Saturday, December 29, 2012

There has been so much sad news this week that I'm going to write a post with good news. Mainly, because the horrific event in Newton has left me at a loss for words. And, a Wire colleague passed away last week. Sometimes things can just be too much, and in my case I'm one to have to let the shock wear off before I can absorb it. I will say that every time I see a memorial that includes a smiling, stuffed animal with open arms, as if waiting to comfort a child with its softness, it just tears me up.

Deep breath... Now, onto the good news.

I got a full-time job just before the world was supposed to end on December 21st. I started a week before that, so were the apocalypse to come I would have gone out employed, man.

When I applied, because of all the abject crap that exists out there, I had reservations. But, as experience has told me, you never know until you interview. So, when I met the two smart, funny, artsy, genuine and interesting women that I interviewed with, I was sold. And apparently, they were too. I've been doing this long enough to where you know when you meet people who "get it." This comes after a long and frustrating search for a job that felt right, would offer me a challenge, keep me busy, provide me benefits and very important, have interesting coworkers that make me laugh at least once a day.  In turn, I'd offer them my unique background, great work ethic, broad experience and skills. And hopefully, make them laugh at least once a day. So, one can imagine how thrilled I was when I learned one of the other women in my department was a real life ghost hunter. She even played me two EVPs that her boyfriend, an Oscar-winning SFX make-up artist and fellow ghost hunter, had recorded on one of his hunts. Chilling, really. And so fascinating.

My boss, on Tuesday morning, said to me, "You'll have to pardon me, I have mosh pit hair from last night." Loved it. Loved even more that she and her husband had gone to the show. And no, my department isn't made up of 20-something hipster web jockeys. They are a lot like me in the sense that this isn't their first rodeo, they take their work and what they contribute to it seriously, and somehow in this life that constantly tries to make you stray course towards conforming, they stayed true to who they are creatively and personally. And my God, are hilarious.

The company is an edgy toy company, established in the 70s and as stable as any company can get in this economy. I know that nothing is guaranteed, but it's nice to be employed again. Freelancing from home sucks. Yeah, I know. So many of you who have been at desk jobs your whole life are saying back to your monitors that you'd love to work from home. I totally understand. I did too...once. But really, after a while it's lonely, fleeting, unsatisfying and depressing. Especially after coming from a vibrant work setting like Disney. Save for a couple, my freelance projects were unsatisfying, and while I was able to explore other outlets for my creativity, I'm a person who needs a schedule. The fits and starts of freelancing just don't work for me. However, oddly enough, freelancing when I'm employed full time works very well for me. Someone once told me, "You want something done, ask a busy person." In my case it's very true. However, despite what I just said, I'm grateful that I was able to use the free time to explore and hone my artistic endeavors.

On Friday the 21st, we had our Holiday party which was in an old LA Times building. The place wasn't heated, so while we all had fun, it was certainly chilly. I'd been warned beforehand, so I brought my coat to the building, which while owned by the company, is different from the one where I work. The party took place during business hours, so at least we didn't have to endure it during night. However, I think my ass just finally thawed out from sitting on a toilet in the bathroom. And that's with two of those paper ass gaskets in between me and the seat. It was a neat building though, huge and industrial. 20th Century Fox is going to shoot some big movie there during the first week of January. I can see why. Look at it. I shot this through a gate on my way to the party. And this is just a part of it. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see the indents in the cement where the huge printing presses used to be.

It's now the 28th, and I finished my second week there. It was only a three-day week, due to Christmas, but I'm starting to get the hang of it and like the first week, things went really well. Thankfully, I've adjusted to waking up in the mornings much easier than I expected, and am able to get to work on time even with a stop at Starbucks on the way. The commute is an easy one. It's against traffic and only 20 minutes each way.

A guy I know who is a producer for "The Haunting Hour" on The Hub, told me about The Caroling Truck that comes through the neighborhood on Christmas Eve. I hadn't seen it before, so I decided to meet him and his family there to check it out. His house is right on its path, so he told me where they would be. I'll tell you, I don't know what I was expecting, but it surely wasn't this awesome spectacle:

I shot this video with my Elph digital point and shoot, and I think it did a great job! If you want to see a larger video of it, I posted it here on Flickr. I also rubbed shoulders with Kristen Dunst, who was in the crowd of spectators. It was just the perfect thing for Christmas Eve, and fun to watch the neighborhood go from a relatively silent night, to totally batshit Christmas.

As for the actual day, I had a mellow Christmas, and will probably do the same for New Year's Eve. It's just been that kind of a year, and I think a quiet tying up of it seems just about right.