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1:44 pm - Tues 11.17.2009
Ode To \"Tubby Maguire\"

Ode To "Tubby Maguire"

Mon 11/16/09 (11:27 pm)

Hopelessly behind in here, in terms of "reportage", but want to write something (For my mental health, if no other reason)...

I've been spending a lot of time in my head the past couple days, telling myself Kipper taking ill (leading to my unhappy decision to have him euthanized on Saturday) was not the Universe stealing my money, my happiness, or in any other way taking a dump on me - Pets get old, get ill, and die/have to be put down.

It's just "the way of things", not a cosmic plot "to make sure Jim never gets too happy".

Sounds obvious, I'd imagine, but I have to have this conversation with myself, otherwise, that's exactly where my thinking would go - "Why does bad shit like this always happen to me...?". When clearly, rationally, "bad shit like this" doesn't "...always happen to me".

I've felt sorry for myself, because losing Kipper at the end of what had been a pretty great week, career-wise, left me feeling emotionally and financially deflated; I can't recall the last time a week starting so well ended on such a bad note.

But really, would I have preferred this happen when I didn't have anything else going on? How bad would I be feeling now if this had happened when I was feeling like crap about my stalled-out career (Like I was the first half of the year)? How stressed would I be about the $500+ I dropped over the weekend if I didn't have two national commercials that were going to start running sometime in the (Hopefully) near future?

And in any case, is there really a good time to lose a pet?

I miss him.

I knew I would, and I knew he was important to me, but still, I'm a little surprised at how much I miss him (And how devastating that last trip to the vet was).

He was a comfort.

I keep thinking that - "He was such a comfort to me..." - which I'm afraid makes me sound like an elderly shut-in.

But it was true.

I liked how he would always be at the door waiting for me, when I came in from outside - I could hear him meowing from inside before I'd open the door (Then, of course, I'd immediately get exasperated when he was underfoot as I'd wheel my bike into the apartment - "Get out of the way, Stupid!" - but what can I say? That was our routine).

When I'd lie in bed, watching tv, hed hop on the bed and sit on my chest, which was both physically uncomfortable (He was a big boy - over 18 lbs at his peak), and annoying, cause it was hard to see the tv around him.

So over time, I trained him instead to lie in the crook of my arm, where he'd typically nestle for awhile, then roll over on his side, and start kneading my ribs ("Doesn't matter how much you do that, buddy", I'd say, "I'm still not producing any milk").

I called him "Tubby Maguire", or when he was feeling feisty, "My cute little killer".

We logged a lot of time on the Internet together, as he sat in my lap while I checked out Facebook, or read the news on CNN...or did this.

Something that profoundly effected our relationship was the fact he was declawed - I wasn't afraid of him, the way I kind of was of the cats I've had in the past (I also wasn't chronically angry at him for tearing up what few furnishings I had).

As a result, one memory I'll have of Kipper is his ongoing pitched battle with my left hand, usually as I'd be in the bathroom, getting ready for my day (And how fun it was for me the first time he came into the bathroom, meowing, and I realized he wasn't hungry, he just wanted to play; I'd actually feel guilty on those days when I was running late and couldn't indulge him).

He was a good boy.

Still feeling a lot of self-pity - Of the "All I had in my life was a cat...and now he's gone" variety - but life goes on.

At least for me.

I put an unopened bag of food and most of a 20 lb bag of litter out in the giveaway area of the lobby, but the rest of his stuff is still here - The dishes are in the sink, the litterbox underneath, and the cat carrier I bought at Target (Actually, a collapsible nylon "dog kennel", cause that's all they had) is in the living room.

Everything needs to be cleaned and put away; my first thought was to get rid of everything, because I'm having that "I'm never going to get another cat" feeling I have at a time like this.

But I'm going to hang on to it case I have a change of heart somewhere down the line.


So...what else has been going on with Yours Truly, you ask?

Had my first group therapy meeting last night.

Was pretty nonplussed when I introduced myself, mentioning I'd started doing stand-up, and might try to get them to come see me (If I kept going with it), and was told I couldn't do that - Apparently, making friends (Or potential audience members) of my fellow group members would potentially upset the "group dynamic".

