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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wherein I Brave The Wilds Of Harmoncountry

This past week I went to the Harmontown show in San Francisco (listen to it here!).  I volunteered to go up on stage during Erin McGathy's This Feels Terrible (listen to it here!), and was called back up during Harmontown itself. The following is a description of my night to my friend Casey, who knows nothing about Harmontown beyond who Dan Harmon is.


me: oh my god so i went to the Harmontown show ALONE because Katherine bailed on me

Casey: alone is not necessarily a bad thing...
  opportunity to find people to not be alone with with

me: yeah, it was fine, I wasn't stressing it. and I ended up going on stage and talking about my relationship issues and did a really poor job explaining what happened with Isaac and talked a little about David and how awesome people from Arcata are and my tendency to hook up with all of my friends. and I called myself a proud slut which I should have qualified with the very true fact that I am really good at having casual sex but am lazy and picky and don’t actually just fuck random people but I didn’t really and the rest of the night hella guys were being HELLA creepy towards me, which I guess is to be expected after something like that.  and Erin tried to set me up with the other guy on stage and got moved to a much better seat and he was pretty lame but it didn't really matter because then we went on stage again
and got asked what the chances were that we were gonna make out and the dude says, very confidently, “I’m gonna go with 95%” and I give him a look

 Casey: mhmmmmmm
  this all sounds amazing

me: and say no offense dude but when I came here tonight I was hoping to make out with Spencer (who is the large bearded dungeon master and who is awesome) 

 Casey: hehehe

 me: and so then they brought Spencer up and tried to get us to make out on stage but I was very clear that I didn’t want to accost the guy so thankfully it moved quickly in another direction and a lot of it was a blur but regardless I GOT TO BE ON STAGE WITH DAN HARMON STANDING NEXT TO ME
being very drunk and very funny and doing a giraffe rap

 Casey: (I know nothing about Harmontown)
  that's amazing!
that sounds like such a great time
  and the best everything
  and who gets to do that??

 me: Harmontown is this show that Dan Harmon does where he talks about his life and drinks vodka and freestyle raps and plays dungeons and dragons
it also has Jeff Davis who is an improv god and kind of holds the whole thing together
it's complicated

Casey: ahhhhh
  i was quick looking it up
  but still unclear
  does he usually bring people up?
  for that long?

me: Yeah, he brings people up all the time. But we were originally brought on stage for the opening act which was his girlfriend Erin McGathy's podcast This Feels Terrible which is like a show about relationships

 Casey: how'd you get picked??
  just jump up and down and look cute?

me: they asked for volunteers of people who are chronically single and alone LOL
there were totally crickets in this room full of couples so
  I said sure!
the people at my table OBVIOUSLY hated me for being there alone
  and I had already been trying to finagle a way on stage to possibly freestyle rap and/or set in motion my plan to make out with Spencer
although my original idea was much more normal and involved talking to him like a rational human being and not announcing my intentions to all of Harmontown

 Casey: haha fantastic!
did you at least get to give him a hug?
  kiss on the cheek?

me: omg so after the show everyone was like coming up to me in the bathroom and when I’m paying my bill telling me I did a great job, it was kind of strange (great job...talking about how you've fucked all your friends!) but being shameless and genuine on a stage impresses people and I think that's a big part of why folks love Harmontown. I went outside and the guy from on stage (his name was Bryan, I know he spelled it that way because he gave me his CARD from Walmart Laboratories which, like, WHAT) tried to make out with me (literally he said to me, “want to find out what 5% is like?" and literally I said to him, “I am not going to make out with you”) and I SHUT THAT DOWN because he was one of those self-proclaimed “nice guys” who expects a reward for being nice and also he was so not my type (Spencer described him as "waif-like" LOL) and his moustache needed trimming.  and so I lit a joint and then Dan Harmon came out and I offered him some of my joint and then he stood in the same place in the really awesome elevated outdoor area in front of the club and signed things and talked to what seemed like everybody who went to the show for an insane amount of time and meanwhile I was waiting for the right time to make my Spencer move

and talking to Erin and Dustin the producer and other Harmenians like the drunk girl who had gone up on stage after me because she had gotten into a car accident and talked (and rapped) about her horrible alcoholic mom

well, actually I mostly talked to her British friend because the drunk girl was REALLY DRUNK (and turns out she actually had a concussion from the accident; see comment below) and had already forgotten what she had said on stage, and she was like, “but it washhh all the truuu, shhhh ish an alcoholiccc bisssshhhh” and that led to a great conversation between me and British girl about how Dan Harmon inspires people to be honest about themselves and their lives and provides all Harmenians with a safe place to do so

 Casey: mmhmmmm
  this all sounds like the movie version of this night
  which is incredible


Casey: that allllll sounds so so so fantastic!

 me: yeah, there were cameras all around, THAT was weird. I cannot even contemplate what it'd be like to be the subject of a documentary or to be on reality tv.

