Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Denver Bound?

Last month when I originally plotted out this post, I was seriously considering moving to Denver in May. I was wildly unhappy here (still not great, but I think we can remove the "wild" now), and the rent there is outrageously cheap! We're talking 850 for a one bedroom with fireplace, private deck, and utilities included within walking distance of my favourite bookstore for 850/mo. What the eff, right? Why would I ever stay in dirty, smelly, doesn't-appreciate-me-anyway Los Angeles?

"THE COLD, THE COLD!" you yell, if you know me at all. "You'll hate the cold and be miserable in Denver." Well, yes. And no. I do hate the cold. I hate it with a passion usually reserved for religious fundamentalists and puppy killers. Drop the temperature below 60 and my mood plummets with it. But I might make an exception for Denver because I love snow. And Denver is one of those places where it actually snows decently when it gets cold, thus offering winter some sort of redemption. Plus, I was moving there in May, remember? At least 3 or 4 months before the cold weather sets in.

Everything else about Denver is great, too. It's fairly cosmopolitan, certainly as much as I need in a city. It's pretty and clean and nature-filled. There's lots of awesome hiking and SNOWBOARDING in the winter. YAY!

What it lacks is a strong media industry. But it's so freakin' cheap, I could be a barista and pay all my bills. Who needs to pursue their career passion when they can snowboard every day in the winter and have a fireplace in their house and breathe clean air?

But when it came right down to it, I really do love Los Angeles. I hear a lot of my friends complain and say they would leave if they could do their work elsewhere, and I just don't understand. Despite the crippling personal and professional year I've had, I still love L.A.

It's truly an amazing city. All the things I hate about it I simultaneously love (except traffic). Even the rampant elitism and legions of unleashed socialites can be endearing if I'm in the right mood. I like living in Hollywood (where I just signed a lease, putting off Denver for at least another year); the grime and grit make me feel a bit more authentic. Yeah, I'm strolling on the renowned Walk of Fame to get to the farmer's market. I know it's touristy, but on the other hand, there's a homeless guy with no legs over there polishing one of the stars. It ain't all glitz and glamour, ok? But the juxtaposition (5 points for using that in a sentence) of those two elements, the glamour and dreams versus the dirt and heartbreak are what attract me to the city and inspire me every day. Seriously, confine me to the Westside (sanitized places like Beverly Hills, etc) and I'd split inside of two months.

And don't get me started on the number and variety of concerts that play here every day!...Seriously, that would take forever to fully discuss. Let's just say I go to about 3-4 shows a months, from indie to Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl and, as far as I can tell, besides New York, no other city in the country can offer that to me.

On balance, I'd say I'm pretty happy to be staying. Denver is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Not yet, anyway.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fortune-less Friday

Forgot to charge the iPod for the last few days. It finally quit last night on my way home from work. So today will be devoid of any fortune-telling. Apologies.

Most important thing that's happened so far today: My friend is selling his tickets to the Leonard Cohen concert tonight. Might be going with my friend Lightning; possible EPIC concert on the horizon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HA!

So, Script Frenzy. I'm supposed to have 24 pages by the time I go to sleep tonight. Know how many I have? That's right! As of 11 AM, none. Zero, zip, nada, nothing at all.

Go me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Overheard

At work, woman on phone with client: "That's great, hon, but I really do have to pee. I'll call you later today."

Fortune Friday

These were the songs that played on my iPod on the way to work this morning.

Keep It Amazed - French Kicks
Banquet - Bloc Party
You and Whose Army? - Radiohead
The Bunker - Beirut
What World - Human Highway
Sleepwalking - Ben Lee
Where is My Mind? - The Pixies
Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead
How to Disappear Completely - Radiohead

It looks like I'll have an awesome, somewhat apocalyptic weekend. Which is strangely fitting, as that's what my new screenplay's about.

I'm doing something called Script Frenzy which is writing a 100 page screenplay in the month of April. I just jettisoned my original 5 pages, so I need to get about 10 done today to keep up.

Eerily enough, it seems like my iPod knows what's going down.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Amazing Art #1 - Justine Lai

This link is pretty much as NSFW (that's "not safe for work" if you haven't visited the internet lately) as you can get without being actual porn. But oh ho ho is it AMAZING.

