So, True Porn Clerk Stories has sent me into a nostalgic daze, even causing me to wonder if I should apply at one of the local video stores, just for the heck of it. Not that I really need to put in more time behind the counter - I spent my junior and senior years of high school working at a mom and pop store with ample amounts of both porn and foreign films. I made friends, made (some) money, watched a ridiculous amount of videos, acquired a stalker, lost sleep, and in general sacrificed the majority of my social life and mental health to a video store. But somewhere along the way, I fell in love with film, and it's been a relationship that's lasted.
And there aren't too many of those, I've found.
(It's worth noting that the end theme from X-Men just came up on iTunes. Michael Kamen did some great work for that film. ::wistful sigh::)
Anyways, so we didn't have quite as many porn renters as Ali does, but that's because the manager - an imposing Philipino woman in her 50s, who loved small children, Deanna Durbin, and owning her own business - was less than encouraging. Our porn section was a tiny, curtained-off room located in a corner of the store. It was dark, cluttered, and rarely cleaned. Only the bravest were quite able to brave it.
I'll admit I never relished the porn renters, and found some of the regulars to be a bit creepy. That aspect of the Porn Clerk Stories was what really sent me back, truthfully, because there appears to be something about video stores that attracts those lonely, sad men. And they don't necessarily rent porn! They just want some form of entertainment to occupy their empty hours. They just want a friendly person to pass the plastic boxes across the counter, maybe offer a bit of conversation, smile and say 'Have a nice day.'
I always said 'Have a nice day.' Even after 9 PM. But by then, I was usually a bit worn out.
I met good people, along the way. Like the married couple that I would run into all over town (even ended up sitting next to them during a matinee of Rocky and Bullwinkle). Or the older gay gentlemen who told me I HAD to see Roman Holiday, after I suggested they give Judy Holiday a try, and who would bring in vacation snapshots from their trips to Italy and France.
There was The Most Regular Customer Ever, who came in at the same time every day to return the video he rented the day before and check out a new one from a list he had with him. He had a growth on one of his fingernails, and would tell me stories about his time in the Navy during World War II.
And then there were the two kids who my boss let hang out behind the counter while their parents ran errands - I ended up training them on the computers, and, the last time I stopped by the store, I discovered that the oldest actually works there now!
Before any of this came up, I was talking to my brother this afternoon, who started working at the store last year, much to my delight. He reported that the store has sold off the laserdisc collection, which included some true gems, and is now packing up for a new location. And I'm not as sad as I'd imagined being, which is strange, because usually I'm the biggest baby about change.
Maybe it's just because I know that they have always had money problems, and that this solution is far better than closing their doors. Maybe it's a part of my life that I've simply closed the book on.
Or maybe it's because my brother works there. And so I know that the store - and my customers - are in good hands.
Little fixes made to the site today include: -permalinks for all entries -adding Paula, a fine-ass designer and blogger, to the sidebar -updating my reading list
At work on Monday, I finished Shopgirl, Rose Daughter, and Sandman vol. 6, the last volume of the series that I own. I'm going to put up mini-reviews of the first two on the Reviews page, because why else do I have it?
I also need to write up The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Lilo and Stitch, Minority Report, Road to Perdition, and Reign of Fire.
I also have to watch American Idol tonight. I don't have a crush on Simon, but I do like him a great deal.
So recently, my eyes have been bugging me a bit because of all the computer time I've been putting in. It's not too bad - the strain gets to them, is all. And yesterday it came to a head. I came home from work, checked my email, checked my friends list... and then had to shut down the computer.
Because I didn't want to watch TV, either, I had to figure out something else to do - which ended up being cleaning up the apartment a bit (turns out that our stove is white *g*), reading a backlog of Video Watchdog and Pulse magazines (Pulse is this free Tower Records publication that can be found a lot of places around LA, and it's such a hardcore music geek mag that reading it makes me feel like I actually know who Brian Eno is - actually, I almost do!). I even started writing the Savant article - by hand! Which was new and exciting. As was listening to Ani Difranco's Dilate all the while.
And I went to bed early and slept FOREVER. And I'd forgotten how good so much intense sleep can feel. As soon as I wake up entirely, I'm really going to appreciate it.
I'd also forgotten how much I love Zero 7. I'd been avoiding them for a while, not letting them come up so often on my iTunes list - but they've come up now, and the music is really quite beautiful. I needed the distance, I suppose. They were in danger of being overplayed earlier this summer.
The majority of the CDs in my van right now are mix CDs that I made when I was editing my short films last semester. Because often I would use extremely different songs for the same films (my favorite has to be the combination of Sonic Youth, Pink, Bill Withers, Rob Zombie, and James Newton Howard), there isn't much rhyme or reason to them. I think for next semester, when I, once again, spend half of my life in the car, I'm going to replace them all with CDs from old school artists - Joni Mitchell, Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix. And Bill Withers, of course.
