Caitlin Kunkel

Comedy Writer, Director & Producer

Things I Did This Week Instead of Write Pt. 2

Posted on August 23, 2014

no no no so no is my writing mantra

no no no so no is my writing mantra

Full disclosure – I did finish one piece this week, but then I celebrated by wasting a bunch of other time. So this list is in honor of all the other writing that I left in limbo with my slothfulness. I’m sorry, I should have baptized you first.

Here are the OTHER things I got done:
 

Exercise five times. You know things have gotten real blocky when sweating is preferred to writing.

 

Read one play (Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker).

 

Took car2go for a distance less than one mile on 7 separate occasions (see above: slothfulness, dead baby pieces in limbo).

 

Considered changing my Twitter avatar to seem more professional, then decided that having an inappropriate picture of a puppet as a headshot is one of the perks of being a comedy writer and kept it.

 

kermit's dedication inspires me

Kermit’s dedication inspires me

 

Tried and failed to do my laundry four times. Moved it into the hallway three days before taking it downstairs. Finally succeeded in doing three loads but stalled out at 82% folded. Lost three socks and two pairs of underwear. Still considered it a success.

 

Read eight of my backlogged New York and Entertainment Weekly magazines. I know this isn’t technically work, but it does make me feel very accomplished and makes me better at pretending I have seen all the shows and read all the books.

 

Read the WORST e-book I have ever encountered on my Kindle. It came through an Amazon recommended email and it was basically like reading a never-ending Live Journal entry. I kept reading with the firm assurance that it would certainly improve, otherwise how could it be a book, and why would Amazon lie about this and ohmygod it’s still going and it’s so terrible WHY, but my faith in humanity was not served on that day.

 

Tried two new sandwiches. One was a BLT with a fried egg on it that quickly became cold and horrifying in texture, and the other was a chickpea sandwich that tasted mostly like lemons. Neither were excellent, which is the only acceptable standard or sandwiches. The scale is simply poor or excellent.**

**paid for by the National Association of Sandwich Evaluation

 

Watched my first episode of House Hunters Renovation and hated the woman on the show with such a burning fury that I felt energized enough to make this list. Thanks, you millwork psychopath!

 

Hey, there’s always next week.

My Summer Reading List: by Caitlin Kunkel

Posted on August 15, 2014

In the spirit of back-to-schoolin’ it, here are the books I’ve been tearing through in the past month and a half. After a year of reading mainly nonfiction and sociological books, I’m back on the fiction train. These books were mainly read on the beach, so there’s a lot of lightness (no Tolstoy allowed). And I have a pretty clear bias toward female authors (TAKE THAT PATRIARCHY). A note about my reading habits – I read 2-3 books at a time. Something easier at night as I try to go to sleep, then my beloved dystopians and heavier fictions in the morning or while I’m waiting for people (you would be astonished how many books you can read in the chasm between receiving a text that says “almost there!” and that person actually being there).

 

The Girl With All The Gifts

The Girl With All The Gifts

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey

A unique dystopian novel that focused on the biological causes of a zombie outbreak. As I read it I felt that the ending was unsatisfying and strangely paced, but I’ve found myself mulling it over in my head and I’m now deeply disturbed by the final images. Several scenes have stuck with me and linger in the corners of my mind when I wake up at 2am, which to me is the mark of a good dystopia. Read in hardcover in the mornings over the course of a week

 

All Fall Down

All Fall Down

ALL FALL DOWN by Jennifer Weiner

Enjoyed the beginning as I was reading it (it’s fun to read about someone addicted to pills as you munch Dorito snack packs on the beach), but the second half left me increasingly unsatisfied (much like the experience of eating Dorito snack packs on the beach). I could feel the author making a lot of judgment calls in the background of the prose on her characters, which is a pet peeve of mine. Weiner is a writer whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past, but churning out a novel per year is starting to make them feel a bit formulaic. Read on Kindle over five days.

 

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

I know – SUPER CURRENT, to read a trendy, plot-driven book two years after it comes out. I’ve actually had this on my Kindle for close to a year but never got around to starting it. However, like a good American, an impending movie forced me to begin reading so I wouldn’t see a spoiler in the lead up to the film release in October. I really, really enjoyed it – I tore through the second half on a cross-country flight. I won’t talk about the plot too much since it’s so twisty, but suffice it to say I love me a nasty female protagonist. I just read this essay on her website expounding on that. Read on Kindle constantly over the course of four days.

 

The Matchmaker

The Matchmaker

THE MATCHMAKER by Elin Hilderbrand

Yup, every single book she writes is set on Nantucket. Yup, you know how they end. But she went to my alma mater, has an effortless-seeming writing style and I seriously look forward to reading these books on vacation every year. The Matchmaker was not my favorite – one thing that really bothered me about the story was how the female character was defined in relation to what other people say about her. She’s so perfect, she’s so nice, everyone loves her – BUT WHY? The character herself is almost a blank slate for the others (especially men) to reflect qualities onto her. This is unusual for Hilderbrand’s work. There were some really great food and house descriptions though, so I forgive her. Read on Kindle on the beach over the course of five days.

 

The Actress

The Actress

THE ACTRESS by Amy Sohn

This one is missing the snarkiness of its predecessors, Prospect Park West and Motherland. It was also a little too ripped from the headlines for my taste. Read over the course of four days on the beach on Kindle.

