderful life journey. Yes, they are even sexy. And, yes, you should be jealous if that is your motivation behind your comments.

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This post is one step (pardon the pun), among many, in a more positive direction, toward self-acceptance and away from self-loathing.  I have learned that I cannot change much in this world at all. I can only hope to accept it. I am humbled by my body. It teaches me the patience I need to have with myself and others. All I need do is look down and I am reminded. Ahh! Humility.

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I hope to build some esteem, laughs, and joy about those two body parts attached to my ankles. Enjoy the photographs. The feet have been there through thick and thin, getting where I need to go, pushing me through to the next milestone on the journey of life.

 

 

 

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I can’t believe I did it. I applied to NBCUniversal to be a comedy writer.

Well, not exactly. I applied to be accepted to a workshop that would take place in New York City at 30 Rockefeller Center In March 2015.

I have not heard back yet. What I do know for certain is another door to a room filled with possibility opened in my mind. I could write comedy. I could be a comedy writer.

Initially, I laughed at the application that someone forwarded to me. It called for the following:

  • 1-2 pages of Monologue Jokes
  • 1-2 pages of middle of the show bit descriptions, similar to Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You” notes, or David Letterman’s “Stupid Human Tricks.”
  • and, 2 Saturday Night Live (SNL) style skits, one with an original character and about pop culture, or something on current events or life.

An optional letter of recommendation could also be included, but it had to be from a real person, not an original character. In so many words, the submitter could not write a letter of recommendation from a figment of their imagination. This is the part in which I burst out laughing during my first reading of the application guidelines.

Finally, NBCUniversal required that you sign away all your literary and copyright to the content that you submitted as part of the application. The long and the short of it was that NBC, the members of the writers’ rooms at 30 Rock, and/or anyone else that read my content could use it. (If I see any of my ideas on air, I will be sure to let everyone know.)

I went back and forth on whether or not to apply, then I thought: “What do I have to lose?” I’m not a comedy writer. I’m a fair-to-middling sports writer that currently is not getting paid. Why not throw my hat in the ring? People think I am funny. I know this because most of them laugh when I tell stories, or throw out a one liner.

The final thing that convinced me were my recent thoughts after watching an episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, and a few recent sketches of SNL. My thoughts were “anything would be better than this crap.” I laughed only at some of the old SNL stuff, but none of the newer skits. And as for Seth Meyers, let’s just say the man needs help. It takes a village, and that village is not in the “Late Night” writing room.

Here is a sampling of what I submitted (following fair use guidelines to the best of my ability, of course, because I no longer hold the rights to this material)

Monologue Jokes

Paddington came out in theaters today. It’s the story of a bear that was left at a train station with a sign that said look after this bear. In the modern day retelling, Paddington gets left at the airport where he is subject to a TSA full cavity search, and it costs $25 to check his bag when he tries to fly United.

Boyhood, featuring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, won the Golden Globe for best film. I’m looking forward to the sequel “Never-Ending Adolescence” starring Scott Disick.

Taken 3 opens in theaters on Friday. It wasn’t bad enough that they made Taken 2. How many more people does Oscar Schindler have to save?

Middle of the Show Content

Uber confessions – Riders and drivers tell their wildest tales of using this service (A cleaned up version of HBO’s Taxicab Confessions.)

Online Dating Profiles – Review online dating profiles. Ask person to come on to the show to help improve the writing of their dating profiles, or talk to them about the success of their dating profile. Bring on someone who is completely fabricating information in his or her profile, from images to how answered questions.

Sketches (I’ll include the whole sketch. This is an area of my submission that I am confident will never see the light of day. If you can believe it, the other one is worse.)

MASTERTEXT THEATER – AN AUTOCORRECT ADVENTURE

The camera focuses in on a fireplace and moves to the HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER. The music from PBS Masterpiece Theater plays in the background.

HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER (earnestly): Welcome to MasterText Theater. Tonight we will tune in to a couple deciding what to do on a Friday night.

The two characters, a MALE AND a FEMALE, appear in split screen possibly (pre-recorded), phones in hand. They are dating It is Friday night and boyfriend text messages girlfriend about plans for the night.

MALE (texts on phone appears on the screen just below Male’s face, appearing similar to the IMessage App) (voice over of his voice says) Hey, how about Chinese and moving in tonight?

FEMALE (Text notification noise) (Surprised, scared look on her face) (FEMALE voiceover say) We have only been dating for a month. I’m not sure I am ready for that level of commitment.

HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER He meant movie. How about a movie tonight?

MALE (Text notification noise) (Confused look on his face. Then realizes his mistake, hits head with hand, and Laughs to himself.) Oh no, I meant a movie.

FEMALE (Text notification noise) (Laughs to herself. Types on phone.) K, that sounds even much better. How about The Hummer Games?

MALE (Text notification noise) (shocked look on his face followed by mischievous grin, and excitement. Fist pumps in the air.). Are you sure you want to watch that? My buddy has it.

HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER (Rolls his eyes) She meant The Hunger Games. (Sarcastically) Oooo, burn.

FEMALE (Text notification noise) (Shocked, grossed out face):Oh Autocorrect! I meant the Hunger Games.

MALE (Text notification noise) (Appears bummed, sighs, shakes it off, steadies himself, texts her back): Right! Right, Duck, autocorrect, I don’t really have a friend with that movie. Do you want Chinese, Mexican, or Thai?

