Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm about to watch Lost so I'll continue this post after it's over. We had a Happy Hour after work today and I sat with co-workers to eat and drink sangrias. It was at a location close to where I live, so I went home to change and freshen up. My coworkers see me at my worst. When you aren't a morning person, you sleep in to the last minute possible and then lie in bed even longer than that. That leaves time to dress, shower if I need to and put my make-up on during the drive to work. Yeah, I'm one of those chicks. But I do it at stop lights and my eyes don't leave the road while driving. As a result, I wear clothes that match to work and get away with the least amount of effort possible. At the Happy Hour, because I'm so close I was able to make myself presentable for going out. To me, that's normal but to my coworkers, I forget they haven't seen me this way very much, if at all. I got a lot of comments when I arrived and hope it didn't look like I'd made too much of an effort. I hadn't. I just don't make a lot of effort when I go to work. Kudos to those of you who can get up and do it. I just can't.

I didn't eat well today so the Cosmo I had at the restaurant went right to my head. Now, I have a bit of the melancholy and am trying not to over analyze why it's settled upon me. I'm just going to let it pass. That, or go get ice cream.

Part of it is that my personal projects have halted for the last few weeks. Shannon and I sat and discussed this feeling of a lack of excitement or drive that we've both been experiencing. I don't know if it's the time of year or what. I told him that we both need to take classes in our crafts. Not because we don't know what we're doing, but because it will get us out of a rut and some stimulation. In my work, I've learned that I'm better, or more motivated when I know there's an audience that will see the end result. It's easy to do that with my professional work, but harder to put myself out there with something that is personal. Something that no one asked me to write but felt compelled to anyway. Classes are good for working those muscles, and in the past I've taken painting classes because it's a safe distance from writing but still creative. Plus, other writers can annoy the hell out of me. They are so into being writers and the caricatures of writers. Sometimes when I bring my laptop to the coffee shop I cringe at myself, thinking I'm one of "them."

Then again, I have to ask what's so bad about being "them?" I think because writer's are such lone operators and can come off as taking themselves way too seriously. Shannon is a photographer, also a lone operator. Perhaps we've both come to the point where we need someone to shake us up and get us to look at our crafts in a different way. And maybe for me, I need to be annoyed by other writers or *gasp* even threatened. Much like that first day in art school when I realized there were a lot of damn good artists out there. I wasn't mature enough to handle that then. I've covered some of the reasons why, one that I was trying to fulfill my New York dreams, that fantasies of living in New York at the same time going to a top art school. Now I have no fantasies that need fulfilling. I'd just like to finish something or be pushed even when it scares or angers me. I'd like to see that I can follow through on my own vision. Sure, I'd like to think I can finish something on my own accord but maybe the truth is that I need to have an arena to show off in order to get motivated.

I think I'm finally realizing that there's nothing wrong with that.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rest in Peace, Little One.

Harryette, my mom and Jack's cat - RIP

Harryette, my mom and Jack's cat, became prematurely ill with kidney failure at only five years old. My mom and Jack treated her with hydration, medication and lots of love but eventually her quality of life declined so much that they agonizingly decided the most humane thing was for her to be put to sleep today. She was a farm cat that they adopted through a rescue program, so it's possible she ate something way back when that damaged her kidneys and caused the premature failure. She was as soft as velvet, loved to touch noses with you and such a sweetie. She'd frequently cuddle with the sock monkey that I'd had as a child. She lived her last years in luxury and leaves this life knowing she was loved. Goodbye, Harryette. You are already missed. May you find an endless amount of sock monkeys to cuddle with in Heaven.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I've been keeping up with my workouts and am feeling good about that. I love once again, going to a gym with a little more life knowledge behind me. I watch people who push themselves way too hard with bad form, wanting it all in one day. Then, there are those hoping to be looked at but frightened if you meet their eyes. It's an LA thing that used to bother me but doesn't anymore. If I happen to meet eyes with a prancer, I disarm him with a smile that's non-threatening. Of course, most the people there actually want to work out and so far it's been a nice eclectic group of people. Being an LA gym, it's got its classic LA stereotypes in it, but that's part of the fun. It feels good to go in there and lift things, and to take the spinning classes and feel the sweat escaping my pores. I have a long way to go to tone up and improve my stamina, but I've surprised myself that I wasn't as out of shape as I thought I was.

When I work out, I go into a world. I had a fantastic trainer in Kansas. Yes, you heard that right. Maybe some day I'll elaborate because he was also one of the smartest, most blunt and funniest guys I ever knew. He taught me everything to know about form, the number of reps, working with free weights and to do opposing muscles...and once again form. I can't stress that enough. It's all that matters when using free weights, or doing any kind of exercise, really. So, when I go into a gym, I know my way around even though right now I look like a powder puff. And, I know my limits. I know when my body is saying enough, or "not today," and I listen.

That world I'm speaking about is one that I missed. In a way its sort of meditative. My eyes soften their focus, I'm concentrating and my mind rests. So much, that I almost missed the movie star that pranced in front of me and then planted himself next to me to do his reps. As we stood there, both working our triceps with free weights, our reflections in the mirror, I didn't break form or concentration. I just enjoyed the total LA moment and let it be what it was. Then, switched to the left arm.