Because Bill Withers is another artist I'd forgotten recently, which is strange, given that I have such love for his work, and get pretty pissy when people think that Will Smith wrote "Just the Two of Us." His songs are simple, romantic, and kick some major ass. "Soul Shadows," "Lovely Day," "Lean on Me," "Use Me," "Ain't No Sunshine"....
I can't jog without music, and LA radio stations are so commercial-filled that I've had to switch to something else. My CD players skips like a mo-fo - but I first got The Best of Bill Withers on tape (before getting it on CD), and so recently I've been listening to it during my pathetic runs.
My tape collection is pretty sad, containing mainly relics from childhood and some sampler tapes from local punk artists. But there's nothing like reaching the last block of my run just as "Lovely Day" kicks in. My spirit soars.
If only I had access to all of my old tapes. Nothing like sweatin' to THE New Kids on the Block.
In no particular order, this weekend I've: -written more comic book script -written more short story -not written any of my next article for Savant -deposited a paycheck -used a part of said paycheck to take advantage of a rather excellent comic book sale -finished reading From Hell -started reading two other books (neither of which are Infinite Jest) -got some sleep -saw a play and improv comedy at a small indie theater -enjoyed Farscape, despite its more confusing elements. And (whited out for season 4 spoilers) can someone explain the deal with the gestated/frozen pregnancy - the whole Sebatian (sp?) physiology thing? I'm clear on the facts, but not clear about how they fit together. -fell asleep watching Into the Arms of Strangers - because I was tired, not because it was bad. -sat in the office of a self-storage place in Santa Monica *g* -walked over four miles of LA pavement, basking in warm sunlight and cool breezes, before collapsing at a coffee shop for an ice blended latte. -gone to see Reign of Fire (well, not yet - but ask again in five hours *g*)
And it wasn't very exciting. But it was good.
Now, to lay down, recover from my walk (didn't need to do yoga today - I'm all exercised out) and read a bit before venturing out to glamorous Santa Monica.
I don't know why I feel the need to say the following so much. Maybe it's because I feel like I was down a dark hole not so long ago, and it's good to remind myself that I'm almost out of that hole, that things are better, that--
Okay, so I've been a bit defensive about my watching American Idol recently, but it really is as simple as this - I enjoy watching the show with my friends on Tuesday nights, I enjoy discussing the results with my friends after Wednesday, and I get a kick out of Stack's recaps at TWOP. This week's recap was especially fun.
My roommate has been giving me a hard time recently for the amount of TV I watch (it's worth pointing out that she watches almost as much as me, but that's inconsequential). But while I really do enjoy a lot of shows, I only watch TV for specific purposes - even the more random stuff I enjoy, like Iron Chef, has a lot of motivation behind it (in Chef's case, my fascination with chefs and the work they do). I rarely turn on the TV and turn off my brain - my brain has a strong line of reasoning for all of the choices it makes. And I'm not ashamed of watching American Idol - it's a stupid show, but it's something I enjoy sharing with other people. Which makes the experience worth it.
I don't like watching a ton of TV - the only times I really indulge are when I'm physically sick or seriously depressed, and in those situations it's more like medication than anything. Otherwise, I like the glowing box to be a part of my life, but not a large part. Two to three hours of TV is enough for me in any given day. And that's only during the summer, when I have the time to give it.
I'm going to start keeping a log of how much TV I do watch, though, because maybe my roommate does see something I'm missing. These days, though, I spend more time staring at the computer than at the TV.
Not that that's any healthier.
Well, at least the remote doesn't make my hands cramp. *g*
Jeans status: Today, they button all the way, a little more loosely. I still can't wear them comfortably, but the active campaign to shrink my waistline has either paid off, or I've simply stretched out these jeans to the point of wearability.
I think the next step is to move onto a pair of jeans I only fit into during my "thin" phases - it's a higher mountain to climb, but I'm up for the challenge.
Austin Powers in Goldmember is likely worth your money. It's a movie powered entirely on gags and set-ups for gags, but the first fifteen minutes could possibly kill you with their hilarity. And Beyonce Knowles is a better actress (or at least funnier) than Heather "I'm Secret Agent Barbie" Graham.
And I thought it was less gross than the second (not by a large factor, though), so there's a bonus.
This may be the most I ever say about it. But I don't feel like I wasted my time - watching it or writing about it.
Okay, yes, I'll admit it, I want the internship I interviewed for on Tuesday. I love the people, I love the place, I love the idea of working on cool websites and learning new things. (I also love that they would pay me, but that's consequential.) I think I'd be well-suited, I think it would be a great opportunity for me, I think it would be a lot of fun.