FEMALE (Text notification noise) (Texts back): I want chin rests.  

Male: (Rolls eyes) Do you mean Chinese?

HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER (matter of factly) She meant Chinese.

FEMALE (Text notification noise) (texts) Yes, sorry. This phone just says what it wants. I’ll see you latter day saints.

HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER (matter of factly) She meant to say, I’ll see you later.

MALE (Text notification noise) (Agitated now…mouths “what” laughs in aggravation. Angrily texts.) Duck these phones. Duck them all to helicopter. I can’t tall like this any larger. C u toenails. J

HOST OF MASTERTEXT THEATER (shakes head, hesitantly, but matter of factly) I think he’s excited about their date. Uhhhhh! Yeah, we’ll go with that.

(Slightly horrified, rubs left temple with left hand) We will see you next time on MasterText Theater. For now, good night.

 (Male and Female appear in split screen, and look exasperated, Smiles, shake their heads.)

END

Why I Did It?

And now, I continue to wait like I have for the past few weeks. The workshop takes place from March 20-24. There are people whom have been writing comedy far longer than I have, which was basically for two weeks, that probably want to be part of this workshop. In addition, some of my fellow competitors may have agents, and television writing credits.  Not me, I am just happy to throw my hat in the ring. Happy to be able to be strong enough to do something so filled with uncertainty that a year ago I would have dismissed it out of hand. Why? Because I had no control over the outcome.

This is messy. Life is messy. I cannot allow this messy life to scare me.

The possibilities are exciting only if you see them, and realize you have nothing to lose.

Therefore living messily, living in shadows of the grey unknown, IS exactly how I want to live. Anything less is just existing.

If you are not living a life filled with your passions, or reaching for the brass ring, a new experience that feeds your soul, stop everything and look around. Find an opportunity where you have nothing to lose. Then go for it.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out, but for right now I am content living in the unknown because I am better for having had the experience.

Check out a piece I wrote for Sports of Boston on Stuart Scott. Rest in Peace, Stu. I still cannot believe this giant is not walking among us.

http://sportsofboston.com/2015/01/06/remembering-stuart-scott/

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I heard this quotation spoken in my Friday evening yoga class. I loved it because I lived it during 2014 and desire to never stop living it.

Hope is the glue that binds the action of knocking with the joy that is yet to be exposed. So long as we keep trying to get better, work on ourselves every day, and hold a hope for tomorrow, joy is within reach. At least this is how I choose to interpret Rumi’s words.

Hope can be a wonderful thing and, boy, is it dangerous. Some days it may be in abundance. Other days there is but a thin sliver to get us to tomorrow. This is rough news, right?

People say, “Hope is for suckers,” but is it?  The way I see it is the sliver is always there. This is the guarantee between you and the Universe. There is always hope, but it is the quantity and the surrounding expectations that are fluid. I have come to terms with just that this year. I am working on managing my expectations and enhancing the amount of hope I hold for tomorrow. Still, again, the only guarantee is that sliver of hope that we go to bed with each night. Expanding the quantity and expectations is up each individual.

I have more work to do with expectations. What else can I work on to bring more joy into my life? Perspective making? State of mind? Focusing more on my body, rather than the thoughts in my head? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What do you plan on to work on to bring joy into your lives? I would love to hear your suggestions on your journey toward joys.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I will light candles this Christmas
Candles of joy, despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage where fear is ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens.
Candles of love to inspire all my living.
Candles that will burn all the year long.
- Howard Thurman
I’m very proud of the progress I have made this year in many areas of my life. The card (bearing the Christmas blessing above) behind the candles, and an ornament that now adorns my Christmas tree were given to me by a work colleague in a department in which I do not directly serve. I am proud of these two gifts because they are signs of growth in two big areas of my life where I was most certainly lacking: communication and spirituality. I’ve worked in a seminary for 9.5 years and have balked at the idea of God. I don’t know why or when, but his presence seems to have disappeared in my life at some point before and during the years I spent working at the theology school. The spirit shone strongly through me while I was in college. I remember being able to feel a warmth in my heart, and to visualize a light in my chest. Then that light and warmth left me.
Thankfully, the He (or It) that was within me at one time, and now is now back because of the work I did on communication with the people I work with.
“Why are they always so happy,” I wondered. “How could they be so happy, it is sickening,” I once thought.
But it is not sickening: it is wondrous. They had something. Three somethings:
Hope, Belief, Faith.
These were things I needed and the only way to get them was to lean into those who work and live around me. No, I wouldn’t lose my sense of humor or my snarky wit. Yes, I would still enjoy big belly laughs.  And, I would gain friendships, respect, acknowledgement and a desire for people to actually want to spend time near me. Friendships and acquaintances that I never thought would be possible.
I let go of anger and opened up to hope, faith and belief in something larger than myself. The solution, and the fellowship at work, have been there all along I just had to let go, and allow those special people to educate me about how to live in community. This learning cannot be done with the use of books: it can only be done with busy heads, hearts, and hands in the form of good deeds.
So long as I am employed in this community, and as a citizen of the world, I will never forget these great gifts of 2014.
Thank you to each and every one of you for restoring my faith.

All photographs and writing Copyright Kara Jackman. All Rights Reserved

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