11:49 am - Sat 3/13/04
I love my Moleskine journal.
It's a small (5 1/2" x 3 3/4") black leather book, that comes with an elastic band you can snap around the cover, a cloth bookmark, and a pocket on the inside back cover.
It is "The legendary notebook of Van Gogh and Matisse, Hemingway and Chatwin", according to the good folks at Modo & Modo-Italy, who apparently brought it out of retirement.
And now it's the notebook of the not-yet-legendary Jim Hoffmaster.
I carry it in the right front pocket of whatever pants I'm wearing, using it as a catch-all--Grocery lists, what's on tv for the week, quotes, amusing examples of "Fractured English", audition info, ideas for Diaryland entries, etc.
I like the way it looks, and feels. It's quite a bit classier than the chunky, garishly-colored, little girl's diary I carried around for years.
I love my pager.
When I first came out to L.A., I had a cellphone. I'd bought it for the trip, in case of emergency, but decided not to keep it when it hit me just how poor I was going to be out here.
When I signed with JS, my commercial agent, my lack of a cellphone became a problem, a problem that almost caused JS to "let me go" early on when I missed a callback, a huge no-no (I had voicemail on my phone, but wasn't diligent about checking it).
That's when I got my pager.
My first pager lasted all of two weeks, when I lost it on the way to work (I had it clipped onto my belt, and it fell off, somehow without my noticing).
I bought a new one, and it's occurred to me on many occasions that it's the most unequivocally positive thing I own; JS is the only one who has the number (Actually, I gave it to a casting director once, but he's never used it), so when I get paged, it's always good news (In rising order of excitement--An audition, a callback, an "on avail", or a gig).
The worse thing that ever happens when I get paged is when I'm hoping to get booked for something, and it's "only" an audition. And while I may be disappointed by that, in reality, it's a pretty positive thing--A sign that I shouldn't obsess over any one job, because new opportunities are coming my way all the time.
I love my watch.
It's a Seiko quartz that I bought at JC Penny sometime in the early 90s.
Originally, it came with a gold-and-silver metal band, but at some point I realized that didn't really "go" with my rather basic, down-scale look, so I replaced it with, I believe, a cheap black band (Currently, it's black leather, because the last cheap watchband I bought lasted about a month. And besides, I think black leather just looks good).
I've known for years that I've really gotten used to wearing a watch, but it wasn't till recently--when I got in an accident on my bike and broke the crystal--that I realized I had a "sentimental attachment" to it.
It has the historical distinction of being the first thing I ever bought "on credit". And that may not sound like anything to be sentimental about, but it's meaningful to me--A small sign that I was seen, and more importantly, that I saw myself, as a responsible "adult".
And while I can think of a few things I've had longer--Some books and tapes, a pair of cowboy boots, some old journals--it's now officially something I've had "a long time". And when you've felt as rootless and disconnected as I have in my life, that means something.
I love my two cloth totebags.
One is an old Meijer bag I bought at the Meijers next to the bookstore where I worked in Michigan.
The other is a freebie from when I did the "Reading by Nine" thing last year.
I started taking them to the grocery store (This is when I was still shopping at Ralphs, about five blocks from my house), when I grew frustrated at how often they'd be out of their paper bags with handles (The plastic bags would start feeling like piano wire on my fingers by the time I got a block or two from the store. And even when they had the paper bags, I was running about a 50-50 chance that at least one of them would rip open before I got home).
It's not the first reason I started using them--I'm not really a big environmentalist--but I like the idea that I'm rather painlessly conserving resources (Using those two bags once a week means I'm bringing home about 96 fewer paper or plastic bags over the course of a year).
And I like that I have less clutter in the house (Anything that helps me be less of a slob is a good thing).
But most of all, what I like, what I love, about my two cloth bags is that they make life just a little less annoying. And I love when rather simple things, like a couple of cloth bags, make life better
The idea of writing about some "things I love" has been with me for weeks now, maybe months.
I haven't done it till now, because I thought it would probably be boring to read. But the fact that it's stayed in my head all this time has told me it's something I really needed to get down in here.
And I recently figured out why. I often get depressed over how "impoverished" I am, how little I have. So I think, at some level, I needed to send myself a little message--"You may not have a lot of money. You may not have a lot of nice things. But you do have things you enjoy, things that make you feel good, that make life easier or more enjoyable somehow."
I may not have a lot of money. But I have everything I need.
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