Sunday, September 19, 2004

The premiere for our show was last night at the Brown Center at MICA, three blocks away from my apartment and two blocks from my mom and Jack’s house. I invited my mom and Jack to the event, and we walked to the premiere, which couldn’t have been more convenient and fitting. We were all dressed up, not overly so, but certainly looked like we were going to an event. As we approached, I could see that most of the crowd was dressed in casual attire, except for some of the actors and some other guests. I wasn’t pleased to see that, and said, “Look at them. What a bunch of bums,” at the lack of effort that most of my fellow crewmembers had put into their dress for the evening. I was half kidding, and felt overdressed, but Jack told me that there was no such thing as being overdressed, and not to sweat it. I didn’t, but was frustrated that I wouldn’t get to see my coworkers dressed up. I love seeing people put on their best instead of how you see them every day at work. And this was an evening event at a very cool venue.

The reception was in the lobby of the building, already crowded with people mingling and schmoozing. I hadn’t eaten anything all day, except for an iced mocha from Starbucks, so I was famished. I’d spent the morning looking for a more dressed down dress, and wasn’t able to find anything. After seeing the way that people were dressed, I was glad that I hadn’t wasted the effort and the money. My outfit mixed couture with more casual, and it seemed to work. My mom looked great in her long black dress with a rose colored shawl, and Jack looked very dapper, along with umbrella in hand, dressed in a suit complimented with an Hermes tie that I’d given him for Christmas one year back in my flush days. My outfit was from my flush days as well, half of it being from the outfit I wore to the CareerPath Christmas party, then passed through every red rope at Los Angeles night clubs such as the then impossible to get into, Sky Bar. My top was a Gucci cardigan over a black fitted halter, which dressed down the skirt. It was between that and an entire Prada outfit, once again bought during my flush days. Looking back, that outfit would have been fine, but it was a windy day, and I was dying to see and feel my long silky skirt blow in the wind. It did, and felt marvelous. My mom said that I looked like a Greek goddess. The skirt has a lot of fabric and is made for days like that. It sounds as if these things line my closet, but I can no longer afford to be so liberal in my clothing spending. Ever since my teen years, I had a fantasy of being able to buy such things, then when I could, I did. It is nice to have these souvenirs to pull out, and I always bought very classic, feminine stuff, that is except for the Gucci ski boots which I just had to have. And no, they weren't for skiing. That whole paragraph sounds like a designer name dropping spree, but so be it. I love designer clothes. Love them. However, my means can’t afford that anymore. Now, what would once have been spent on a Prada vest for me pays the rent. It’s a choice that I made, and am sticking to. I’m not willing to make the sacrifice that I did before and suffer another breakdown. Especially after this job, which I will touch on later.

But, back to the premiere. It was a lot of fun, especially watching my mom go and introduce herself to everyone. She talked to every single person that she could, and Jack and I had to keep up with her as she’d introduce herself and I’d reintroduce myself as being Anne from the writer’s office. Luckily, her rose shawl stuck out in the crowd and I could locate her when she got away. We talked to David Simon, Laura Lippman, Wendell Pierce, who plays Bunk on the show and was a sweetheart. He said that he remembered me from the office. Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar told my mom that she looked gorgeous, and when my mom said to him, “Not bad for an old broad, he said, “Oh my foot! You could beat me in a race anytime.” It was priceless. Omar is my mom’s favorite character on the show, so it was fun to see her meet him. And yes, his scar is real. Andre Royo, who plays Bubbles, told my mom that she was sexy. I wasn’t there to see that one, but I’m sure it was great. He’s a very nice and funny person. After we’d sat down in the theater, I spotted Robert F. Chew, who plays Proposition Joe on the show, sitting several rows behind us, and we made a special trip to say hello to him. I hadn’t met him before, and as he is just a great character and actor, I wanted to tell him so. Proposition Joe has some great lines, such as, “If you weren’t in with the Greek, you’d be a cadaverous mother fucker.” He was very gracious, thanking us and telling us how he became an actor. I told him that a week after I started with The Wire, that I’d spotted him in a Starbucks and how ironic it was. I told him which one, and he actually remembered being there at that time. The Mt. Washington Starbucks is quite unique, being a renovated old mill and made out of brick.

Before the episode aired, David Simon got up and gave a speech, thanking everyone and talking about the show and characters, that compared to what was going on in the world, The Wire, was soon going to be categorized as a light-hearted comedy. Dominic West arrived and sat behind us, and dressed in a suit may I say, being British that he is, but the show had already started. He ducked out quickly, and I was sorry that my mom didn’t get to meet him, as he’s a kick in the pants. As the credits came on, we saw my name and the three of us clapped. It was the first time I’d seen the entire credits roll, so had no idea when my name would come up. Thankfully, they remembered the “e” on my first name. The episode airs tonight at 9pm on HBO, then during the week if you don’t catch it then. If you catch the show, and give an airborne intercourse, watch the credits at the end and you can see my name flash up on screen. I’m the researcher, and I think I come on about three fourths the way through. Forever recorded as a part of that television show. Another, “Anne was here,” like in the book, and so many other places. I’ll have to look them all up sometime. As far as the credits, I’ll try to get a screen shot of it sometime and post it here. That will have to be through the help of my more technically inclined friends.

