Kicking and Screaming into the 21st Century

Rick and I just got Blackberries. We’re not exactly early adapters when it comes to new technology. Unfortunately my phone was so old the woman couldn’t even extract my phone numbers to automatically transfer them. “Oh, that’s fine,” I told her, blithely. “I’ll just enter them by hand. I don’t have that many.”

That was eight hours ago. I’m now blind, have a headache, and still haven’t entered everyone. The damn keys are so tiny I can hardly see them, even with my reading glasses on.

I can type about 100 wpm, but I spent ten minutes searching for the “B” key. I was convinced they’d left off the “B” key. Is this something I didn’t hear about? Did everyone get together and decide we no longer need “B?” Did I get a defective Blackberry? Where the hell is the “B” key!!! Oh – there it is. Okay.

I finally entered my dear friend “b*ar!*3a – I don’t need her last name because it’s too long, and who cares where she lives, I’m never going to visit her or send her a card. Damn, her e-mail address is barbaralovestoshop@hotmail.com. You know what, I’ll just call her from now on. No more e-mails for b*ar!*3a.

And apparently my good friend KAren lives at “wr36 1/2 Smith rd in the city of “* in 9*. For the love of God why do many addresses in Los Angeles have “1/2” or “1/4” in them? Forget it. I’m not entering any more addresses.

I’ve decided I have far too many friends. Anyone who I haven’t called in the last three months – they’re not getting entered. And I don’t really need to put in all those doctors and dentists. I’ll just call 911 the next time I’m sick.

I’m exhausted and starving. I’d call out for pizza but I’ve been stabbing at it for the last five minutes trying to make a phone call. Does this thing even make phone calls or did everyone get together and decide we no longer need to do that, either? I’ve really got to learn how to text.

I think I’m done now. The only other thing I have to do is inform my husband we’ll be celebrating his birthday on August 30 from now on, because that’s what the Blackberry says, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to change it. Happy birthday, honey!


Oh, Man! Oh, God! Oh, Man!

I can not stop watching this. This is some fine acting. Add the brilliant music, the amazing cinematography, and the great writing, and it’s just amazing.

Oh, man! Oh, God!


Dressing the Part

Today I stood in front of my closet for twenty minutes trying to decide what to wear. I’m going into the studio to help Rick shoot the rest of his project – he’s interviewing MGC, the young rap artist that Daniel LeMelle is working with. We’re going to get shots of MGC rapping, and talking with Daniel about his new project. I will be in the background, setting lights and schlepping things. No one will be looking at me. No one will care about me. But I can’t figure out what to wear.

I want to look like a producer. No – I want to look like a writer. But we’ll be in the studio, so maybe I should look like some cool music person. I don’t think a cool music person would call themselves a cool music person. A cool music person would be unique looking. Hmmm … what costume can I put on to convey “I’m totally spontaneous.” And cool. How can I look cool? The moment you try to look cool you’ve blown it. Whenever I try to look cool I throw on a bunch of black and I invariably end up looking like a stagehand at a puppet show.

Why is it so important to me to try to create some image? Why can’t I just wear clothes that I like? I think part of it is living in LA where image is everything, but I realized a long time ago that I couldn’t compete with the gorgeous starlets or the execs in their expensive clothes. My taste may say “Barney’s,” but my budget says “Ross for Less.”

Part of it is age. What looks fun and cool on a twenty-year old can look like a clown costume on a middle-aged body. And there’s the heat, too. I love wearing black – it’s the state color in New York, where I grew up. But LA is hot and sunny right now. Sweaty is never a cool look. But black will look cool in the studio. Do I endure sweat outside for a few moments of cool inside? Decisions, decisions.

Now that I’m unemployed and I don’t go to an office everyday, I don’t have to dress any particular way. I can just be me – whatever the hell that is. I need an image consultant. Or maybe a costume designer, for all the characters I play in my head. Why is getting dressed so hard?


Sunday and Ceviche

This is how Rick and I spent our Sunday. You know, the typical interview with a music producer.

Rick was in charge of this project – an interview with producer, arranger, musician Daniel LeMelle, talking about the music industry, how he works with new talent, and how the internet has completely changed the game for musicians. Rick produced, shot and will edit. I was the schlepper, mover, and note-taker. My main job was to poke him and say “plane” every time a plane flew overhead, which was all day because our location was right in the flight path of a local airport.

