All right, enough with the boring writer stuff. Here’s a post about something entirely different.
I live in Los Angeles now.
In an apartment.
The last weekend was a test of strength and endurance. I had everything delivered from Ikea and set to work building it.
I hate Ikea. If I wasn’t so busy, I would make it my life goal to destroy them. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, because the people there were very helpful, but dear GOD! I hate shopping. I usually make a list of the things I need and go in like a robot with a targeting system. I guess it’s because I don’t like people? But really, I think it’s more that I don’t like wasting my time. WHY ARE YOU WALKING SO SLOW!
Well, Ikea rant over.
I did the bed first. Not much to do there, just slap on the supports and flip it over. Then, I had to build the desk. Since it’s Ikea, everything was pretty straightforward. After the desk, I set up wiring and everything. So, here’s the bat cave desk.
I had to build everything, but the thing I was most nervous about was this.
Yes, something I actually have to sit on. But, so far so good. Nothing to report. Everything’s working. I’ve even taken it to maximum height and leaned back with my feet off the ground and nothing bad happened. Also, this chair is pretty badass intimidating. It also comes in blue, for those of you looking to buy.
Wall went from this:
There was a note on the shelf that said, “This unit is meant to be anchored to the wall.” My response, of course, was: “Then guess what’s not happening?” followed immediately by, “Oh, yeah, right. Earthquake country.”
In an interesting twist, practically everything I brought that required shelves fit into one book case. Now, I have about seven books that have no place so sleep at night, but my next bookshelves going to be pretty sparsely populated.
And now I have to build my final shelf for this wall:
One more box to unpack and I am officially moved in.
I didn’t really start freaking out until Dad asked me to drive. It’s interesting how it’s easier to not be behind the wheel.
“Can you drive for a couple hundred miles?”
For about the first hundred, I white-knuckled the steering wheel as all the implications of what I was doing roared up in my head.
To Los Angeles.
I think I’m still sneezing out desert.
I’m sure some of you are sick of me talking about this, so I’ll keep it brief. I still don’t have a place to live, so this post comes to you from in between roommate inquiries. That’s where most of my anxiety is focused. After I get an apartment, I’ll find the next thing to lose it over.
Here’s a quick list about things in Hollywoodland.
1. Oh my God, the smell.
I know that sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not. Not at all. Los Angeles has this smell that’s sort of intoxicating. We got to the hotel, which smelled like Indian food, then we opened the door and…
Oh, my God, the smell. It’s maybe the beach? California? Pot? Is it pot? It might be pot, but it doesn’t matter because it’s here and it’s everywhere and it’s delicious.
Between Yelp, Foursquare, and the maps app on my iPhone, you never lack for places to go, and you always know how to get there. Dad keeps asking ‘What’s the address?’ and my answer is ‘It doesn’t matter. You just ask the iPhone and it knows.’
There’s a coffee shop (Bourgeois Pig) that stays open until 2 am on weekdays, 2:30am on weekends . Yes, please.
Last night, we got pizza for dinner. Along the strip of road were 4 coffee shops, 3 pizzerias, 2 pinkberry’s, and a partridge in a pear tree.
You can walk places. There are places that you can walk to. I suppose my standards weren’t very high when I decided to move. I wanted a city where places didn’t close at 10 pm every night, a city where you could walk. I’m still really excited.
4. Time zone
I have no freaking idea what time it is ever. If you get a text message at some weird hour, I’m sorry. I’m just confused. And, I don’t go to sleep until strange times, either. So, if you get something from me at WTF-o’clock, just pretend it came at a normal time.
On the other hand, I don’t think Dad is enjoying himself. People drive crazy, things are expensive. He is less likely to get swept up in this place than I am, so I’m trying to be patient. I appreciate that he came here with me, but I think he’s stressed in his own way.
Can you imagine he’s not comfortable in hipster/writer settings?
Well, off to try to get things under control.
By all rights, I guess I should be scared out of my wits. That’s what I’m told, anyhow. I should be panicked and nervous, sweaty palms and all. I should be jumping at loud sounds, flight or fight mode shifted into full-blown adrenaline rush.
But, I’m not.
You see, I’m moving to Los Angeles on Saturday. I mean, if you’ve kept up with this blog, I know you know that already, but, yes, Saturday is the big day. And, I’m not sure if I’m done with everything here.
But, my parents have promised to ship it if I need it.
A contingency of my friends and acquaintances have told me I’m brave. Brave is defined as “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.”
Perhaps it is bravery. I don’t think the pain I will face is physical. I suppose the biggest danger is going hungry because I run out of money. I know a big part of what makes this maneuver brave is the fact that I am walking away from acknowledged safety and comfort and heading into the unknown, where hardship and uncertainty are assured.
Several people have asked me if I’m afraid.
So, why isn’t fear a factor?
