A lovely afternoon UPDATE

My car is out of jail.

Found my moleskine.

Going to try and actually get some writing done.

That is all.

A lovely afternoon

I wanted to get into work early yesterday so that I could take off a bit early for an end-of-day haircut appointment.

So I park on Sepulveda--the main highway in front of the building.  Now NORMALLY when I do that, I move my car at lunch and park elsewhere, but on this day I walked to lunch and completely spaced on the parking situation.

At about 5PM, Liz sent me an IM confirming that I'd be home a little late.  Immediately a light goes off above my head. I ran outside.  No car.  It was probably towed 2 hours earlier when the rush hour restrictions began.

I've never felt more stupid in my life.  100% my fault for being an idiot.  Best part is I have a lot where I can park, I was just running late and it can be a long walk with a slow street crossing light. I've never had my car towed before.  I don't even get a cool story filled with excess and adventure to go with it. Just plain old worthless dumb crap.  Not a mistake I'll ever make again.

Call the police.  Get the lot number.  Call the lot.  I can get the car anytime but since it's after 5, it'll be an extra fifty bucks for "afterhours".  I'll wait.

Get a ride over there this morning and when I go to hand over the insurance info the guy says it's expired.  UGH.  I ask if I can put someone on the phone for him to talk to.

"We need something to photocopy"


So I call the insurance company and for some reason that exists just to make my day worse, they tell me it'll take at least 2 hours to fax it over.  Seriously!?

Now I'm back at work with no car.  Not really sure if I'll make it over there again before 5 and that's assuming my rock star insurance company actually pulls through with faxing the updated card.  Just to be safe I tried to login to my account and print a new card.  OK...I can't seem to do that, so I select the option to email documents and get this message:

Thank you for requesting documents.  We will email you confirmation of your request within one day and then your updated printed documents will be sent via mail.
Fuck my life.

(Oh and as a bonus my writing journal filled with notes, etc...is now missing)


Rock says get off those stairs

Liz and I joined Darrin on Friday night for a live performance of the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia musical episode, "The Nightman Cometh" The entire regular and guest cast of the show were slated to appear and perform the fan favorite on stage at the Palladium in Hollywood.  We love Always Sunny, so when Darrin asked us to join, we couldn't answer 'yes' fast enough.

I've never been to the Palladium before but most of the other nights on the six city tour were in seated theatres so were were expecting something fairly intimate going in.

Didn't quite work out that way.

Seems the Palladium holds over 3,000 people in wide oval shaped general admission room that's perfect for bands but not really all that well suited for the kind of event where seeing the stage is key.  The night started with a band we couldn't have cared less about so we spent time waiting in a very long beer line twice. Then we wandered the theatre looking for a place to stand and well...it didn't exist.  Tall Steve, who was also with us, had no problem seeing over the masses but I couldn't see a thing and Liz couldn't less than a thing. This was not going to do.

We tried going upstairs.  That was worse.  Went back down and they started screening a future episode before the cast took the stage.  We couldn't see anything.  Liz took off to find a new location while Darrin and Steve, tired of wandering, decided to just stay planted at the back.  I'm certain Darrin couldn't see either but maybe Steve was going to narrate like one of those dvd audio tracks for the blind.

I went looking for Liz just as a woman was letting her go upstairs to the VIP balcony.  OK, this seemed cool...but we got up there and it was even worse.  Now we were behind people looking down on the stage vs. up.  I think I got a glimmer of a corner of the screen.  I think Liz just saw the backs of many many people.  There WAS an entire seated area with tables...but that was the real VIP and as far as we knew.... we weren't getting access.

So we go back downstairs and decide to stand on the steps along the wall with the many other people who were doing the same.  We could now see perfectly.  But...event venues don't particularly like it when people stand on stairs--that whole fire escape thing and all--so it took less than 60 seconds for the original woman who let us go upstairs to ask us to move.

Liz responded first.   "There's nowhere for us to go!"

"Well you can't stand here!"

Arguing ensued.  Liz and I both got loud and refused to leave.  We accused them of overselling the venue. (Which they clearly had).  She didn't seem to care.  Problem for this poor woman is she didn't carry much authority because no one else moved either.  And at least two more people argued that they couldn't see.  It probably didn't help that I encouraged people not to leave when she asked them to move.

