Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Living the Dream vs. Chasing It

I'm back, after a long hiatus in which I had nothing to say. Or, rather, since those that know me know I can't really shut up for long, nothing of a non-fictional essence to write. I apologize to my one follower, I hope you weren't relying on me. I promise, I'll try to be a better blogger.

I had a wonderful summer of funemployment, thank you VERY much. Long lunches, writing, creating art – in short, living the dream. The My Own Agency thing never really took hold, because in all honesty, both my partner and I suck at new business. So now it's back to reality: corporate clothes, wearing a badge, punching a clock and logging in. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the work, it's buying me a nice trip to NYC in a few weeks, where I'll live the dream for 4 days: long lunches, writing, looking at art.

Now, I have a friend who, even though she has no idea this blog exists, shall go nameless. Because I'm sort of cheesed off at her at the moment. Like the rest of us, she's trying to realize her dreams. Bravo! But, unlike the rest of us, she is willfully disregarding her obligations. The money for her Indie film has been coming in "Any Minute Now" for about 3 years. About 2 1/2 years ago, I loaned her some money. As it turns out, so did a lot of people. Money which she essentially re-distributed to her writer/director partner.

All of that would be fine except for the fact that, while waiting for the ship to come in (and a slow boat it is), she refuses to find any meaningful employment. Adamantly stating that she is alone in the world, disregarding the people who loaned her thousands upon thousands, she insists upon pursuing her dream. She defaulted on the loans, won't sell her house, and is generally behaving badly. If she does make it, people will say she was courageous and visionary. If she doesn't – an outcome which the odds favor – she's just another delusional Angeleno chiché.

So where does that leave her? Me? This blog?

Call me old fashioned, but I believe in honoring obligations. And that's not just because AMEX will rain down a shitstorm on me if I default. It's what an adult does. I have my dream, I don't want to be a corporate graphic designer until I retire, I want my life and work to revolve around art, entertainment, writing... Livin' La Dolce Vita, ladies! I work on it when I can, it is never far from my thoughts, I dream about it, and now I'm even blogging about it. But in the mean time, I pay my bills.

One day I might actually get the money back from my soon-to-be-ex-friend. The clock is definitely ticking. In the mean time, I chase my dream, occasionally live it, stay current with obligations, and I never loan out more than I can afford to lose. Because I've seen first hand how money can quickly turn a dream into a nightmare.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who's still got a job? Raise your hand...

This recession is fast becoming a depression. Or it already is one, I have to look at Obama's speech to congress from Tuesday 2/24. Funny, when we got our magical president, I thought I'd get my job back. (With a name like O'bama, you'd think he'd have leprechaun powers!)

Seriously, though? It's a drag. Friends are dropping like flies and in a few weeks when their severance runs out, what do these career kids do then? Poor little bunnies, in this mid-apocalyptic age, you have to protect yourselves! Maybe it's on-again-off-again freelancing that made me stay ready but I saw the cloud of dust down the road, and when I got my last check, the Q web site was up and running and we had new business meetings the very next week.

I hope to employ as many of my fellow freelancers as possible in the very near future, with our new prêt à porter business model. The big agency is a dying breed. Swanning creatives, with their grand ideas and force-feeding the client, to serve creativity for creativity's sake, are going to be roonming with the Dodo. Producers expensing thousand dollar dinners (you know who you are - T.D.!!!) can spend eternity in hell eating SpaghettiO's out of the cold can. With a SPORK, bitches!

Just as I was replaced with the younger and faster, big agencies will be replaced with agencies smaller and more agile. (insert dinosaur reference... HERE.) And my partner and I figure that someone's going to figure out how to make great advertising significantly cheaper—so we can get back to selling cars and clothes and booze and smokes—and it may as well be us.

Seriously, I need to buy a house while the market is still soft.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On Spandex, and the Middle Aged Men Who Wear It.

I have to add something after the fact. In the weeks since I posted this bitchiest of blogs I have noticed a few things. A) the spandex patterns have gotten a little more bearable and B) the wearers of said spandex seem more fit, taut and fun to look at as they zip past me. So, i guess blogging works! Of course, this could be just because I now go out earlier in the morning, or that it's holiday season and only the hard core riders are out there all the time, or it's colder or any number of coincidences that could explain it. Of course, I prefer to think that blogging really works. Amen.


That blog title is a little unfair, because I am here today to question both men and women who wear spandex bike outfits after a certain age or water-line. But at some point a headline needs to be a headline.

One of the ways I am combating age and girth is hitting the bike path as often as possible. Since I moved to L.A., I haven't been much of a gym rat, the exception being the years I could go to Crunch at lunch, across the courtyard from my office, and climb imaginary stairs next to Dave Navarro or see Fabio on the weight circuit. At least it was all sort of an amusing scene, except for Navarro's nipple rings --which I feel should remain covered at the gym. Now, for various reasons (such as my aversion to fetish jewelry) I prefer the beach. It's free and the air is better.

