Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mark McGwire

I, surprisingly, went right to bed two nights ago. A west coast miracle I tell you!

Last night, however, I was thinking about writing - what I am trying to do for money these days. When I was younger, I always said I wanted to be a doctor, there was a brief intermission where I was going to be an astronaut, but mostly, I was going to be a doctor. I was seriously considering it until about halfway through my college degree. When, one day, I realized that Scrubs was my favorite show because of the storytelling and not because of the medicine.*

*Some version of this sentence has been written on countless essays, cover letters, applications, blah, blah, blah - I need a new thing.

Anyway, a lot of the writers I admire tell stories of their past where they would write stories and plays in their rooms with their friends, and I don't remember doing anything like that. I mean, I've always liked to make people laugh, and I would try to tell stories to get someone to smile, but I never really considered that "writing."

But, then I remembered a time in fifth grade  where we had to create a piece of visual art by mixing pictures in magazines. I want to find the picture because I don't remember all of it, but I do remember two things about it: I had taken a photo of Mark McGwire and replaced his baseball bat with a giant toothbrush, and I replaced the feathers of a turkey with a pink bath loofah.


That's a fun word.

Well, we were supposed to write a story based on our picture, about a page long. I remember staying up until one in the morning writing seven pages front and back. I think the story was about some sort of obstacle, survival course. If only I'd turned it into a trilogy of books for teenagers, so that I could then sell the rights for the movie, so that Lenny Kravitz could be in it. Hunger Games would have had nothing on Loofah Turkey [Working Title].

Then, two years later, rather than writing a regular book report, I chose to write a puppet show for my Greek Mythology project that I had to perform in front of the class... and that is when I learned that I never wanted to "act" again, even behind a curtain and a popsicle-stick Medusa.

So, whether I believe I am a writer or not, I don't have to convince anybody that I'm not an actor.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Miley Cyrus

...Is who I'm listening to right now. Say what you will, but her Bob Dylan cover is infinite leaps, bounds, black holes better than Ke$ha's. Maybe you think that doesn't say much. Trust me, it does.

Again, I was watching Wings before falling asleep, and, good news, the intro gets infinitely better in the middle of the third season.

So, I was about to fall asleep, when I remembered I had an envelope in the car that I had originally planned  to mail last week. It was a handmade birthday card for a boy. A guy. A friend. A wishing-we-were-more-than-that friend. For years.

The card itself was harmless. It didn't have a fifteen page love letter or anything, though I could probably fill twice the pages with the conversations I've had with him in my head. I would have made a similar card for any one of my friends. I would have sent those. I guess, I thought, if the card traveled the 1400 miles to Texas, it somehow wouldn't be harmless anymore. Somehow, my feelings would be too obvious.

[I just spent eight minutes trying to come up with a metaphor for how the stamps on the envelope were like wearing my heart on my sleeve. Fuck it. Over it.]

I've put myself out there before, and, let's use the word "unlucky," but it's not that I wouldn't do it again. I've gotten past those unlucky spots. I know it can be done. I just think I'm going to hold on to these feelings for a while longer, while they're safely buffered by Arizona and New Mexico. I don't even feel like posting this, but it is what kept me up at night and it kind of sucked to write and I think that means some sort of something.

And I had to put two stamps on that envelope, a good ninety-cents due to this week's increase in postage costs. I would gladly spend that on this guy, so it's not a waste, but it's a good, unused envelope. So, if any of my friends receive a red envelope, probably filled with Samantha Mumba articles from Nick Magazine, know that you're worth it too, and I like you just as much. But I don't like you-like you, you know?

Liam Neeson

The thoughts that kept me up last night were thoughts that kept me up for nights and nights when I was nine years old.

So, there's a scene in The Phantom Menace, you know that film that marked the beginning of the end of the Star Wars franchise, anyway, there's a scene where Qui-Gon Jinn rolls a dice in front of Watto, that flying bug guy. Basically, if the dice stops on red, Qui-Gon Jinn gets to save Anakin's mom, and if it lands on blue, he gets to take poor, poor, terrible child actor Jake Lloyd.

Watto rolls the dice, and Schindler, I mean Qui-Gon, uses his Jedi mind power to stop the dice on blue. He saves Anakin, but this also means that Anakin has to leave his mother for ever. God bless Jake Lloyd's heart, he really tried to cry, and the scene looked like it was supposed to be super sad.


This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jackson Browne

Last night before going to bed... Well, before watching two hours of Wings before going to bed... That Tim Daly, man, always. so. intense.

Anyway, before Wings, I found this clip of Jackson Browne performing "Doctor My Eyes" in 1978. This is my favorite song of all time. Undoubtedly. This performance was amazing. My dad apologized for not taking me to his concert back in 1981 when I would have been -8 years old. Even still, I would have loved it. Thanks a lot, dad.

So, as I was finally drifting off to sleep, still upset with how terrible the Wings opening credits are, I started thinking about music. Music is cool. Everyone likes music, of some kind. You can't say that about a whole lot of things. What else can you say that about? Maybe cookies. But, to me, that's incredible. That is awesome.