Which, of course, means that I'm convinced I won't get it.
Of course, if I don't get it, I can go to see area2 at the Shoreline Amphitheater and spend some time hanging out with my family. I do want that, as well. I'll be fine if I don't get this internship. I'll more than manage.
But I do want it, though. And I'm getting used to getting burned.
Not a new story, but still one that depresses me a little. Especially the quote.
Hey, but in happy news! Today, my essay appears in Savant. The comments I got from qowf were such a help; I think it holds up pretty well. I have a bio and everything with them now. Which is cool.
And this afternoon, I'm going to do laps at the USC pool! Swimming! Man, it's been a while. This is all part of my active campaign to fit into a pair of jeans I once could wear comfortably - I am not happy that they don't fit any more. So I alternate between pathetic jogging and pathetic yoga every day, and do sit-ups, and try not to pig out. It may end up being slow-going, and I'm not even particularly fond of these jeans, but it's at least a goal.
So I'll be posting every day on my jeans status, because that will at least help me keep track. And I won't let myself off the hook.
Jeans status recap: Well, Monday I could just barely get them over my hips. Tuesday, the top button was buttoned. (They're button-fly, making this adventure a true challenge.) Yesterday, the top button remained buttoned, but sitting down was painful. I haven't tried them on today. After yoga, though.
I'm not fat, I'm just a little over my target weight right now. And I might as well fit into the clothes I got, since I can't really afford to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe right now.
Wouldn't that be cool, though? People always talk about buying a new wardrobe - but do they ever do it?
I'm so schizophrenic in terms of fashion (or, put it another way, I'm very whim-driven) that I don't think I could do it in one go. But it's still an interesting thought.
I got into West Wing at the beginning of the second season, catching up on the first season via Em's tapes. And god, I was flabbergasted. Politics COMBINED with the genuine need to do good things. I'm a bit infatuated with politics (do NOT ask me how many times I've watched Primary Colors) and that's exactly what I'm fascinated by - the idealism that leads people to think, I am doing good things when I compromise just this little bit...
I don't cry at the end of episodes anymore. And I'll be the first to help point out the show's flaws, especially this season.
But I'm still sad over this. I like Sam Seaborn a great deal. He does good things. And only compromises a little bit.
My daughter Lili, six years old, has a new favourite comic. For the last several days she's been found curled up with THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. I told her it has some nasty bits in it that she might not like, and it has some difficult language in it, but that I'd be right here to talk about it with her. I explained the concept; all the characters are from old books or films, and the idea is that what if they all were real, and teamed up together to fight the bad guys. Told her where the characters were from, why Miss Murray wears a scarf. Had a moment where she thought Dracula was a vampire duck -- her only experience of the idea is the British cartoon Count Duckula.
A day later, I find her painstakingly writing out the character's names.
Two days later: "Look at this, Daddy! This is gross!" Captain Nemo has killed two people with a massive harpoon gun. "It's gone right through their guts, Daddy!" Utter grossed-out glee.
"Miss Murray is very clever. I like her."
I'm calling Alan later. I think it's been a while since he had a six-year-old fan.
Her current favourite TV shows are The Simpsons, The Proud Family and The Powerpuff Girls.
Last night, I was playing the William Orbit version of Fur Elise.
Lili comes into the office. "That sounds like Fur Elise, Daddy."
She has been caught dancing to The Drummers Of Burundi.
My daughter is a freak of nature.
I would die for the opportunity to babysit this girl. I only wish that my six-year-old self had been as cool.
Instead, I threw a temper tantrum when my parents made me take swimming lessons, because they interfered with me watching She-Ra every afternoon.
This is one of the reasons why I sometimes have a problem with organized religion. I know many deeply religious people of different beliefs, and I honor and respect their chosen faith. But I cannot stand people who don't do the same.
Today, I have decided to embrace and celebrate my waning freedom by not taking off my pajamas until 3 PM. I had an interview yesterday, and it went pretty well, I thought, but if I end up getting the position my loafing time will dramatically decrease. So this morning, I stayed in bed reading until I'd finished the book, and now I'm gleefully surfing.
I went to the library yesterday, so now I have six books and two DVDs - The Evill Dead (which I only saw once, in pieces, my sophomore year in high school), and Into the Arms of Strangers (Oscar-winning documentary about the Holocaust - yes, you in the back, I heard you say "which one?"). Strangers I got for two reasons - I heard it was really good, and I also heard that next semester, I'll be taking a class taught by the director (and not a big lecture class, either - he'll actually have to learn my name!). So, unless he drops out (not an unlikely prospect - the writing department has a habit of losing professors at the last minute), it should be pretty cool.