Justine Lai's mission statement, straight from her website: "In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order [emphasis mine]. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated. I approach the spectacle of sex and politics with a certain playfulness. It would be easy to let the images slide into territory that's strictly pornographic—the lurid and hardcore, the predictably "controversial." One could also imagine a series preoccupied with wearing its "Fuck the Man" symbolism on its sleeve. But I wish to move beyond these things and make something playful and tender and maybe a little ambiguous, but exuberantly so. This, I feel, is the most humanizing act I can do. March 2009"

Check it out: http://bit.ly/16c0g

Monday, March 30, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are made me cry even harder this time.

I got to see this in the theatre yesterday in front of Monsters Vs. Aliens (funny, but not worth my 14 dollars; thanks, L.A.) and with the extra volume and the huge screen, you are just so much more in it. It was AMAZING!

I'm already listing it as one of my favorite movies.

Also coming out, UP! which looks absolutely adorable and the preview is freaking hilarious! This is the first I've heard of the talking dog.

He's Just Not That Into Me

I want to take you all back in time with me to last Thursday. I was in my local Target looking for some boots to wear to my concert outing with Sparky, when I wandered past the book section. Lo and behold, what was on the most prominent display rack, but He's Just Not That Into You, that bestselling book that so recently got made into an excrucaiting movie-watching experience.

But I'm a girl. And if you offer me insight into men or love, I'm going to be curious, even if your screenplay made me cringe non-stop for an hour and a half.

So I picked it up and flipped to the Table of Contents - just the Cliffsnotes, please.

The first 5 chapters, with regard to Sparky the Love Dog?

1 He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Asking You Out - half-check
2 He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Calling You - half-check
3 He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Dating You - BIG OLE CHECK!
4 He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Having Sex with You - only anomaly
5 He's Just Not That Into You If He's Having Sex with Someone Else - BIGGEST CHECK IN THE HISTORY OF THE FUCKING UNIVERSE SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME

Sometimes, it's really nice to have your conclusions confirmed by a New York Times Bestseller.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Amendment

"No Spark" just doesn't roll off the tongue like I was hoping. He'll be called "Sparky" from now on.

(See below if you have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Today's Prognosis

My brilliant bloggy friend, Pearl, uses her ipod to predict her weekend. It's hilarious and quite revealing (she listens to The Raconteurs, just like me!). I'm jacking her idea and turning it into a daily morning ritual.


So, without further ado, here is the Great Apple's prediction for my Friday:


Begin by Ben Lee

Don't be Skew by Peter, Bjorn, and John

Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Paris 2004 by Peter, Bjorn, and John

Failing and Passing by Peter, Bjorn, and John

The Big Picture by Bright Eyes

Rebellion (Lies) by The Arcade Fire


Today I feel like breaking it down and analyzing how accurate I feel each song is.


1. Begin - All about a guy wanting a girl to just take the plunge romantically and just see what happens. NOT HAPPENING tonight. Going out with someone I've already plunged with. No dice.


2. Don't Be Skew - I've never heard this before. Can't remember what it was about. Title is good advice.


3. Such Great Heights - May the evening take me there!


4. Paris 2004 - "I'm all about you. You're all about me. We're all about each other." Well, half true. Sadly, he is not all about me...


5. Failing and Passing - Again, new song. Lots of Peter, Bjorn, and John today, though. Title makes it sound like today won't be a total wash.


6. The Big Picture - Don't sweat the small stuff.


7. Rebellion (Lies) - A top favorite of mine. "Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is. Sleeping is giving in, so lift those heavy eyelids."


Sounds like I've got quite an evening in store. Going to the Cold War Kids concert with No Spark (as he will henceforth be called; more on that story another time). I love CWK and I love live music. Tonight will be good no matter what!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Fave # 3

This trailer makes me cry.

I don't think I have EVER been this excited about a movie before.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh, Monday

Dear Bishop Allen,



When my friend and I show up for your show at 8 o'clock and you don't go onstage until 10:45, it's irritating. At least you had a sign posted out front with the schedule so we could go back to her car and sleep in the cramped bucket seats for 60 minutes. It was really great curling up so my kidneys pushed into my lungs while I tried not to think about how desperately I needed to pee. Glad we made the effort to get there on time!

Thanks again, guys!

Love,
Me

P.S. The mouth accordion you guys used did redeem you somewhat. As did your adorable Harry Potter guitarist.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Info

Turns out I'm staying at this job until April 17th. One. More. Month.

