the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

so goddamned busy

pulled an all nighter last night to finish a website for a friend.. it's good busy, though. definitely good busy. back on set tomorrow to help load out..

i've now had my car for about 1 month and i've had 4 parking tickets, one of which was handed to me exactly 30 seconds after i purchased the car. larry, who was a sport, split the cost of the ticket with me. parking tickets are a way of life out here, apparently. it's so frustrating though. the signs are hidden, or have been removed, but ignorance is no excuse. i suppose they can be contested, but how much effort is it worth? my broke ass might have to fight, though.

my car has a name, and identity now. he is R2D2's exact shade of blue, and i imagine him as the trusty, clunky droid that always comes through. i think they definitely look similar. i dub thee "R2."

see, they're friends.


passed this place in thousand oaks the other day..


my friend laura and i have had projects from way back. five years ago we began 'the haiku year,' where each of us wrote a haiku every day for a year. i compiled it all into a book, and when i was home recently, we went through it and basically relived a year that included so much joy, pain, romance, and change. we decided it was time to do it again. we tried to find other projects that would be sustainable for a year's time, but everything else was either too difficult, or not creative enough to maintain interest. the great thing about the haikus is that if you're having an awful day and the last thing you want to do is sit down and write a damn poem, your entry for the day can be:


and you're done. we're using the 'american haiku' form, which does not pay attention to syllables. there is still effort to condense a moment to it's most minimalist form, but the 5, 7, 5 syllable structure doesn't really translate from japanese.

last time we emailed the haikus. this time we've started a blog.

oh and laura, it's appropriate :)

settling in

when i first moved to new york, i was going out a lot, and had someone who essentially acted as 'tour guide' - he'd take me around to various hotspots and i'd have no idea, geographically, where we were in the city. my brain would connect the dots, but the dots would have no context, so i was forming a map of the city that looked like the early explorer's maps of america - all the points are there, but boy is it distorted.

i'm curious if the same thing will happen here. there are so many sections of the city, and it's so easy to get lost. i have yet to buy a thomas guide.

'what? you don't have a thomas guide?'

'no, i just haven't had a chanc..'

'you have to get a thomas guide.'

'i know, i was gonna ge..'

'i can't believe you don't have a thomas guide.'

'well i will as soo..'

'you have to get one!'

'i kno..'

'get one!'

so i've not gotten one, partially because it's fun to have that little exchange with everyone i meet. also partially because i have yet to get really really lost, which, like getting on the wrong direction on the subway, will happen at some point.

the view

some LA observations:

people are friendlier. not that i really thought people were unfriendly in nyc (really, they're not), but here the energy is different. people make eye contact and hold it. it's still kind of disorienting that many strangers will make eye contact and tip up their head in the 'what's up' abercrombie way. because that's what this is.. the land of abercrombie.

people do not walk, and when they do, it's at 1/3 pace. i think people thought i was taping 'supermarket spree' during a recent shopping trip. i was offered a ride to my car from the office the other day. i said 'no, i'm just 2 blocks away.' he said 'oh man, i can totally give you a ride over there, it's no problem.'

i'm extremely fortunate that my daily commute is favored by the flow of traffic. were the directions reversed, it would likely take twice the time. i'm still not used to the driving, though. mostly i'm not used to being so -alone- for so much of the day. where's the smelly deli subway guy falling asleep on my shoulder??

my skills at parallel parking have increased by 200%

you can't jaywalk here the way you're used to in new york. everyone is quick to warn you that you will get ticketed for jaywalking. the streets are wider, so it takes a lot longer to get across, and it's just not part of the mentality - for other pedestrians and, importantly, for drivers, who are not conditioned to expect people to jump in front of them. however, i've become much more attuned to other cars darting in front of me.

i've not seen a single bagel. i thought for a second that i spotted a carb, but it was a trick of the mind.

everyone, upon hearing that you moved from new york, will inform you that everyone here is more 'laid back.'