Fear was a handy emotion. Way back in olden times, it helped keep us alive when we were fighting the saber-tooth tigers. It is a stress response that allows us to act without thinking. Again, a handy-dandy skill when you’re facing something that’s about to eat you or trample you. You don’t have time to waste thinking, “I should move a little to the left.”
Fear still serves a purpose. But, it can also hold you back.
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” -Rosa Parks
I want to write for television. There really isn’t anywhere else in the world that I can do that besides Los Angeles. New York comes in second, but it’s not (believe it or not) as easy to break into television taking the New York route. So, Los Angeles or bust. I’ve made up my mind. I know what must be done. I know it will be hard. I’m not afraid of working. I’m not afraid of failing.
But, I suppose, it’s just simply the fact that allowing fear to rule is never a good excuse. There are so many things that we could fear (worry is a state of fear), but it’s better to face it, take it head on. Conquer it. You can learn to control your fear response. Make the judgement. Is fear really helping? Or are you just a slave to years of living in caves worrying about being crushed by Og’s new invention “hawk blurg rugbug” or, as we commonly refer to it, “the Wheel?” It’s just mind over…mind.
As I head out to LA, be assured that I’m not facing my fear.
As I eyed a 6’0″ axe at the Renaissance Fair last week, I was struck with the thought that maybe I could wait on getting that new computer. My current compy is only four years old and in fair condition, but that’s four years at 2,000 words an hour. Some of the buttons are wearing off, sometimes it just gets obstinate and refuses to load anything, but it’s seen me through my first paid writing gig, a pilot episode, a Big Bang Theory spec script, three novels, two trips to Michigan, and a partridge in a pear tree.
So, I figure I can wait a year. Maybe sell one of those three books…
But, I digress. Back on point.
My perceived need for a new compy put me in another frame of mind. Way back when Lion came out (I’m running Apple; you can read all about my indoctrination here), I tried to update only to find it didn’t run Microsoft 2004. Those three novels disappeared. With hat in hand, biting back the curses on my tongue (I didn’t read the fine print), I shuffled my way to the Apple store and muttered, “Please, sir, may I have my files?”
They were nice it worked out huzzah yeah apple but NOW…the time has come for me to upgrade to Lion.
And do everything else before I move to LA:
Save up money
2. Upgrade the compy
Find homes for my instruments that will not make the journey
3. Meet up and settle friendship communications
4. Acquire boxes
5. Measure how many of said boxes will fit in the car
6. Trial run with packing the boxes
7. Agonize over everything that doesn’t fit
8. Find a place to live
Get a job
10. Have a major freakout, regret the decision, run around in circles, yell at my parents for no reason, talk to my cat about all the opportunities, decide to go anyway.
11. Order Not for Tourists: Los Angeles
Add new categories to blog: TV Nonsense, Movie Nonsense, Los Angeles
So, what? Am I missing anything? Let me know, because I really need to shut it down and get going. I met with a friend, Ben, who used to live in LA working as a writer and as he described this place to me, I could see/hear how much he loved it, how much he missed it, and how much he hoped to go back to it.
While people have been telling my how much I will hate LA, I’ve been answering with “But it’s what must be done”. But, after meeting with Ben, I started to think, “Man, I could really love living there.” He was the first person to say to me “Just get there. You’ll see.” I understand that people are in awe of the choice, or proud that they know someone relentlessly pursuing their dreams, or afraid that something will happen to me. But, I think the profundity of Ben’s fascination with LA burned away the lasts wisps of doubt and fear.
I’m as prepared for culture shock as one can be.
Ben said, “You’ll meet a lot of people like you.”
And that’s interesting.
Because I like me.
I like me a lot.
I’m moving to Los Angeles.
I’m moving to Los Angeles!
Oh, my God, I’m moving to Los Angeles.
Well, not until later in the year, but reality is setting in and it’s setting in hard. The other day, my dad told me we needed to talk about when we wanted to head out there. To look at apartments. Which I am perfectly capable of doing on my own, but, I mean, come on. What are fathers for if it’s not negotiating real estate? Also, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, I’m sure I can see the Hollywood sign from every window in my apartment no matter where I live.
In other news, sometimes I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality. You know when you watch those movies/read those books where there’s a pretty obvious ticking clock?
So, here’s my trouble.
How do I say good-bye?
I made a new friend (which is amazing, by the way) and she is going to school at MIT. In Boston! And, despite the distance, we have kept up our friendship through Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.
But what about the others?
I honestly can’t remember who I had this conversation with, so, if it was you, let me know.
“I’m leaving.” Me
“Okay. So?” You.
“I feel like I’m trying to cut off all my connections because it doesn’t hurt as much when I finally go.”
“That’s how it’s always been.”
“Yeah, but you have roots here. But, your parents are here.”
“I might be the one keeping them here. When I leave, they really have no reason to stay.”
So, here’s this.