THE ADVENTURES OF A MIDWEST GIRL IN LOS ANGELES...WHO'S NOT HERE TO BECOME AN ACTRESS

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Move is Complete

My other blog is still a Trans-Am, but now it is located here.
See you on the flip side.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Movin' On Up

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but Blogger has been a gigantic pain in the ass all day. I hadn't been able to check my comments until about five minutes ago. Anyway, that's a perfect way to lead into the news that... I'M MOVING.

(Ok, not me. But my website.)

I bought the domain space, and N's going to help me set it up (because I'm, you know, technologically impaired), and it's going to have pictures and a non-default background and all kinds of fun stuff! Yea!

So I will be at myothertransam.com. Soon. But not yet. When everything's set up, you'll be the first to know. (Not everyone, just you.)

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Daily Clarifying Lotion

Back in high school, when all my friends were on Accutane or wearing layers of whore-makeup to cover up their zits, I was splashing on some Clinique astringent and calling it a day. I may have been flat-chested, and had often-disastrous hair, but I did have enviably clear skin. Which must be why I am being punished now. It's not like it's keeping me home from the prom, but oh my god, I have worse skin in my mid-twenties than I've had in my whole life. And I don't even smoke anymore!

Lest you worry that me, the husband, and the dogs are going to starve on my itty-bitty paycheck, my old boss from St. Louis has hired me to do some freelance work at $200 a week. Now I can say I have two jobs! Which sounds very hardcore, until you realize that I wrote trivia for two hours this morning and am now off to sell activewear to rich women for four hours. At least I'm not a student by day, hooker by night.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

MEME

I have been tagged. Well, sort of. Kind of like an alternate, because SB is one of the nice cool kids. You know, the ones who had a million friends and great hair but would still tell you they liked your shirt, and mean it? Anyway, I'm taking it and running with it.

FOUR JOBS I'VE HAD
- Day Camp Counselor
- File Clerk, wherein my fingers were bloodied on a daily basis, and I was not allowed to listen to NPR, because it was too "controversial," even though I was the only one in the file room
- Associate Editor
- (Nude) Art Model

FOUR MOVIES I CAN WATCH OVER AND OVER
- Christmas Vacation
- Fight Club
- Zoolander
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

FOUR PLACES I'VE LIVED
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- A miniscule, smoke-filled dorm room at Washington University in St. Louis
- Bronxville, New York
- Wexford, PA (childhood home of Christina Aguilera)

FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Freaks & Geeks
- The Daily Show
- Friends

FOUR PLACES I'VE VACATIONED
- Hawaii
- St. John, Virgin Islands
- Niagara Falls
- Colonial Williamsburg

FOUR OF MY FAVORITE DISHES
- Pan Roasted Maple Leaf Duck Breast from Hal's
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Guacamole from Pueblo Solis
- Minibar Braised Baby-Back Ribs

FOUR SITES I VISIT DAILY
- Que Sera Sera
- Mimi Smartypants
- Finslippy
- Knotty Yarn

FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW
- Snorkeling in the ocean
- Getting a massage
- Ireland
- St. Louis

FOUR BLOGGERS I'M TAGGING/SLIGHTLY ALIENATING
- Isis (I know you're taking the site down, but this would be a nice ending)
- Apriljane
- The Dienst
- Dani

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Something About Gay Cowboys

I had another interview today. I will find out on Monday. The cycle continues.

I have spent years looking for the perfect salad dressing. (This says a lot about me, I realize.) I like your basic olive oil/vinegar mixture, but every now and then I'm looking for something more. A few years ago, I was sure I had found it in Florida. It was lemon dill, I think, and it was made by a brand I had seen at the grocery store back home. But alas, the grocery store back home did not carry it. And when I went back to Florida the next year (my parents have a place there), it had been discontinued as well. What am I looking for in a salad dressing, you ask? (No, you don't.) It has to be flavorful without overpowering the salad, and it has to be fairly low fat/low calorie without being "lite," because "lite" things are icky. Also, it can't be really expensive. But eureka! I've found it! Trader Joe's champagne pear viniagrette with gorgonzola. I know, it sounds kind of funky, right? I swear to you, it rocks.

I've been in a funk lately, so things like the perfect salad dressing make me happy. Give me a break.

This is the year I'm going to see all the nominations for Best Picture. (I say that every year.) Which means I still need to see "Munich," "Good Night and Good Luck," and "Brokeback Mountain." On Saturday we tried to see "GNAGL," but we got there too late and only the first two rows were available (there's assigned seating at our movie theater, as well there should be, since tickets are 11 dollars). I had wanted to see "Brokeback," but N. wasn't in the mood, though he promises he will see it with me. To which I actually replied, "If you don't take me to see the gay cowboys by next weekend, I'M GOING BY MYSELF!"

(A conversation with my usually homophobic mother about "Brokeback Mountain":
Me: We're going to a movie tonight. I'm trying to see all the nominated movies.
Mom: Have you seen "Brokeback Mountain" yet?
Me: Not yet.
Mom: Yeah, I haven't either. But I need to.
Me: Uh, yeah. Ang Lee's great.
Mom: He has a real... vision.)

Remember what I told you about "Hustle & Flow" being good? And now he's up for best actor, even though like no one saw that movie? And how I predicted that Philip Seymour Hoffman would win the Oscar? Yeah, if you need an Academy Awards bookie, I'm totally your girl.