'yeah, it's just a little more laid back here.'

at my first interview, the big boss had a bluetooth earpiece in and was clearly about to explode from stress as she told me 'this job is not like some hoity toity rockefeller thing that you might be used to. we are NOT like that. we are much more LAID BACK here. MUCH' she said it in a way that indicated relaxed ambiance was enforced by whips and binding legal contract.

i'm starting think that most of the city suffers from a delusion that they -should- be more laid back because the weather is nice and they are by the beach, but that obligation actually creates its own stress. however much stress it causes, they can't imagine it's any more stressful than the average new yorker might feel, so in order to make themselves feel better about it they'll tell every new yorker who comes to town to expect a more 'chill' atmosphere.

my day job has proven to be quite entertaining. i may even start drawing some cartoons about it..

meanwhile, here is the view from my desk:

i do recommend clicking for the full size view.

i'm doing more art department work on the cooking show tomorrow, which should be a lot of work, and a lot of fun.

can i blow your mind for a minute? cooking shows do not just 'happen,' and very little cooking actuallly occurs on screen. often what you're seeing is the work of a 'food stylist' being presented by a photogenic (and/or celebrity) host. denise is the food stylist for both of the cooking shows i've been working on, and she is fucking awesome.

the joys of busyness

can't write much now.. and i haven't written much this week..

because i went to that interview on monday, and was immediately put to work.

i'm now doing freelance graphic design for a billboard company on hollywood blvd and highland street.

my office is on the 10th floor, and from my office, i can see the entire city. i can gaze westward and see the walk of fame, the chinese theatre, the hills.. to the south, miles and miles of little white buildings poking up above the palm trees..

and i'm now a PAID production assistant for another cooking show my friends are working on.. will be helping them load in and out of location this friday and next thursday.

being busy is pretty damn great.

pics of my office view tonight/tomorrow..

crazy weekend!

so i was able to buckle down and have a little fun this weekend, but not without working my ass off first, as it should be :)

saturday i worked all day as a PA in the 'art department' for a new cooking show that my friends chad and celeste are working on. 'art department' basically means 'props' and on a cooking show, 'props' mean doing dishes, a lot of dishes. it was a great day, busy day though, and really just fantastic to be on set, and to be part of making the show happen. would love to line up more work like this, even if it means doing dishes. yep, i love it that much.

i just got a call to interview for a combo graphic design/office manager position. they want to see me today! so i'd better get moving!


sent out my resume to a bunch of places today. it's an interesting thing to be tailoring your resume to actually represent what you -want- to do, instead of fudging it so that it looks like you really would be excited about filing papers all day, while producing a play using office supplies..

i have to keep remembering what's in my control.. sending out a good resume, being detail oriented, presenting myself well, and keeping at it, keeping at it.

thank you so much for your supportive comments and feedback. it really does mean so much to me. i wouldn't have the strength to do this without knowing people are out there, wishing me well. it's kind of a lonely city out here. i want to go out and try to meet some people, but it's difficult to relax and do that when so much is still up in the air.

god i can't wait to feel just -slightly- more secure out here.

talent, team, luck, and drive

making choices.

why aren't there more of life's lessons geared toward preparing us to make choices? where is the fairy tale where cinderella has to choose between two princes, she can't decide and a magic mirror shows her life with each of them, and then shows her life when she made no decision at all and she's become the cat lady from down the street?

i made my choice, and god was it difficult - there have been a lot of hard choices on this journey, and none any easier than the one i just had to make.

i just officially turned down the job. and the best part of it is that she totally understood my reasons, and liked me so much that she offered to forward my resume to a producer she knows. amazing. i'm floored. who knows what might come of it, but there's a lesson right there. she said 'the fact that you made this decision confirms everything i thought about you when you came in. you know what you want to do, you're capable, and you 'get it.' you were my first choice, and you could easily have taken this job, toiled away at it for awhile and then left.'

everyone i talk to out here (and in new york when i first got there) places a lot of weight on 'luck' as a factor in becoming a success. but luck is really truly only one of 4 factors: talent, team, drive, and luck..

