Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

11:39 AM - Mon 1.05.15
2014: A Year That Will Live In Infamy (Pt II)

2014: A Year That Will Live In Infamy (Pt II)

Not feeling good this morning.

I'm actually sick - started getting sick on Saturday - and after dosing myself with half-a-bottle of Kroger EZ Sleep, I pretty much took to my bed after getting back from work yesterday.

Now I don't know if what I'm feeling is me just "feeling low" because of being sick, or what,'s just not much fun being in my head right now.


I've been thinking about Part II of my "capping off 2014" entry - After writing about acting in Part I (And clearly bumming everyone out - I told Howard yesterday that the responses I've gotten to it thus far made me think I must have accidentally posted my suicide note), Part II was supposed to be about everything else that happened during the year.

Only trouble, as Gertrude Stein once said, is "There's no there there".

It occurred to me awhile back, when thinking about 2014, that my two best experiences involved getting out of LA; the Chicago trip I wrote about in the previous entry, and going back to Lansing for a week.

And if it had been left to me, the Lansing trip (The first week in July) would never have happened.

I have a lot of "narratives" in my head about the way things should go, and one of those "narratives" has to do with blowing back into town as a "conquering hero". When I go back to Lansing, I want people to have seen me on tv, I want to have new anecdotes to share about "The Business", and at the very least, I want to have been able to get myself there under my own steam (the better to project an air of "success" out here in Hollywood).

Well, Jane wasn't having any of that silliness - she basically "passed the collection plate", and presented me with a check for air-fare as a fait accompli.

And once I got over my embarrassment - Hard to feel like a high-roller when you can't afford to pay your own freight, and everyone knows it - I was really glad she did.

It was nice to have people be excited to see me, to catch up with old friends (And meet some people in person that I only knew from Facebook), and to just take a break from worrying about what was or wasn't happening with acting.

I went out a lot, which I don't do here, and had long conversations with Mark and Jane at night (And going out on Mark's boat twice, with mutual friends, was great fun).

I enjoyed myself so much that I had to tell myself at times, to cut through the "grass is always greener" bullshit, "It wouldn't be like this if you still lived here Jim" (Or to quote the old country song, "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?").

It was just nice to be back in Lansing again. I think, whatever else happens, I'm always going to be fond of Lansing - I'd only intended to be there for four years, but I stayed the better part of twenty, and however long I live in LA, I think Lansing's always going to be "Home".

In short, I was very glad the trip happened - So thanks, Jane, for forcing-my-hand on the issue.


(7:38 pm)

(The danger of waiting till you have no clean clothes to do laundry, when you have to work the next morning? Going down to the laundry room to find two people ahead of you in line...)

Anyway, where was I...?

The Lansing trip was the only real non-acting event of note in 2014.

The only two other things I can think of that rate something of a mention are, 1) The times (which are a -changin') at WW, and 2) having jury duty.

Every time I've changed jobs out here, I've hoped it would be "my last day job".

I worked at Borders for about five years, leaving when they wanted "open availability" from us (Basically meaning, "You don't tell us when you're available, we tell you"). To my way of thinking, that was crazy - How could I do anything out here if I didn't know my work schedule from week-to-week?

(Before that, they lopped off six hours a week from my schedule, from 38 to 32 hours. Because they basically just saw employees as an expense.)

Then I worked at ArcLight Cinemas for maybe two years, and same thing - Couldn't get enough hours (They didn't want to have to pay anyone full time, so I was kept at 27 hours per week, I believe it was), and, once again, the specter of "Open Availability" reared its ugly head; I railed against it, to no avail, then quit when they scheduled me for a day I didn't normally work.

Which brings us to WW.

I joined WW as a member when Jane - no doubt alarmed, the first time I came back to Lansing, by how fat I'd gotten out here - bought me my initial ten-week membership (I used to joke with her - "Jane, I moved to LA because of you, and I lost weight because of you - what do you have planned for me next?")

Anyway, as things were coming to a head at ArcLight, I was approaching my "goal weight" (And "Lifetime" member status) at WW, and once you're "Lifetime", you can work at WW.

And that's what I did (You could, at least at that time, actually start working at WW if you were within ten lbs of your goal, I think it was. Not sure if that's the case anymore). I attended an information meeting, and they hired me, and I said, "Screw you, ArcLight!".

And, as I think I've made clear in previous entries, I've basically liked the job. It's not something I would ever have imagined doing, but my coworkers are nice, and I like the members, and most days, it's not a bad job at all.


In the past, I've been very dependent socially, it turns out, on having "work friends" - from Schuler Books back in Lansing, to Borders, to ArcLight, I "hung out" with the like-minded people from work who were up for "hanging out" - and with the different locations/different meetings nature of working at WW, along with the type of folks who work at WW, a "work group" doesn't really exist (I currently work with six married women over the seven meetings I now work per week).

And I'm lonely - Howard is it in terms of a friend I "hang with" on a regular basis, and has been for years now.

And like every low-skill, retail/service industry job I've ever had, it doesn't pay very well - and it particularly doesn't pay well when you start losing your regular meetings because of low attendance (I used to work ten meetings regularly. Now I'm down to seven).

Now, since meetings don't seem to be what people want anymore, they're trying to move into online help and "personal coaching" (Late-breaking news: I'm scheduled for my very first session with a member tomorrow night. YIKES!).

It's not stuff I have the time or inclination to completely "unpack" tonight - Let's just say, for now, "WW is going through changes, I don't know what those changes mean, for the organization or for me, I don't know if I'm equipped to deal with those changes, and I am very much afraid".

Honestly, there's a part of me - a very big part of me - that desperately wants to cut-and-run.

But "cut-and-run' to what, exactly?

(This would be a lovely time for acting to really kick in big...)

And 2014 essentially ended with my having jury duty.

I've only actually served on a jury once, years back (Never when I lived in Michigan, for some reason), and I was basically okay with it.

But this year, I was very tempted to just not respond to the summons, since they apparently don't have the money or means to "track you down" for not serving.

I wasn't really comfortable doing that, because I don't want to shirk my civic duty (And I'm a chicken, afraid that I'd be the one guy they would go after), but I also didn't want to be stuck on a jury and potentially missing auditions that could lead to big paydays, so I did the next best thing - I rescheduled for the week of Xmas (The automated phone system wouldn't let me do it, but when I called and talked to an actual human, it was fine).

I called for Monday, Tuesday, and Weds, didn't have to go in, and that was that.

What was the "lesson" I drew from this, other than "I kinda/sorta want to 'do my civic duty', but not if I have to miss auditions for it"?

I don't know, exactly, but it's something about "not giving up", or "exploring all your options" or "Its' not over till it's over" or something like that; when I kept applying for dates the automated system would refuse, I was pretty discouraged, and was afraid I'd have to take the original date (In October, which is - most times, one of my busier periods as an actor - In addition to whatever auditions I might have, I'm typically shooting Shameless during that time). But I talked to an understanding person - I can't be the only person that wants to "fulfill their obligation" without actually working too hard - and everything after that was easy-breezy.

And that was 2014.

Writing this entry, and the one before, my two big takeaways are, 1) I need to figure out how to make acting happen more, and not just depend on my "team", and 2) I need to work on having a life, with friends and fun and things that make me feel good that aren't acting.

Let the games begin...


previous - next

0 comments so far
about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!