Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Writer’s Block Tips

Posted on February 4, 2011

Writer's Block

Having trouble writing something? Don’t know where to start? Or, maybe you’ve started, but you don’t know where to go from there. Writer's block came feel impossible to overcome. Whatever your problem is, these helpful tips are here to help.

A few suggestions for getting over writer’s block:

1) Um…

2) Huh… I guess…

3) [Something about making something.]

4) I, uh, I don’t…

5) Oh, thank god! Short Circuit is available on Netflix Streaming.


Modernist Furniture

Posted on February 3, 2011

Modernist Furniture

I can remember at six-years-old crafting my first piece of modernist furniture. It was a rocking horse made out of Plexiglass and discarded aluminum tubing. The conceit was that it didn't necessarily "rock."

It was as though a firecracker had gone off in the world of modern design. The MoMA called my work "disturbingly present."

Soon, I discovered molded plywood. It felt like finding a magic world all of my own. Within days, I had built a minimalist living room set inspired by soap bubbles. Mies van der Rohe wrote me a fan letter after having seen it in one of Charles and Ray Eames' filmstrips. I was eight at the time.

However, as with many modernist design child stars, fame took hold too quickly and too hard. Julius Shulman's pictures of my work in Observe & Ponder Magazine made me a household name. My fiberglass and resin piece, Slide Redacted, was the original impetus for Herman Miller’s move into playground equipment manufacturing.

I even had my own catchphrase: "Function demands empathy, form demands sacrifice."

Soon, I found myself partying at Philip Johnson's Glass House. Buckminster Fuller was constantly around, tossing Utopia-through-design hippy girls my way. Drugs, fights, shoplifting drafting materials … For my twelfth birthday I rented out Taliesin and burned it to the ground. (I know---again, right?) My tween life was out of control.

I won't lie---that period marked some of my greatest achievements in object design. Probably a subconscious nod to my own life's downward spiral, my Treehouse with Double Helix Fireman’s Pole drew rave reviews, even from the normally staid Austrians. I was a madman, up until well past dawn on amphetamines, sketching end tables and racecar beds.

But, it's always the same story. I burnt out.

At fifteen, I was asked to redesign the lobby of Lincoln Center. I turned in a scribbled crayon sketch of a Labrador Retriever in a riding helmet and jodhpurs. My parents checked me into rehab.

Some new child designer quickly took my place. I wasn’t jealous; I was tired.

Today, I lead a normal life. I have a beautiful wife whom I met in rehab. (She had been a famous abstract expressionist ceremacist at age seven, so we understand each other.) We have a nice little house and two lovely daughters. I teach Sunday school at the Unitarian church.

Every now and then, I’ll design a storage ottoman for Target. Nothing big or flashy. Just something to keep my hand in the game. I danced with the Design Devil and made it out alive. That’s enough for me.


Blog FAQ

Posted on February 2, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How long have you been writing this blog?
A: How long is the wind? How high is hope? This is a stupid question. Next.

(Whoops, I misread that last question. I started this blog in February of 2010.)

Q: Are you a real person with real human feelings?
A: A mitigated yes.

Q: Is the blog all you do?
A: No. During the day, I design book covers for books that need covering. Also, I spend a good part of my day doubting myself. That takes up time.

Q: Where do you come up with your ideas?
A: Your mom. BURN!!!

Q: What's your favorite brand of beard conditioner?
A: Dr. McKittrick's Lamb Placenta Beard Conditioner. (Imported from New Zealand.)

Q: Do you ever have guest bloggers?
A: Someone offered, but I didn't trust him to do a mediocre job, which would have made me look better by comparison. He would have been too funny.

Q: Have you called your grandmother?
A: Yes, mom, I called her on Sunday.

Q: Who are your inspirations?
A: Jack Handey, Steve Martin, P.G. Wodehouse, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Paul Feig, an obese cat on YouTube that guards socks.

Q: Which is your favorite blog post?
A: I couldn't choose. That'd be like asking me who my second-favorite child is after Jessica.

Q: What's the point of all this?
A: If you're asking about the blog, it's to keep my writing sharp so as to eventually get hired to write professionally. If you're asking about life in general and maybe you're crying while you ask it, stay on the line. I'm here to help.

Q: Has anyone ever asked a real question about this blog?
A: Ever? I think so. Sure, probably. Probably? Maybe. Ever? Can you be more specific?

Q: How many people read your blog every day?
A: Well, according to Google Analytics, it varies between hundreds and one random person in Pittsburgh. Hi, reader in Pittsburgh! I know you're there. Hope that's not creepy.

Q: What's the best pizza in New York?
A: A little place without a sign just south of Kim's Video on 1st Avenue.

Q: Have you ever thought about marketing your blog so that more than just your Facebook friends read it?
A: Stop yelling at me! [takes nap]

Q: Any final thoughts?
A: [groggy from nap] I need to figure out how to get a writing job.


Damn You, Body!

Posted on February 1, 2011

Listen, body, I don’t like you, and you don’t like me. But, let me make one thing clear: We are gonna stop being so fat. Starting now.

Hey! Body! I’m talking to you! Don’t pretend you can’t hear me; you’re the one with the ears. I know you can understand me, body. I’m your brain, for cripe’s sake. It’s time to get our ass in shape. Literally.

Don’t you want to be in shape? I would love for us to be in shape. It would make it so much easier on the both of us. For one, you wouldn’t be so winded climbing the stairs. And, I wouldn’t have to feel this constant self-doubt and embarrassment every time our spring wardrobe comes out of storage.

Alright, here’s the plan: 1) You’re going to stop eating so much. 2) You’re gonna exercise. 3) I’ll provide the fantasies about looking good in a European-cut suit.

That’s it. It’s a three-point plan. You execute the first two points, and I’ll try my damndest on the third. I think that sounds like a equitable deal. (Fair warning: I may lapse every now and then by encouraging some late-night, depressive binge eating.)

Hey! Where’d you’d get that Mallomar? Do not eat that Mallomar! I said, do not mmphhh mmmphtt … Oh god, it tastes delicious.

Alright, fine, one Mallomar is fine. That’s fine. But we are going to exercise. Stand up and put on your headband. I know we left that Pilates mat somewhere … No, don’t sit down and turn on E! It’s terrible. We are not watching that horrible, vapid … Ooh, did Kendra get a new house? NOOO! No, we’re exercising.

Wow, she sure did lose that pregnancy weight fast. Good for her.

Alright, maybe just one more Mallomar. It’s so tasty. [crying] Damn you, body. I hate you so much.

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