We watched a minute or two of the screened episode before the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson-type (seriously this dude could have been his stunt double) security manager walked up.  He worked his way walking up the stairs telling people to move and having them do exactly what he asked.  Uh oh.  Moments later we were the only two holdouts on our prime viewing perch.

"You can't stand here"

We gave the same arguments and didn't budge.  At this point I thought we were going to be thrown out. And if that were the case we would have argued our way to a refund and waited til the show ended for Darrin and Steve at the bar across the street.  We couldn't see anyway so what was the loss?

"Your whole posse is gone.  You're still not moving?"

My posse?  Oh, all those other poor saps who couldn't see?  That's cool that I earned a reputation as a rebel rouser in the five minutes we were standing there.  Fight the power!

We argued some more.  Oversold...yadda yadda yadda.  He suggested a few places for us to go and we answered that there was nowhere to stand after each one.

"When the fire marshal shuts this event down all the people in this theater will blame you."

Ah the guilt attempt.  Except for the fact that we'd just get thrown out way before that could ever happen.

"No they won't," I yelled said. "They'll blame you for selling too many tickets.  This isn't a concert. It's a stage show"

He asked Liz if she'd want him showing up at her job and giving him a hard time.  Faux-Rock doesn't know Liz.  "Parents do that to me EVERY DAY!" she snapped back.

"OK. Hold on a minute." He said holding his hand up a bit and clearly thinking.

Was he figuring out in his head how to throw us out?  Liz and I looked at each other, confused.

Suddenly he grabbed the arm of this long haired dude hurrying up the stairs.  "Can you help my friends here find a place to see?"

Next thing we know we're lead up to that seated VIP area and given a 4 person table.  Almost immediately after we sit a waitress comes over to take a drink order.  The preview episode ended just after we sat down (we didn't really see any of it), but the table was a perfect spot from which to watch the main show.  After we caught our breath Liz and I looked at each other and I said, "How did we not get thrown out just then?"   "And how did we get a table instead?" she added.

We tried to text Darrin to meet us, but he never got the messages until after the show.  I never got the name of Not-Rock.  I know we thanked him right before being whisked away, but I'm sure he just thought it was an easy way to shut-up a couple of loudmouths.  Not as easy as showing us the door though--and for that I wish I knew how to send the venue sober positive accolades about him.

And how was the show?  Awesome and hilarious.  But it's Always Sunny...live...in person.   How could it be anything but?


Please like me

Think about this.

Microsoft paid...
-a consultant to say this was a good idea.
-a marketing executive to agree
-a writer
-those four very diverse actors
-a wardrobe stylist  (check out those shirts!)
-a set decorator
-a cameraman
-sound person
-grips and other crew
-an editor
-an entire team to design and create the party kits  (YES, they are real)

Now think...can you imagine a SINGLE person who would actually get excited about this?
0 for 2 on the long form videos now, Microsoft.  

If Windows 7 showed up at my party, I'd douse with gasoline and toss a lit match on him.


To Do that don't Get Done



Stuck in that place where I have too many different things that I COULD be working on so I end up not putting any real focus on any.  Why am I trying to work my way through an After Effects book again?  Oh, that's right, so I can be distracted from working on completing a new script. I make my to do list but it's filled with so much 'to do' that I find myself never really getting deep enough into the things that matter most. 

Yes, complete the script.  Seems pretty obvious. 

But then I get a piece of new creative from a friend volunteering to help on DJ GIRL (yes, it's NOT dead!) and my head goes back to that.

And THEN it will be back to the new script.

At least until I get a short term freelance gig.  Obviously that has to take priority.

THEN it will be back to the new script.

But if I just learned after effects and final cut fully I wouldn't need help and I could get DJ GIRL completely done and out in the world and then fully focus on the new script.

That sounds like a plan!

But I don't really have very much talent for editing (and I REALLY don't know what I'm doing for motion graphics) so the time spent there is probably in vain because nothing good will come of it.  And I constantly remind myself of this when I get distracted from the new script.  Getting by in the software is one thing--but it's not really my skill set, right!


I complain too much.  If I didn't complain so much I'd have 10 new scripts in the last two years. 

