Monday, October 24, 2005

I had to fight off a bad case of melancholy today. And I mean bad. I had a weird dream that started it off, coupled with the dreary weather and short days, not to mention feeling like a complete obsolete loser with a big floating neon sign advertising such over my head. And of course, genetics. I mostly kept to myself and did work that fit my mood to keep my eyes cast down and mind busy. Occasionally, a wave of sadness would hit me, at one time so much that I wiped a few tears from my face. These were light tears, nothing that was obvious. Just the occasional finger swipe under the eye and wipe on the jeans kind of tears. Even if I did get busted, allergies are always a good excuse.

Finally, one of my coworkers asked me if something was wrong. At that point, the worst had passed so I was honest. I said that I just had a bad case of the blues that I couldn't shake, and that I was sorry for wearing my heart on my sleeve. I said I was trying to hide it but must not be doing a very good job. She was so sweet, and said that she noticed how quiet I was, that I'm usually full of things to say. Interesting how a subtle change such as quietness can alert people that you aren't yourself. Even in a place of work where quiet is completely acceptable, from me, it wasn't. And my office noise was missed.

I soon found out that I wasn't the only one experiencing melancholy Monday. My mom had a bad case, as did the fiance of the girl at work who asked me if I was okay. I'm still feeling it a bit and it's made me restless at almost 11pm. When I've experienced a day of sadness, the last thing that I want to do is go to bed for fear of that few minutes where I might feel worse. Instead, I'm going to have a Cosmopolitan. Sounds like a perfect remedy to me. My martini glass is already in the freezer. Now, if I only had a warm pan of brownies to go with it. Oh well, the warm cat in my lap will have to do for comfort.

I'm looking at the damage from hurricane Wilma on the news. Millions of people had a much worse day than I did. Still, my day is the only one that I experienced. We're going to get the remnants of the storm tomorrow with strong gusts and lots of wind. It's going to clash with a "noreaster" storm coming south which will push it toward us.

I ran into the coffee shop guy again and could tell that he was glad to see me there and wanted to talk. There's something about it that just makes me uncomfortable, and 75% of my melancholy today was that I've failed to finish the things that I'm working on. So, when this distraction walked in the door I was annoyed. I didn't want to have a conversation so I avoided eye contact for as long as possible, then said hello and kept things light. The place was packed, but of course the table next to me opened up and he took a seat, positioning himself to face me full on with his body. Clearly he was indicating with his body language that he wanted to interact with me, but I kept to my laptop.

*sips Cosmo*

Then, a miracle. A girl asked to share his table with him, and another girl asked me if she could share mine. Now, I was double shielded, and settled back into my great vibe that I was feeling before the flux of discomfort. I was kicking ass, and got up to buy a snack pack, and he got in line right behind me. The line was long, and he again asked how I was. I kept the conversation to me, fearing that even a "how have you been" would open the door wide for an update on the situation he was in. I don't want to become that stranger he confides in. And yes, cousin Lynne, I did get your email and I'm being very careful. I know most of the employees there and am conscious of who is behind me when I leave the place.

I don't like to see anyone hurting, but some things are best kept to a trusted friend, a therapist, or priest, all of which I am not to this person. And now that I am working so much, I feel I get so little time to work on my own projects that unless the distraction looks like that cute Croatian doctor on ER, I don't want to be interrupted.

Okay, now I'm feeling like I can edge toward bed. It's raining steadily and I'm going to crack the window so I can hear nature's ambiance. On Friday, after nearly falling asleep at my desk twice, I went to sleep as soon as I got home, luckily around 7:00pm, and save for one half hour that I was awake at 5am, slept until 12:30 the next day. I guess I needed it.

The movie came back to film their second night last week, but I will write about that later. Funny to see Nicole Kidman walking around in front of my apartment building. They filmed until at least 5:30am, and it was comforting in a way. My windows were open and when I awoke I heard them at work, a huge production and so many people outside my house while I laid comfortably in bed.

Now, that same bed awaits. Thanks to the simple gift of alcohol, the edge is gone. Despite the sadness of the day, I fear not the night.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I now live in a swank neighborhood in Washington, DC.

Well, for two nights. The movie crew for The Untitled Nicole Kidman Project, a.k.a., The Visiting, previously known as Invasion, has changed our street into Washington, DC, street signs and all. The scenes they are filming are supposed to be taking place Halloween night, so the decorations are over the top and very well done. One house has giant spiders all over one side, another has lighted ghosts dangling like lanterns along a leaf covered fence.

I keep hearing, "Action," and "Cut" and walkies beeping and crackling, mechanical lifts heaving and sighing, and voices of the production crew. Earlier, neighbors told me that Nicole Kidman was walking up and down the street for a scene, right in front of our places. I was at work for that one, as it was shot earlier. My mom and I saw Nicole when they were here a couple weeks ago. Right now, she's shooting another scene just half a block down. These are all exterior shots and it is quite a spectacle. Almost surreal.

They are going to be filming until late, or shall I say early in the morning.

Better them than me.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A week between postings again.