Casey: and spencer??
  you're so cool
  like really

me: anyway, when I finally walked up to Spencer my timing was terrible.  I had been talking to somebody else who had just left, and I had to make a decision whether to go sit back down or seize the moment and go talk to him, and my legs just started moving and as I was walking my brain was yelling "nooooo what are you doing??? this is not the right time!!!" beause there were like, seven dudes all around him but it was too late to turn back or change course and so I sidled up to this nerd circle and they all started making awkward jokes and said, "oh, should we leave you two alone?" and then they DID and it was so awkward and I had spent too much time getting stoned with the British girl and couldn't stop laughing and apologizing and we tried to talk but fuck, HE is awkward and also super cool and I felt like we had been set up on a blind date except I was the one who set it up in front of a room full of people and he hadn’t agreed to ANY OF IT and I was trying to think of one of the many questions I had for him and the whole situation was so weird, and I told him that I really had just wanted to talk to him like a normal person and he says, “So talk!” which is a terrible thing to say with someone with social anxiety who has made a mistake and THIS WAS NOT MY PLAN I’m so good with plans and I fucked this one up a little.  But eventually I figured out a way to talk to him and it was chill but there were all these people coming up to him and what I had really wanted to do is just get a beer and talk about nerdy fantasy dungeon master Dan Harmon stuff with this fascinating guy, and if it had been any other night I would've seen if there was any way to go out to the bars with them but it was the last night of the tour and I knew they would want to celebrate with their whole crew and film for the movie and definitely didn't want to intrude on anything and I had to haul ass to catch my train as it was

Casey: well, you know what, you still tried

 me: anyway, I apologized on twitter and asked if I could buy him a drink and try actually talking to him next time I'm in LA and he said "wouldn't be opposed" which is totally wtf but also I don't know what else I expected from this guy, he is a weird enigma and Dan said he may just be meant to be alone
which just makes me more interested because I am kind of a weird enigma and I feel that way about myself sometimes

 Casey: and that's the coolest
  also what someone who's a geek and doesn't know what to do with girls would say

me: lol, right?  I’m so into it.

anyway, so once Spencer disappeared  I could tell they were all wanting to leave but Dan, who is clearly a remarkable human being, was still making his way through the line of people and having real conversations with every one of them.  Dustin told me he did this in every single city.  and I figured that I had stayed this long already, and I was by myself and it was a beautiful warm night and so I got into the end of the queue and got hit on by the fanboys at the end of the line.

the line dwindled and I became the girl who took pictures for the last lingering nerds with Dan and then I was the last one left and almost didn't even want to bother him but I guess I am a little bit of a jerk because I did.  I told him that I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the work he does and how what I really love about Harmontown is his openness and honesty and silliness and pure commitment to just surrounding himself with good people and trying his best to be happy and bring other people happiness.  I mean, I don't know exactly what I said, but that was the gist.  and he responded with this amazing monologue that I'm sure at least a bit of will make it into the end of the movie because it was that perfect and at one point he raised his voice and it echoed around the skyscrapers and it was just this beautiful, poignant moment that I feel really lucky to have witnessed.  

I'm very aware that those of us in the cult of Dan Harmon have a tendency to deify him a bit.  but I think it's because we see ourselves in him, and we want to elevate those honest, loving, unabashed parts of being human and look to Dan and say, "that's who I am and that's who I want to be".  at least that's part of it for me.  the other part is that he's just obviously an astoundingly brilliant, giving person and he creates art that I love and makes me laugh.

anyway, I was so glad I stayed and I just made it to the last outbound N-Judah and if you want to listen to the podcast they should both be up in a couple days.  I'll post links when they are (listen to Harmontown here and This Feels Terrible here) or you can just look up Harmontown and This Feels Terrible on itunes.

Casey: yay!
i am so excited for you
  and your fabulous night

me: :) fuck it really was super fabulous.  BUT SO SURREAL. 
We are all fucking crazy and I love it


  1. I actually had a concussion from the accident in addition to having too much to drink on an empty stomach. Good thing my night of humiliation will live on the internet forever and ever. Another learning experience, I guess.


  2. I am so sorry to hear about your concussion, dude. It was obviously a rough night for you but I think that makes what you did, getting on stage & freestyling & everything, even more impressive. I know, exposing yourself to the internet is rough (listening to the podcast all I could think was, "Lauren, STOP FUCKING LAUGHING INTO THE MICROPHONE"), but no one is going to look down on you for anything you did. You're young & brave & honest & I, for one, think you're really awesome.

    Sorry if I used your slurred speech for comedic effect; I'll edit it & explain about the concussion. Hope things get better for you & feel free to hit me up if you ever need to get honest with another Harmenian.

    xoxo Lauren

  3. Cool post. Way to go Lauren, I know exactly how you feel.
    Re: Brian, I get the feeling he's just as socially awkward as the rest of us Harmenians, I think the 95% thing was really an attempt to be funny. And later on just trying to make lemonade of a lemoni situation.
    Re: Spencer, I think Casey is right, he's a nerdy dude without much experience with women (let alone strong confident ones if you've listened to TFT with him) so his responses are just attempts at being nice, respectful and non rejecting. I think.

    1. mmm...I talked to that guy for long enough to determine that he was at least half-douche.

      But you're spot on about Spencer. He is legitimately nice and made the best of the entirely weird situation I created.