Today, I sort of took a sick day. This means that I wrote my book coverage in my pajamas and then watched a few episodes of the American Office, which really isn't too bad at all. My crush on NotTim is almost as big as my crush on RealTim. And RealTim never played basketball... Actually, come to think of it...
Now, I am attempting to work on my space screenplay, but I am proving to be easily distracted by my sinus congestion. I solved one problem in this scene by having the robot knock a dude unconscious. But I don't think that I can solve all my problems that way.
It's a shame, though. I wasn't able to use my "You're not doing a lot to convince me that you're not a killer robot on a killing rampage" line for the first scene. Maybe it would work for the second.
Hey, should this be my business card?
I mean, I like it. But what do I know? Except that Dayquil is my friend, and that it's a really bad idea to go for a run when you think you have a cold. But I'm gonna do it anyway.
Allow me to recommend Josh Friedman's blog, fellow monkeys. As it is DIVINE. I've been obsessed for a few weeks, and as soon as I get around to updating the sidebar he's going on it. My favorite of the screenwriter blogs so far. He curses on it.
This fine Sunday morning, one of my neighbors has chosen to play soft jazz radio at HIGH VOLUME. Turns out, I cannot sleep through the soft jazz cover of "Walking on Broken Glass" or advertisements for CBS programming. Go figure.
It's seriously so loud that it feels like my clock radio just won't shut off. I've actually slapped it a few times. Just to make sure. My old roommate, by this time, would have engaged lethal countermeasures. Or, you know, shouted a whole lot.
I'm going to go to a cafe to do some writing now, and I'm half-tempted to stop by and politely suggest to the neighbors that maybe it's a bit rude, to play "One More Life" so loudly that entire other apartment buildings are affected. But I'm a bit worried that when I do that, the following conversation will commence:
Neighbor: I'm really sorry. It woke you up? You can hear it all the way in your room? Me: Yeah. Neighbor: Which one is your room? Me: That one there. [points] You can see the Wonder Woman mural on the wall from this angle. Neighbor: Oh. Um, are you the one who watches TV at 2 AM? Me: Me? No. No. That must be someone else. Neighbor: No, it's you. We can see you. You have an armchair or something right by the window. You sit there and knit. Me: I'm not disturbing you, am I? I mean, I'm a helluva lot quieter than this Best of Amy Grant thing you got going here. Neighbor: It's not that, it's just... We keep hearing you watch this one show with spaceships and drum music. People shouting and cheering a lot... Me: That's Battlestar Galactica. It's a dark and moody space show. It's very good. Neighbor: It's dark and moody? Me: Yeah. Neighbor: So what's that high-pitched sound we keep hearing? Me: Um. That would be me. Neighbor: That would be you? Me: That would be me. Squealing. Neighbor: You realize that it's freaking out my dog, right? Me: Well. It's a really good show.
Oh, pseudo-season finale of Battlestar. You beautiful tease. You beautiful, beautiful tease.
Been brainstorming movie ideas, doing research, working on a short story, designing websites this week. Also, reading shitloads -- freelance coverage and Street Angel and oh, I finally cracked this book called Gig, that book that's just interviews with people about their jobs. I am ADDICTED to it. It's hundreds of pages of just people. The Buddhist pot-smoking UPS driver is possibly my favorite so far. But the slaugherhouse human resources director is so very sad, and so very nice.
So, hence the quiet. Next week, I'm doing more research and writing. I may also try to go to the county fair.
But this afternoon, am I going to go see History of Violence? Or will I stay in and work? Probably the latter, at this point. Too much to do.
Hey, it's only been a week since I last updated! That's pretty good for me, these days.
Let me link to some things my friends have been doing, first off:
Mastodon City got its ass redesigned, yo! And the new Junk Science is SO VERY GENTEEL. Very genteel. The sort of comic that I can recommend to my mother. (Bear in mind, though, who my mom is.)
Ali is a friend whose art is very beautiful. Very different in style from Asa's Junk Science work. But with a certain thematic resonance.
Maureen McGinnis's first studio album is totally available for purchase! Her voice is gorgeous, her songs are angry and beautiful and sweet, and Maureen is rumored to have a vagina. That's how you craft a theme, bitches. I'm thematic.
The temp job at the Jewish nursery school is going all right. Today I was NOT bored out of my mind; this was by virtue of being exceedingly busy. I think I may have screwed up significantly on a few tasks. But I'm fairly confident that they won't notice until I am GONE in a week.
Fingers crossed, anyway.
Because I only work from 8:30 to 2, I try to delay lunch until after I leave, but today hunger and the offer of a veggie burger overcame me, and I hung out with the other ladies in the small windowless room where I stuff envelopes. I am controversial because I've been offered the administrative assistant position, but declined due to the staggering boredom previously described. So today the director of the school asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I explained that I was aiming for the entertainment industry, because being paid to write things is a chief interest of mine.
F. looked up from her onion rings. "You can write things here! The newsletter needs writing-"
"Really, the teachers write it, we just edit it," R. interjected.