So less complaining.  Single task goals.  Only new writing.

Sounds good.   ANNNNNND go team!  I can't wait to get my head back into the project that needs it after work tonight!

Except I just got a freelance revision request, so the script will need to wait.  Seriously I did.  Minutes ago.



Sydney goes Mad Max...

A few years ago on our way back from a wine weekend in Santa Barbara county, Liz and I drove through a very thick fire smoke haze in Ventura that looked this bad.  It was seriously one of the spookiest things I've ever experienced.  Went from bright sunny daylight to hellish Mordor in minutes. Half an hour down the freeway we were back to gorgeous sunshine.

We didn't have that scary face staring back at us though...

More pix of Sydney here


Electric Jealousy

Continued from yesterday...

It's one thing when the power is out in such a widespread way that everyone is in the same boat. It's another thing when I can walk two blocks in any direction and find people blasting football games.

As I sat there playing around with my phone in silence, tired from our San Diego visit, I could hear the distant sounds of people who had modern convenience of electricity. Lame.  Unfair, I say!

With frustration and light disappearing, I decided to investigate--and maybe pick up a cold six pack on the way. (Opening the fridge was obviously a no-no).  At the end of the street I discovered four massive repair trucks setting up in two closed lanes on the Pacific Coast Highway.  On the back of one sat a drill bit double my size.  Not good.

Got to Vons and....closed. No power.  Great.  They even had a refrigeration truck parked out front.  Vons doesn't have an emergency generator?  That's not comforting.  Remind me where not to buy produce for a couple days.  Fortunately, with the limited scope of this power problem, the Ralphs across the street was open--albeit VERY crowded--so I picked up my beer and a few other little things and walked back. By now, it's starting to get quite dark so Liz and I light all the candles we can find.  Neither of us recalls buying at least half of them--but light is light so no matter.

It's not until we're about to eat a late dinner that I remember we have battery powered ipod speakers. I blast something loud to make all the nearby idiots who weren't prepared jealous of our brightly glowing, jubilant apartment. The neighbors were already jealous of the tvs and stereos from two blocks away--now maybe they'd hear it enough to enjoy instead of the dull hum of distant noise. At least that's what I tell myself. We talk about playing a game of scrabble, but Liz decides to head to bed early for recovery from the tailgate sun earlier in the day.

Then...less than an hour after I started playing music and right about when I feel good that we've conquered the great Hermosa Beach 15th and 16th street blackout of 2009, all the power returns.  It's 9:55PM.  Six hours since we got home and about 12 hours after it first went out. Yeah I know.  Not much to complain about, but we don't get power-stopping bad weather otherwise.  Half a day is a big deal for us!   They say the power could be out for two weeks after a bad earthquake.  I have no idea how we'll make it...  

At least I got to see Mad Men.  A John Deere riding lawnmower inside a Manhattan ad agency!?  Of course that's not going to end well!


Chargers to Powerless

My parents flew out to San Diego to watch their Baltimore Ravens challenge the San Diego Chargers. As is custom when they visit my aunt and uncle down south and can't make it up to LA, Liz and I drove down to see everyone. As also is often custom, we ended up drinking a lot of wine.

As a hangover headache ripped through my skull on Sunday morning, I was reminded that at some point several glasses into wine the night before, I challenged my father to an underwater breath-holding contest in the waterfall hot tub.

It was a sorry, painful loss, as I--a non-smoker my entire life--gasped for air while the chain-smoking old fella stayed under.  Such was the shock of losing, that I went ahead and challenged two more times--losing again and again.  I've never much liked to be in the water anyway.  I can probably count the number of times I've been fully submerged in a pool during the last decade on a single hand.  But that's no excuse. It was a terrible embarrassing loss.

So at 7AM, with that biting headache, I'm reminded that I agreed we would join everyone at their tailgate party in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium where we would share in some revelry and I would declare to the crowd how awesome dad is.  Less than two-and-a-half hours later, there we were...drinking mimosas...under the sun.  The very, very bright and hot sun.

It was admittedly nice to see everyone for a bit longer. (Including my cousin--briefly at home from Army training all summer before shipping off to Kansas in a few days)  And the headache eventually went away.   By 1PM, the football fans made a run for the gates and Liz and I made a drive for the exit--navigating an ocean of lightning bolts along the way.

