The How I Learned Series features writers, storytellers, comedians, and other raconteurs holding forth on a different theme. It all happens every last Wednesday of the month, and sometimes more than that, which basically means you will have the best night of your life on those nights, repeatedly.



Everything is so Relaxing

Monday, February 27th, 2012

This is how we do it.
The How I Learned series has an intern and her name is Lyra Smith. I knew I liked her when I said I might want to do a parenting theme and she suggested I book Tina Fey or Doogie Howser. Here is Lyra's take on last week's show, How I Learned to Chill the F@#k Out About A Lot of Things, which was not only a great show, but also a major fire hazard. No way we would have made it out alive.

xo Blaise





This Month’s How I Learned was Amazing
By Lyra Smith
Photos: Alex Crawford


To quote Corky St. Clair, this month’s How I Learned was a Zen thing, like how many babies fit in a tire; and MANY of you already know this because you were THERE.  Such a great crowd, so sorry I had to lie to your faces about my responsibilities to gain access to the bar.  Don’t be mad at me.  Calm down!  We all learned some very important techniques for chilling the fuck out, y’all.  Use them from now on, free of charge.  

First, ERIN BARKER (The Story Collider) cleared the air, revealing the truth about her less than pyromaniacal past.  Although there was a heavy dose of fire involved.  What else was she to do really?  A person can only take so many episodes of "7th Heaven" before they need an emotional cleansing via the flames of a cathartic house fire.



Erin Barker


Some stuff going on.


Then LODRO RINZLER (The Buddha Walks into a Bar), spiritually enlightened us with a story of the sexiest Angel ever to take a seventeen-hour train ride through Canada.  If you’re suffering through a religious struggle, I highly recommend making out with the stranger sitting next to you.  Right now.  Do it.  They’re writing a description of you in their head this very second.  Readying it for a Missed Connection* as soon as they can find some free wifi.  I promise.  It’s written in the stars.**


Lodro Rinzler


Next up ELISA ALBERT (The Book of Dahlia)--yes, THE Elisa from Jewish teen pop group fame--explained what my uncle, who makes his own soy milk, has been saying for years: Dude, just, just some pot, man.  It is one of the truest sentiments you will hear, but for some reason it has more weight coming from an intelligent, attractive young woman versus a man who wears Birkenstock sandals year-round.
Elisa Albert
JEFF SIMMERMON made me cry, and not just from the pain of his extremely firm handshake.  He’s strong, guys.  And his story of fighting testicular cancer ended in a delightfully odd moment of clarity. “Sometimes we find solace in the strangest of places.” – Your mom.  Also, his girlfriend sounds really cool.       


Jeff Simmermon
Fun times.


As Blaise put it best, “someone has to follow cancer,” and ELIOT GLAZER (It Gets Betterish) proved the only way to successfully follow cancer is by calling vaginas "chowder houses."  I think he said the word “vagina” more times than Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski and that is great!  Vaginas are great!  Eliot is pretty sure.


Eliot Glazer
"Va...gina...?"

So I invite you to my personal favorite cure for CHILLING THE FUCK OUT--that is attending next month’s How I Learned to Make the Grade: Stories about Education on March 28th (full-on details coming soon). Just look at the pictures taken last week by the incomparable Alex Crawford and tell me you aren’t looking for your old Adderall prescription already.  


Fire hazard.
Erin Barker, Eliot Glazer, Lodro Rinzler, Blaise Allysen Kearsley, Elisa Albert and Jeff Simmermon. Table #7, y'all.
* Police report
** Police report


--Lyra Smith