If I go out at 8:30 or 9 on a weekend, I mostly see a bunch of serious cyclists, usually in packs of about 8, and all in zippy little matching spandex bike outfits. What these people must think as they look in the mirror is beyond me. Do they think they look speedy? Or cool? Or like they slice through the atmosphere? I don't get it, because the outfits are all garish with none of the appeal of, say, a Roy Lichtenstien print, like these pants:

See, now that would be cool, provided you have the body for it. Like Jenny here.

But bike spandex is invariably just plain awful patterns, sometimes with things like "Peet's Coffee and Tea" written across the butt, which just mystifies me. (How is this good for Peet's?) The good news is that these people are all fit, with very low BMI's, a bunch of speedy little ektomorphs. And they go by fast, so the offending outfits don't last long.

But if you go out later in the day you get the less-serious cyclists, also wearing spandex, and it becomes a visual obstacle course. Just the other day I saw a woman that was about 5'5" and 250 lbs. if she was an ounce, in bright blue spandex bike shorts. Her male companion was about the same, but his flesh was straining against black spandex. People, if your flesh oozes out of the bottom and top of the pants, if your thighs look like baby wrists, please reconsider your garment. Maybe something a little looser? Cargo pants perhaps? Then I won't live in fear of one of those seams giving way. Some of them look like dotted lines, and I fear for them. I have seen bikers in tights -- long, short, name it -- with muffin tops that would make a baker blush

And then there are the ghost pants. Made of black fabric so worn and stretched so thin that it goes transparent. These are the pants that somebody has had forever in some drawer. They put them on inside, sometimes even in a bedroom with shades still drawn, look in the mirror or not, and head out. What they don’t know is that I can see their crack. Sometimes, you can see even more detail. It's called a loofah, kids, they are cheap and abundant. Please get one. Exfoliation is a great sensation.

And by no means is this blog to bust on people who need to lose weight. I am one of these people. This is about clothing etiquette. I am equally visually disturbed by the other end of the spectrum, the little ones that actually wear their spandex baggy, the geezers that are so skinny they can't find anything tight enough. This isn’t better than people with too little fabric, it’s just sadder.

Look. I would like to be a better human, to not judge, to accept the many forms of humanity. But I'm not. I’m a terrible elitist leftie snob and I like to look at pretty things. So for the love of aesthetics, please cover it up. I cover up my lumpy ol’ butt and middle-aged muffin tops, I would greatly appreciate the same consideration.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Conservatives for Change

Quickie little post... No time to write something fancy, especially because where I'm directing you is much more eloquent and poignant than I know how to be.

I have never been prouder to know and work with a bunch of people in my life. They created (some starred in) and posted the most compelling video and website I have ever seen, and I urge you to check them out.

People get ready, there's a train a comin'...

Friday, October 17, 2008

This Aggression Will Not Stand, Man.

Good news, everyone! The republicans are crashing and burning. Sarah Palin is simultaneously an outrage and an embarrassment. And John McCain's head seems about to pop. Just look at him - he's sticking his tongue out like Barty Crouch in the Harry Potter Movie! In fact, he does that a lot during the debates, in between whining and sighing and wandering around the background. He positively defines creepy.

When he's not channeling a snake (or just letting us know who the Real John McCain IS), he's being just plain aggressive. Every time he says "my friends" I wince. Look—when you use "pal" or "buddy" in a conversation, it's never good. A sentence that begins with "listen, pal" never ends in "I really like your sweater." It usually ends with something more like "we don't cotton to queers like you 'round here." So really, McCain is constantly telling us to fuck off, whether he's aware of it or not. I have a problem with that.

And Sarah Palin? What an ignorant beyotch. Hearing people shout "terrorist!" and "kill him!" at rallies and NOT CALLING THEM ON IT?!?!? If the shoe was on the other part's foot, whoever said that would have been wrestled to the ground by secret service and hauled off to the hoosegow. God love our Barry, he called McCain on it during the debate and all the distinguished gentleman from AZ could do was get himself into more hot water.

Palin is a thug in borrowed designer clothing. She misused her power as governor... AND she's a cowardly animal murderer. Shooting wolves from a helicopter? Where's the sport in that? I know a few hunters. They eat what they kill—with a crossbow, not an automatic weapon. And they don't slaughter animals just for yuks.

Fortunately, la familia Palin is doing their part in her undoing. Witness little Piper, flipping the bird to someone off camera. (The future Jamie Lynn Spears of the above the 49th parallel set, mark my words.) What a little charmer:

Anyway, another fun part of the good news is that the creative people are all democrats, so there are people whipping up and posting things like Sarah Palin as President. Updated daily, hours of clicking fun! Make sure you click on the office door a bunch of times. Clicking on Bambi is a must.

But we can't let our guard down yet. VOTE. Due to larger then usual voter turnout expected, they have given us two voting days this year: Democrats, vote November 4th. Republicans, you will have the polls all to yourself on the 5th.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holy Town Hall Meeting!

Must see web TV: the Batman and Penguin debate! Now I know where McCain got his debate coaching—and oratorical style! Totally unnerving... and funny.

Sunrise, Sunset

Pretty Sunset last night, above
(not as pretty as McCain blowing the 3rd debate last night)
and then a pretty sunrise this morning, below.

Too bad it's from the fires, but it sort of
takes the sting out of the fact that
I have been sneezing my t*ts off for a week.