Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A post is coming soon, I promise. I've been busy and just haven't gotten a chance to sit down and blog. Mental space is required and I'm still in a new phase which has taken up a lot of room.

I had Thanksgiving at Cathy and Reese's house, and Reese's parents were there as was of course Alexander, C & R's adorable five-year-old son. It was great food, great company and a perfect night all together. Not much beats a having a five-year-old when asked what he's thankful for look across the table at me and say, "I'm thankful for Annie." Melted my heart.

Well Alexander, I'm thankful for you too. And your parents, their parents and for precious moments like that.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lots of updates, but this post will be short because I must get to bed.

The job interview that I went to on Tuesday turned out well. I got the job, and a really well-paying one at that. I beat out at least ten other candidates for a copywriting job at a major studio. Though I know my skills and experience are worth the salary, it's weird to be back in that playing field all of a sudden. It will be especially weird to get that first week's paycheck which will more than cover my entire month's rent. Jeez. How did that happen? Before the holidays even.

At my new gig, I'm not an employee but working as a contractor through my temp agency on a long term open-ended assignment. My first day went really well, as did my second. The people there are incredibly sweet and have great senses of humor. My boss is a total sweetheart and sharp, too. And again, it's close by to where I live.

I'm realistic though. I always prepare for the floor to drop out from underneath me without notice. Not because of anything I'll do, but because I've been at this a long time and know that anything can happen. Though this has been a wonderful turn of events, I'm keeping everything in perspective. Every day, I ask for strength to do my best at work.

And most important, they have a Starbucks in the commissary in the building across the street.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To everyone who reads this blog. Please send good thoughts, prayers, supreme mojo, positive vibes, well wishes, the best karma, fast healing, encouragement for Lorna who has just undergone a double mastectomy. I link to her on my blog, and she's been an inspiration with the strength she has demonstrated since she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

If you want to send any of the above to her directly, contact her through her blog.

Those who inspire can use inspiration as well. Get well fast Lorna. You are in my prayers.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I had a flurry of job leads come my way through the creative agencies I'm with, one which resulted in an interview on Tuesday for a freelance copywriting gig. The leads are when they call you and ask if they can submit you to a client. I'm still working at the advertising firm proofreading the movie collateral. It's been kind of cool to see how that whole process works and to proof something that's going on the side of a building. I'm still doing that Monday and Friday, and the women that I work with are all very nice and interesting people. That's the great thing about temping; the souls that you come across. I enjoy meeting people and knowing who's out there, if that makes sense. The more I do it, the more of a soul network I make, meaning that I've alerted them that I'm out here as well. It really is a privilege when I think about it.

WGA Strike

Since the studio is right across the street from me, I'm privy to the writer's strike. Every week day, they are out and the honking begins. Note in the above photo, the "Honk for Unions" sign which is one of many prompting passersby to honk. On Friday, some guy had an air horn he was blowing. That was put to a stop immediately by my neighbor who was as irritated as I was. They do it to interrupt filming and make their point. However, this person, paired with the drummer whom I dubbed "the little drummer cunt" in my half wakefulness were promptly silenced.

The thing is, I support the writers %100. Just take a look at Google and You Tube's revenues, and you understand why the people who create the content want a their fair residuals when their work is shown through via the internet. It's become a very important venue for entertainment, and when internet companies are done correctly it's an incredibly profitable and visible medium. And, what they are asking for isn't much. Just to be compensated like everyone else. I do worry about the "below the line" people. They are getting killed by this. Grips, ADs, PA's, make up, sets people.

wga_strikeI wandered down to the strikers area and took a few pictures. They are congregated at all gates at Warner Bros. so it's like a big party every day outside my apartment. There's an energy in the air and a sense of purpose and change. Based on the honking, the writers have a lot of support. Everyone from regular drivers, motorcycles, delivery trucks, catering coaches, buses, fire trucks, ambulances, and eighteen wheelers whose horns bellow and echo. The writers march back and forth across the street. The hours for the strike are 9-6, I think but I've heard action much earlier. Each person must strike for four hours.

Actor from MoonlightPeriodically, actors from the shows come out and join the strikers. When I was there, Jason Dohring from Moonlight showed his support. I wouldn't have recognized him from the show, as he looks different, but there were some fans of the show there who made a bee line toward him. He was very nice to them, taking pictures with them and talking to them for a long time. Some of the writers from Moonlight also thanked them for their support. I've watched it a couple times and thought it was good.