Sure, there is plenty of debate about what is "real" music. It's subjective. I spent a whole semester with a record producer telling us why the music on the radio sucks these days. While I agree, I bet that the reasons every tween literally weeps during the opening notes of Justin Bieber's "Baby" are the same reasons I spent $250 on a ticket to see Adele in concert from the back corner of a basketball arena. Whether it's the lyrics, the guitar, the piano, the artist's haircut (that's me on Adele, anyway)... whatever. People love music, and I love that.

I am mediocre at a handful of instruments, and I can talk-sing better than most parrots. I wish I had the God-given talent to play guitar and piano like some of my friends, or play the drums half as good as my roommates. Even more, I wish I could sing remotely as well as my friends in high school. I was incredibly envious that they were in the elite choirs and school musicals, and I wasn't even brave enough to take the Chorus class with the football players getting their fine arts credit out of the way. There are plenty of things to be talented at, but I rank music pretty high up there, so you're welcome.

In the time writing this, I've replayed that Jackson Browne clip three times, each time I hear something new. If I listen to it in a week, I'll feel something new. If I listen to it in a year, I'll remember something new. I think it's stuff like that that draws people to music. So, whatever music you listen to, keep doing it. And to every musician, of whatever instrument, keep making it.

But, for real, why does the Wings intro suck so much? Anyone?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kelly Clarkson

I'm still trying to figure out my next writing project, as per my "alphabet days" a few months ago. For this week, though, I'm just going to write whatever keeps me up at night, which sucks for you because it's normally "sappy" and "deep" and "philosophical." Sometimes it's at length conversations I will have when I meet certain celebrities. Hope for these, these are funny.

Last night I kept thinking about the quote: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Spoken by Friedrich Nietzsche, but I am almost certain that I was thinking about that new Kelly Clarkson song. See, I told you this would get philosophical.

Then, I started thinking of all the times I was so embarrassed, I thought I was going to die. Everyone has been there, everyone has survived, most people move on. I'm working on it.

In fourth grade music, the teacher called on Marco, and either I was super eager to show everyone I knew the answer (probably) or I really misheard, but I thought he said "Barbara."So, in the middle of my answer, the teacher says, "That's right, but your name's not Marco." Fair enough. I don't even think my classmates cared, but I did. I still do.

In fifth grade, I was finally given my first chance to cantor a song for mass. I had been in choir for three years previous, but my singing was so terrible that I would never be allowed to cantor based on talent. Instead, masked by two legitimate voices of girls in the grade below me, both of whom would go on to join the elite choirs in high school, I was given the opportunity merely by showing up to practice every Tuesday and Sunday for three years. Of course, I announced the song at the wrong time, while the priest was sitting quietly on the altar. Needless to say, they sent music class Marco, who had a wonderful voice, to re-announce the song and cantor with us.

I have about twelve of these "traumas" that I return to about every other week. Obviously, I survived them. They did not kill me. Did they make me stronger? I'm still terrified of finding myself in similar situations, terrified of putting myself out there from time to time. I'm getting better. I used to replay the traumas every day, rather than every fourteen. Stronger, I guess.

There are other embarrassments, however, that I can't seem to shake - the times I did or said mean things to someone else. I am embarrassed at the way I acted, ashamed, really. Did these make me stronger? Yes, I am stronger because of these mistakes. I have learned from them, and I am so afraid of hurting anyone like that again, that I have changed my behavior. I have a long way to go, and I still mess up. I will carry the guilt with me, probably for always. I am not perfect. I will not be perfect. Perfect, no. Stronger, I guess.

Until tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the meantime...

So, even though only four people read this blog - two of them being my parents and one being the Prince of Swaziland who emails me weekly asking for just a few grand to make his trip to America to be with me. He seems nice enough, and not a lot has been going on in the romantic department out here anyway. I told him, though, that he has to wait for me to get a real job so I can scrape up the money.

Speaking of jobs, so far mostly quiet on that front, but I have some great people looking into things for me and sending out my resume. I'll be emptying trash cans in a production office before you know it.

In the mean time, I've been at home a lot. It's a small bungalow built for one that I share with one more. So far, so good though. There's even a tiny patio - by tiny I mean you can touch the fence from inside the kitchen door and get from one end to the other in four steps.

Not having a job has forced me to spend my time doing something - namely writing. I'm working on a Cougar Town script for a few fellowships and competitions. I don't think anything will materialize from it, but it gives me something to do - namely watch every episode of Cougar Town back to back. If you haven't seen the show, it starts back up on Valentine's Day. So, if your date doesn't think it's a good idea to stay at home and watch Courteney Cox drink wine, then you probably shouldn't be with him/her anyway... That reminds me, I need to ask Prince Swazi how he feels about the show. It could be a turning point in our relationship.

Alright, time to eat a hot dog and drink a tall can of Sweet Leaf. This has been my lunch for thirteen days in a  row. I just moved to LA, so I'm done trying new things for now.