Unless they turn down my request for a raise...

We might be done sooner than we think!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Want to Break Free!

There was a light.

A little itty bitty light at the end of the tunnel that grew bigger and bigger with each passing day. It started at the beginning of the month when I was told the 20th would be my last day. That beautiful concept solidified from there, focusing itself as the light in my tunnel.

Today, I was informed that that light is in fact A TRAIN.

Instead of being done this Friday, I will stay on for one, most likely two, more weeks. And not only will I stay on, I'll be staying without the only other person on this show who's even 1/2 as sane as I am.

I will be taking her spot temporarily, leaving me stranded my last two weeks tied to the tracks about to be crushed beneath the wheels of an oncoming freight train, blaring its whistle and barreling toward me at top speed.

No one to cut the ropes and pull me to safety!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Fave #2: Irish Tragedy

It's story time!

Now, today is one of my FAVORITE days of the year. I love love love Guinness, and tonight, I will drink my weight of it.

The truth is, though, I really am Irish. 1/4, at the least. My family is a huge mishmash of all kinds of ethnicities - Irish, German, English, French, Native American, and probably dozens more. Basically, if you immigrated to the US anytime between it's founding and the late 40s, you're blood mixed in with my family most likely. And it's great being mixed, though I would certainly lament the fact that I didn't get any of the "classic beauty" of any of these cultures. The one thing I missed out on though, with all this melting pot mentality, is some sort of cultural identity. Everything in my family is watered-down.

When I took an early, overpowering interest in Ireland, found out I was more definitively Irish than anything else (well, 1/4 German, too, but I've never really gotten into racial extermination or bratwurst), that - along with my exceedingly pale skin - led me to identify as Irish.

So, today, in honor of St. Paddy's Day, I will regale you with one of my favorite family stories, and the only one I know about my full-blood, fresh off the boat, Irish great-grandparents.

For the sake of honesty, I should say that my family does not keep detailed records of history. I don't even know my great-grandparents' names (except my last name). I'm not sure what county they were from (Clare or Kerry) and I've heard this story told a few different ways, none with very much detail. I know it's true, but a couple of the more minute details (names, ages, etc) I've added to spice it up. Most importantly, though, the dollar amounts are TRUE. Hold onto that fact; it'll be important later in KNOCKING YOUR SOCKS OFF!

My great-grandad came over from Ireland with his Aunt when he was just a kid. His parents and siblings had all died. This was probably around the turn of the century, as my dad was born in '45 and his dad probably 1910 or thereabouts. So make my grand-dad's dad born in 1885 or so.

ANYWAY, Paddy (let's call him) and his Aunt came to Florida and started a life here. Paddy's Aunt was a devout Catholic and a very rich woman.

When Paddy was about 20 or so, he met an Irish girl and fell in love. Her name was Colleen (at least for the purposes of this story). Colleen and Paddy wanted to get married, but neither family would bless the marriage. Colleen was from a Protestant family; Paddy was Catholic. Even today, this would be something of a problem back in Ireland, but at the turn of the century? Not no way; not no how.

Paddy's Aunt expressly forbade it and threatened to cut him off if he dared marry Colleen. But the two were so in love, they got married anyway, consequences be damned!

Paddy's Aunt was true to her word, though, and she severed all ties with him immediately. Paddy and Colleen did ok, though. They built a life and had children. Paddy never spoke to his Aunt again, though. He was angry she had cut him out of her life and made him and Colleen work their way up from poverty; she was livid that he had disobeyed her and turned his back on the Catholic faith.

Then she died. And this is where the story gets good. Because here is the tragedy of it all, reaching down generation after generation and even shaping who my brother and I are today.

Paddy's Aunt left her 1 MILLION dollar fortune (and this was a million in the early 1900s, ok? ) TO THE ARCHDIOCESE of TAMPA. Every last dollar, save one, went to the stinkin' Catholic Church.

And do you know who that one dollar went to? Paddy. Because in those days, as long as your relative left you SOMETHING, you could not contest the will.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You Know?

I really am a nerd.

You may not be able to deduce this on sight, or even through casual conversation.

But really, I must be, right? Because I just got this incredile sense of satisfaction by fixing the HTML formatting in that last post without knowing any HTML.

