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11:51 AM - Mon 5.25.20

How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (Once They've Seen Netflix)?

Where to begin...?

Even before I sent out my unemployment application on Saturday, I suspected that, when it was done, I'd have a problem with "what to do with myself" next.

And less than two days later?

Yeah, I kinda do.

Because of my early morning activities on Sunday, didn't do the "working while I would have been working" thing - Instead, I wrote my previous entry, finished around the time I would have started my Weight Watchers thing, and went back to bed.

I basically lazed around all day long, not doing much of anything (My normal Sunday routine, post-"Safer-At-Home" but before the layoff, was to work my three meetings, "go to church" - Watching Talk Heathen and The Atheist Experience call-in shows online - attempt a nap, screw around, and at some point talk to Jane R. about this-and-that).

But in the evening, I decided to set up the 6.5" x 5.0" backdrop I recently purchased for self-tapes and experiment with framing and lighting and editing and what-not.

Maybe actually do a little video, as Jane has requested I do for the film.

(The last time - which was also the first time - I did a self-tape was before I had the backdrop. I used my white blinds as a backdrop, which I can only do after the sun goes down - and while it seemed adequate for the purpose, I'm not Dracula, so I wanted to have the option to shoot things during the daytime as well.)

It didn't work out.

Jane. - Who is a Director, remember, and was a Photographer before that - had earlier opined that the backdrop I was looking at on Amazon might be too small...and turns out she was right.

(So why did I go against her wise counsel? Because, a million years ago, I went to an actor's house to do a self-tape and this was the backdrop they had used But what never occurred to me till just now is, just because that actor had a camera and a backdrop and seemed like they knew what they were doing didn't mean they knew what they were doing.)

While there were other issues (ex. struggling with distracting shadows), the main problem was that, if I put the camera where needed for the proper framing (I need to be seen from the waist up to the chest up, depending on the project), you could see beyond the edges of the backdrop.

Until I get a new backdrop frame - The one I have only allows me to hang the backdrop vertically - all I can do with the backdrop is use it for selfies and maybe videos with just my head-and-shoulders (Which I don't see there being much call for).

So, not wanting the evening to be a total loss, I decided to just video Jane to say hi, as an editing exercise.

Which I did.

Then I couldn't figure out how to make the editing happen - I watched the video over and over and over again, struggling with the little editing thingie at the bottom, beating my brains out each time I watched and saw that I had, again, failed to edit my turning off the camera at the end.

But finally, I seemed to figure it out, saved the edit, and went to send the video to Jane, happy to think she would "get a kick out of it".

I deleted the original video...and that's when I discovered I hadn't "saved" the edited video at all.

So the evening was a total loss.

Smacked myself around some more, chatted with Jane briefly, then went back to doing nothing till bedtime (Armed with a fresh new understanding of why "doing nothing" is so fucking appealing to me - It's not just because I'm a lazy son-of-a-bitch).


Since the layoff, someone created a FB group for disgruntled employees.

I signed on (after someone invited me) and have made a few comments here-and-there (Some snarky in nature, but mostly trying to be friendly and helpful).

But in short order I've grown very ambivalent about the group - Yes, like everyone else who got shown the door on the 14th (Have I mentioned it was the day before my birthday?) I have feelings about the whole thing (anger, sadness, depression, fear, etc). And I have the right to feel my feelings, and everyone else has the right to feel their feelings.

But, for me personally? I'm not sure there's a lot of value, at this point, in marinating in my sadness and anger over the situation (Some people are hoping that this will bring Weight Watchers down as a company, and trying to marshall public sentiment against them - To me, while I think Weight Watchers will have a hard time staying afloat for other reasons, good luck on getting people to really be outraged that a giant corporation laid off thousands of employees during a pandemic, even if they were kind of assholes about it).

I worked at the place a long time and grew to enjoy my coworkers and members a great deal, And I expected to leave under my own steam.

But it was never my passion to work at fucking Weight Watchers. And I think, moving forward, my time will be better spent figuring out what comes next than in stewing about my unceremonious exit.


One thing I've done since getting laid off is cut down my monthly expenses - stopping therapy (You could argue about the timing, but on the whole, I don't think I need it), putting my membership at the Y on hold, and dropping a Patreon subscription.

That's $159 a month I'm saving - Not enough to make up for a new $800-900 monthly shortfall, but it's not nothing.

But those cuts were relatively easy - Therapy had stalled out during the pandemic era anyway, the Y isn't open, and the person I was sponsoring through Patreon is going to be just fine without me.- while the next cuts I'm considering would be anything but.

Namely, Netflix and Amazon.

So for the past couple days, I've been "getting my TV on" by watching everything but Netflix and Amazon, to see if that's a situation I can live with (And the answer is a definite...maybe. Between the Internet, Antenna TV, and what I've previously thought of as "the junk channels" on Roku, I am not without passive distraction should I want it, but...well, how's that saying go? "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Paris"?


(4:15 pm)

(Just got off the phone with Bruce B. and Kellie S. - Fun call....!)

Life felt at least somewhat more secure when I knew I had a day job, even if that day job came nowhere close to paying the bills. At least it was something.

But for now, I feel like I'm okay, at least financially - As of this writing I have money in the bank, with (I hope) unemployment on the way, and (I hope) a final season of Shameless shooting sometimes in the next couple months...I hope.

Beyond that...well, right now it feels like there is no "beyond that" - Cause who knows what the job market or the acting game is going to look like moving forward?

I'm actually more concerned, at the moment, with how I'm going to deal with days with no job and no acting, little to no social contact, and no real purpose or meaning to things other than what I invest them with.

Well, if nothing else, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Till next time...


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