 

The End of the Suburbs

The End of the Suburbs

THE END OF THE SUBURBS by Leigh Gallagher

Just a light sociological text about the housing evolution and how our neighborhoods might look in the US in the years to come. An outlier in this month of dystopia and relationship novels, but I found it engaging and thought-provoking. LET’S DITCH OUR CARS, EVERYONE! Read on Kindle at night over the course of a month (keep leaving and coming back to it).

 

Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House

Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House

LIFE WOULD BE PERFECT IF I LIVED IN THAT HOUSE by Megan Daum

This was a reread for me. Daum is one of my favorite authors (here is her excellent essay My Misspent Youth, which was my entry point to her writing). This memoir traces her long-time obsession with creating a certain kind of home, her frantic pursuit of real estate, and finding/creating a long-term home. If you compulsively watch HGTV even though you have no intention of buying a house, this book is for you. Read in paperback at night over the course of two weeks.

 

The Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs

THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS by Claire Messud

I’m currently working on this one as my morning read – I plow through a few chapters each day as I drink my espresso. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Emperor’s Children, but there’s no denying that Messud is a simply fantastic writer. So far, this book is excellent and the protagonist is deeply interesting to me. Reading in paperback.

 

The Vacationers

The Vacationers

THE VACATIONERS by Emma Straub

My nighttime read, this is set on the Spanish island of Mallorca, which I don’t know anything about. Otherwise, it feels like I’ve read this book several times before. Focuses on the dramz in a New York family. Halfway through, reading on Kindle.

 

Summer reading verdict: nothing has surpassed my favorite book of the year thus far, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.

Apparently I Had an Instagram This Whole Time

Posted on July 6, 2014

Here I am, thinking I’m special for not giving in to Instagram, only to realize that I do have an account with one photo in it and 75 followers. I shared the below photo and now I’m hooked. Follow me @kunkeltron for more photographic gold.

 

I am cautiously optimistic about both Instagram and my friendship with this pig

I am cautiously optimistic about both Instagram and my friendship with this pig

 

Things I Did This Week Instead of Write

Posted on June 13, 2014

sometimes you just need to refuess

sometimes you just need to refuess

I didn’t get a lot of writing done this week. Normally I would self-flagellate by watching House Hunters until my loathing transferred from myself to human beings who sit down in other people’s bathtubs with their shoes on or make jokes about how women need lots of closet space or say “I’m not going to settle” when their budgets are 50% too low for the area they want to live in.

But instead, I decide to make a list of the things I DID get done this week:

 

Figured out an issue where for the past four months my mail order prescription had been getting shipped to a NW SW address that only exists in Narnia and not in Portland.

 

Read two plays (Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler and The Devil at Noon by Anne Washburn).

 

Googled how much souls supposedly weigh then remembered that movie called 21 Grams and read a plot synopsis of it. Regretted this lost time and wished for it back down to the very depths of my 21-gram soul.

 

Worked 20 hours at my awesome part-time job.

 

Cleaned my hideously dirty and crowded desk. You know how some people like to say that your workspace is a reflection of your mind? That’s true.

 

photo from quick meme

photo from quick meme

 
Went to bakeries 5 out of 7 days. Absolutely no croissants were spared.

 

Tried acupuncture for the first time (on a back spasm that also did not help productivity this week).

 

Also in back spasm news, called my health insurance company and three doctors. This is sometimes known as navigating phone trees so bureaucratic they would make Kafka cry. Then this happened on Twitter:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 5.40.55 PM

 

Also in back spasm news, took three naps. That’s three more than I’ve taken in the past year. Had terrifying dreams during each of them. Swore off naps.

 

Directed the two soft openings for Work Schmerk.

 

Watched my FAVORITE summer reality show, America Ninja Warrior, and then went down the wormhole of “parkour fail” videos, which are second only to “weightlifting accidents” for the “holy shit, is that guy dead?” factor.

 

Made this list.

 

Hey, there’s always next week.

WORK SCHMERK at Coho Productions

Posted on June 12, 2014

Since last December, I’ve been working with comedian/storyteller Jay Flewelling on finalizing the script for his one-man show, WORK SCHMERK. Welp, we finalized it, we rehearsed it, and now it’s up and running! On Tuesday, 6/17 and Wednesday, 6/18, WORK SCHMERK will be performed at Coho Theater in NW Portland.
 
Following the performance, sister musical duo THE DOUBLECLICKS will take the stage and perform songs from their new album. Check out one of their songs below. I’ve had a great experience working with Jay again (he was Santa in A NIGHTMARE ON ELF STREET) and really enjoyed directing a one-man show. Get your (limited!) tickets here.

 

 
Check out our great preview piece in The Oregonian here. Thank you to reporter and arts advocate Jamie Hale for the coverage.

 

BIG THANKS to the fabulous Andy Batt for the photography and Jake Trudell for the art design! We also are privileged to be sponsored by Elephant’s Delicatessen and Deschutes Brewing. Deschutes is also providing the beer for purchased at Coho.

WS Poster Final

Late Night Action at Bridgetown!

Posted on May 7, 2014

Screen-Shot-2014-03-13-at-3.49.00-PM

Late Night Action is an official selection of this year’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, one of the largest and most exciting festivals going on right now in the US. We’re so excited to help kick off the weekend with a Bridgetown primer show tomorrow night, featuring standup comedian and festival co-founder Andy Wood, standup and Twitter superstar Aparna Nancherla, standup and podcaster Myq Kaplan, and musical guest, comedian Henry Phillips.
 

We’re at the Doug Fir Lounge on the Squarespace Stage Thursday night from 10:00-11:30pm. More information here – hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

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