Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “los angeles

Lemonade. Or, perhaps, some sort of lemon salad

It’s weird when life hands you lemons. And you’re like, “Sour yellow fruit.” And everyone says you’re supposed to make lemonade and there’s this big metaphor and it makes you feel better, or, usually, doesn’t.lemons_5836497465

It’s weirder when life hands you lemons and you look around and think, “Well, shit. Turns out that’s the only ingredient I was missing.”

I was recently laid off from my job. They gave me three weeks of warning, which is a fair amount of time and gave me the security of rent for another month, if not car and student loan payments. I made the preemptive call to my parents. Not quite an SOS. Just making sure the channel is open.  Because we see an iceberg coming and we don’t know if we can avoid it. With years of experience in the job market, they have the context to know what to expect.

There was the rush of calculation. How much money do I need to survive? How many years of experience? Am I even good at anything? I had the same job for 6 years and now it’s gone. There’s no paycheck. There’s no clocking in. If I have to move back to Texas…I won’t move back to Texas. I will become homeless before that happens.

In three days, I applied for a California driver’s license and became a Lyft driver, thinking, “It’s something.”

I applied for jobs. Hundreds of jobs. Tons and tons of jobs. Maybe one in a hundred got me an interview.

I didn’t really realize anything was wrong until I met with a rep at a temp agency. I gave him my salary requirements, more than I made at my last job, and he laughed. He literally laughed out loud and said to me, “You’re being robbed.”

It was a sobering moment. I didn’t particularly like or dislike my previous job. It was something I did. It was something I did well. It was something I was paid to do, but I didn’t know I was being robbed.

Then, I got a paycheck from Lyft.

I was being robbed. Driving my car for 10 hours over the course of two days netted me over $200. I can make $20 an hour if I drive smart. Plus, fuel rewards were saving me on every fill-up, I was meeting and talking to interesting people, I was getting to know Los Angeles better than I’ve ever known. Lyft is the best job I’ve ever had.

A 9 to 5 job interview came up and I actually had to weigh the options of accepting a “real job” position over just driving my car whenever I felt like it because the material rewards were balanced.

I mean, when was the last time I had to sit down and think, “What am I doing with my life?” That kind of thing is left to college students who have the luxury of wasting time.

A slow realization has dawned.

Getting laid off may have been the best thing that happened to me.

It’s an interesting feeling to be handed lemons and open the cupboard to find sugar, a juicer, filtered water, and a frosty pitcher staring at me like, “Where you been?”

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Or, maybe the ingredients for some sort of lemon salad. I could really go for a lemon ice right now…

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The 12 Things of LA

I’m back in LA after traveling for the holidays, so now I will share a song with you. I think you can see where this is going.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Seven cooing pigeons
Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Eight farmers’ markets
Seven cooing pigeons
Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Nine preaching Vegans
Eight farmers’ markets
Seven cooing pigeons
Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Ten bucket drummers
Nine preaching Vegans
Eight farmers’ markets
Seven cooing pigeons
Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Eleven gluten-free restaurants
Ten bucket drummers
Nine preaching Vegans
Eight farmers’ markets
Seven cooing pigeons
Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law.

When I got back to LA, this is what I saw:

Twelve aspiring actors
Eleven gluten-free restaurants
Ten bucket drummers
Nine preaching Vegans
Eight farmers’ markets
Seven cooing pigeons
Six hapless hobos
We serve craft beer!
Lot only valet
No Parking
Two bad tattoos and
A Prius owner breaking the law!


TMI Minute Episode 5 | No-Killing Spree


The only question left is: Do I drink the water?

I just got back from…wait for it:

THE SET OF IRON MAN 3.

So, I guess, the obvious question: No, Robert Downey, Jr. wasn’t there. It was second unit. Or not even that. Principal shooting has been done on Iron Man for awhile. No, this stuff was filler. Extra scenes that just need to fill the seams in the movie. Doesn’t matter. It was still awesome.