Unfortunately, after nearly four hours in the sun with little shade we weren't feeling all that well and it's quite possible Liz had sun poisoning.  The temps read about 85 when we left--but that sun felt as hot as the desert sun on a coachella afternoon.  (Of course this is a complaint coming from the guy who couldn't stay underwater a few seconds longer than his father.)

We stop for lunch (BJs sucks, btw) and got back to the house quicker than our traffic-slowed trek to San Diego 24-hours earlier.  Turn down the street and this workman in a orange vest is setting up a "road closed ahead" sign.  Strange. Never seen them start construction on a Sunday before.  Pull up to the garage and hit the button on the rearview.  Nothing.. Doesn't open.   OK...   I get out and turn the key at door.  Nothing.  Hmmm.  Power must be out.

Head inside and suspicions are proven correct.  No power.  With a little investigation, we track down details...by the time we got home at 4, it had already been off about eight hours and restoration wasn't expected until some time early Monday morning.  Liz passed out in the bed almost immediately--still exhausted from the night before and sun drenched morning.

I'm too tired to go visit friends and too sun drained to hit the beach. So I grab my laptop and collapse into a chair. Maybe I can do some writing.  Open it and...the battery is dead.  OK...this is going to suck.  More to come...


Step away!

At Chipotle for lunch and took a pic of this sign (Excuse the crappy iPhone image) moments after seeing a woman literally reach entirely over the glass to point to the ingredients she wanted in her burrito.

There are four salsas, ma'am.  If you can't explain to the worker which one you want without swinging your grimy hands above all the food, then you don't deserve to eat outside of home.

If I worked there I'd probably chop off the hand of the fifth person that did that with a big chicken-cutting knife.  It's rude, it's annoying, and it's disgusting.  That's why we're all getting sick, people!


Go away. We're closed.

I thought this economy was turning around.

Leave work at lunch all excited to get another tasty chicken and brie panini at the Chef Hannes Cafe right down the street from the office.  It's a very tasty little sandwich.  This is the kind of satisfying work day lunch to look anticipate as the morning drones along.

As I wait to cross the street I plan out in my head if I'll get the side salad or a little bag of chips--Chips it is!  And a bottled iced tea will be the perfect beverage.

The little walking man appears and I strut across the busy boulevard. This is going to be fantastic!  I approach the front door and pull...but...it's locked. There's someone inside dismantling decor who pretends not to notice me.  They didn't even put the obligatory closed sign.   THIS SUCKS.  I've been craving that sandwich ALL FUCKING DAY! 


I make do with an overpriced, less healthy, and less good steak sandwich at the farmhouse deli a few doors up. It wasn't even that bad.  But chicken with drippy brie between pressed bread.....mmmmmmmm.....that's what I wanted.  That's what I needed.  I'd say next time--but next time is impossible when IT NO LONGER EXISTS!

side note...I googlesearched for "closed sign" to find the image above.  It wasn't until after I clicked on it that I realized the origin of the image was www.restoreforeskin.org.  There's a voice for everything, I guess. 


The Audacity of Illness in the Office

While my thoughts yesterday made it quite clear that I have difficulty focusing when sitting at home full of snot and sniffles, it certainly wasn't meant to be an endorsement of the alternative.

I returned to work today. And yes, I'm feeling a bit better. Hopefully, I'm on my way to feeling 100% in a couple days. Plans originally called for me to join Liz at a Killers concert at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. But I've reluctantly decided that's not a good idea. The thought of feeling worse again on Thursday isn't remotely worth it to me. Yet here I am, back at work telling people the very thing I despise hearing from others, "Well, I'm no longer contagious."

It's a lie. Well, actually it could be true. It's entirely possible that I'm no longer an infectious threat to those around me. Truth be told, I do feel a bit better. But I say it with such authority, with such confident vigor, so to ensure that others take it as fact. Why am I such a hypocrite?  I don't know, I guess I just don't want to be "that guy" who comes to work when they clearly shouldn't.

But why do I care?  Why should I feel uncomfortable saying that I have to come to work because the shitty benefits combined with my insanely undervalued salary means I can't afford to stay home another day? It's not like I'm the only one that feels this way. And if I try to Columbo-solve the mystery of how I got sick, there are several suspects in this very office.