(stolen from the book 'shine' by larry thompson, NOT by star jones. - he uses the word 'rage' in place of 'drive,' but i don't think it quite describes what he means)

it was lucky that i received the email telling me about this job. beyond that, putting together my resume, having the best interview i could, and having the drive to know what i truly want were all in my control - and as a result, i have someone new on my team, who wants to help me. luck is truly mysterious but you have to be ready for it when it comes, and the ways that it might come are so roundabout that you can never count on it. you can only count on what's in your control.

it may not get any easier, ever. but at least i know that i can do it.

got up early, left that dingy gross motel 6 and drove all day across the mojave desert, which was again, stunning.

one of the most amazing and refreshing parts of this drive has been to realize that there are still vast untouched areas of this country. there are a few hillsides and mountains in pennsylvania, but nothing like the stretches of hills and desert in southern colorado, new mexico, arizona and southeastern california.

so now i'm here. and the crazy part is that i've been so focused on the -journey- part of getting here, that now i'm realizing that the true journey is actually only just beginning. this is going to be far from easy - i knew that intellectually, but now i'm faced with the actual difficulty of it. am i ready?

here's my friend david's awesome little house in santa monica.

i had my job interview on tuesday. it went extremely well. they were very impressed with my resume, and knew that i could do the job hands down. it's for a music rights management company - so if you need to use a song in your movie trailer, you have to get all the proper licenses and clearances and pay all the right people in order to use it. this office administrates that entire transaction. my job would be drawing up contracts daily, and making calls chasing down money for various parties.

the office is across the street from the beach. i would have health insurance. it's 10 minutes from where i'm staying.

and i'm not going to take it. i just got here and already i'm faced with an incredibly difficult decision. they asked me in the interview 'are you sure you wouldn't be more suited to a production environment, since that's more of your focus and purpose in coming here?' i couldn't argue. i talked my way around it, but i knew she was right. i didn't leave my entire life in new york city to jump right into a peripherally related to the business job that would have me in an office drawing up contracts all day. i could spin it really nicely - that this is a great place to start, i can have a home base to learn my bearings, but that kind of work - it would kill my soul. i didn't just drive myself across the country, finally take some charge of my life, to accept the first, easy thing that comes to me.

so today i have to call them, tell them i thought it over, thank you so much for taking the time to see me, but i don't think the position is right for me.

which kills me. but i know it's what i have to do. i sat on the beach for two hours thinking. i called my dad, i called a bunch of friends to talk it through. emily said 'no joe. that is not your job. you can't take it. it's not for you.' and she's right. i bought a hamburger and a seagull swooped down and plucked the bun right off it.

day thirteen: panoramamazin'

ok, i'm behind in updating because i was really stupid/tired and ended up at a motel sunday night that did not have internet access. i was shocked. i've come to just expect it.

i didn't get to write about day twelve in much detail - my parents drove as far as pueblo with me, and on the way, we stopped at the air force academy, where my dad was once a cadet, and also where i was born.

it was cool being there with my parents as they relived memories of the place.

my dad, while at the air force, was part of a project that analyzed the shroud of turin and created a 3-d model using the negative image of the shroud to determine shape - the result looks creepily like han solo frozen in carbonite.

whenever we visit the famous church at the academy, we go to the downstairs area, which has one of the models for viewing, and a display explaining how it was created. there is a brass plaque with my dad's name on it. he said 'i just love that. all these facist bastards who pass through this place, and i'm the one with my name on the wall.' brilliant.

it was an emotional goodbye, parting with my parents. it felt like when i left for gainesville so many years ago: here i am, off to start my life. it was the true goodbye - not the one in new york where i left dear friends - but the one from family, which is so important.

i was kind of in an emotional haze for the rest of the drive - helped by the fact that i'd be seeing some of the most astonishing scenery i've yet to be exposed to. and that brings us to day 13.

i stayed in another red roof inn - i realy like the red roof inns. they have internet access (though not always free) and their rooms are the cleanest of all the places i've stayed on this trip. unfortunately, they are not as omnipresent as motel 6 or super 8..

on the way to the grand canyon, i decided to take a little detour and see the painted desert. spectacular.

then hit the grand canyon at sunset. all the cliches are true. i recommend walking as far as you can along the ridge trail to get away from the crowds of stupid people.

like these. actually these people were ok. it was the noisy kids and people throwing things off the side that really bothered me. mostly i wanted to just find a quiet spot to myself.

he is actually nowhere -near- the edge. she was so paranoid.

