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12:15 PM - 02.22.18
The New Children's Crusade
Well, I have to say - So far, this has been a pretty kick-ass day!

To start, I've been meaning to call SAG and inquire about my health insurance eligibility - My current year expires the end of next month.

And while (most of the time) I've assumed I would continue to be eligible for health insurance, I figured it would be at the Plan II level, not the Plan I level I've been at for the past year.

So today I finally made the call...and to my very happy surprise, I was wrong - I've actually made the Plan I cut for another year!

So why is this a big deal, you ask?

Because Plan I means getting to continue therapy (Apparently they've dropped mental health benefits from Plan II), and having dental care (Plan II has a chintzy $1500 "preventive care" benefit and that's it).

So after that good news, I went down to do laundry (Which I've been meaning to do since Monday), and saw the laundry room is now connected to an app called PayRange - Set up the app, and you can pay to do laundry with your phone, no quarters required.

I don't understand how it works, but it makes me very happy - In an age of debit cards and direct deposit, I for the most part no longer carry cash around, making the chronic need for quarters to do laundry an "I have to make special trips to the credit union" pain-in-the-ass.

(Mind you, my neurotic side is a little worried about hacking and such...but it's overwhelmed by the lazy side that just wants shit to be easy. And I got a $25 starting-up credit to boot!)

And while I was futzing with setting up and trying to use this new app, JS (My commercial agent) called.

I thought it might be a surprise notice that I'd actually booked the spot I auditioned for on Friday.

It was not.

Instead, he was calling to tell me Exxon wants to renew my contract again, for a spot I shot a couple years back (That originally aired in movie theaters and on the Internet - The one where I look like I'm a used car salesman, but I'm actually selling someone a horse).

He asked for more money, and said we could get one of three responses back - 1) They say fine, 2) They say, "No, but we will give you X", or 3. They say "Fuck you then! You get NOTHING!" (That last bit was my wording, not JS's).

JS said he'd let me know what the verdict is when he knows - I'm imagining a "middle ground" where they don't go for what we're asking for, but offer something more (For me this qualifies as "being optimistic"). Offering the same amount seems cheap, and rescinding the request altogether just because we asked for more money seems crazy.

So, barring craziness, some nice chunk-of-change is coming my way soon - It won't be a life-changing amount of money regardless (An amount in the single-digit thousands), but at the very least, it'll pay a couple month's rent and cover that outstanding ticket.

All things being equal, I'd prefer this were "new business" - on some existential level, it feels like I'm "running on fumes" here.

But that said, while getting "new business" is good, this is how things are supposed to work (Or as Fred Astaire once said, regarding the financial advantage of movies to stage work - "I go to sleep, but the films go right on working". Or words to that effect).

It'll just be nice to have a little "cushion" between now and whenever Shameless starts back up (I'm assuming in the next three months or so - I heard rumors we'd be starting "earlier" this year, and last year we started around the end of May, so make of that what you will).


(10:30 pm)

(Torn between doing this and finishing Everything Sucks! on Netflix...oh, and doing my little set of push-ups and planking for the day, which I'm now alternating with the resistance-band workout. And Zumba, of course - I'm not breaking my neck, mind you, just trying to get some kind of consistent routine going. But more on that at a later date.)

Talked to Mark and Jane this afternoon, as is our weekly routine.

I wanted to share something I told them about the laundry today.

It's maybe a small thing, but it felt meaningful to me - beyond the instant happiness of a long-standing annoyance going away, it was nice, for a change, to have a communication from the owners of my apartment be about something that's nice for both of us (As opposed to, say, a notice about the yearly rent increase, which is nice for them, but never fails to infuriate me).

Clearly, they're doing this primarily because it's easier/cheaper for them...but I would like to think that at some point in the discussion someone said, "It's cheaper for us, and the tenants will like it too, because who wants to scrounge around for quarters all the time? Everybody wins!".

(Well, maybe not "everybody" - It did strike me at one point that it's possible this puts some people out of work - but the insidious effects of automation and new technology on employment is a topic for another day.)


I've been thinking a lot about the school shooting in Parkland FL a week ago...

Since we've had absolutely no will as a society to do something about gun violence, as the NRA has had a $tranglehold over our government, over time I've gone from "angry" to "depressed" to basically "numb" as the mass murders go on and on, on what sometimes seems be an almost daily basis.

This shooting has been different, because the high school kids who survived are fighting back. They don't believe they have to just accept their classmates dying in a hail of gunfire, they don't accept this as "normal", as the price of "freedom" or "the right to arm bears" or whatever-the-fuck. They're young and energetic, they're tech-savvy, media-savvy, and maybe most important of all, they have right, and righteous anger, on their side.

For the first time in a very long time, I have hope that something might actually get done. And there's a part of me that sees it as...well, I guess as what it is, a massive failure of adults when it comes to the main task of a society (Which is to "keep its children safe").

We adults have failed so badly, so utterly on this issue, that the teens are now having to take over and save themselves.

Personally, it's a fascinating place for me to be emotionally - I'm horrified at what we, at what I, have become almost inured to, and at the same time, thanks to the kids who are waging this fight, I'm more hopeful for the future - not my own future, but the future of the country - than I've been in quite some time.

And I want to figure out some way to help.


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