WGA Strike - Jerry O'Connell?I also think I inadvertently photographed Jerry O'Connell without realizing it at the time. Is this him? You can view a larger picture by clicking on it. Someone saw it on Flickr and told me it was. He's the guy in the blue sweatshirt in the foreground. Hard to believe, if this is him that he was the chubby kid in Stand By Me. Since I've posted these, I've gotten a lot of emails from writers thanking me for the photos. I guess a lot of them are scanning Flickr to look for themselves or people they know. For me, it's yet again another way that souls let me know they are out there.

On Saturday, Gary, Becca and I went to see American Gangster at the Hollywood and Highland complex. Well, the movie was playing at the Mann Chinese, but it's right next to the complex and even more important has parking that the theater validates. We had dinner before and it was great to catch up and chat, laugh, reminisce but it went by too fast. After the movie, we were on our way out and I saw celebrity blogger Perez Hilton going up the escalator in all his fuchsia-haired glory. Becca and Gary, to their immense credit, had no idea who he was. However, I now admit to you dear blog readers, that he's been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite a long time. Way before his blog took off. A few months ago, I actually sent him an email requesting that he mention Brooke Astor's passing in his blog and he not only took me up on it, but "borrowed" a few verbatim sentences from my email as well without asking. I didn't mind on this occasion.

Bed is calling. Time to enjoy the silence before the writers start up again. At least I won't oversleep on work days.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

On Sunday, I partied on a work night. Yes, I'm still working, for all of you who asked. Not at Warner, but at an entertainment advertising agency doing the exact same thing for the exact same money. Thing is, I only work two days a week so I'm going to have to fill in the other three days with something. Luckily, today someone called in sick so I got an extra day out of it this week. I've thought of seasonal Barnes and Noble work because of two things. The writers have gone on strike and it's before the holidays. Can we say...double whammy.

When I was dog sitting for Cathy and Reese, I stopped in my old store and saw my manager that I'd worked for in the Calabassas store. He told me without prompting, "You were one of my best employees."

I was touched by that. One, because of my supercalafragalisticsadomasochistic last day experience at the Baltimore store, a tale I still haven't told that makes his statement so poignant. Like I said some time I'll tell that story. In short, this woman got in trouble from corporate for not dealing with a very serious issue that I brought to her attention several times. She did nothing about it, the issue worsened, and I finally had to go up. It was an issue that could have put money in my pocket were I litigious. If fact, when I told the story to the people at "The Wire," they asked me why I didn't sue. As luck had it, she was the manager on my last day there and let's just say handled it poorly and well weird. However, in my quest for employment, publicly spilling the beans on the gross misdeeds of others isn't the best thing to do.

I probably won't try to work at that store even though I really enjoyed it there. I'll most likely try for somewhere closer to home to fill the gaps while I'm looking for full-time work. It will keep me busy, certainly provide lots of interesting stories for this blog, and to be honest I really like the work as long as it never takes place again in White Marsh, Maryland. The customers there are some of the most vile, stupid, gross and negative human beings I've ever come across.

So, about partying on a work night. Los Angeles offers many options and I decided to take one up tonight. LAX has Banana Split Sundae, which is a pairing of two of the top DJ's in Los Angeles spinning records. I've always been a fan of club music...let me clarify that. Good club music of the heard on KCRW ambient electronica kind. It was fun dancing, the place makes a damn good cosmo and it was fun to see all the kids dancing to great beats spun by Steve Aoki and others. And yeah, I danced too and had a great time. You couldn't resist the beat and the scene was great, bodies dancing everywhere, moving in time to the music. While getting my groove on, a few club kids/boys grabbed me to dance with them, quite a bit younger than me. One of the mod haired hipsters yelled at me, "You're so awesome!" then hugged me. Cracked me the hell up. I had been half and half about going, got dressed for it, did a drive by and then decided to go for it. I'm glad I did. A great show, and intimately laid out where I could watch the DJ's spin up close. On the way home from the club, a thick mist moved in capping the ending to a very surreal night, one where I had many David Byrne "How did I get here?" moments.

Most importantly, the place makes great Cosmos.

Since I'm fresh back in Los Angeles, at times I want to experience a "nightlife" sort of night out. That's the great thing about being here. Everything is here if you want it on every night of the week. To find the good clubs on a good night, I've made sure I'm up on the scene and am on the mailing lists. From there, gravy. Luckily, my work day starts at 10:00AM and we gained an hour in the day. However, it was still tough on Monday. At lunch time, I was both ravenous and tired.

It's been beautiful here, with fall settling in and offering crisp days. My spirits are still up, and before going out on the town I took a walk through the neighborhood.

Thanks to all who wrote concerned about my job situation. Really, I expected this my first year or so here, for there to be fits and starts of employment. Sure, I'd much rather have had a great job as soon as I put my foot on LA soil, but I'm a lot more realistic now. And patient.

As long as I can go dance it off once and a while.