The movie star was Jared Leto, for those who are curious. Extremely good looking guy, even in person. My last stint in Los Angeles, I'd seen him at Urth Caffe once as well. It's times like these when I remember that yes, I'm actually living in LA again. And without missing a beat in my workout I smile to myself.

I may buy a new camera this weekend. If any of you have any recommendations on a decent digital I'd be much obliged. I'm not going all out and getting SLR, but would like a point and shoot with a zoom and some bells and whistles. The time has come to replace my old one, as it is a *gasp* not even two megapixel camera.

Shut up.

I'll probably head over to Samy's camera or Best Buy and see what I can find. I love this camera, but it's just not capturing what the new ones can do. And, being here there are so many things to take photos of.

Lastly, check out what my cool neighbors are up to. They've created a web serial, all shot in live action with a digital camera. I'm not kidding when I say their budget for the first six episodes, I think was under $500. They've written, produced and acted in a vampire serial called Shadow Moon Diaries. They also did the music, I think and of course the website. In one of the episodes, you may recognize the rug if you've been checking out my Flickr. I also lent them some of the fabric, (green and gold) for a backdrop. It's the one with the belly dancer in it. The woman, who is the main character is an actress and her husband is the director. Check it out. I'll be putting a permanent link up to it on the sidebar. I think they did a fantastic job. Three cheers to people like them who get a creative itch and decide to scratch it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I was way overdue for a picture change, so I wrote myself a note at work and actually followed up on it. My previous picture, though taken in Beverly Hills was when I was still living in Baltimore. I'd been on a job interview that I'd flown down for and was tooling around the city in a rental. A nice rental.

Even though that picture has an air of confidence if not cockiness, I was in a very uncertain time of my life. I knew I wanted to move back to Los Angeles. I was in Los Angeles, but nothing was in motion. I couldn't start the job tomorrow so I didn't get it. It was a contract position as a writer for the exact huge entertainment company that I'm working for now except in a different division. Funny how things work out.

Months after that was taken, I ended up moving back out here with no job and few prospects except for my ability to pound the pavement and a good writing portfolio. This new picture, which I've posted before on my blog was of me settled in Los Angeles, working and making a good paycheck. I was at a hot night club with Shannon and we were having a great time as he snapped the picture, therefore capturing the end result of having decided to just go for it. I have no idea where I get the gumption.

I remember the day that I decided to not go back to The Wire and move to Los Angeles. I loved the people at The Wire. I loved the job, but I'd done it for two years and I just couldn't stand Baltimore, no way around it. If I did a fifth season of the show I'd just be in the same spot a year from then. Anyway, in between Seasons of the show, I was working in one of my temp jobs when I made the decision to do it then. I'd never planned to stay in Baltimore, in fact I'd stayed much longer than I ever thought I would. However, The Wire came and extended my visa, for lack of a better term, and there I was almost five years later. I looked out the window from 20 floors up and all of a sudden the logic fell into place. I made the decision right then and felt a physical release of...something, like a heavy blanket, the kind they put on you for x-rays, lift off me as if pulled quickly. The rest of the day my steps were lighter and my brow more relaxed. I finally had a plan. How I was going to execute it, I had no idea. But I had decided the end result.

Though I've landed nicely for now, I'm experienced and humble enough to understand that there are no certainties here. There will be ups and downs, and at some point because I'm still working in a contract position I'll probably find myself scurrying around again looking for the next gig. That's okay, as it was factored in the plan. As the characters in The Wire have said many times, "It's all just part of the game."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I've had a nasty cold the last few days. I'm in my coffee shop now writing, because I've been in the house a lot and am determined not to spend the entire weekend inside.

I caught it, I'm sure at the gym that I just joined. No matter how careful I was, it was inevitable. It struck a day after my spin class, starting with a sore throat and then upgrading into sinus and chest. However, it's on its way out I think, and I was lucky to get the gym cold over with early.

I just looked up and saw that Brooke Shields is here with her kids and husband. She still looks marvelous. Much better than on television. Whoops, one of her girls just spilled her drink all over the floor.

But back to my decision to join a gym. I finally decided do it because I haven't been getting enough exercise, period. I found myself too out of shape to get the most out of ballet, and shelved it for a bit to get my cardio more improved. I also need to do weights in a bad way. I went to a spinning class, and I think that's where I inhaled the inevitable gym cold. That, or I'd gotten it the first time around. Once I'm feeling better, I'll be back. All in all, I did pretty well my first time back. I was able to keep spinning and knew better than to push myself too hard. I also underestimated how strong ballet has made my legs over the years even though they are far from fighting form. I watched a couple girls in front of me who also were first timers and they were doing just that. Things take time don't get it all in one night. I'd taken spinning years ago, but regardless of the exercise when you're just starting back you don't want to kill yourself.

I'm tired, so I'm going to stop here. Yes, this blog is a shadow of itself. Like I said, moving back here has contributed to that. So much to write about it becomes overwhelming.