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9:32 AM - 03.26.20

Nine Days Later

Had to check the last time I wrote in here (Seems like "forever", but was actually just a week ago Tuesday), to get a sense of where I'm at now.

In an alternate timeline, today would mark Jane's arrival in LA; worried that Coronavirus concerns meant she wouldn't be able to make the trip she'd planned for May (Where she'd intended to stay for something like a month), she'd come up with the idea of coming early, staying for a long weekend, and getting in some filming and voiceovers and what-not.

To be honest, that plan was being discussed for longer than I was comfortable with - Have I ever mentioned that I'm a worrier? - but as more things shut down and "shit got (increasingly) real", it became clear it wouldn't be worth the risk (And, with restaurants and stores and what-all being shut down, probably wouldn't have been as much fun as her previous visits...though we did entertain ourselves with visions of hanging out in post-Apocalypse LA).

I don't really have a sense of how long this has been going on "in general" (For a while, it was something just kind of "percolating" in the back of my mind as I went about my days).

But for me, this started two weeks ago, when I went to Ralphs after work, as I often do, and the store was virtually empty (Though when I think about it, I'd gone to the Ralphs in Culver City the previous Sunday, and took a picture of the empty toilet paper shelves. But that was just kind of "funny"; it wasn't till Thursday night that I had my first visceral, "Oh shit! This is an actual situation" reaction to the situation.

The last time I went to the store, the clerk told me things have calmed down - As he put it, "People only have so much room in their cupboards" - but I still haven't seen toilet paper on the shelves (Fortunately, I was hoarding TP before it was cool, and am good for the moment).

The "Safer At Home" order that was issued recently was another "Oh shit...!" moment emotionally...but when I thought about it, it didn't materially change things for me at all (Except for giving me the joke/cutting social commentary that "Weight Watchers is not deemed an 'essential business'. But California Donuts is. So there ya go...").

I've been working during this time (And have gone from not wanting to work to being glad to be working, to being afraid they're going to "consolidate meetings" and I'll end up losing work).

And I've done my Zumba instructor Thea's virtual "Dance Exercise" class a couple of times (Between troubles on my end and troubles on her end, it's not happened more than it has, sadly. But I'm nevertheless glad it's out there, because, far as I know, she's doing this under her own auspices, out of the kindness of her very generous heart, and doesn't owe anyone anything. And when the bugs get worked out, it'll be nice to have it as a source of exercise and fun/comforting routine).

Beyond that, I'm basically just living how I typically live (Only now, millions of people are living essentially the same way).

As is always the case when I have large amount of free time, I'm feeling guilty about how little I'm doing; not so much in terms of anything I "have to do" because there's very little I "have to do" at the moment (Though this strikes me as a perfect time to do my taxes), but rather, how I choose to keep myself entertained.

I see myself as a smart, creative guy, and thus, naturally feel I should be doing smart, creative things...but instead, I mostly just surf the internet, jerk off, and watch TV (Arguably in that order).

Nothing wrong with any of those things, mind you - It just feels like there are other things one could be doing with one's pandemic time that might be...I don't know...more emotionally/intellectually/spiritually edifying perhaps?

But that's not a situation unique to our current pandemic - That's pretty much a constant drumbeat in my head (And if it occurs to you, as you read this, that "You write an online journal, and that's not surfing the Internet, jerking off, or watching Netflix", it's occurred to me as well. And thank you for noticing).

I've been lightly embarrassed to say it, but in some regards, my life is kinda/sorta better right now; I'm not having to drive (thus saving time and gas and general annoyance), and I've probably checked on, and been checked on by, more people than ever.

And probably the most interesting aspect to me is the response I'm having to "The Business" basically being shut down.

I don't find myself panicking over it - The last season of Shameless hasn't been canceled, just delayed, and nothing else had been happening for me so far this year anyway (And there's every possibility - though there's no law that guarantees it - that I'll have a rush of auditions when things "return to normal"...whenever that happens).

On the contrary, the removal of "acting" from the board has been kind of...a relief.In a world where nobody's working, there's no FOMO, no constant monitoring of the phone for texts or emails for auditions that are mostly not happening (Or are disappointing when they do), no going through my days feeling like it's all passing me by, that nobody wants or needs me for anything.

It's been...nice.

(I'm embarrassed to admit that, but there it is.)

Of course, I can't have this be the way of things forever - Pragmatically, I need to work, and emotionally, I still want to "do what I do" - but for the moment, I feel like I've been given the go-ahead to "not worry about it" for a while.

It's a break I didn't know I needed, and one I certainly could never have given myself.

(I actually did have an audition recently, a juicy two-and-a-half page monologue - For a videogame - which, after taking a comical stab at doing it myself Tuesday night, I completed yesterday at a self-taping studio; happily, those places have been designated "essential business", which might be an "Only In LA" kind of thing.)

Well, "time flies..." and all that - It's nearing 12:30, and I have a walking date with Jane R (prior to my phone call with Mark and Jane Z. at 2:30).

(Another "plus" to the pandemic thing - We'd talked about doing it before, but Covid19 seemed to accelerate my and Jane R's plans to start video-chatting more, which has been fun.)

Till next time...if there IS a next time...!

(Pandemic humor)


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