I finished Helen Fielding's Cause Celeb this morning, and it was interesting... Bridget Jones, of course, changed my life a couple of years ago, but I was afraid that Celeb wouldn't hold up against it. However, the book turned out to be a very different animal than Bridget - taking place partially in the world of high class London, but gaining its heart, soul, and etcetera in the dry sandy desert of impoverished Africa.
It was a light fluffy read that, at the same time, made me want to do something. I think it did a decent job of dramatizing the situation in relief camps, especially the people involved. Jarringly, though, the celebrities fictionalized were heinously over the top. Which means that they're probably more true to life than we can imagine *g*, but was probably the most awkward, predictable part of the book.
Now, I have a rather strange assortment of books to choose from - Shopgirl, The Mists of Avalon (felt like giving it a try), Lady Oracle... Plus, all the stuff I haven't been reading that's languishing in the to-be-read pile. Maybe I'll make a push on From Hell. That's always fun.
So, a long time ago, I read this Sandman comic that told a fictionalized version of the story of the Emperor of the United States, a real-life character straight out of Twain (to the point that Twain based a character in Huckleberry Finn after him). I was fascinated and delighted by the oddness of it, and wanted to find out more - but libraries and Yahoo failed me, so the thirst for more knowledge went unquenched.
Today, I was reading an article on Neil Gaiman's site and saw a reference to the Emp - figuring that it wouldn't hurt to try looking again, I Googled "Emperor of the United States"... And found him instantly!
I love Google so much. My friends make fun of my eagerness to look stuff up online - but that is because they fail to understand Google's amazingness.
I mean, seriously. All I ever do is talk about myself, and I used to be interesting and talk about issues and ideas and other people, and I swear, I'm going to start doing that again soon.
I'm at work, and a bit braindead. I don't really care about being anywhere else. I'm apathetic. It's strange.
I'm going to be lame, I guess, and ask a poll question, because I need to start thinking again. Time to switch the brain from off to on...
Yesterday, my roommate and I were watching Swordfish, a movie that I think is stupid and annoying. Yet, for some reason, I'm strangely compelled by all the sex and violence and style and Hughness. So my question is - do you ever find yourself unable to turn a movie off/stop reading a book/stop watching a TV show, even if you, at least intellectually, hate it? What is it about that movie/book/show that draws you to it? Do you think that was the intent of the creator? Why do we find ourselves loving stuff that's so bad it's good?
It's worth pointing out that we stopped watching Swordfish after Hugh Jackman, smoking a cigarette and scolling red wine, decodes the Hydra virus (a scene das roomie affectionately referred to as "LizPorn" - Hugh, computers, really good editing and music, and did I mention Hugh?).
If I didn't have to pay any money, I'd own the DVD of the most morally reprehensible, sexually exploitive films of 2001. Just for that scene.
It's worth pointing out that I don't have much in the way of standards. *g*
If anyone's been emailing me at my USC address, do please note that USC has decided I'm unauthorized, and therefore unworthy of mail. Personally, I disagree with this assessment, and USC and I will be having words about it. But in the meantime, no mail for me. ::sigh::
-After about a week of searching, I have found the shampoo/conditioner of my dreams. My hair is not only fresh, but vibrant!
-Roommate's birthday is tomorrow, and her mother sent her the Buffy season 2 DVDs! We gorged on commentary last night. Joss is such a god.
-I got a call about a potentially very cool (PAID) internship that I'll be interviewing for next week. I'm trying very, very hard not to want it, because that path leads to doom.
-I actually got, like, 80 pages into The Corrections. I'm feeling very proud of myself. I don't know if I'll keep on reading, but I seem to have gotten over that weird too-many-words hump, which is good.
-Heard back from Savant Mag, the comics journal to which I submitted an essay a while back -- and they like me, they really like me, and I'll be seeing something of mine up with them soon, apparently. Which is cool. (The E-I-C even stopped by here, so everyone wave!)
-I went shopping and I bought yummy fruit to eat. So now, instead of eating something fattening before dinner, I can go have a banana or a clementine. Mmm, banana.
-New Farscape tonight! MUST remember to tape.
So concludes this entry. Nothing much exciting happens in my world - but the little victories are cool.
Today was kind of blah - slept late, probably spent more time online than I should have, failed at accomplishing anything. Did walk to Rite Aid, where I picked up:
-a new bottle of my favorite shade of nail polish -cheap blue eyeshadow (because I've been wearing more blue recently) -cheap plum lipstick -nail polish remover -envelopes -bargain-priced ear cuffs (which are cool and funky, and if I can just find some studs I can stand, I may be able to wear multiple things in my ears, thereby looking cool without punching additional holes in my body!)
I also bought red hair dye. I tend to have 24-shampoos-or-less red hair dye in my bathroom roughly half of the time, because I have yet to find a better cure for Truman Capote's "mean reds". Sometimes, you need to spontaneously change your hair color. Having the dye around is always a bit dangerous the day of purchase, but soon I'll forget it's there - until the rise of the mean reds. The new stuff is darker than I usually go, but that jibes nicely with my new, "alternative" edge.
