3:47 PM - Mon 1.12.15
(Listening to Marc Maron's WTF interview with Boyhood director Richard Linklater...)
Trying, on my days off, to give myself a "To Do List", just to give the day some structure, and give myself at least a shot at feeling "productive".
The first thing on today's list was "Get up early enough to get my reservation in for the SAG Awards 'screening party' on the 25th" (Held at Regal Cinemas, maybe two miles from my apartment).
I've never gone to one. I've never wanted to go to one (Though someday I would like to attend the actual show).
But something on my general "To Do List" for 2015 is "Get out more"- because of "networking", but also because my life should be a lot more interesting than it is, which I'm guessing involves, at least in part, "doing more shit" (I'm still troubled by having almost nothing to write about when it came time to wrap-up the "non-acting part" of last year).
For various and sundry reasons, parties - in general - do not hold the allure for me they once did (In fact, you could almost say I've become, to a certain extent, kinda "party-phobic").
But when a mutual friend invited me and Howard to his party in Marina Del Rey on Saturday, I really had no reason to say no, beyond "I don't feel like it", and Howard really wanted to go (And he also thinks I should "get out more").
And it actually ended up being fun.
Part of my "issue" with social outings is if it's me and a bunch of people I don't know, which wasn't really the case here - I know Craig, and of course, I know Howard - and that was enough of a jumping-off point that I felt comfortable.
(It's kind of fascinating that I have an issue with "social anxiety", since I'm pretty sure the general consensus on me is, "Jim's a lot of fun at parties".)
I did over-eat - another problem with me and parties - and the drive home was pretty miserable (I'm not comfortable driving in the dark or the rain anymore, because I don't do it very often...so guess who ended up driving home in the dark, in the rain? While not knowing what button he needed to push to stop the windshield from fogging over? And not being used to having someone else in the car, particularly when that someone is Howard, who admits to being a "nervous passenger"?), but it was still fun enough that I was glad I'd gone.
Another thing on my "list" today was "Check out the pet grooming place down the street, and see if you can get Hamlet in for a nail trim today".
That was a happy discovery not too long ago, a pet grooming place on Beverly, maybe five blocks from my house, that only charges $5 to clip kitty's nails (My Vet, on the other hand is further away - around 6th and Fairfax - and charges $14).
(No one was there when I walked by, so I wrote down the number, left a message, and I have an appointment for Hamlet tomorrow afternoon.)
I'm pleased on two fronts - I'm really looking to economize right now, so saving $9 falls under "every little bit helps", and I'm hoping it being closer will make it a less unpleasant chore; I know he's going to make it through okay, but it makes me feel bad when Hamlet cries all the way to the vet's office on the appointed day.
But speaking of saving money, and my personal economy...
Over the weekend, I tried to log onto my credit union's website, but they had changed their login page, and I couldn't get on.
The reason I couldn't get on - you had to put in your old stuff to change it to the new stuff - is that I never go on the website; the only time I ever check my account balance is when I actually go to the credit union to make a deposit (I make my deposit, they give me a receipt, and I go, "Oh okay, so that's how much I have in my account...").
I gave up trying to balance my checkbook decades ago.
(For those of you who are horrified by this admission, who think it's reckless or stupid or what-have-you, all I can say is, 1) you're probably right, but 2) it's worked for me - I haven't written a bad check since the first couple years I was on my own in Lansing.)
But things are getting tight enough that I need to "keep an eye out", because the money is going out a lot faster than it's coming in, and as much as I want to bury my head in the fiscal sand, I really need to know what's what.
So anyway, I called today, got my online access squared away, and saw what's what.
(And based on what I saw, I'm guessing that, all things being equal, I should be able to cover basic expenses for at least another month, so...yay?)
Got good news today, via Emmy Rossum's Facebook post: Shameless season #6 is happening.
I thought I already knew that, but apparently I didn't; all I knew was that Emmy Rossum wanted to re-up (From back when we had the wrap party).
It's good to know, whatever else happens - and hopefully, there will be other things happening - that some money and acting opportunities will be coming my way this year via the show.
