3:32 PM - Sun 4.12.15
(I'd intended my last entry to at least start on a positive note, but things "went a different way". So basically, this is the entry the previous entry was supposed to be.)
Toward the end of last year, I attended the Xmas party at SAG (aka "The Winter Holiday Celebration"), and while I was there, I saw some fliers for the SAG Foundation's "LA Bookpals" program (A literacy program for kids).
I didn't take a flier that night, but the next time I was at SAG, I inquired about the program, was given the number, and called them, leaving a message expressing my interest in the program.
I'm not sure when that was exactly - end of January/early February? - but no one got back to me, and to be honest, I didn't think much more about it (Apparently, to feel good about myself it was enough to just feint in the general direction of doing volunteer work).
Then, toward the end of March, I got a message from Robin, who runs the program, apologizes for not getting back to me sooner, and giving me her email.
Anyway, maybe two weeks ago, I attended an orientation, and in the time since, I've connected with the contact person of an "at risk" elementary school in my neighborhood, renewed my library card (To check out some kids books), and am just waiting to finalize the details prior to starting to do the thing, probably a week from tomorrow (Me and my contact had a brief lag in communication when he never received an email I sent him).
I did something like this once before, years ago, and for whatever reason, it "failed to satisfy" (A program called "Reading by Nine"), and I gave it up after a year.
For whatever reason, this "pushes some buttons" for me - anxiety about "taking a new thing on" when I feel barely able to manage what little I do, fear of creating scheduling conflicts, fear of being disappointed that it might "fail to satisfy" whatever emotional needs it's supposed to address, etc - but I've gotta do something, and this seems like a "something" I can do.
And as "obligations" go, this is pretty light-weight stuff; The place is only a mile or so from my house, I'm there for about an hour, and if I have a conflict on a given week, I just call and say, "Hey, I have a conflict this week!", no big deal.
And ultimately, if I don't like it for whatever reason, I can just quit (And there's not that much school year left, in any case).
So anyway, this is a thing I'm doing (Tomorrow at 10 am is my "debut").
Sometimes it feels like I don't do anything in this journal anymore but fret over money.
I hate being constantly stressed over money.
So it's nice to be able to say - thanks to one mostly-expected source, and one totally unexpected source - that, financially, I'm probably gonna be "okay" for awhile.
The "mostly-expected" source is my 2014 tax refund - I'm very much not a "numbers guy", so I wasn't sure how I was going to do this year, but I finished my taxes this past week, and I'm going to get about $3100 back, between State and Federal.
And the "totally unexpected" source is that I got a letter from Entertainment Partners recently (A payroll company for tv productions) that said, by their records, they sent me nine checks, totaling $1300, that never got cashed.
I'm not sure what happened there, and ultimately, don't really care. I'm just happy to see the money - I fantasize constantly about a day when I don't have to worry about money anymore, where I know "I'm going to be okay". And while I know that day is probably never coming, this is "the next best thing", and probably the best I can hope for in real life.
Worry-wise, it "kicks the can down the road" - This money, added to whatever comes in from WW, means I don't have to worry about making rent and paying bills for the next number of months.
And in "the next number of months", I could book a job - or "jobs", plural (Why not be optimistic?) - to keep the good times going.
There's also the 6th season of Shameless to consider. My buddy Mike read an interview with Emmy Rossum where she said the new season would start shooting in June, earlier than last year.
Now, that's no guarantee of anything, really - I was telling someone the other day they could kill off Kermit in a sentence (If they bothered to explain his absence at all) - but since I've been in at least a couple episodes per season since my debut, it seems reasonable to assume I'll figure into the coming season in some fashion.
Monday (9:50 pm)
Well, it's been quite a day...!
Had my Bookpal "debut" at Commonwealth Elementary this morning, with two first-grade classes.
Was nervous, but the kids were excited, and I did pretty well (The first performance went better than the second one - I think partly because of the different room setups, and partly because Yours Truly is physically and vocally out-of-shape. There were also a few interruptions during the second reading that broke the "flow" a little).
But everyone seems enthused - Kids, Teachers, and Yours Truly - so I plan on showing up at 10:00 am every Monday, and we'll see what happens.
I was pretty happy with how things had gone - and just with the fact that I'd done it (Cause I'd considered putting it off for another week) - but the rosy glow of a successful volunteer outing was quickly snuffed out by a call from Weight Watchers.
(I don't want to give this next thing too much of my journaling time-and-energy - I kind of feel like I've already invested too much emotional time-and-energy in it - but it's something that happened that has to be...addressed.)
Some background: For a number of years, I've been the 2nd receptionist for the Sunday morning meeting in West LA.
(The 1st receptionist for a meeting works the meeting all the time, unless they want to leave or the meeting goes away, while the 2nd receptionist only works, 1) if the attendance numbers justify it, or, 2) if the 1st receptionist needs a "fill".)
Anyway, recently the 1st receptionist expressed a desire to "switch places", and have me be the 1st receptionist instead (She has young kids, one who is very involved in weekend dance competitions, so she'd like to free up the time. And has a good day job, so she isn't in dire need of the money).
And I was very agreeable to the switch, since I don't have young kids, will almost never have a conflict on Sunday mornings, and actually kinda-sorta do need the money.
The call I got today was from the TM (Territory Manager), saying that she was giving the 1st receptionist position to someone else, and I could "share" the 2nd position with the now-former 1st receptionist.
After a...spirited conversation, I opted to not work with someone (The meeting Leader) who clearly either doesn't like me or doesn't think I'm a good worker, or both (This after years of working with her, and her not saying anything about having problems with my attitude or my work or whatever-the-fuck her problem is - All I got from the TM was that there was an issue of "chemistry").
I'm actually feeling a fresh surge of anger just writing about this...but really, this job I do basically to pay the bills - that has never, in fact, "paid the bills" - is not worth it.
That passion needs to be channeled towards the shit I want to do, not the "shit I do because it's the path of least resistance, but I gotta do something". Cause, really, that's all Weight Watchers is.
And as if to communicate just that message - "Remember why you're actually out here, Jim" - as I was watching a movie with Howard today (The new Noah Baumbach film, While We're Young) I got a call from Brett, with an audition for a major studio film (For a small-but-potent bit opposite the lead).
It's exciting, it's something I'm emotionally invested in, it's something that could actually move me forward (Instead of perpetually running in place)...and that's the stuff that's worth "getting emotional" about.
I've been thinking a lot lately about people I know who seem to have "worked out their lives" so much better than I have, who seem to be successfully "following their passion".
I don't have time in this entry to get into what I think they must have done that I've failed to do, so I'll just say, instead, that I want to start figuring out what they did and emulate it.
Because life is too fucking short to spend the majority of your time doing shit that doesn't further your aims, doesn't really excite you in any way, and doesn't feel like "who you really are".
But it's gotten late, so more later...
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