After the show ended, and all applause finished, my mom was at it again, greeting everyone. It was fun to watch her having so much fun and making the most of the opportunity. Jack preferred to sit back and watch, and my mom dove in and spoke to everyone she could. I was glad that she got to meet so many people, and people really responded warmly to her. How could they not? She is my mom, after all. They were very warm to me as well, shaking my hand and being gracious. The irony wasn’t lost on me, two small very dressed up women greeting people who looked like gangsters and in some cases were gangsters. I pointed out one of our new cast members who spent several years in prison for a double murder. And this is in real life. Another cast member was a legendary heroin king who was busted by one of our producers who is an ex-cop. Another is a con man and pick pocket, whose ways haven’t changed a bit, except for the pick pocketing. The stories are endless.

One funny part of the evening was when the girlfriend of one of the actresses gave me the evil eye after we approached. I won’t say who the actress was, and if you watch the show, it’s not who you’d expect, but the three of us figured out that they were a couple. I had no idea! I wondered why the woman was looking at me that way. Girlfriend needn’t have worried, as I don’t bark up that tree. I did find it funny though, not to mention a little flattering. Domenick Lombardozzi was charming, and held my hand as if it were blown glass that would shatter. He took my hands in both of his, which was very gentile, I thought. I love it when men treat you like a lady. Everyone was just incredibly nice, and I was really impressed with how they all greeted and spoke to everyone. It must be so incredibly hard, all these strange people coming up to you and wanting some face time.

There was a party afterward that I chose not to go to. It was in Canton and would require parking there on a Saturday night. I was talked out, didn’t want to drive anywhere and just wanted to have some quiet time with my mom and Jack. The three of us walked home in that same wonderful wind, my skirt shimmering under the streetlights as it blew behind me and rippled like liquid gold in the night.

I’m still trying to figure out what to make of that evening. That night I dreamed I was sitting on a bed and talking to Johnny Depp. I also came up with a great idea for my career dilemma with a job that would have me moving around and making enough money, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. I’m sure at some point it will come back to me. I was doing a lot of thinking that night, and as I walked from person to person, felt like I was experiencing everything through the eyes of someone else. I felt as if I was just along for the ride, with the ability to control the limbs and the expressions on the face of the puppet I was inside, but that I was really going to wake up, just like I did from sitting with Johnny Depp.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Classes have started and the art students are back. Good to see them walking around with their canvases and raw creative energy. On the contrary, I've been feeling pent up and frustrated, as I have yet to find a good outlet for what I know lays inside. Even though I've had some great triumphs, inside I feel as if it's just another day.

A while back, I mentioned going off my medication for a trial. At first it was wonderful, but it eventually became too much to bear. I'd forgotten about the other things associated with depression that I'd taken for granted. The irritable stomach, flash fire anger, the inability to concentrate or finish anything, and despair. So, after several weeks and earning the right to say that I tried, I went back on my low dose. Things are much better, but sometimes I fear not feeling like I did those first few weeks where the feelings were just right. Perhaps my next trial is a lower dose.

There is a new book about our show, called, "The Wire: Truth be Told," that I worked on. I worked on fact checking, editing, and co-wrote the glossary. I also worked with authors to get their essays for the book, and famous Broadway play creators. It was a long labor and I worked hard on it, and checked things again, and again, down to making sure dialogue was correctly quoted from the episodes where it appeared in the book. I'm credited in the acknowledgments in the back of the book. If you see it in a book store and give a shit, take a gander, as I'm there. Plus, it's a great book with the history of the show and the story line. Great stuff. For those of you who live in New York City, there is a book signing there this Wednesday, September 15th at 1:30PM at Borders Wall Street at 100 Broadway, with the show's creator, David Simon, cast members Dominic West, Sonja Sohn, and Idris Elba, as well as the book's author, Rafael Alvarez.

Our premiere is at MICA this Saturday, three blocks from my apartment. I've decided to take my mom, as she's the one who got me watching the show in the first place. I have no idea what I'm going to wear. Perhaps I'll go shopping one of these evenings or on Saturday. I love the fact that I'm going to be able to walk to the premiere. Now that's convenience. Since I won't be driving, hopefully there will be a nice selection of alcoholic beverages.

If you haven't noticed on the left hand side of my blog, I'm trying out the new Google Ads. I can live with them, as they don't really mess with the design and they aren't advertising things like how to enlarge certain parts of the male anatomy. They actually tailor to the content that I write about in my blog, so they are different for every page, which is kind of cool. It's a way to get some extra pocket change, so every time that you come back, click on an ad (or two) and help me pay for some art classes! I also want to see how this works. So far, it's been really fun to track the click through rate.

I'm trying to update this blog more often, but as I said have felt uninspired. It's not because things are going better for me. That is soon enough to come to a close, as my world will once again change at the end of October. I'm actually looking forward to the end of this job, just for the sake of having completed it and to be able to say, I did that. I am glad that there is a solid end, so I will not drift in it for too long. I have no idea what will come next, but as always, something does.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

America, interrupted.