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Saturday Morning, Wherein "Animation Distribution Guy" Quickly Turns Into "Creepy Animation Guy"

This was my Saturday morning: Get up at 8:30 am. Shower, drink coffee, and otherwise prepare for 11am interview. Leave house at 10am. Follow directions to animation distribution guy's house to interview for executive assistant position. Arrive at gate to neighborhood at 10:40am. Press code from directions. Watch gate open, realize that directions do not include house number. Realize that there is no way that house number corresponds to code number. Realize that there is no one at said gate, and no way to know exactly where to go. Figure "no big deal," pull over to use cell phone and call for actual address. Get approached by two 20-something girls in a Volkswagen, asking "Are you looking for (insert name of animation distribution guy here)'s house?" Answer "yes." Learn that they too are looking for said guy's house and that a) there is no cell phone reception out here, b) they have the same shitty directions that I have and c) would I like to hop in the car and join them?

The next hour is spent driving in circles through a lakeside community in the middle of fucking nowhere, trying to figure out where in god's name animation distribution guy lives. The neighbors, they have no idea. Well, except for the old guy with the beard, who sends us to an empty house that turns out to be animation guy's sons' house (because you know, we're in our twenties, just like the son). All of a sudden, the girl who is driving us around gets a call. Cell phones are working!! So she calls Mr. Animation, who is somewhat perplexed that no one has showed up at his house yet. We get the right directions. We pull up to his house. Maybe it's the heat, or the fact that we've been lost for over an hour, but I immediately get the creeps from Mr. Animation. He introduces us to his ex-wife's dog. (I think, "of course he's divorced.") He talks to us for a few minutes, and confirms that our directions are indeed wrong. (I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have believed us if we didn't have the directions with us.) Girl One interviews while Girl Two and I chat. We have a lot in common, and she's really nice. Girl Two interviews while Girl One and I chat. She has to make a few calls, but she seems nice too (also because she was the one who offered to drive two strangers around looking for a house in the middle of fucking nowhere).

I interview. Creepy Animation Guy reads my cover letter back to me, which I find odd. He doesn't tell me anything about the job or ask me any normal questions, except do I use a Mac (yes) and then can I download content to my iPod (yes) and then "I mean the video iPod." I say I don't have a video iPod. I mention that I moved to LA because my husband is in grad school. He asks what I want to do. I say I've always been a writer, always wanted to do something writing-related/creative. He doesn't say anything, so I say that I don't know exactly what I want to be doing in 10 years, but I know I want it to be creative, blah, blah, blah. He says "Does your husband know what he wants to be doing in 10 years?" I say, "Well, being a sound designer." He says, "You should know too." I want to punch him in the face. He asks if I plan to have kids, which is an inappropriate (and illegal) question. I say "someday," because I don't know what else to say. He says he'll call back people he has a good "gut feeling about" and asks me to email my references. I meet back up with the girls, who have waited for me. We say goodbye to Creepy Animation Guy. We decide that we should exchange email addresses and phone numbers, because it's hard to meet people in LA, but we like each other from the hour we've spent on a wild goose chase, and we should hang out sometime. I drive home. I do NOT email my references to Creepy Animation Guy, who is obviously not calling me back anyway, because I'm married, and who I wouldn't work for alone in his lakehouse in the middle of fucking nowhere for any money, especially not 500 a week. But I think that I might email the two girls, because, hey, why not?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Take this Job and Shove It

I will be the first to admit that while I care deeply about progressive politics, I have not displayed the same dedication as I did in, say, 2004. This comes most likely from a combination of post-election depression, the move from a "red" state to a "blue" state, and sheer laziness. Also, it's so disheartening to work for change while continuously seeing progress halt and regress. If you have similar feelings, you should read this article. Spoiler alert: It's not going to make you feel any better, but it is important.

I was never particularly good at transitions, so, here's an abrupt change of subject! I went to an interview yesterday at a talent agency. In LA, there are hundreds of talent agencies. If you want to work "in the industry," and you don't have personal contacts or a ton of experience "in the industry," talent agencies are always hiring assistants. Since I am a writer, I suppose I want to work "in the industry." I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, want to be a talent agent. Being a talent agent is like being a whore, but with worse shoes. There are non-agency entertainment jobs, but not as many, and since I have been trying to apply to as many jobs as possible (adhering to the law of averages), I have been applying to all agent assistant positions as well.

Yesterday's interview went well - I met with the HR woman and the actual agent I would be assisting, and they were nice, and they liked me, and I probably would have been offered the job in the next few days. Except that after the interview, instead of emailing my references, I sent an email withdrawing my application. Wanna know why? Because they pay 400 DOLLARS A WEEK FOR 50 HOURS OF WORK. Here's another fun fact about the LA entertainment industry: they consistently break federal overtime law, by providing a "weekly" salary instead of an hourly salary. Oh yeah, and fifty hours sounds like a lot for 400 bucks, right? Well, this agent explicitly told me that she would not keep me there a minute past seven (job starts at 9) because "you don't get paid enough to stay late." But that she was the exception, because in other departments, they keep assistants on until 9pm. And did I mention that my commute would have been at least an hour and a half each way? I wish this was a story about a particularly evil company, and that the end result was me filing a complaint with the Federal Labor Bureau. But this is how most places work out here. Standard assistant pay is 400-500 a week. And most places expect a year commitment. A few more things: it is almost impossible to find an apartment for under $1000 a month in LA, car insurance is astronomical (even for a TWELVE YEAR OLD car!), gas is up to $2.55 a gallon (for the cheap stuff), and don't even think about taking the edge off with a cocktail on the weekends - the cheapest one you'll find is eight bucks.

A few more notes on my job search - I did have an interview last week (as I mentioned) at a place that pays well and treats its employees like actual human beings. I should hear something this week, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. And I am still working the retail job - I still like it, but as I'm not getting full time hours, it really doesn't pay the bills. (Though I plan to stay on for weekends if I ever find a full time day job.)

Oh yeah, and the downside to exercising and losing weight is that NONE OF MY CLOTHES FIT anymore. Maybe I'll sell them on eBay and kill two birds with one stone. Anybody wear a 6/8?