Of course, tonight Edge Girl made herself a salad and couscous for dinner, used her cell's free long distance to talk to her buddy Whitney, and ate some ice cream while watching American Idol (the results of which pleased her somewhat). Now, she's reading a book about cooks for a project.
She has no energy to write. She barely has the energy to listen to jazz.
So, today I was supposed to meet with a producer about interning on an indie film shooting over the next few weeks - not an opportunity I was really interested in, but something I was considering.
Unfortunately, though, I overslept, and decided to call him and cancel. Got a little more sleep, shrugged it off.
And then, an hour ago, I got a call about another internship, and so I have an interview in an hour.
Busy busy day. Interview and then coming back to the apartment and changing, and then going to see a taping of Kilborn (because I can, and I've never done that before, and Christian Bale is on today and everything), and then going to watch American Idol at a friend's place, as it's much more fun to watch with people.
I'm not really emotionally invested in the series. But as a social experience, it's a lot of fun. And I can keep up with corianderstem!
So I just did some updating to my sidebar, removing books I finished and adding books I started recently. Also took XF off the watching list. Which made me a bit sad and nostagic.
And then I thought about, well, seasons 8 and 9. And I felt better. *g*
So here are quick recaps of two books I removed, and one I read so quickly that I never had a chance to add it.
Bruce Campbell - If Chins Could Kill: Interesting. Very interesting. Bruce on low-budget productions, his personal life, and life on Hercules. Writes about how there are some people in Hollywood whose brains have been taken over by evil spores that... Well, Hollywood-ize them. And yet Bruce has escaped infection, and the book proves it.
Fight on, Bruce!
Stephen King - On Writing: I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to, especially when I figured out that half of the book was Mr. King, this is your life! The autobio was interesting when it showed what made him into the kind of writer he became, and the second half actually kicked my ass into writing, which was cool. Simple, uncomplicated advice - nothing too brilliant, but still intriguing and worth a read. Like most of King's writing.
Neil Gaiman - Smoke and Mirrors: Mmmmm. I gobbled a lot of this up last week - lots of yummy, dark, disturbing stories and snippets. I had to skip the poems, because I can't read poetry while in non-poetic situations (read: while at work), but I'm gonna highly recommend this. Love the Gaiman.
Both I and das roomie have big to-be-read piles by our beds right now - a combination of books borrowed from friends, books accumulated from this free book promotion, books from the library, and books purchased. I need a new bookcase, because there is NO room any more on my old one and I want to get more of my books from home. Was looking for a used one on Craig's List - does anyone know of any other used-furniture services?
I started reading The Corrections today, because of my fervent desire to be Just Like Everyone Else, and I got really frustrated with the language - "My dear Franzen, there are too many words!" I thought to myself. And then I felt stupid and ridiculous for being a wanna-be writer who has a hard time reading flowery prose. I don't know why this is - my personal taste just runs to simpler language, with the emphasis being on the story, rather than the words, and recently I've gotten kinda pedantic about it. And there's so much great writing I'm missing out on as a result, and I DON'T want to be one of those people who turns up their nose because the words are too big.
So, even though my first reaction to Franzen was that of "eh", I'm going to make myself read at least five chapters, and I'm going to read the pretty pretty words and appreciate them.
After all, I can watch - and appreciate! - French art films. I can most certainly do this.
So I'm sure everyone's aware by now that my comments feature doesn't have an email notification system. This annoys me a good deal, but I'm really too lazy to find a new service as (otherwise) good as this one. Yet I don't expect everyone to obsessively check my website for replies (that's my job *g*) - and since I greatly appreciate everyone stopping by and I LOVE reading your replies, I'm going to try to do blog entries devoted to replying back.
So, here's how we'll do it...
Earring people: Interesting! Many people with many piercings. The reason I asked is that I'm considering getting a second set of holes - I only have one per lobe - in an attempt to be cool. But I'm still deliberating on this. My fear of pain is problematical (Maren, no cartiledge piercings for me at this point *g*). There will be more about this later, I think.
Robbie had the best point, which was to only do it to show off cool earrings. I've been looking for cool earrings to show off, though, and maybe I'm just cheap, but I'm not very interested in what's there and certainly don't feel inspired to spend money on them. Am I going to the wrong places? LA people - you decide!
Work people: Thanks for the congrats, even if Alison's were halfhearted. *g* I think I've explained more about this job since, but in case I haven't: two days a week, 6 and 8 hours a day, with pay that well exceeds minimum wage. This is a welcome change from my summer job last year (four days a week, 10 hours a day, paying LESS than minimum wage).