Great stuff below. (more…)


An Unspecific Update

I’m bad at earthquakes.

No, seriously.

There have been three earthquakes of substantial (not considerable) size, two while I was asleep that I didn’t even wake up for, and one in the evening that I read a book through without noticing. I mean, geez. The earth is moving beneath me and I laid in my camp bed working my way through whatever latest book I was on…how’s that for sturdy Ikea construction?

Nerdist Writers' PanelAnyway, despite my less-than-stellar earthquake detection, things have been settling down in Los Angeles. I have inadvertently become Jeff Greenstein’s stalker and if he ever finds this, I sincerely apologize. This is a big city; why do I see you everywhere? Not that I’m that disappointed. He usually has great things to say, so still kinda cool.

I made a friend. I know, right? I’m just as surprised as you are. It was quite the chance encounter that started off with:

“You write YA? I write YA! You were at RWA? I was at RWA! You submitted to that agent? That’s my agent!”

Three for three right off the bat.

So, all these things have caused me to have a few reflection periods to catch up with all these developments. Because moving here is the same as living anywhere else with one big difference.

It’s like someone hit the fast forward button.

Five Finger Death Punch ConcertI’m a planner. At least on some level, I like to know what I’m getting into before I throw myself at it, but this has not been the case for LA. The plan has pretty much been: do ALL the things.

So, things I’ve done since the last update:

-Went to a test show for Craig Ferguson. It was not televised, Craig Ferguson wasn’t even there (Geoff was hilarious). I won a t-shirt.

-Ended up at a Five Finger Death Punch concert and the after party at the Roosevelt Hotel

-Spent a day on the UCLA campus looking at the Writers’ Extension program

-Met with a group of LA TV writers for hanging out and things

-Saw Key and Peele at the Nerdist Writers’ Panel

-Restrung a guitar


Making It Up As I Go

I haven’t posted in three weeks, which I apologize for. I’m working at a social media job that has me writing 5,000 words a week in blog posts alone. That isn’t really an excuse, but the blog format does lose some of its mystery when you’re up to your elbows in it everyday. I just didn’t have the moral fortitude to add another six hundred words to that count. I spend those words elsewhere.

Paley Center for Media - Husbands Season 2 PremiereThis blog post has little direction, so let’s use it as a metaphor for my life.

Things in Los Angeles have not settled down. I’ve lived here long enough to have paid two months of rent. My life continues to run a gamut of emotions, which, admittedly, I am not used to. I moved in with Amber, from the Bad  Girls Club, which is sort of amazing. I never expected to be living with a reality TV star (I suppose that’s not something that people would expect, anyway). In many ways, it’s nice to have someone who challenges me to go out and be social. I’m not naturally a social creature.

A huge part of succeeding in Los Angeles is being here. I mean, obviously. How can you work in Los Angeles without living in Los Angeles? Waking up in the morning is surreal. I’ve met interesting people. On Monday, I went to the premiere of Husbands (Season 2 out today!). The event was at the Paley Center for Media, a public event, so much of the crowd was just fans of the show. As the 7pm premiere time drew closer, members of the Buffy and Caprica casts started filing into the theatre.

That’s how it is here, I guess. Or maybe it isn’t. I’m in a place where I have nothing to measure anything against and the thing is, living completely without the ability to measure is normal. Jane Espenson’s advice (which isn’t new, but, c’mon, Jane Espenson said it to ME) “Just…keep putting yourself out there.”

I’m sure she knows how hard that is. How painful that can be. Perhaps it’s creator’s self-doubt or maybe it’s something else, but putting yourself out there is HARD. Standing in a room screaming “NOTICE ME!” while everyone else is doing exactly the same thing is trying. Of course, you can try something different, but that’s no guarantee, either.

But, the point is, momentum. Much like writing this blog post, it just got faster and faster as I went. And, maybe meeting Jane Espenson and Brad Bell at the premiere of Husbands was just another way of putting myself out there.

Don’t miss the first episode of Husbands Season 2 today!