There's a lot of talk on the news, from the government, and through memos passed around work that when you're sick, you MUST stay home. We have that whole swine flu  H1N1 thing to worry about!  HR even handed out mini hand sanitizer bottles for our desks. (Well... the cheap generic kind that's thick and smells like a chemical plant. It's the thought that counts, right?) Is the faux-Purell an admission of defeat?  Do they just expect us to bring the virus to work--as long as we wipe the germs off our hands before touching the door knob?  I don't know. 

All I know is that I DO feel a little better. And if declaring I'm not contagious means I don't have to over-explain myself, than so be it.  I made the effort. I went home when at my worst.  Hypocrite or not, I'll continue to be weary of those who claim they're germ-free without spending a bit of time healing up at home.  Wouldn't you?


Activity list for the infirmed

For some people a sick day is just a work day with different colored walls and a sloppy outfit.

Not me.

As any regular reader of my disjointed words knows, I have a hard enough time concentrating when I'm going full strength.  I derail easily.  Sure, it's a lot of excuses, but lets be honest with the facts.  A minor change in plans can throw off my rhythm, this whole sick thing...it just messes with me across the board.

OK, I'm being too hard on myself. I've completed work when home sick before--and not just once.  Working at an ad agency it wasn't a big challenge because deadlines are deadlines and you gotta do what you..well...you get the point.  And yes, my distracted mind has survived the formless existence of a freelance life.

But these last two days...I don't know what it is.  I could have used them to write. ...but why write when you can play a video game?   I could have done a few After Effects lessons.   But why focus on a book when you can watch people argue on CNN?   When you have a day job that's so very much boring, it's seems strange as to take the time away to do something even more so.  ...to enter a veg-state that's just unplugged from the corporate mainline.

Well this isn't a personal day.  I am frakking sick.  And now I'm writing this now.  I stepped away from the television long enough to do it.  Maybe that means I'm getting better.  Could I possibly get in another scene of writing before Liz comes home from work?  That's a fantastic idea.  Let's do it.


My head hurts.  I'm sweating.  I think I need to lay down.

If I make it to work tomorrow, I'll write a scene then.   That's the way things are supposed to work, right?  For now I'm sick.  I'm eating food that's bad for me.  And I'm not going to care.  And any of you voices in my head that want to bitch about it need to shut the eff up.

Liz was home for a bit earlier and told me I look and sound worse than any point since this sick hit me a few days ago.  ...and I'm worried that my To Do list isn't long enough.  In the least, it's a nice distraction.

Words like productivity and exercise don't belong in my vocabulary today.  And for all those workahaulics who, well, work through sick days...suck it.


How I feel...

This about sums it up.


Had some tasty sushi on Saturday night with Steve and then headed home to play Beatles Rock Band with Liz.  Almost immediately after I got home I started feeling the sick.  Ugh.

Yesterday sucked.

Thought I was doing a little better this morning but after half a day was feeling overwhelmed.

I hate the sick.

Not sure where this one originated. There were sick co-workers. I've had sick friends. And apparently there was a sick going around to people frequenting the final NIN shows.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I just want to be better.

I want to be working out.  I want to be writing.  Can't do either of those now. I think I'll go play some Little Big Planet and hope for the best.



I'm exhausted today.  They played for just under 3.5 hrs.  Fantastic show...


1. Home
2. Somewhat Damaged
3. The Collector
4. Discipline
5. March of The Pigs
6. Something I Can Never Have
7. The Frail
8. The Wretched
9. Ruiner
10. Head Down
11. Burn
12. Just Like You Imagined (w Mike Garson)
13. La Mer (w Mike Garson)
14. Eraser (w Mike Garson)
15. The Becoming (Still) (w Mike Garson)
16. Down In The Park (w Gary Numan & Mike Garson intro)
17. Metal (w Gary Numan)
18. I Die: You Die (w Gary Numan)

19. 1,000,000
20. Letting You
21. Survivalism
22. Suck
23. Down In It
24. The Hand That Feeds
25. Head Like A Hole

