Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ChangeThat Diaper

I was walking down Milwaukee Avenue on another gray day in Chicago. My mission was to find a store that carried blue shoelaces. Little missions are good because they're easy to accomplish, and achieve results that are tangible and satisfying. Anyway, as I was walking around the neighborhood, I asked myself if I'd miss this place if I moved away. And my answer was... a little bit.


I just got back from 18 days in Los Angeles. I feel confused and in limbo. I plan on moving to LA sometime in the next 6 months, because I really want to be an editor, and there are more opportunities for me to get a job out there. And because the weather is nice in LA, I can't use the "It's cold and miserable outside" excuse to stay in my cocoon.


The goal of my westward trip was to lay some groundwork for my eventual move, take in some sun, and reconnect with a good friend of mine. I succeeded in the latter 2 goals. Getting people to return emails is rough. Getting people on the phone is fucking impossible. I have no delusions of instant success, but a little encouragement would've gone a long way. During my last week there, I kind of half-assed my attempts at getting sit-downs with editing folk. Bad habits and motivational issues stifling progress once again.


Right now, Chicago doesn't feel like my home anymore. LA certainly didn't feel like home, either. But that could change. Perhaps I'm getting myself psychologically ready to abandon this city after 4-plus years of nothing special. Except the first year, which was really fun -- like Slip n' Slide fun.

My opportunities are elsewhere. I have no concrete ties here. No job. No girlfriend. The lease on my apartment ends in August. This is the perfect time for me to grow some balls and make a move. The only things giving me doubt-fits are leaving my family & friends, the shitty job market, possible failure, and the loss of my comfortable nest here in Chicago. Besides those things, I'm not worried...

...Hey, is it a bad sign that I already envision myself talking to somebody at a party 2 years in the future, acknowledging what a horrible mistake it was to move to LA?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cookies and Lottery Tickets

I woke up stupid today. And not from a hangover or overexertion or anything I might have ingested. Just heavy and lifeless. A complete and utter lack of motivation, wherein even the notion of going back to sleep is met with a resounding "why bother?". Coffee must be absorbed and magazines must be skimmed, killing time until this dull malaise washes away.


I'm taking the passive approach to rid my brain of the terrible stupid. No jumping jacks in the shower or headbutts to the fridge. This stupid will learn that it can't just take over my brain and settle. I am going to bore it to death. And if that doesn't work, I'll smoke some pot...no! That's what the stupid wants! What's the opposite of smoking pot? Performing surgery!

I will find a hobo living in the Lower Wacker skid-row villas, and I will take out his appendix. Yeah! One doesn't really need an appendix, so he won't miss it. Plus he'll have an awesome scar on his abdomen. Chicks love scars. Chicks also love dudes with jobs, so I guess it all cancels out.

And since every scar has a story behind it, he'll earn many a bowl of porridge recounting the tale of the ski-masked white boy who chloroformed him and cut up his belly. My actions will confirm the conspiracy theories he so desperately clings to in his daily battles with poverty and mental illness.


After he wakes up, he doesn't have to worry about his appendix flaring up ever again. However, he'll definitely have to worry about a serious infection, and the ever looming specter of being kidnapped and cut up again. But that's his problem.

Wow, I feel better already!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Because I Suck at Email


I suck at email. I can never get the tone right and I obsess over words and syntax. But obsession yields no results, and it still comes out all wrong. It's common for people who receive an email from me to misread a sarcastic sentence, or mistake a compliment for condescension.


I also suck at text messaging, although it's much more forgiving because of the accepted use of sentence fragments. But I still can't type anything over a sentence without questioning what I'm trying to say and how it will be perceived.

Perhaps it's the formality I impose upon myself. I never know if I should start with a "dear so and so", or with a quick name-check like -
"Hey Herbert,
Just lettin' you know that I'm sittin' in a lawn chair in front of your house right now, holding a really thick carrot. See ya!"


I'm just bad at the whole thing. I come off as either uncaring, creepy, or overenthusiastic. I've tried my hand at internet dating, too, and oh boy what an abortion! Apparently I have no business making kisses on a lady. Internet dating makes me feel like I'm trapped in a dusty psychic crypt, while weird reclusive women with impossible standards measure and judge me from the other side of a two-way mirror.


I've only had one email buddy in my life. She was a friend who moved away from Chicago, so the tone and subject matter of our natural conversation was already established. And we mostly complained to each other about our lives, which wasn't that much different from what we normally talked about. Perhaps you've noticed that I'm more comfortable writing about things that bother me. It's easy, cataloging petty annoyances, and something I'm good at.


Maybe I should preface all my emails with this header: "The email you're about to read is inconsistent and nervous in nature. Please forgive me."-- Yeah, nobody is gonna delete that on principle.

I just need to face the facts. My self-doubt is noticeable when I write and unavoidable when I talk. It'll probably be that way forever. Shalom.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Carl Winslow Stars in All New Videos!

I've been sitting on these new videos for about a month now. Why? Because I've been busy, out of town, and haven't felt like writing in months. I just got back from Los Angeles, where I struggled to get some groundwork started on my eventual move out there. Yes, barring a cataclysmic catastrophe of tragic misfortune, I'll be moving to LA in 4-6 months. Good weather year round + better opportunities in my field = stupid not to at least try it out. But more on that in a later post...


This here video was a year in the making (1 night random thought scribbled on a post-it, 11 and a half months bed-rest, 2 weeks finding and editing together Family Matters footage). Instead of portraying Carl Winslow as insane, which I've gotten a lot of mileage out of, I portrayed him as clinically depressed/suicidal, and used Gary Jules' "Mad World" to seal the deal. It was really easy to acquire footage of Carl Winslow looking down and out. You might not remember it this way, but Family Matters is essentially a TV show about how much Carl's life sucks...

Carl Winslow - Too Sad to Eat Breakfast

This is just a song I like, paired with random footage I like...

No Age - "Eraser"

Expect more posts coming up, as I'm going to write a little bit every day help jump-start my write-bone. It may be just a few sentences, but I'll have something written and posted every other day. Until then, kids...