(So so much for meeting a hot, slightly screwed up woman in therapy...!)

I was pretty unimpressed with this first outing, but am telling myself to give it time (Group therapy was something Bette suggested to me after we met only once or twice, and Javier had brought up on a number of occasions, so I'm willing to consider that there may be something of value here that didn't immediately emerge last night).

Have had two commercial auditions so far this week - one yesterday and one today - but frankly, I'd be surprised if anything came of either one of them (The audition today was my least favorite type - where all they do is ask you some random question on camera, just to see if, I don't know, if you're likeable as a "real person" or something. And I guess I'm not, cause I have never booked a gig from one of these little "Interview" auditions).

Had to make a tough choice for tomorrow night - An open mic hosted by my stand-up classmate Eric, or karaoke with JS and company - but I've opted for karaoke; the open mic would be better for my "career", I guess, but the karaoke will be more fun (I've done two open mics so far, and they've both kind of sucked - If you don't go up early, you end up with no audience, because it's all just other performers, and they leave after doing their shit. Which is really selfish, if you ask me).

It's feeling like ancient history already, but I feel like I should address last week's big career doings...

The I'm In The Band experience was pretty positive, all-around - If nothing else, it was nice to be on set long enough to have people know me by name.

And, I don't want to make this into too big a "thing", cause it's probably nothing, but after the taping on Tuesday, when everyone was milling about patting themselves and each other on the back, one of the high mucky-mucks (I'm not sure if he was a producer on the show or a Disney exec), with the Director in tow, complimented me on my work, suggesting that "...I think that character could come back as the neighbor down the street...".

Feigning nonchalance, I said, "Yeah...I'd be up for that...".

Whether anything comes of it or not, it was nice to know I'd made a good impression.

The FedEx commercial on Wednesday went well, I think - had a 7:15 am call, and was out by around 5:00 - but was easily the most demanding thing I did last week.

At one point, I'm afraid my temper flared...just a little - We did the entire original spot, we did single lines, we did a short version of the spot, we did variations of the spot where we were doing each others lines, etc and so forth, multiple takes, going back and forth from one version of the script to another, one line to another, sometimes starting in the middle of the script, and it got very confusing, especially since the Director wasn't always clear about what we were doing or where we were starting from before calling "action".

I didn't curse or anything, but at one point, when the director called action, then, when nothing happened, yelled, "Go, Jim!", I basically yelled back "From where?"

It was the kind of thing other actors pat you on the back for afterward, while secretly thinking, "I'm sure glad I didn't do that...!".

(For the record, the director actually apologized for yelling at us during lunch. But still, given the choice between getting testy with the director and not getting testy with the director, I think it would have better if I had chosen "not". But anyway...)

So in the end, I don't know what the final product is going to look like, exactly - Originally, I had just one line, and that may be what I do in the finished commercial...or I may have more than one line, I may have different line, I may even have the line that ends the spot (I'm assuming I'll at least have the one line).

One thing I'd been stressing about going into the commercial was whether or not it would wrap in time for me to get home and do my Comedy Store gig that night.

It did.

And I did.

But sadly, it was kind of a letdown - I was happy to have Carry and Kay there, and Chris S. and his girlfriend (Whose name I can't remember right now), and Brett was there again, but I didn't think the show in general was as good as the one my four other classmates had participated in the week before (It was, overall, a weaker line-up of comics, the MC wasn't that funny, and it had a downright punishing run-time).

And, more to the point, I was disappointed with me - I felt tired and "off" (I was in hour #15 of my day at that point), and frankly, I was jealous as hell of my friend Jerry, who brought the house down later, while I "got some laughs", but that was about it.

(To be blunt, I'm okay with other people doing well when they perform with me...I just don't want them doing better.)

I was left feeling the very same way I felt after my debut at the Ha-Ha - "Okay, I doing this?" - when I expected to feel something more...definitive.

Maybe stand-up will be an ongoing "thing" in my life, or maybe it'll just be "this thing I tried once (Or twice)".

At this point, frustratingly, the jury is still out.

(And on that note, I feel the need for a nap; I rode my bike to Culver City today to sub for a WW meeting there, and I'm back in West LA this evening, for my first meeting as the official "second receptionist" on Tuesday nights)


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