Work has been frenetic, with us staying on Monday until midnight. I don't mind those nights, but don't want to have them in a row. The next night was 8:30 or so, but I got a free dinner out of it through the second meal clause. If we work so many hours, we get dinner. As soon as the food came, we were sent home. So, I enjoyed my sushi in front of the television while two envious cats sat on either side of me.

Thankfully, Wednesday was early and I could go home and watch Lost. Such a great show, and Sawyer's delivery of the line, "Bitch," coupled with great editing cracked us all up. Those of you who watch the show will know the scene to which I refer.

Speaking of lost...

This weekend at my coffee shop, one of the regulars there confessed something to me that I'm not sure he should have. I've had a couple light conversations with him before, so he wasn't a complete stranger. He had been in the shop a while when he came over to my table and asked if he could sit down. We chatted, and a few minutes into it, I felt that he was struggling with wanting to tell me something. Finally, it came out, and I'll just say that it involved legal trouble and leave it at that. He left that up for me to guess as well. He mentioned he was charged, but didn't want to tell me with what for fear of what I might think. I didn't press him on it.

I don't know if he told me because I was a stranger, and I'll go so far as to say a female stranger, but the odd part was that he sought me out to talk about it. We weren't sitting next to each other and happened to start up a conversation. I was writing, and he walked across the room and asked if he could sit down. I've seen him there before many times where we just kept to ourselves and wrote on our laptops. The times we have talked, it's been because we were sharing a large table in order to have access to the outlet, and the other table near the outlet is taken.

So, I listened, and offered advice. It was vanilla advice, such as the surface level things of retaining an attorney and knowing your rights. I added, speaking from experience, that it's no fun for the plaintiff either. I didn't tell him things were going to be ok, because I have no idea what he did. It was enough for the police to seek him out and place him under arrest, that much he told me. I don't know what he wanted coming to me like that and bearing his soul. I didn't offer the "any time that you want to talk, I'm here" thing, because I'm not comfortable with that. I can't help but think that the crime is against a woman and that makes me nervous. The whole thing rang of that, and my instincts are usually pretty good.

Another uncomfortable situation came to me today at work. Someone that I don't know very well decided to stop by the office because he wanted to impress some people whom he'd just met, that he had an "in" with our show. I have nothing against this person, but dropping by unannounced was completely inappropriate and damn inconsiderate, especially on a Friday. And, he doesn't have an "in" with our show. He's actually pissed off a few people in the office by calling up and lying about things to try to get an interview with the producers.

I came out to greet him and saw that he had a couple with him. The girl, who was Japanese, was a comedienne who wanted to be an actress. The couple was from Los Angeles, and I certainly wasn't upset at them since they didn't know the situation. And that, was that their newfound friend was playing up his connections to be more than what they were. Though I didn't show it, I was upset that this person thought he could just drop by and use me as a tool for whatever in God's name he was trying to pull on these people. Again, I have to be vague, and thankfully someone was there whom I asked to intercept and explain the actor submission policy. I did that because I wanted to send a message that in his case, I wasn't the person to contact about such things. Also, to place a barrier between us in case he wants to try this again.

The woman had her headshot with her and we took it to send to our casting director. And, as a courtesy to these people we will indeed send it. However, they are no further ahead than if they had just sent it in themselves. This person knows someone who worked on the show last year and wasn't asked to come back. That person knows the policy so I don't know why it wasn't done that way. Anyway, I was irritated by the whole thing because it just reeked of dishonesty. Plus, our building has a security intercom and he probably used my name to get in. That again irritates me.

I know everyone has dreams and I'm all about helping people if I'm in a position to do so. However, it's how one decides to approach those dreams which makes all the difference. The girl whom I helped get the casting internship is a prime example. There was a trust formed first, and she approached the topic intelligently, courteously, and correctly. She showed hutzpah in just the right doses and had something to back it up. The casting director tells me time and time again how thrilled she is with her. Another woman wanted to be an actress and I encouraged her and offered help. Again, trust. These were both people who learned what I did for a living through the grapevine at the coffee shop. One worked there, the other worked at Whole Foods. They didn't try to scheme their way in. They were up front and honest, as I would be. And in return, I was honest in the limits of how much or how little that I could help them attain their goals.

I carried that same principle at the store when I was there. I hated scammers, and never wavered on being a roadblock for the greedy adult children who wanted something they didn't earn. I didn't care how small the cheat was, it wasn't happening on my watch. Sure, those who cheat might get through a few doors more quickly than the honest person, but what they don't understand is that they are in a labyrinth that only allows them to make lateral moves once they get so far. More times than not, those who are honest find their doors open to exactly where they want to be and leave the cheaters in their wake.

Speaking of being honest, my car insurance rates didn't go up after my little mishap. Conscience was already intact, and thankfully so are my rates.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ah, Friday.

I've been waiting for the weekend ever since last Sunday night. I just wasn't in the mood to work this week, and knew that it wasn't just the Sunday night blues, but would last the entire week. It has, but has lifted now that it is Friday.