Need to Read

Just found out about some new books I need to read. Aquarium Drunkard introduced me to Skylight Books (here in LA - Los Feliz) who, in turn, put these gems on my radar. Thanks, guys!

(These descriptions/reviews are taken from Skylight Books' website)

1. The Art of Racing in the Rain(Hardcover) by Stein, Garth


Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoe, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoe at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

2. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle(Hardcover) by Wroblewski, David


Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm--and into Edgar's mother's affections.
Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires--spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.
David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes--the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain--create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

3. The Hour I First Believed(Hardcover) by Lamb, Wally

In his new novel, "The Hour I First Believed," Lamb travels well beyond his earlier work and embodies in his fiction myth, psychology, family history stretching back many generations, and the questions of faith that lie at the heart of everyday life. The result is an extraordinary tour de force, at once a meditation on the human condition and an unflinching yet compassionate evocation of character.
When forty-seven-year-old high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his younger wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, Caelum returns home to Three Rivers, Connecticut, to be with his aunt who has just had a stroke. But Maureen finds herself in the school library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed, as two vengeful students go on a carefully premeditated, murderous rampage. Miraculously she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. Caelum and Maureen flee Colorado and return to an illusion of safety at the Quirk family farm in Three Rivers. But the effects of chaos are not so easily put right, and further tragedy ensues.
While Maureen fights to regain her sanity, Caelum discovers a cache of old diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings in an upstairs bedroom of his family's house. The colorful and intriguing story they recount spans five generations of Quirk family ancestors, from the Civil War era to Caelum's own troubled childhood. Piece by piece, Caelum reconstructs the lives of the women and men whose legacy he bears. Unimaginable secrets emerge; long-buried fear, anger, guilt, and grief rise to the surface.
As Caelum grapples with unexpected and confounding revelations from the past, he also struggles to fashion a future out of the ashes of tragedy. His personal quest for meaning and faith becomes a mythic journey that is at the same time quintessentially contemporary--and American.


4. The Kindly Ones(Hardcover) by Littell, Jonathan

Massive in scope, horrific in subject matter, and shocking in its protagonist, Littell's prize-winning fictional memoir of a former Nazi officer who survived the war is intense and utterly original.
The independent bookseller who recommended it added this:
Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books (Ann Arbor, MI) - "The Kindly Ones is as fierce and unrelenting as any novel in my recent experience. This account of a former SS officer can be brutal and disturbing, but there is no doubt the effect will be visceral and provocative. If you are looking for a 'good read, ' skip it, but if you appreciate an author willing to risk going to the edge pick it up."
I've never heard of any of these authors (except Wally Lamb, who wrote the AMAZING, epic I Know This Much is True, but the books just sound so fascinating that I'm going to get my hands on them as soon as possible.
I'm so excited!!! I just love books!




Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Discipline

I went to a writer's workshop during Hell Week last week. It was the highlight of my week for sure. The workshop was focused on music writing (that's writing ABOUT music, not writing music). It was a little boring, but everyone on the panel was pretty cool. I even got to meet and hang out with a few panelists afterwards at a bar across the street. So, fun.

I'm not really specifically interested in writing about music. I'm just very interested in music and since I have very little creative musical talent, writing about how music makes me feel is really the only chance I have of sharing that with others. That said, since I'm not really looking to make a career out of it, a lot of the panelists discussion was too in-depth and specific to the "industry" of music writing to really be useful to me.

However, one of the slightly more annoying (too talkative, otherwise interesting guy) panelists, a blogger named Jeff Weiss, said something really important. Roughly paraphrased.: "Writing's like anything else, you have to work at it. You have to be disciplined and diligent; do it daily. That's how you improve. That's how you make it work."

Well, damn.

So why can't I just do that? Why can't I keep my shit together on a daily basis and get stuff done? Sure, I can get up every morning and be more or less on time for work and get my stuff done there with people breathing down my neck. But when it comes down to the things I really want to accomplish - writing, HEALTH, art- I almost never get off my ass and progress. What is that, may I ask?

That's lack of discipline, and it's utterly retarded that the things I don't make time for are the things I really want. A writer once wrote about writing (how's that for word diversity?) that if you don't sit down and do it, if it's a chore every single time, and you have to force yourself, then maybe you don't REALLY want to do it. Of course, this can apply to pretty much anything in life. And his advice was to give it up, if it's not something you need to do.