Oh, and Wraithy - pleasetameecha! Unless we've met before... I can remember the titles and plot summaries of a hundred XF episodes, but names slip through my brain like swiss cheese. ::sigh:: Apologies or lack thereof if necessary.
Ozy: I do actually own a blow-drier. But I could use more than one. I just don't like to blow-dry my hair if I can avoid it - split ends are not our friends. So far, it's worth pointing out, I haven't noticed any bodies. Though it does smell kinda funny...
Alison: I'm with you on the regular-work-is-just-not-gonna-work-for-me. It's a really good thing that we're at film school - otherwise, we'd be English and Classics majors and would have to get dumb and stupid jobs where you don't get to do anything fun.
Of course, the definition of "fun" may end up being "More coffee, Mr. Sommers?" But it beats stuffing envelopes. And don't you have Sci-Fi in Boston? You could so be watching Farscape.
cofax: Could you email me the info about Wormhole? I know nothing, you see. *g*
Whitney: Dude, we totally should talk, and my cell phone's all charged up. Drop me a line and tell me what's up with you.
And there are others I'm missing, but I have to do some check processing. Or I have to write a blog entry recapping the books I've been reading. One of the two. *g*
Last night was FANTASTIC. JH the Texan was visiting LA after taking a year off from school (he's really coming back this year! yay!), and in celebration, BQ the insane rock guy, AS the bitter alcoholic, JB the slightly effeminate non-drinker, and your very own Lizlet (the slightly square chica with the baggy jeans) went to a bar. And there was drinking. And then JB drove us to AS's apartment. And there was drinking. And then JB drove us back to the bar. And there was drinking. And then JB drove us to a diner. And there was eating. And that was a good thing.
Waking up this morning, however, was NOT a good thing, since there weren't a whole lot of hours in between bedtime and the alarm going off. In the end, it took me about an hour to:
-get myself out of bed -get into the shower -get out of the shower -put on clothes -take two gajillion Advil -make attempts to dry hair -gather up pita bread, crackers and hummus (in case I ever felt like eating ever again) -leave the apartment
And here I am, working at a self-storage place at Santa Monica (I still really, REALLY can't believe that), and only recently have the cobwebs left my brain.
There are reasons why I don't really drink that much. *g*
I have to say, though, that this is WORTH IT, because last night was a lot of fun. Hanging out with boys is great - it's a lot easier to get completely crazy. Some of the night is a bit hazy, but there are few experiences to compare to JB wrapping his legs around AS. Driving down Sunset with the guys screaming for attractive women to come join them at the bar. Me trying to watch The Wall and failing miserably. AS trying to pick up girls by agreeing with them in a loud drunken voice. And me beating JB's very sober ass at air hockey. Watching JH play Pac-Man.
It is very quiet today in self-storage-ville, and I just finished the book I was reading about competitive Scrabble players (Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis, if you're interested). It's interesting, to become enveloped in someone else's obsession. Makes mine seem less, well, weird.
I watched Farscape on Friday, for the first time in my own apartment. A strange experience. But it was GOOD, and there was PAIN, and I really, REALLY hope that they make it all make sense.
Farscape (my poor abused brain managed to ponder on the drive to work this morning) is an interesting show because while the majority of the plot is external to the characters and the situations (survival being the emphasis, as a rule, rather than some great mythic quest), all the interesting conflict really happens on a character basis. It's great to watch the show and realize that the writers understand this - probably a helluva lot better than I do, especially today - and they make sure to keep mixing it all up. There's a lot in this show about secrets, and trust. And Kemper and the writers keep ripping everyone apart, giving them a chance to come back together - but not for too long, because what's so interesting about that?
That's what they teach you in screenwriting school, first off. Conflict is interesting. Conflict is comedy, drama, romance, adventure... Conflict in every scene is a good thing.
Man, it's fun to talk about Farscape. I actually feel like starting my almost-forgotten Buffy rant! But I have to start closing this place up now, so that I can go home. And lay down.
Laying down. Ah, yes. On Friday, I discovered that the number of "I so don't want to be here, I really want to die" thoughts dramatically decreased from the all-time high of Thursday. I'm getting more used to this crazy job. I'm getting more used to this crazy employment thing.
Of course, the suicidal thoughts hit a pretty big spike this morning. But the worst is behind me now. *g*
Because, really. How the everloving frell do you do this?
Granted, perhaps Day 1 of the job was strange and mundane and depressing because I'd been out of commission so long. But to get up every day and do work that you don't want to do? For money that probably isn't enough? With people who may end up ravelling your nerves raw?
My god, my god. How naive and stupid and childish I must sound... And it really wasn't that bad! I ran transactions and processsed receipts and used a computer. It's simple and I like updating accounts, keeping things in order. I'd make a great Founder*.