26. Me, I'm Not (w Atticus Ross)
27. The Warning (w Atticus Ross & Dave Navarro)
28. Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now) (w Dave Navarro)
29. Gave Up (w Dave Navarro)

30. Mr. Self Destruct (w The Dillinger Escape Plan)
31. Wish (w The Dillinger Escape Plan)
32. Atmosphere (cover - Joy Division)
33. Dead Souls (cover - Joy Division)
34. The Good Soldier
35. The Day The World Went Away
36. Hurt
37. In This Twilight


The longest day

I keep looking at the clock and it's as if time is moving in slow motion. After what seems like a half hour, the minute hand clicks to the right a single notch via close-up with a massive bass-like drone.


Making things worse is the fact that I got to work almost 90 minutes early--throwing off my entire schedule. You see tonight is the final Nine Inch Nails show. Yes, the last one ever. Ever. NIN frontman, creator and essentially sole proprietor, Trent Reznor has said he's done with the days of heavy touring with a band and speaks of other projects coming soon. While we all know that the concept of finality in the music industry doesn't exactly carry much weight--it's fairly certain that if Nine Inch Nails tours again in a similar way it's going to be a very, very long time.But hey, 20+ years isn't a bad run.


Since this last stretch of shows was announced in July, it's been nothing short of a struggle trying to find tickets. Very strict anti-scalper measures have made finding extras nearly impossible and with a 2-ticket limit per person, NIN superfan Darrin was only able to originally secure one extra--which went to Liz after her summer back east.  After some options involving complicated coordination seemed to gel last week, I was able to purchase a ticket last night when a handful of extras were released online. Excitement!  We're going to the final show!


This is all made possible thanks to an unfortunate turn of events for some that became a blessing others.  Originally there were to be four shows in various venues throughout LA with the last to be played at the Echo--a tiny 500 person venue in Silver Lake.  Pretty incredible for a band that sells out arenas.  Unsurprisingly, the Echo show was IMPOSSIBLE to get tickets for.  Even superfan Darrin didn't have one.

Turns out Trent Reznor caught himself a flu leading up to the last touring week.  At the dismay of many people who flew into town from all across the country and couldn't stay an extra few days, two shows were postponed a week. All the jackasses were mad... the travellers were pissed that they'd see no show. And those who paid $2,000 to go to the Echo were annoyed that their investment was no longer for THE final show.   Whatever.  Now THE final show is at The Wiltern--an art deco theatre that holds 2200.   And as one fan is saddened, another gets the ticket.


So I've been at work since 7:45--counting the minutes until I can head out at 4, pick up Liz and zip up to the venue.  This will be my 9th (I think) and very possibly last time seeing Nine Inch Nails. That includes a shared show with David Bowie in the 90s, a sold out Hollywood Bowl a few years ago, and a secret practice show Darrin found the tickets in a scavenger hunt that lead to the head of the cougar at the LaBrea tar pits.  I credit Brigitta Kral for introducing me...long, long ago. Thing is back then she was much more likely to track down shows and events.  I guess the roles have reversed.  I never imagined at the time they'd be around this long.


All this exposition and only five minutes of time has passed!?     END DAY!   END!


Cold vs. Allergy

I don't think I'm sick.

*knocks on wood*

Well, I hope I'm not sick.

I have a stuffy nose and bit of a sore throat.  But I'm at that stage where things could go either way.  Is it allergy or is it a full blown cold?

I think I'll just stick to my plan for the evening and go jogging.  Maybe I'll run it out of my system.

Let's hope that works.

*knocks on wood* again.

There's been a lot of shit in the air lately with the fires and whatnot. So that's one in the allergy column.

But, it's been hot and I seem to always get colds at the most inopportune times.  Ugh, one down for cold.

I'm pulling for allergy.  It's my oversensitive white blood cells I'm sure.

That MUST be it.

*knocks on wood* for the third time.

Three time's the charm, right?


A busy labor weekend

It's been a busy couple days.

After celebrating the end to yet another work week, Liz and I ventured to The Landmark to see Extract--the new comedy from Mike Judge.  I thought it pretty much met what one would expect from him, both good and bad.  It was enjoyable but probably better seen on a TV in a couple months.