i was amazed that there was only moderate effort to keep people from jumping/falling off the edge. the popular outcroppings have railings, but anyone who wants to make a grand exit from this world has ample opportunity here.

i didn't do a panorama photo. it just felt too cheesy. how many panorama pictures have been taken of this place, and what could i possibly add? instead i took photos for a david hockney style photo collage. i'll post it when it's all put together. i did have to take the prerequisite 'oh no, i'm falling off the edge' picture, though.

the colors and sights and emotions of the day were pretty overwhelming. the sun hit its orange/purple peak as i was driving the winding road back from the grand canyon to the highway. the entire day was so beautiful, and i was filled with thoughts of how scary and uncertain the future is, but also how lucky i am to have the amazing friends and family that i do.

drove into the night until i crossed the california border, and slept at that stupid motel 6 with no internet access in needles, ca.

day thirteen:

day twelve: scenery scenery

i'll write more on it later.. it's just way too late right now.. but if you've never driven i-25 from colorado springs to albuquerque, i highly recommend it. had to stop several times just to take pictures, and sometimes just to absorb it. amazing.

that is not the sunset. that is the moon, at midnight, on an 8 second exposure. tomorrow: grand canyon.

day twelve:

day twelve: the second departure

ok, so goodland is actually in kansas - there's at least one interesting thing in kansas. i dunno emily.. the vastness and openness of kansas was cool for about two hours, but like anything, without a change in stimuli, it started to become hypnotic.. really looking forward to today's drive through new mexico.. supposed to be very scenic. i'll take lots of pictures with my camera stuck up through the sunroof..

finally getting over my cold a bit, though my head is still full of snot. yuck.

my goal is to hit the grand canyon tomorrow morning, and then be in LA monday morning. i may sleep in the car one night for this leg of this trip.. because now i actually have to get to LA within a certain timeframe because:

i have a job interview on tuesday! which is pretty damn cool. more on that later, but if i get it, the office is on the beach, and will be 2 miles from where i'm staying. holy shit would that be cool.

day eight: another movie, and a cold

i'm getting sick! which is incredibly frustrating. you know what? i blame kansas. just because. i have a cough and a sore throat, which is a really shitty thing to have in the dead of summer.

spent the day shooting a short film with my dad, which was difficult because the actor was an hour late, and it was already a stretch to get the whole thing shot in the 4 hours we had. i shot it on the fly, like a requiem movie, and we were able to pretty much finish on time. it should be pretty cool when it's all cut together.

boulder is a crazy crazy town. it's disturbingly clean, and people are friendly to the point of creepiness. it really is it's own hidden mountain paradise.. if it weren't for the winters, i'd probably settle down here someday. as it is, i'm content to use it as a summer home.

day six: the long straight line

hung out with my friend chris in kansas city on saturday. saw the cool part of the city, which is actually much more metropolitan than i expected. reminded me a lot of denver.

saw 'the descent,' which i liked quite a bit.

got started on the road early early sunday morning, and had a full day of driving, which nearly made me crazy.

kansas sucks. kansas is hypnotically lame. i had to stop three times and take naps in gas station parking lots because the monotony of the state was putting me to sleep. i also stopped to stand on top of a dirt pile and take a picture of the desolation that is kansas. it looks sort of like something the mars rover would send back. click for larger.

to make the drive worse, all through kansas are religious billboards that say things like 'pornography destroys famlies,' 'if you kill your baby, you are destroying GOD'S GIFT.' over and over again.

things got more interesting in colorado. the billboards abruptly stopped, the speed limit went up, the scenery became more interesting, and i was much closer to home. needing a break, i stopped in a little town called 'goodland,' which is a pretty lame name for a town. why not just call it 'niceplace?'

anyway, they had this crazy weird gigantic van gogh painting on a gigantic easel.

there was nothing else around to explain what it was about, just - there it is.

my favorite thing about coming home is driving in on 36, and hitting that last hill where the city of boulder unrolls beneath you, revealing itself as you hit the top. amazing.

every time i drive in, i think about how when i have a boyfriend to take home (assuming he hasn't been to boulder), how cool it will be to show him this for the first time. staying here until saturday morning, when i head off to albequerque, then the grand canyon.. then the rest of my life.

day six:

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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