I was glad to let Rick run the show yesterday, as music is his world, not mine. But naturally, I couldn’t completely sqush my natural talents, which include nagging, obsessing, and worrying. “Don’t forget to do check the playback to make sure everything is working.” “I don’t like the way that curtain is folding behind his head.” “Does that couch arm bother you? It bothers me. I don’t like the way it looks from this angle. The couch arm is all wrong. I’m not loving that arm of the couch.” You’d think we were interviewing the couch. Which we were not. Rick assured me the couch arm would be fine. Look buddy, I’m just doing my job. I’d hate to think that all our hard work was for naught, because of a distracting couch arm.

The best part of the day was when we were done, and Daniel’s lovely wife Tammy fed us shrimp ceviche and red wine. That’s not usually how it goes. Usually we crawl home exhausted and eat peanut butter sandwiches and fall into bed and dream about the day when we’ll have a better budget and helpers to do the schlepping. But all in all, yesterday was a good day. We’re looking for ways to reinvent ourselves, our business, our lives. Some people go to the park, some people go boating. We went shooting on Sunday.

Did you have a good Sunday?

Rick Sanchez interviews Daniel LeMelle

Rick Sanchez interviews Daniel LeMelle


Headline of the Day

I glanced at this headline very quickly, and for a moment thought Paula Abdul was getting all political, post-American Idol.

Abdullah accuses Karzai of ‘rigging’ Afghan vote

Not so.


Making The Call

I’m shaking as I dial the phone. My heart is racing and I can’t breathe. What will he say?

I go over in my head what I want to say, but I know once I start talking I’ll get it all wrong, like always, and he’ll get impatient. I need to stay calm, and not get emotional. I know that he’ll make me feel small and stupid, and even if he listens to me, he’ll twist my words and make me feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about. What will it cost me this time? How much will I have to give. It feels like that’s all I ever do – give and give and give.

I hate that I have to have this conversation. I hate that I need him to solve this. But most of all, I hate that I don’t trust him. I don’t trust anything he says. I don’t trust that he will really know what I need, how to fix this, but instead will just do whatever is easy for him, and then convince me that it’s the right thing. And I’ll go along with him, because I always do.

And things will be fine. For a while. I’ll be happy. For a while. And then something will happen, and we’ll be back to this. Me, needing him to fix it. Dependent. Unsure. I take another deep breath and exhale. And then I call the plumber.


Tagged!

I’ve been tagged, like a wild animal. Someone wants to know all about my native habits. My initial impulse is to kick and scratch and run away, and once I feel safe, to stop and look back at these creatures who seem to be interested in me.

Une femme d’un certain age has tagged me for one of those memes where you write things about yourself. The part of me that’s the nerdy geeky junior high school outsider is flattered to be asked to do anything, by anyone. The overly rebellious high school outsider is opposed to participating in anything, on principle. And the solitary grownup writer is grateful to be handed a blog topic that I don’t have to rack my brains to come up with.

The meme consists of listing seven personality traits which are evidenced on one’s blog. And I don’t want to do it. It seems to me that having a blog in the first place is enough naval gazing, and to go further and list seven qualities one thinks are the essence of one’s own blog is dangerously close to entering the naval.

I don’t blame Une femme for putting me in this position. I love Une femme. I’ve met her in person and she’s kind and smart and generous. But I don’t want to write a list detailing seven qualities of my blog. Maybe it’s because the first tenant of good writing is “show, don’t tell.” It’s not that I’m trying to make my readers work hard (“What the hell is she trying to say?”) I’m trying to make myself work hard. I want to be a good writer. I want to force myself to be witty and entertaining because the writing is solid, not because I’ve taken a shortcut. It’s always a challenge, but ultimately the goal is to become a better writer.

Or – maybe I don’t want to do it because I can’t believe that anyone will really care if I tell you that I’m “funny,” or “accurate.” The six people who read this blog seem to like it fine, and seem to have a pretty good idea of what I’m about. It kind of reminds me of my favorite joke about actors. Having been an actor for almost thirty years, I think this is a fair representation. It goes something like this: An actor is talking with someone at a party, going on and on about himself. Finally he stops, looks at the other person, and says “Wow! But enough about me … let’s talk about my career.” I don’t want to be that actor.

Okay – to be honest, there’s a part of me that wants to do it. I wish I could be lighthearted and fun and one of gang. I’m just not like that. I’m moody and introspective and everything seems to be an opportunity to analyze feelings and try to understand why we do what we do. I really do want to be part of the crowd – even though I don’t want to be “of” the crowd. I want to be unique, but I also want to be popular, which makes me about as un-unique as you can get.

But there’s also no denying the “contrary factor” in this. I’ve never like doing what everyone else is doing, just because. Which has its consequences, and is why I spent much of my childhood alone in my room weeping to Neil Diamond. I guess some things never change.