Liz posted this review to facebook:

Elizabeth Beirne

Saw Extract tonight. Pretty funny (+1), but nothing memorable (-1). Mike Judge has done better (-1). On the other hand, Jason Bateman (+3). Ben Affleck (-4) with a beard that masks his repugnant "aw shucks" permagrin (+1). Kristin Wiig (+0.5) and David Koechner (+0.5). Total: Meh + 0= enjoyable but disposableon Friday
Can't argue with that.

On Saturday morning I took the same hike I've been embarking on solo for most of the summer. ...and I was solo yet again.  I do go fast and it was very hot.  ...but that wouldn't have been the case if she was with me.  Although perhaps she knows me well enough to realize that my trying-to-go-slower speed is probably still too fast for someone who hasn't been walking 5 miles with 1000+ ft of elev gain for the last four months.  Hopefully we'll be on even ground again soon. (And it'll cool down...she doesn't like this heat...)

On Saturday afternoon I headed down to Fiesta Hermosa and picked up a tasty tri tip sandwich.  Thinking about it right now I kinda wish I walked back down there again to have another one.  Dammit. Now I'll have to wait until May.

That night, a couple refuges from the postponed Nine Inch Nails show stopped by for an unplanned gathering with drinks and food at our house.  Some pretty low key discussions about everything ranging from cameras and thai massage parlors ensued.  Fun times.

I woke up with a TERRIBLE hangover on sunday morning from all the beer drank the night before.  It was strange because I don't usually drink a lot of beer if I'm drinking for long.  I think maybe I was just overly full.  A few advils and LOTS of water helped and Liz and I were able to join Kelly for some lunch by the beach in the midst of the fiesta chaos.  (We went sit down--so no sunday tri tip for me).   Liz and I are pretty certain that Kristen Bell was at a table over from us wearing a blue wig. (Disguise or fashion--I don't know).  Sadly I have no photographic evidence of this.  Yes, I'm fully aware of the "pix or stfu" mantra so I guess it never happened.
I tried to find a picture of her in the wig.  With the number of cameras around these parts, stranger things have popped up online in shorter time. Couldn't find anything. But seeing this picture on left--I'm 99.5% sure it was her.  Just imagine she's wearing this wig on the right...

Liz claimed she had on expensive shoes.  I can't speak to that as I wasn't paying much attention.  But expensive shoes in the town with the richest single people in the entire country--probably isn't the end-all indicator.  

Our little Kristen Bell diatribe aside, Sunday wrapped up at Cinespia where we watched Ferris Beuller's Day Off with a couple people in a cemetery.  Liz finally met some folks from work who happened to be right behind us in line.  Strange coincidence that after 15 months at the gig, introductions happen during a big event 45 minutes away from the office.  Whatever the reason, I was glad to finally have people I've talked about meet each other.  Edie McClug, who plays Roony's secretary, introduced the movie after rambling on for waaaaay too long.  It's never good when someone with a microphone says, "Sorry, they gave me all this champagne back there!"  By the end, much wine was consumed by many within the packed crowd.  Liz and I closed the night at home watching Mad Men.

And that takes us to today.  It's been a lazy Labor Day almost by definition.  I got us some breakfast in the morning and we've been relaxing around the house all afternoon--which is nice considering all the running around (and drinking) we've been doing on this holiday wkd.  Making a nice plan for the week and we begin it all again soon...  way too soon...

Today's labels will be brought to you by Actresses of the Weekend, a new show on Bravo....


The unfortunate jobercoaster

OK...here are my original words from August 14th that I held back at the time...

Ever have one of those days that starts out just OK....transitions to being absolutely fantastic...then quickly goes to hell? That was yesterday for me. As part of my never ending search to find a decent job I've been going through the whole routine over a potentially decent gig the last couple weeks. This one involved a creative team so I brought an art director I know along for the ride.

It begins with the craigslist post. I'll send an email despite the fact that these things rarely work out.

A week later the call comes. They want us to come in for an interview. Unexpected. But before we schedule...what salary are you looking for? I answer. Now don't forget this part, readers... "Oh good, that's in our range. I just wanted to make sure."

So the interview is scheduled and my artistic friend and I get to creating a presentation. After many hours of beer-assisted preparation we're ready.

On interview day we meet and take the elevator up--unsure of what to expect.

