1:38 am - 11.30.2009
Sun 11/29/09 (8:54 pm)
Well, I don't want to believe my good fortune in the last half of '09 (In terms of acting) is now being "balanced out" by personal misfortune...but it's kinda feeling that way...
First I lose my cat - and I'm still feeling that loss - then my bike breaks down (On the way to Thanksgiving dinner, no less), and when I get it to the bike shop the next day, I'm told it's not repairable (The frame was broken where it connected to the rear wheel).
Emotionally, losing my old bike was not quite as traumatic as losing Kipper...but it made me sad. The bike I'd been riding for years was Kay's old bike, a Univega from the 80s, and beyond just liking the bike itself, it represented something to me - Ringo might have gotten by with a little help from his friends, but I got around town with a little help from mine.
But beyond the emotional attachment I had to the old bike, it was upsetting to have it bite the dust, because that meant I needed to get another bike, which is money I did not want to be spending just now.
That said, it was odd that I didn't even consider looking for a used bike, or getting something inexpensive from Target, or anything like that - I just said, then and there,"What do you have that's relatively inexpensive that'll do what I want?", ending up with a 7-speed Schwinn "Willy" (A retro-styled blue-and-white "commuter bike", with a chain guard and fenders, that's attractive enough to make me worry once again about theft whenever I have to park it on the street).
(In my own defense, I use my bike on just about a daily basis - So while I clearly can't afford to spend thousands on a bike, I'm also not in the market for a toy. But anyway...)
Money, and the lack of same, is very much in the forefront of my thoughts these days.
What's upsetting right now, beyond losing Kipper, beyond missing out on Thanksgiving, and beyond the fact that my new bike is named "Willy", is I keep having to put more and more charges on my credit cards - Rapidly getting to the point, if I'm not there already, where making even the minimum payments won't be do-able.
And I know I've beaten this to death already, but the fact that I lost money doing the I'm In The Band gig was pretty crazy-making.
To do the job, I had to pay Aftra $400 up-front, and agree to recurring monthly payments for the remaining $500+ I owed them (A chunk of my initial membership fee, plus dues that had accrued in the meantime - I'd been on "suspended payment status" prior to booking the job).
After taxes, and Brett and Sharon's cuts, I made about $500 - Basically, the job was totally worth doing in every way except the way that matters most to me right now, the way where I actually make a profit (Similarly, between the money I'd owed SAG, taxes, and the 25% off the top to my agent and manager, there wasn't much profit left from my Mentalist and Mad Men gigs).
And between Kipper and the new bike, the FedEx session fee money is gone - and then some - before I've even gotten the check.
After my last money transfer (From my ING savings account to my Wells Fargo checking account), my savings are basically gone - I'll be able to pay December rent and bills, but if I don't book some more jobs and/or my commercials don't start running soon...?
All-in-all, this is not how I expected to feel after arguably the most successful couple of months I've had here in LA (More on that in my next entry).
I'm not feeling, in general, as cheery as I'd like right now, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this nice thing that happened - After hearing about my Thanksgiving-that-wasn't, Debbie S (My fellow WW receptionist on Friday mornings). invited me to Shabbat dinner with her and her family Friday evening, as kind of a Thanksgiving "consolation prize"
Initially, I was inclined to decline (For reasons too involved to get into right now), but that threatened to devolve into "Why don't you want to have dinner with me and my family?", so I agreed.
And I was glad I did...for the most part - I don't socialize much anymore, so it's become a source of anxiety when the occasion comes up (I worry about having nothing to say, being "awkward", and what have you), but the conversation flowed freely, the food was good, and it seemed like a good time was had by all.
The only sour note was that David, her husband, spent the evening subtly (And at times, not so subtly) running Debbie down.
As a longtime single guy, it's not the first time I've experienced this when socializing with a couple- husbands insulting their wives in front of me, or vice-versa - but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it, or that I know how to respond when it happens (That's the "social stuff" I find most awkward, even more so than fearing I won't have anything to say or will use the wrong fork or what-have-you).
They weren't really "fighting", that seemed to be just how they interact with each other, so I kind of "got past it" - sort of - and focused on the topics of conversation (mostly tv shows and movies, a topic I'm pretty conversant on).
Their youngest daughter, Batya, was there, and she was a charmer - Smart, and a dead ringer for a young Jennifer Garner - who I'd kind of met once before, but hadn't had a chance to talk to.
Beyond my discomfiture over the relationship dynamic, it was a nice evening - One reason I tend to not want to accept this kind of social overture ("You don't have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving/Xmas/Earth Day/Etc? Come to our house."), is that it seems weird to be invited somewhere because people feel sorry for you, when it would normally never occur to them to have you over socially.
But I got out of the house, I had a free meal, I learned - once again - that I can fit in, for at least a few hours, amongst "The Humans" and (far as I could tell), they seemed to enjoy having me over.
So there you have it.
(This entry was going to have a "Part III", but I've just decided that, one, I've droned on long enough, and two, I'm tired - I'm going to bed.)
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