Friday, October 29, 2004

too much tv

Last night while I was working on the play, the tv was on. I thought I wasn't really paying attention, but...

This morning I was having a dream that I was running down an alley with a crew of my lady friends. Suddenly my friend Natasha started breaking a window in a building, and we started climbing in. I was really unsure as to what we were doing, especially when I someone said we were setting up a brothel in said building. I was then reminded that we were stars of the show, "The Apprentice" and we had one whole week to set up our own business and beat the mens' team.

So we decided to set up a brothel? I guess it's the world's oldest proffession and all, but jeez. Then our madam arrived, and it was Robert Downey Junior.(who must have entered my psyche recently when I half-watched "The Singing Detective") He was in a wheelchair and dressed as the fat mean nurse from this week's episode of "Will and Grace." Robert really whipped us into shape, telling us what to charge, and how to turn the best tricks in NYC. We were just about to start accepting customers when I woke up.

And it's unfortunate, because I was still waiting for something from ER to show up in there.

I am somewhat embarrassed with the insipid inspiration for this dream, but on the other hand, maybe I could pitch it as an idea for a new reality show. Heidi Fleiss's brothel girls vs Ron Jeremy's exotic male escorts or something. The highest amount of g-string tips at the end of the week wins?

On second thought, that's probably already been taken.

I'm goin' to LA for Halloween, so happy early Halloween to all my scary friends. I'll be back in a few days, hopefully with more significant dreams to speak of.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

you know, for kids

Did you ever see the Cohen Bro's "Hudsucker Proxy"? There's a fabulous scene- as all scenes are in this movie- in which Tim Robbins obtains employment in the mailroom of Hudsucker Industries. He is given his orientation while pushing a mailcart down the dingy basement aisle, by a crusty old employee who rattles off things like his employee number, which is comprised of over ten digits and letters which won't be repeated and without which one cannot receive a paycheck. He rushes through a list of which colored envelopes get which stamps or go where at what times, or if any of these instructions are not followed, "They'll Dock Ya'!" And all the time, people are throwing more and more letters in his cart.

That's kind of how my latest job is. I had a terrible day of job hunting on Monday, in the pouring rain, which culminated with me at a small manufacturer seven miles away in Goleta, being offered an office manager position which I decided to take. Like my temp job of the week before, this required rising at 6:30 AM to be there by 8. This manufacter doesn't make ocarinas, oh no- much more glamorous- branding irons. No, not for cattle. You'd be suprised at how many people (no, not dominatrixes) use brands. Kind of weird.

I started on Wednesday, and have worked there for three days. Although the owner has his crusty old guy kind of charm, and there is alot to learn, the disorganization in this place is somewhat beyond me. The sheer amount of paperwork being dumped on me without any sort of explanation is astounding. Piles of papers lay around, and no one knows what they are or where they go. In fact, everyone there, including myself, can be heard muttering, "What the fuck is this?" EVERY single time we pick up a piece of paper or some random broken part of something or another. Calls for new orders pour in, as do repairs of old orders.

The owner came out of retirement to do this as a small side business, and little did he know how it would snowball. He wants to sell the business, and go be retired again, and I can't blame him. But hell, I don't want to be in charge of that madness! The last office manager, who had been there for 6 years, quit without notice and is filing for workman's comp for a stress related injury, if that tells you anything. Yesterday I met the guy who works on the Macs, who shook his head in amazement and told me that I was "a brave person."

But lo and behold, I came home after my first day of branding iron monkey business to a message from a theatre about a part time box office position I had applied for weeks ago and given up on. I interviewed with a lovely woman there on Friday after my office job, and she offered me the job today. Sam is being very good about the part time work proposition, which I am am very happy about and grateful for. We had a nice long talk after one of my miniature breakdowns over the office job, and I am amazed at my husband's generosity, especially considering just how hard he is working at his job right now. I honestly don't know how I got this man, but I'm oh so glad I did.

It is the only respectable theatre around, really, and I am hoping that getting my foot in the door will be a good thing. I will also be doing a little of their accounting and fundraising, and I hope that I will learn enough there to be able to run my own theatre someday. It will be the first time a theatre has ever been able to pay me for anything. And since I will be working there part time, I am going to be able to apply for an internship at the Santa Barbara Independent, a weekly paper out here. I think I will be more able to work on the play that Brandy and I are cooking up, too, as I will hopefully be less stressed.

So I'm going to get up on Monday and tell my manager that I just can't work there anymore. And although I hate to dissapoint him, I am glad that my path is going to be a bit more creatively stimulating after all. I was beginning to seriously doubt it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

job hunting sucks ass- or blows pipe, depending

So, jobs here seem to be few and far between for someone of my particular skills. I could probably get a retail job, but I am not wanting to do more customer service. Since this is such a college town, most employers can pay college kids less to do the kinds of things that I am qualified for. I'm going to have to get more computer skills. Horrible.