On Wednesday, my mom and I took a walk around the neighborhood and passed by where they were filming what is now called, The Visiting, with Nicole Kidman. Our timing was impeccable, as we saw Nicole exit a town car and go into the building. She's a totally gorgeous woman, but quietly so, if that makes sense. It was weird to see her in my neighborhood, whether it's under the guise of a film location or not. She's a huge star.

They are filming in a privately owned rowhouse, which the production emptied and replaced with their set furniture. They put the homeowner up in a hotel and paid her $30,000 for the week. Once they are finished, they put everything back and repair any damages. Not bad, if you ask me. However, I have heard that film crews can really make a mess in houses. I guess it depends on the crew. So far, this one has been respectful and nice to the neighbors. They are taking up three blocks with their vehicles, catering trucks, have a craft services tent on the corner and a medic who sits in a chair, standing by for any emergencies.

After our Nicole sighting, my mom and I rounded the corner and I introduced her to Sammy the six-toed cat. I call him Sammy Six Toes, since he has six toes on his two front paws. He's a great cat, very affectionate, and hilarious. He's a black and white cat, and hangs out in his back yard. I call him, and he jumps up on the brick wall surrounding it for some petting. He drapes those six-toed paws over the wall and just basks in the attention, appreciating the petting so much that he starts drooling slightly. He has a brother named Spanky who hangs out as well. Apparently, they've both endeared themselves to the film crew as have other neighborhood cats. On my walk last night, I passed by again and saw a white cat hanging out with the crew. Kitty kept going into the house, and people would bring her out, pet her, and she'd go right back in. It was so cute. All the cats mentioned have owners, by the way.

They hit my street in the next week or two for exterior scenes. I saw a bunch of kids in costume running around last night, so my guess is that the scenes take place on Halloween. This has been a fun, nice change for the neighborhood, busying it up a bit with foot traffic and people walking their dogs. New faces and people out at night. The MICA students have been hilarious, sitting on rowhouse steps and chattering about aliens and Nicole Kidman. I talked to a gorgeous kid, who definitely preferred the male gender, but what a handsome kid. Tall, dark, handsome, and probably preferred the same. Good sense of humor, too as he laughed at my jokes. Normally, the neighborhood residents are invisible to the MICA students, who are so busy being artists and absorbed in their thoughts of being the best and brightest. Us neighbors hardly register, but I'm not offended, because oh, do I know where they are coming from.

Of course, they would never believe me.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'm writing this post under the nice haze of a Cosmopolitan. I guess the bars have been skimping on the alcohol, because whenever I have a homemade one, I get buzzed. Out in the world, it can take two. That, or the people who make them for me make 'em strong. Anyway, I'm buzzed, but aware. I have yet to make my own.

Now, I sit with my one of my cats on my desk, in my bra and jeans, and a pint of Ben and Jerry's peanut butter cup ice cream in front of me. Really, I could just sleep, but the blog needs a post and it's already Sunday night.

I found out last week that my street will soon be invaded. Yes, invaded. I saw a couple of white vans stop on my corner and a bunch of people with notebooks get out and check out the neighborhood. They were pointing, talking, and looking at the rowhouses, including my own. I thought they were Mormons, then remembered that Mormons rode bikes, at least the ones that come to our neighborhood. Then, I thought they were another religious group of some sort. I was leaving for Starbucks to get in some quiet away from home time after work, and asked them what they were up to. They were scouting location for the Warner Bros. movie, Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman. "Oh," I said, "I thought you were Mormons." They got a laugh out of that.

They are going to shoot on my corner for some exterior night shots. Meaning, no sleep for anyone whose bedroom faces the street. They are also filming inside a rowhouse down the street from me which will be for interior shots. On my walk on Friday, I saw the set dressing people loading furniture into the place. I didn't ask them if they were Mormons.

Invasion, which is a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, changed it's name to The Visiting, since there is a TV show that beat them to the punch. There were several parts for which they were casting locally, but I chickened out. The girl whom I helped get the casting internship encouraged me to try, but in the end I didn't have the guts. Maybe next time. The same casting director that casts our show is casting the local parts for Invasion, and I think it would be a fun thing to do, but I find the concept nerve-racking as hell. Plus, I don't know if I could stop laughing. Perhaps if I ever decide to do it, I'll have a Cosmo beforehand. A homemade one.

I drove to Washington, DC on Saturday to try my hand at shopping. I almost went to New York today just for the novelty of visiting two major US cities in a weekend. I would have trained it to New York, the ride being about two and a half hours. The drive to DC was less than an hour. I shopped around some major department stores and found they were a bit watered down for my taste. I've gotten really pissed at the shopping here, so have a trip to New York planned in the near future. I thought DC would at least offer some reprieve, but I wasn't impressed with the variety.

Last time I was in New York, I went to Macy's to kill some time before my train and was really impressed with the selection. Ever since, I've vowed to go on a shopping only trip to load up for fall. I wasn't in the mood on Saturday, and decided against it on Sunday too. Perhaps next weekend.

Now, off to bed before this wonderful buzz wears off.