"Here's what you should do," Director C. said, definitively. "You should work here full-time for six months, get to know the people here. And you can get a job that way."
"We get a lot of people here," F agrees.
"I saw the names of some agents on the emergency information cards," I mention. I do not mention that I think one of them might not have gotten filed into its proper class, and that another might have gotten lost behind a desk, never to be seen again.
"Oh, yes, lots of agents, lots of people," E. says. "A person who works for WB, in programming, I think-"
"My daughter interviewed with him, and they offered her the job but she'd already gotten that mailroom job at CAA." C. laughs. "People tell me, you only started working here for your daughter!"
E muses. "There's one of the writers for The Simpsons and King of the Hill. Or maybe one who writes for The Simpsons and one who writes for King of the Hill. I forget."
"David Mamet used to send his kids here," F says.
"I didn't know David Mamet was Jewish," I say, which is true, because I'm not terribly bright.
"Oh yes. Very observant."
R. asks if his wife is Jewish. C: "Rebecca Pidgeon?" F: "Well, if she isn't, she definitely converted."
I told them I'd think about it, to get out of the conversation. I'm not going to do it. I took too many calls from parents today, and even if they're well-connected, it's not worth the pain. Parents are just EVIL. Taking calls from parents about their toddler's education is like working customer service at a video store, if all of the customers are relying on DVD rentals to perpetuate the family line and provide for them in their old age. They do not handle the words "No" or "I don't know" particularly well.
So, to change the subject, I talked about how I'd spent the night previous watching the taping of Skating with Celebrities.
But I'll talk about that a little later. Hopefully not next week. But later. It's 10 PM, and I still have emails to write and story ideas to generate and running to do and PHP to learn and photos to sort through. Maybe some sleep, later. I crashed early last night. Skating with Celebrities will wear you out.
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the key to writing is to find a style that is uniquely yours. And if this style manages not to piss off other people too much, then you've found the key to writing successfully.
Things are good with me. Busy. Many projects. SMRT-TV is getting revved up again (Season 2 on Sept. 19th!), I'm devoting as much thought power as possible to screenplay revision, and the play that is about the Apocalypse is starting to take shape as I do more research, think more about what it means to end the world. I am not doing as much work as I want to be doing. I am woefully behind on all media consumption. But I'm as content as I'm likely to get, for right now. And I'm writing every day. I'm writing something, at least. Sometimes, I write emails, and call that a day. But they're GOOD emails. Yes.
I wrote a short story on Tuesday, mostly on the bus. The bus is a fascinating place, if you've never used it in LA. I think all writers should take the bus as often as possible. Just to look and listen. Oh, and to get where they're going without having to pay for gas. That's a big plus. I don't know if the short story is any good. But man, it was fun.
I start temping tomorrow, at a Jewish elementary school. Admin work, 8:30 to 2. Should at least be interesting, though it involves dressing like a grown-up. Which is just flat-out dumb.
Time for me to do what I've done every night so far this week -- fall asleep watching this one episode of Prison Break. But if you want to see what I can write in a very short time frame, and you're in LA this weekend, I'm writing one of the Day Players sketches at the ACME Comedy Theater. You should come. It'll be a good time. You won't be at all creepy. Trust me.
So I've been back in LA for officially a week now, but I can't help but think about the other LA, and how it takes a day to drive to New Mexico, and a day to drive to Dallas, and then another day to drive somewhere that could use an extra pair of hands.
If I left today, I could be helping by Saturday night.
Unfortunately, I can't afford the gas.
This is an interesting time to be writing about the apocalypse.
I'm doing Chicago a disservice by writing about it so long after the fact; I had a great time, wandering around on foot and by El, having meals with fine folks, going to the Bookslut reading. Had a Tangtini and some excellent beer. Saw the Art Institute, and bought art out of a former cigarette machine -- the art came in a silver cardboard box that I have yet to open. It's very shiny. I have no idea what's inside -- pop photographs, allegedly. But are there several tiny prints, or one big one that unfolds? Shaking the box tells me nothing. And that's not how I'd want to learn, anyways.
I couldn't get a read on Chicago, the whole time I was there -- it was truly Midwest, I suppose, halfway between New York and California. Wide streets, plenty of cars, but public transit, great walking. Clear skies. Beautiful weather, the whole time. I walked around Millenium Park a few hours before my flight, got down to the lake. And the city right there, just within my reach, all those buildings. I get impressed by tall buildings. I saw so many skylines in a short space of time.
And now when I see LA's, it causes that same sort of sucker punch. It makes me think of the episode of Sports Night, when the homeless man splits a sandwich with Dan. "Look at what we can do." Sure, a 50-story skyscraper isn't quite climbing Everest. But it's still man slapping sky. Reaching up.
So I'm back in LA. A week starting tomorrow. And there's been very little sitting still in all of that week -- running errands, doing work, procrastinating work, writing. I need more time to read books and revise screenplays and start figuring out how the hell this play of mine is going to work. SMRT-TV is coming back too, and that needs a whole lot of attention.
This is my life as a freelancer. And I like it a lot, in some ways.