[*Your semi-obscure DS9 joke for today]
People are all right, though I'll be thankful when training's over and it's just me in the office for eight hours. I plan on taking care of some major reading backlog. They really don't care what I do - just let the customers in and out, and show newbies the empty space.
That's what kills me. We rent EMPTY SPACE to people, and we're not allowed to ask what they put inside. Where's the fun in that? ::sigh::
Okay, now I need to go and get breakfast and dry my hair (yes, my hair's wet again) and go to work. Work. Gah.
But money and Moby concert tickets and a bookcase and a new pair of shoes. These are the reasons why.
It's pretty much the silliest job you can imagine. I'll be working Sundays and Mondays in a self-storage place in Santa Monica. Not exactly the glamorous sort of employment I'd always dreamed of, but the pay doesn't suck and I'll be training tomorrow and Friday.
Great googly moogly, a JOB. In celebration, everybody kick back and go Weeee!!!!
Whitney likes people, it's clear. Whitney, in my book, rules. A lot.
It seems like such an uncomplicated thing, liking people. Yet I don't think it comes naturally for most. I've heard way too many stories about El Presidente Arbusto just Not Caring about the poor and the retarded and everyone else who isn't a white CEO. And it's not only him - there are just too many examples of people who can't stand other people, who think they're better than everyone else and who don't get that in the long run, we really are all the same, even though we may seem completely different.
Be kind. That comes from something, and it's possibly Molly Ivins, which makes this post very Texan intensive. *g*
A tip of the hat towards Corpus Christi, and towards everyone else who cares about caring.
So far, I've been pretty productive - browsing websites looking for work, getting some emails sent off, writing a new resume focused on web development and so forth.
And did anyone notice that the tables on this page look much less like ass than usual? Thank you, thank you.
So now, my plan is:
-Walk to post office, mail letter -Get cool refreshing soda on way back from post office -Drink cool refreshing soda while reading a book -Get dinner -Watch The Godfather (or possibly Pt. II) while eating dinner. Pat self on back for being a good little film student. -Write stuff after dinner. Evacuate to cafe if necessary. But WRITE, goddamn it. -Go to sleep. Early.
There are low-key weekends and then there are low-KEY weekends. This was the latter.
On Friday, I drove to OC and hung out with TZ, a buddy from 'SC who's going to Australia TODAY for a semester abroad. I tried to set up a blog for him - we ran into technical difficulties, though. Hopefully, he's tried again and made it work for him... Though that's not clear.
Saturday, I got sucked into the Daria marathon on Noggin, this cable channel that bought up two billion 3-2-1 Contact episodes along with other children's programming... But has now renamed itself "The N" and begun HARD-CORE pushing themselves upon the pre-teen market. They have no advertisers, so they run Flash animation bits, The Adventures of Pete and Pete (!), and commercials for Degrassi Jr. High:
"What do you want to do tonight?" "I dunno. Get a pizza. Watch Degrassi Jr. High." "You got a weird thing for Canadian melodrama." "I got a weird thing for chicks who say aboot." --Chasing Amy
So I watched Daria and painted my nails and regressed into the bitchy pre-teen I remember so fondly. And then I went to bed.
Yesterday, actual things happened, though. Roomie and I were sitting around, wondering what to do, and I mentioned that we both wanted to see Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, which was playing at my favorite little indie theater in Los Feliz. We couldn't figure out if it would be cheaper than going to the theater two blocks away, though, so I pulled out the Big Box of Ticket Stubs and dug around for the souvenirs from the Sunday afternoon Billy Elliot/You Can Count On Me double-feature I did once. Pulled out those golden tickets to discover that the matinees (even on Sundays!) cost **$4.50**. We were out the door for the 5:30 screening in five minutes flat, picking up AS on the way.
Movie was interesting (write-up coming) and afterwards, we got food and hung out for an absurd amount of time at AS's apartment, mainly playing with his satellite dish and listening to music. Watched L.A. Story too. DAMN, I'd forgotten how good that movie is. See it again, if you haven't in a while. Perhaps with someone you love? I hear it's better that way.
Update on homeless guy: Cops came yesterday (not on my call), though all of his stuff is still here and he'll surely be wanting it back. Apparently, roomie spoke to him, thereby illuminating his backstory some more - he claims to be an actor who knows some of the people in the apartment downstairs. He wanted to sleep on our couch. SJ did not permit it.
So, I need to do some job hustling and get some breakfast now, but I can entertain you by saying that there was MAJOR review catch-up done on the review page, and so you should check it out.
Recently, I've been pretty ranty about the state of our nation, as a result of feeling impotent and helpless about a lot of the things that frustrate me. So this just spills over into negative karma and it does no one any good.