The 5th season debuted on Sunday, and while I'm not actually in the debut - I don't appear till the 4th episode - I did once again make the "Previously on Shameless..." reel, performing Frank and Sheila's hospital-bed "wedding".
But sadly, Shameless doesn't only dispense nice surprises...
Some weeks back, I started noticing posts by Emmy Rossum about winning a chance to attend a "Showtime Premiere Party", so you could "party with the Gallaghers" (It was some kind of charity thing - I assume a donation to this or that charity won you a spot, or a chance at a spot, or something like that).
Anyway, when I saw the initial post, I remember idly thinking, "I wish I was invited", cause it sounded like fun.
But I didn't give it too much thought, realizing I play way too small a part on the show for that sort of thing (Assuming only the series regulars got invited).
Then after the event, I saw pictures of Mike M and his wife "on the red carpet", and realized it wasn't "only the series regulars" who'd been invited.
It just wasn't me.
Tues 1/13/15 (9:52 pm)
Well, I'm hard-pressed to pick which thing was the highlight of my day today - Being gifted with some Trader Joes "meatless meatballs" (by a WW member), or taking my cat to a new place to get his nails clipped - but I think I'm going with kitty's pedicure, because finding a new, cheaper & closer place to get that done actually makes life a little better, while "meatless meatballs", though tasty enough, are just...meatless meatballs.
I'm feeling "chatty" right now, and have a number of things I want to write about, but am worried that I've already gone on too long.
But what the hell...!
I think I've written in here before about how excited/obsessed I am about the mail.
A big part of it is that there are sometimes checks in the mail, and checks are nice things, but I think it's something more than that - I think it goes back to when I was a kid, and getting something in the mail was exciting, because it was usually something fun, and because it felt "adult".
Anyway, because I've been stressing about money like crazy but haven't booked any acting jobs (Which means it's unlikely any check I get in the mail is going to be for much money), I've been telling myself to "get over" my thing about the mail ("The US Post Office is not going to save you Jim", I remember saying to myself one day).
Then a week ago, I got two packages in the mail on the same day, both late-arriving Xmas parcels, and I was so happy and grateful for the gesture I briefly got a little misty (Though, to be honest, I've been "getting a little misty" a lot lately - Is that a sign of depression?).
It felt like a sign, that I shouldn't lose my excitement about what "might be coming in today's mail".
(And if you missed it, that was a metaphor for staying optimistic and hopeful and excited about the future.)
A week ago, I did my first online "personal coaching" session for WW.
I was very nervous about it, did not feel sufficiently prepared, and didn't "manage the session" very well (What was supposed to be a half-hour initial session was closer to an hour).
I did, however, feel a connection with the member, was genuinely invested in being helpful & supportive, and put a lot of thought into how I followed up.
He didn't sign up for the second week follow-up.
So I feel like I failed him. And failing him is also failing myself, because, not to put too fine a point on it, but I need the money.
But one of the reasons I was hot-and-cold about this little venture was that I knew it would simply not be possible for me to operate at 100% "right out of the gate" - In other words, I knew in advance I was going to suck, at least a little bit.
How would I not? A brief course in behavior modification isn't going to make me an expert on the subject.
I've found myself reminded of what Louis CK has said about stand-up, which is basically that "You have to suck at it for awhile while you figure out how to do it". It's just part of the process.
I don't see this as quite the high-wire act that stand-up is, but I do think some of the same logic applies; there's no way to really "do the thing" but to do it - You have to "learn by doing", which means you're going to fumble around at first.
All that's to say that I'm disappointed I didn't give my first online member a good enough experience that he wanted to keep going with me, but I kind of expected that, and I'm hoping to do better with my second one tomorrow night.
And this is where I'd typically get into the nitty-gritty of my "ambivalence" about the project, but I just told you one part of it, and if you know me, you can guess the other part - Basically, "I'd rather be acting".
But acting isn't happening, and I seem unwilling or unable to find other work, so right now, this is the thing that's happening.
And for various reasons both financial and emotional, I'm invested in having it work out.
But it's gotten late, and if I want WW to keep "working out", I'd better get to bed...
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