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2:15 PM - Thurs 3.20.14
Body Pillows, $10 Vacuums, And "She Who Must Not Be Named"

Body Pillows, $10 Vacuums, And "She Who Must Not Be Named"

I had an audition earlier today (A voice-over for a commercial. Which was kind of cool; I can count on my hands the number of times I've had voice-over auditions since moving to LA. But anyway...).

The casting office was a short jog from the Target at Santa Monica and LaBrea, so I decided on impulse to go in and look around - Apparently, I thought I'd done something to be rewarded for at the audition.

But, as often happens when I have this impulse - the impulse to "treat myself" after an audition - I had a vision of Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, saying "What are doing? Treats are for closers".

So I didn't buy anything (Not even for Hamlet, my cat, who, when it comes down to it, hadn't done anything to be rewarded for either).


In my last entry (Or maybe the one before - I'm too lazy to check), I wrote about a couple people I knew who were going through extreme financial situations, where their ability to keep a roof over their heads was being severely threatened, or else had collapsed altogether.

I felt badly for those people - I actually made a small contribution to a "Go Fund Me" campaign for one of them - but they also made me grateful, for at least a hot minute, that, for all my "fiscal anxieties", I've been able to keep myself afloat (Between acting and WW), without any outside aid, for a number of years now.

But, for what it's worth, I'm rarely worried about the here-and-now (At least till my checking account falls below what I guesstimate is "my monthly nut"). My constant worry is that the rickety construction known as "my finances" is going to collapse over the long haul, or sometimes, just "the intermediate haul" (I would like to believe that, if I can't do any better, I'm at least going to be able to keep this going - "this" being my extremely modest life as a "starving artist" living by myself in a single apartment - from now till the end, but...well, let's just say I wrestle with a great deal of doubt about the matter).

Anyway, yesterday I got another reminder to be grateful for my "rickety" finances, as I bought a vacuum cleaner from a neighbor in my bldg, who was selling off her possessions for whatever she could get, as she made plans to move out, and move into a homeless shelter downtown.

I don't really know the woman - I don't even know her name - but I knew enough, from our very brief conversations as we met in the elevator, or passed each other in the hallway, to know that things were not going well.

But I didn't now that things had gotten that bad.

I felt guilty that I didn't give her more for her vacuum cleaner - I paid her $10, giving her a roll of quarters I had for laundry day, because that's all the cash I had - but like with the other folks, while I felt badly for her, it did make me appreciate my current level of relative good fortune ("At least I'm not having to sell off my meager possessions for whatever I can get for them...").

And, weirdly, it was another example of something else I wrote about recently, about how often I "get what I ask for" from "The Universe".

I mentioned how, after a recent audition, I wanted to post on FB that "The best way to not obsess over booking the job after I've had an audition, is to get another audition right away"...and then promptly got another audition right away?

Well, you could kind of blow that off as coincidence - I'm an actor, after all, and it stands to reason that, occasionally, that's gonna happen - but it also happens with things that don't necessarily "stand to reason".

Example: I'm embarrassed to admit this, but at some point in the past year or two, I started going to bed with a small "neck pillow" that I would basically hug as I went to sleep, like a little kid with a stuffed animal.

(But I never talked to it, or gave it a name, so it's not that sad and weird, right? RIGHT?)

Anyway, I found myself wanting something bigger, but couldn't live with the idea of being a grown-ass man who needed to cuddle with a stuffed animal at night for comfort, even if I was the only one who knew about it.

And even buying a "body pillow" at Target seemed...embarrassing (Not to mention I'm feeling like I've spent way too much money in the past number of months, and am starting to feel panicky/guilty about any expenditure, let alone for something stupid like a "body pillow").

But what should appear in the lobby of my building a week or two ago but a large pillow (Not a "body pillow", per se, but a good double-sized pillow) - No money spent, minimal weirdness felt.

(I haven't decided what to call it yet...)

And the other example of "getting what I ask for" from the Universe was the vacuum cleaner.

