Work Chapter Closed

So I’m no longer a closed captioner. I used to be, but I’m not anymore.
Now that I’m no longer under non-disclosure contract, I can tell you all the secrets that you always wanted to know about my job! Like when to use a comma if the speaker is listing multiple items. Ooh, or the difference between “onto” and “on to.” Or the most exotic secret of all: whether or not “under way” is two words. (Hint: Yes. As an adverb. Write to all your publications who write it as one word and tell them they are morons.)
Okay, so my job may not have been so interesting for most, but I had a good run for the past three years. I saw tons of cool TV shows that I probably wouldn’t have watched on my own, and I was chock full of random facts to bore all my friends with.
It feels really weird to think about never doing it again. It also feels weird that since the day I quit, I have watched a whole 15 minutes of television. And it was “Deal Or No Deal.” And I teared up during it.
That’s pretty much my first indicator that I’m under a bit of stress — when I start falling for networks’ sneaky heartstring-pulling attempts. But the guy sold the suitcase to buy a basketball court in Trinidad! I…I think I have something in my eye.
Oh, while we’re on the subject of DOND, I should mention this:


I like the second one especially, because it looks like we’re old pals just catching up. Which is just what we were doing, of course!
So, yeah, I’ll miss being plugged into the television world, but hopefully that world is only a year away. Right now, however, I’m at Performing Arts Camp working 12-hour days, and getting home just in time to fall face down on a pillow and start all over again.
And here I thought I was going to be catching up on video games.
Camp is fun, as always. I’m always shocked at my co-workers and volunteers. It’s just inspiring to see so many people working so hard for next to nothing. I often wonder why they do it. A few days ago, we had to build the set for the plays. The pieces were beyond heavy and required 4 people to carry them. They had spiders crawling all over them, we got splinters, and one kid got his hand smashed when someone else set it down incorrectly.
I had to step back and wonder why these people — some teenage boys, some alumni workers like me, some campers’ fathers and mothers — voluntarily gave up their Wednesday evening to do this! Then I realized that I could wonder the same about why *I* was doing it. The short answer is that it’s fun. It’s fun to be a part of something, to solve a puzzle (literally — these set pieces were like a jigsaw), to be a part of a team. To have inside jokes with each other and complain with each other and take breaks with each other.
And these breaks aren’t like my old office-worker breaks, where you saunter into the kitchen looking like Lumbergh from “Office Space” with your coffee mug, and maybe your eyes are a little sore from staring at a computer screen. These are sweaty, dirty breaks where drinking a cool Pepsi never felt so deserved. And you’re able to look at a completed set design and feel accomplished at what you’ve done. Or going to the annual Late-Night Dinner After the Play, where all the energy and relief and excitement of a night well-done explodes into some poor restaurant establishment, and everyone is hugging and joking about the flubs or near-misses or notes perfectly hit.
I don’t know. People always ask why I do it year after year, and I guess if you’re not in it, you can’t understand what we get from it. And I’m sure going to miss it next year.

Yes, Another Letter

Dear Seth MacFarlane, Hi. Big fan. Um, look, love the shows. I know you’re working really hard out here in Hollywood, and …