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10:13 am - Sun 2/27/05
Notary Class (And Other Junk)

Notary Class (And Other Junk)

Fri 2/25/05 (3:07 p.m.)

No time to do this, really, but here goes...

Well, my "weekend" pretty much sucked–No movies to see, no auditions to go out on, and my one "social thing"–going to Chinatown with Tim G. and John C.–fell through.

On the "plus" side, I did get a haircut–took a big risk and went to a place I hadn't gone before, but it worked out fine, and for a few bucks cheaper than where I normally go–and just got back from Target, where I bought a weight bench!

(I had a little over $40 left from the gift certificate Mark and Jane got me for Xmas, so it hit me that, instead of pining over the gym membership I really can't afford right now, I could buy a weight bench and see what happens; after the g.c., it cost me about $11.00, quite a bit less than a year at 24 Hour Fitness.)

I've been feeling like shit for days, and the return of the sun hasn't seemed to help matters at all, much to my disappointment.

I just feel aimless and bored, lonely, and more than anything, just really, really sad.
"Sad" as in "I want to burst into tears at any second and don't know why" sad.

But I'm gonna have to hold that thought–work beckons.

Sun 2/27/05 (12:11 a.m.)

(This is the 3rd time I've tried this, since my computer keeps shutting off. I think there may be a short in my connection. But ever optimistic, I soldier on, hoping this will be the time I can finish the entry...)

Watched Forrest Gump earlier this evening...

I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it in the theater, a hundred years ago, but liked it less the more I thought about it afterwards (American Beauty strikes me the same way).

When I first saw it, I enjoyed Tom Hank's performance, the seamless way they integrated him into historical footage, some of the supporting performances, and the great 60's soundtrack (Though when I watched tonite, the music struck me as very lazy, the same "Top 20" songs they play in every movie that takes place in the 60s).

But tonite, I saw the same right-wing bias ("Jenny", much more a "child of the 60s" than "Forrest", basically pays for her "lifestyle"–and for overlooking the saintly "Forrest"--with a string of bad, abusive relationships, addiction, and an early death from AIDS), and was annoyed by the same celebration of a saintly dimwit (Not much there for a bright, complicated guy like myself to aspire to), but I noticed much more this time out how much sadness there is in "Forrest's" life, where before, all I came away with was how annoying it was that this guy just "falls into" having a really interesting, amazing life, all because he's a good-hearted simpleton whose Mama gave him a good sense of self-esteem: He's tormented by other kids as a child, his friend dies, his mother dies, and after being seperated from his true love more often than not during a big chunk of his adult life, he's married to her briefly...then she dies (Though again, the script is so unfair with her that it's really hard to understand why "Forrest" loves her).

You can be simple-minded, you can have a good heart, you can have a Mama who teaches you that you're just as good as anyone else, but it's not going to protect you from pain and suffering, because that's just life.

(Side note: I always think of Pulp Fiction when I think of Forrest Gump, since they both came out the same year, and Gump pretty much won all the marbles at awards time, when I thought Pulp was just flat-out a better movie.)


Had my notary class today (I'm still on "Saturday Time" here).

The money one gets for doing the actual notarization is pretty minimal (Like Michigan, there are legal limits as to what you can charge people for notarizing a document). Where you make your money is in what you charge for "travel", where you can basically charge "what the market will bear". People pay for your time, and for the convenience of you coming to them (In addition to gas, wear on the car, etc).

Myself, if I needed something notarized, I'd go to someone's office and save the $$$. But if you're housebound, or otherwise inconvenienced by having to make the trip, I guess it's a good deal.

It was kind of rough at times, sitting in a wooden chair for five hours, listening to material that wasn't always riveting. But I thought I did a good job of paying attention and following along (I only prayed for the "sweet release of death" during a long stretch about Notary Publics in the military).

The teacher gave us highlighters, and we spent the bulk of the class time going through the "Notary Public Handbook", with her telling us what we needed to highlight for the test (I also took a few pages of notes), sharing with us some anecdotes from her own career. Then, in the last half hour or so, she went around the room, quizzing us verbally on what she'd gone over (I did pretty well with "What's on the Notary Seal?"–I think I got everything but the date of the commission--but not so well with "How can a Notary lose his or her commission?"; All I could think of was "Notarizing a fraudulent or incomplete document", but you can lose your commission over not making child support payments–which seems odd to me: If they want you to pay child support, why take away a source of income?–you can lose your commission over notarizing a document you stand to personally gain from, and I think you can even lose your commission over general "moral turpitude", which sounds kind of quaint (I think I'd like to loose my commission over "moral turpitude", if it should ever come to that).

When you're getting the information all at once, and you have to go over all the "worst case scenario" stuff–which probably isn't going to happen-it can seem pretty daunting (It did to me, anyway). But really, the actual doing of the thing comes down to just knowing pretty basic stuff, and keeping good records. And I've come to realize that the written description of a process can often make it sound way more "involved" than it really is.

The test is 30 multiple choice questions, and you have 50 minutes to take it (If you fail, you can retake it as many times as you want, but not in the same month). And 70 percent is "passing" (That surprised me–I'd assumed you would need to do a lot better than that).

The teacher gave us a list of test sites–None of which seem particularly close –and the earliest I can take it, from what I see on the list, is a week from Wednesday, in Santa Monica.

There's a fair amount of money involved in starting this up–the class, the test, the fingerprint/background check, signing up for the trade organization, the supplies (The #1 reason you want to sign up with the trade organization is they give you a big break on a start-up package of supplies, which includes a surety bond, which protects the public from you screwing up, and something I think called "Omissions and Errors", which protects the Notary from himself), and I imagine there's some sort of fee they'll want to charge for the actual commission–but still and all, it's less than I'd be shelling out for college or vocational school. And if everything goes right, I could be starting this up well before the year is out.

Still feeling pretty nervous about this, and I was wondering the other day if that's part of why I've been feeling so blue lately–Life, for me, often seems to involve being stressed out over something, or being bored and depressed cause of something else.

Can't help but wonder if I'm ever going to get to feel good on a semi-regular basis...

Assuming this happens–and it's hard to see why it wouldn't–I don't think it's going to be the answer to my "How am I going to do theater again?" blues. After all, part of the "convenience" you're asking people to pay for is that they can get what they need done in their off hours (i.e. Nights and weekends).

But, if it gets going, and actually provides a semi-decent income, it saves me from retail (And that alone could make it worth the effort). And it would largely remove work conflicts from auditions (Commercial auditions now, tv and film auditions in the hopefully not-too-distant future). And maybe it would even free up more time for Jim (Which could be a double-edged sword–"more time for Jim" could mean more time for Jim to be alone, anxious, and depressed–but could also mean more time to take classes, get out and about, and explore "the wonder of Me").

While at the college, I saw that they teach any number of foreign language classes. And it crossed my mind that learning Spanish might be a good thing for me to do, both as an actor, and in terms of expanding a potential Notary business. But anyway...

Well, there's more to write about, but I think I'm going to take a break, get some laundry going, and come back and start a new entry.

See you in a bit...


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