Since getting Hamlet, I've felt (more) guilty (than usual) about my lack of housekeeping, particularly when it comes to my dirty floor, where kitty basically spends a great deal of his time.

And the little-used "sweeper" I have turns out not to be up to the task (It cleans about as well as those Fisher-Price toy vacuums with the little colored balls inside), so I've been thinking I needed to get a real vacuum...but again, I'm starting to feel a renewed wave of anxiousness about money, and I didn't want to pony up the dough to get one.

Then, lo and behold, for a nominal fee, one fell in my lap, literally delivered to my doorstep.

(Was talking to my brother Gregg about this earlier, expressing some guilt over "taking advantage" of the vacuum's former owner; he told me, basically, that while her situation is unfortunate, she wanted to get rid of it, I needed it, and everyone got something from the deal...and clearly he is correct).

So why am I going on about "body pillows" and $10 vacuum cleaners?

I don't know...I guess it has to do with communicating to you, and to myself, "the world I live in"; I don't live in a world where "I never get what I want", or where "only bad things happen", even if I have moments when I think I do.

It's tough being me sometimes (As I'm sure is clear if you've followed along in here for any length of time), and, for whatever reason, I often find the world a difficult place.

But sometimes it's a place where, when I want something, I just get it, without any effort on my part.

Seemingly just...because.

Like a gift.

That's worth taking note of.


FRI 3/21/14 (8:40 PM)

Color me "disappointed" this evening - callbacks for the cellphone commercial I auditioned for on Tuesday are this coming Monday...and I was not invited to the party.

The camera-man actually told us we were the best first take he'd had so far (It was a three person scene), and he was clearly particularly jazzed about I'd done.

...which reminds me that, in commercial casting, the CD has no input in casting, beyond bringing in the actors and putting them on tape (Unlike in TV). It's the Ad Agency and the Client who make the big decisions.

So while it's nice if the camera-person likes what you've done, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going on to Round Two.

(Speaking of "going on"...I feel like I've gone on for days - maybe because I kind of have - but I've got at least one or two more things I want to write about...)

Shake up at WW - Our Territory Manager has been "reassigned", as of immediately, and another person put in her place.

Feels kind of like a big deal, cause this TM is the only TM I've known since I started at WW.

But really, the bigger deal are the conditions that brought about this change; WW, like a lot of other brick-and-mortar businesses in the Internet age, is having a hard time figuring out how to compete (With online support groups, free weight-loss/exercise apps, etc).

So heads have been rolling, hours have been cut, and I'm not sure anyone knows how it's all gonna "shake out".

I just know that I would dearly love to have at least one decent, steady income, so I didn't feel afraid all the time.

But that might be just too much to hope for.


For some reason, I've heard myself tell people, on more than one occasion in recent years, "I can't imagine I have any enemies 'out there' right now", that if anyone was harboring ill-will toward me, it would have to be people holding grudges from decades ago.

I think I meant it to suggest that there would be no reason to hate me, since I treat everyone with such loving kindness, but the other day it struck me - "Why would you have any 'enemies', Jim? You don't really interact with anyone in any meaningful way" (I think you have to be really "putting yourself out there" in some meaningful way to develop honest-to-God enemies).

Anyway, with that idea in mind, I recently decided to call "She Who Must Not Be Named", because I didn't like how we ended things, and I didn't want her to think I was still mad at her, or to imagine she was still mad at me, or anything like that.

I was a little nervous - I was afraid it might be awkward, that we might just end up rehashing old shit, that sort of thing - but it was actually very nice.

So where did we leave things?

We basically professed our continued "like" for each other, and our desire to hang out, while not "defining" anything (Though she "floated" a certain possibility, that...well let's just say my response was to laughingly say, "Don't make any promises your body can't handle...", or words to that effect).

So I'm glad I got past my "nerves" and made the overture, cause really, why not? Even if that was the last conversation we ever have, it's better than the tense, unhappy way things had been left.

And who knows?

Better to say "yes" to the possibilities in life, instead of saying "no" and being stuck where you're at.



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