So here are the things that I like about my country - the reasons I haven't run away to Canada yet - and I'm going to bite back all the negative snarky things I want to say, too - that's for another entry. Another day.
We are a nation born from two things - the blood of men who strove for freedom, and the words of men who believed in it. We are the result of dreams and ideals. We were created with the best intentions.
I could ramble a lot about the founding fathers, actually. I mean, certainly they were white male slave owners whose personal morality can definitely be questioned. But they KNEW that things could change, and made sure that the nation could grow with its people. The Constitution is written to be fluid, changeable, so that mistakes could be corrected. Oversights seen to. All the pretty words are in the Declaration of Independence. All the good ideas are in the Constitution.
We're always getting better as a people. We're diverse, and that's caused more than one problem... But there are attempts to unite us. There are attempts to talk about our differences and bring us together. We try, when we can.
We have fantastic television. Cable TV, especially. What's more American than entire television channels devoted to food, animals and home improvement?
I may have a lot of problems with the way post-Sept. 11 patriotism was manipulated. But we came together so quickly, so fiercely that during those first days, it was something real and natural. And I know that a lot of people needed that. And it helped them.
Making fun of our leaders is not only legal, but encouraged by prominent members of society. It's practically an industry.
10 Americans, living today, who rule for one reason or another: -Brad Pitt (whose abs should be declared a national treasure) -Molly Ivins (who's generally right on the money) -Spike Lee (whose voice is different, and therefore welcome) -Rudy Giuliani (who knew exactly what to say) -My grandma (who makes the best caramel corn in the world) -Wil Wheaton (who uses his popularity for a good cause) -John McCain (who doesn't want me to kill my baby, but doesn't want my political leaders to be owned by major coporations, either) -Maya Angelou (who knows what it feels like for a girl) -Moby (who tries to change the world, in his quiet little way) -Joss Whedon (who makes it an interesting place to be)
Those are just the ones off the top of my head. All of them make me proud to have been born in this country. Them and everyone else.
So today I think I'm going to a barbeque, and who knows what else will happen? Last year, we drove up to Mulholland Drive, and saw every fireworks show happening over the LA Basin. Most of them were pretty far away. But it was still a good time.
Happy birthday, America. Everyone have a good 4th.
I'm writing this in a little cafe only a few blocks from my apartment, because I'm avoiding my outline with every procrastinating bone in my body. I made some decent progress just now, actually, but then I went and changed the slogan of the header image (if you haven't heard Louise Goffin's "Sometimes a Circle", you're missing out) and now I'm writing this.
I'm going to write a bunch of different blog entries now - there's a lot I've wanted to say recently, and so it makes sense to just start collecting them all together. Maybe I'll post one or two a day, if I get a bunch written today. I'm at this cafe to write - and this certainly counts.
Some daily goals and minor accomplishments
So, my LJ buddy Spacefem is in a situation vaguely similar to my own - unemployed and depressed about it. Some people gave her some excellent goals to help with the depression and unemployment - I've adapted them for my own purposes.
Here are my things to strive for: •Get out of bed before 11 AM every day. •Get dressed before 1 PM. •Run through a yoga routine once a day, either in the morning or at night. Try and master the standing positions from my book by the end of the week, as well as gain the endurance for five repetitions of Salute to the Sun (B). •Leave the house for at least two hours every day. •Check job websites and try to apply for two jobs every day, no matter how silly. •Goddamn it, write SOMETHING. I've got like twelve different things going on. I'm sure to find something I'm inspired by. •Limit TV watching to roughly two hours a day. And PLAN those two hours, instead of flicking the TV on in a moment of boredom.
That last one I've been holding to religiously for the past two days - Monday, I watched Buffy's "Surprise" and "Innocence" on FX, yesterday it was "Phases" and American Idol.
My goals for yesterday didn't go so well - I managed about half, due to a dusty old short story I ended up finishing. It was strange, actually - I had my laptop on my lap, the document open, and I just kept on adding to it until, a few hours later, I'd reached something resembling an ending. The story itself is pretty frelled in terms of theme and character and, well, EVERYTHING, but I finished it, at least. A bit of satisfaction.
I also chose new styles and colors for my LJ pages yesterday. I didn't want to rejoin as a paid user, but I did want to make it look nicer. Now, a lot of the personal touches I added are gone, but it holds together better. And the Displaced style is pretty cool, I think.
•Finish the confounded story outline for the comic book (yes, Alison, comic book based on screenplay from last year - superheroes!).
•Leave the house to do so - go to cool cafe.
•Follow up on resume faxed yesterday.
•Finish David Sedaris' Naked.
•Do major blog catch-up.
•Do major review catch-up.
•Watch two hours of TV - one Buffy episode and American Idol (because if I actually do finish the outline, then my brain will be in some major pain, and will deserve sufficiently numbing entertainment).