In despair, I went to a temp agency, where I had to do typing and computer tests, which pretty much stunk. I did ok, though, and the ladies at the agency were both really sweet. So, my first mini job starts tomorrow, filling in at the actual temp agency for the director who is going on vacation. Temping AT a temp agency? Huh? I guess I'd better do a good job, so maybe they'll bump me up on the list to hire out. So, the gig is only for three days, but at least it will get me meeting a few people. I can also get free computer training through the agency, which I suppose is "good".

But being without a job, even for such a short period, makes me feel just worthless. So worthless, in fact, that yesterday I accepted a job at what was advertised as a full time position at a Victorian costume shoppe. Turns out it was seasonal help with pre-bagged, primarily CHILDREN'S Halloween costumes, in an annex to the larger store, which if once a "Victorian shoppe", has disintegrated into a cheesy pre-fab extravaganza of clown suits, feather boas, and afro wigs. Manned by college students, and run by a woman who looked like a washed up two-bit showgirl (not that that's a bad thing) who told me they created the annex because they couldn't take the sound of the children screaming, this place had it all. I told her I'd give it a try.

Later, I decided I must have been mad. Visions of me in a closet, tossing bumblebee suits to snooty Santa Barbara wives with screaming brats in designer babycarriages, frantically looking for the PINK butterfly wings in small, the mini-Sponge Bob Squarepants plastic suit in 4T, the princess wands, the devil tails, the tiny horrors ontop of shiny horrors, the plastic avalance of rubber noses in the crowded stockroom culminating in my complete and utter hatred of what is still my favorite holiday. I couldn't do it. I called the lady and told her I had found full time employment elsewhere. LIE #1.

Today, I was looking forward to an interview for a receptioist position at a small local art production shop. I was intrigued to find out just what sort of art would be produced there. Metal sculpture? Pottery? Watercolor seascapes? Who could say? I fantasized about finding the perfect home, greeting visitors and enlightening them about the finer points of the craft, learning to express myself in a new medium, maybe.

And, when I got there, I really tried. I did my best to express enthuasism for what turned out to be a small business making ocarinas. You know- ocarinas. Right. That's what I said. They are little clay pipes, recently popularized by some legend of Zelda videogame or something. So, the owner, who was quite nice, explained that in addition to practically running the business for a receptionist's wage, I would also have the opportunity to learn the process of making the pipes. And then, maybe I could learn to play the pipes, so that I could demonstrate them for customers. Ok, sure I'm interested. LIE #2.

In desperation, I actually thought a bit more about it, but did some research online about this guy, and verified that he is, in fact, a big old hippie. He may have short hair and commute from LA, but he's a hippie. People wear these little pipes on cords around their necks and play them at things like Burning Man. Some of the pipes have kokopellis emblazoned on them, ok? I had enough of fucking kokopellis hawking them to tourists in the form of keychains and jewelry in NM for 5 years, right? Riiiiiiiight. Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with ocarinas- they would probably be pretty cool- if you were an Ancient Mayan, perhaps.

So, I wonder what LIE #3 will be.

I sure hope it's a doozy.

Monday, October 04, 2004

paradise city

Ok, kids, where do I begin?

First of all, I have to say a few words of goodbye to the Bay City:

San Fran, you treated me well. You will always be the city I fell deeply in love in, the city of eucalyptus mist, the city that handed over a fistful of excellent women to me, a cluster of precious gems that I will carry forever.

My last weekend you revealed more treasures to Brandy and I than I could have guessed. Taking my writing partner to places she'd never seen was sweet, as was the Pixies concert. We stood right by Kim, smiling like a medicated Buddha in a button up shirt, looking like my mother at 40, before her spark went out. My dear husband came with us to wine country, for a day even our insane driver could not sully entirely. Someday I'll tell his story, but not today.

Brandy left (boo), we packed, I said goodbyes to many fine friends, the movers descended like molasses, and we drove away from the city on a Thursday afternoon, the fog having rolled us in and back out again.

The fog even followed us to our new home for a minute, dissapating rapidly to reveal the most perfect weather known to mankind. Our house is cute. We unpacked alot. Sam took me to brunch on the ocean yesterday, and it is a ridiculously lovely beach. From the backyard, we can see palm trees, mountains, and lots of neighbor cats. Desdemona has climbed a tree and is just buck wild happy. Marley, once white, is now the color of the fireplace ash. We are content.

Today I applied for eight jobs. Cover letters suck. So does this:

Last weekend Sam mentioned he saw Johnny Depp in town. I calculate that if my husband got to see him, the chances of me seeing him decreases, right? Well, on Friday night, we went to see a movie since our belongings had not arrived, and we drove by this other theatre where there were all sorts of fancy people, and I remarked upon their fancitude. We went to see A Shark's Tale, which Sam had worked on at Dreamworks, which wasn't that great. Lo and behold, the next day we find out that the fancy theatre thing was a premiere for Depp's new movie about the guy who wrote Peter Pan, and Depp Was There. Today I noticed the ad in the weekly paper from last week about tickets for the goddamned thing. WHY? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Anyway, besides that, and the fact that there only seems to be one worthwhile theatre in town, this place is won-der-ful so far. The neighbors all come and say hello, and someone else does the gardening, and there is a place for a hot tub all set up in the backyard.

Come on', hot tub........

People here are happy about it. I think I'm one of them already.