It goes perfectly. We kill it. KILL it. The executive creative director can't say enough how interested he is. Let's us know they'll need a week or so to sort things out on their end.

Nice! And since they ALREADY SAID WE WERE ON THE SAME PAGE FOR SALARY this thing seemed to be in the bag. Obviously they wouldn't have bothered to bring us in at all if we weren't on the same page for salary. Obviously.

The next week we get a call from the recruiter to still sit tight. A few more things to sort out. But they like us...they really like us.

Nice again! Then yesterday a voice mail is left that there's great news. Give us a call. Excitement builds. Thoughts of giving notice fly through the head.

I call and the job is officially offered. Nice a third time! And then... informed that the salary is less than what either of us currently earn. Which is significantly less than what we discussed before the interview. Huh? Silence. "Hello?" "Yes, I'm still here. Wow that's a lot...lower than we expected." "Well it is a recession." riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. then why did you say we were on the same page!?

So I headed home in a terrible, terrible mood. As it was day two of mommapalooza, the mother was waiting when I arrived. Fortunately she was understanding of my bitter mood and I calmed down after three beers and a round of Wii resort bowling.

But, seriously!? What the eff?

And now the new exciting conclusion I'm adding today...

I decided not to post my explanation of the above traumatic events because we were waiting for a counteroffer from the agency.  Well, that came on Monday.  It wasn't where we wanted to be.  In fact it still wasn't even close.  But it was at least slightly more than our current takes so at least there was that.

So I talked to my art director buddy and after a bit of discussion we decide it's worth it if only because it's something new and not a step backwards. So now my roller coaster car is going back up peaking at the second tip of the second hill...

The shall-remain-nameless art director proceeds to inform his current employer that he's going to leave. At this news they scatter for a few hours and return with a very significant bump in salary.  Let's just say there was absolutely no chance the new agency will come close to it.

And with that the roller coaster made another nose dive right into the earth.  I'm just glad I waited to give my notice.  I'm not even remotely upset with him.   I know for a fact I would have made the same choice to stay.  Sometimes you don't get the respect you deserve until you have the power to leave.  I don't even have that much going for me.  I think if I gave notice they'd urge me to leave tomorrow.  And if I said I had a better offer, they'd say, "good for you" while making that same "REALLY!?" face that I made when we got lowballed to begin the this whole thing.

And the journey begins again...


The Curious Case of the Picture Frame Woman

I just couldn't take it anymore.  While the image itself is well lit and there's nothing particularly bad about it, one small little detail bugged the shit out of me.

I don't know this woman.

She seemed lost in a moment of free-spirited joy while hanging in this gorgeous massive sprawling ancient oak tree.  It's CLEARLY one of those instants of pure escape that we seem to desire more the older we get despite the fact that we seek it out less and less with each passing day.  I want to have experienced what must have been an afternoon of pure bliss--sun setting in the afternoon behind a rolling bucolic meadow. Maybe that's why I've put up with her for so long.

This woman has dark hair and wide eyes. Her skin isn't pale but it isn't dark either. With the high contrast of the black and white image, it's nearly impossible to discern if she's black, white, hispanic or some combination of the three. Perhaps she's from some distant future where distinct races no longer exist leaving only homogeneous beings that strangely appeal to all of us in some middle-of-the-road and feux-utopian manner. 

Now she's starting to bug me.

BUT...did I mention the photo looks fantastic in this frame?  The high contrast image really makes it pop. I'm so glad we own this frame. It's a perfect complementary accessory -- neither a distraction nor a piece that's ignored. When you see it, sitting there on our funky West Elm purchased shelf, you'll surely agree. This woman might piss me off, but I could disturb the balance of our entire living room by removing her enthusiastic smile.

But I hate her.  I hate her so much.  I don't know this woman!  Why is she on our wall?

Oh that's right, because I'm lazy.

So...I finally took the frame off the shelf and replaced the mystery margarine tree-climbing lady with a photograph from the day Liz and I were married.  It only took three years, two months, and five days.

Not really sure what inspired me to finally do it, but it certainly felt satisfying to crush that smug little bitch and throw her away.

Am I sure I don't know this woman?



She's back!

Now we need to just get back to Hawaii...