On the third anniversary since that horrible day, take the time to read some of the compelling, heart-wrenching, and honest accounts from those who were there or watched the events unfold on television. They answer the question, "Where were you?" on September 11th, 2001.

I discovered a site like this one when I myself was searching for answers, comfort, for anything to sway my disbelief, and feeling of isolation after September 11th. The initial site that had the stories is now gone, so I offer this one. It's probably one of the best collections of links of the accounts of September 11th from a personal standpoint, including photographs in some of the blogs from people who witnessed the horror in person. I suggest it because the way we all felt that day is easy to forget, or minimize as time passes. And while we should not wallow, we should not forget the colossal tragedy of that day and the reverberating effects that it had on us as individuals.

In memory of the victims. In memory of that other America.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I've been having computer problems so have not been able to post. Perhaps that's a good thing, as it's forced me to be innovative and hook up my laptop for DSL capabilities. It's different to write when you're able to lean back and sit with a computer on your lap. It's given me an idea on how to make a better working environment that won't have me sitting at my desk. I'll soon be in the market for a chair where I can work and write. A chair and ottoman, that is, and one of those pads that absorbs the heat from your laptop.

And that brings me once again to the topic of sitting at desks. I fucking hate it. In the several months that I've been on this job, I'm already seeing the effects that sitting at a desk has had on my body. I feel lethargic, and like I'm squashed into my mid-section like an accordion, because all day long, I sit, and sit, and sit.

When I get to work in the morning, it's hard to stay awake. One, because it's morning, and two, because I get up, spend the next hour getting ready and driving to work, all the process of waking up. Then, I get my coffee, and just when I start to feel half awake, I have to sit down at a desk and stare at a computer. At once, my eyelids start to droop and my body wonders why it has to be awake since I stopped moving. Its ancient instincts are telling it to slumber since I'm not using it to hunt and gather, or roam nomadically with my clan.

I'll admit, that desk jobs where there is more people activity around work better, but this one has me sitting in an office by myself. To some of you, this probably sounds heavenly, but not to me. I look out toward an open area, but for Christ's sake, it's so damn quiet in there it kills me.

I've been thinking that there should be legislation to force recess on workers. Not a lunch hour, but physical activity. First, it would be team building, second, productivity would probably skyrocket as endorphins would kick in and people would be healthier. Everyone I know wastes so much time at work being less productive than they could because of sedentary fatigue. The whole working culture is a joke, not to mention a killer. People gain weight, eat poorly, their world becomes their desks, cubicles, the walk from their parking places to their offices, and back. It depresses the hell out of me. Of course, there would be many options and levels of activity to accommodate everyone. But Christ, we're humans, and not meant to sit still for eight hours or more. And those who resist the idea the most, should be the first forced to do it as they probably need it the most. Even going on group walks as a start. I can see it now, corporate dodge ball.

Anyway, in their current form, desk jobs are not for me. I don't care how cool they are. The hours, lack of activity, monotony, and boredom that sets in just works against me. And that of course, has me wondering what it is that I can do. At this stage in my life, I didn't want to be wondering this, but here I am feeling like a teenager who doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. I'll be okay financially for a little bit after this job ends in October. I'm kind of looking forward to its end. I like my coworkers, but I don't like the unpredictability of the hours and being locked to a desk and a phone. In fact, some days I'm running out the door when I can. I've been that way since day one of office jobs, bolting out the door to freedom where I can roam. But what else is there that enables me to make a decent living? Working in a bookstore doesn't pay the bills. Plus, that shouldn't be my only option. Ideas are welcome.

I worked on a freelance job with an old friend and work colleague of mine. The response from him and the client to my writing was really positive. He even wrote that the project manager said that my first submission was the best start of any copywriter that they've ever had at their HUGE toy company. The change of pace was wholly welcome, and what an ego boost it was to have them say so many positive things. I'd love to do more work for them, and love working with Ron. He brings out the best in my abilities.

My mom and I went to see a movie called Garden State. Funny, touching, and great. I wish I could be half as adorable as Natalie Portman.

This Friday after work, I went to see us filming a scene in Bryan's neighborhood. He's had it up to his eye teeth with The Wire, as they use his street a lot to film the show, and I really wanted to see if everything was going ok. He'd written a letter earlier about having access to an alley, and I wondered if he was having to resort to running his circular saw during filming to get it. When I got there, I didn't recognize many faces since my job has me, yep, at a desk. However, little by little I saw people I knew from parties or get togethers. Stepping over cables, props, around directors chairs and lights, I watched as the scene that we had read over and over again in the writer's office come to life before my eyes. It's so different to see it, and to see the production staff scattered like ants around a hill, all having something to do, all eyes on the action. The scene was a very poignant one in the story line.

I haven't met Bryan except for via email and only know him by sight from the pictures on his website. As far as I know, I didn't see him outside, but figured all was well since I didn't hear the circular saw. I saw that a picture of me had made it onto the craft services truck, pasted up among the others of cast and crew. I was now an official part of history in the making this show. I was happy to see it up there, as an "Anne was here."

I have much more to write, but won't right now.