But is it possible I don't really want to do anything I've ever dreamed of? Because by his logic I don't want to write, draw, run, ride horses, act, be a teacher, be healthy, anything. So where does that leave me? Looks like I'm throwing out that guy's logic and and changing my ways.

"You have to be disciplined and diligent; do it daily. That's how you improve. That's how you make it work." It's time to put those wise words from a fellow 20-something into practice, kids.

D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E. - that's how I spell success!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pity Party

You know, my life has really just been too depressing to even blog about lately, so I'll just keep my woes in list form for the sake of brevity.

VERY RECENT

1. My couch won't fit up the stairs to my new room.
2. I ended up paying movers 600 dollars yesterday. I estimated about 300.
3. MY BED DOES NOT FIT UP THE STAIRS TO MY ROOM.
4. My car was parked in this morning for 3 hours.

LESS RECENT, but still bothering me

5. My best friend up and moved out without a word. Have not heard from her since.
6. I'm stuck in a job near my crush who flirts with other girls in the workplace.
7. I feel really fat (up 3 inches in stomach from December)
8. I didn't really want to move to that house that's giving me all those problems.

9. I can't fit furniture up my damn stairs to my room!!!

Life, you suck!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Fave #1

Hold on to your hats, folks! We are about to embark on.... a new tradition!

It will be called (for now) The Fave. There will be no set schedule for when the fave will appear, what the fave will be, or anything else relating to the fave. My favorite thing about The Fave: THERE ARE NO RULES!

Now that that lengthy explanation is out of the way, (have I mentioned how much I love/hate using "that" twice in a row? Well, I do. Love it, that is. And hate it.), here is your first dose.

This is one of my favorite pictures OF ALL TIME:


This is Chuck. He belongs to Dooce, who takes a delightful picture of him almost every day. Check out her website. She seriously rocks more than I could ever hope to. Exhibit A: her dog.

Hope you enjoyed Chuck as much as I do every day (he's my desktop background.) Tune in sometime in the near future for another edition of The Fave!


p.s. to heather, if i shouldn't have posted this, let me know and i apologize profusely. i know nothing about copyright laws; i just love chuck.

In my INBOX this morning

"Direct message from Yoko :

Yoko Ono via Twitter to thesundaypaper
12:15 AM (9 hours ago)

Thanks for following! love, yoko

IMAGINE PEACE: Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE www.IMAGINEPEACE.com
Yoko Ono / yokoono"

Eeeeeee!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Afternoon

Click on the header. You will see how I feel about work.

Now, why is it Monday already? I know I'm complaining a little late in the day, but seriously, how did the weekend go by so fast? I'll tell you how.

I went out of town on Friday afternoon, skipping out on work a little early so I could feel extra-special. A group of co-workers and I rented a cabin in Big Bear, which is only 2.5 hours away from L.A. We had a great time - ate, drank, played board games (kicked some ass in Taboo, my team did), drank, snowboarded, drank, and generally enjoyed ourselves. The only downside was sleeping on the pile of springs that passed for a mattress on the sleeper sofa, but this was easily fixed the second night when Red found a foam pad in one of the closets.

*New rule: If, as far as I know, you don't air your personal business online and/or we aren't close in real life, I'm going to give you a nickname on the blog. Hint: Red is not her real name.*

Anyway, great weekend. Slow Monday. I'm going to have to pay some movers 250 bucks to haul my tiny bit of furniture across town in their giant truck. Sucks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Have A Follower!

I have a follower.

His name is Greg. I know him from college, where we spent his freshman/my sophmore year dancing dangerously close to amazing 80s hits. (That sentence can be read two ways, I realize. We were either dancing dangerously close to the songs themselves or to each other. You decide.)

Anyway, I am a follower of Greg's blog which is a super-radical account of his Peace Corps experience in Bulgaria. He's been over there since July or September or one of those months in between and has been having an awesome time as far as I can tell. He's pretty good about updating, though I always want to read moremoremore. Click the link; let him explain it to you.

So, yeah. Hey Greg!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What This Website Means

joint –noun
/dʒɔɪnt/

1. the place at which two things, or separate parts of one thing, are joined or united
6. slang: a dirty, cheap, or disreputable place of public accommodation or entertainment