Friday, October 29, 2010

A Typical Wednesday in LA

Some days I almost never leave my building (I have a pool, gym, sun deck) and some days I'm barely home. This past Wednesday was one of those days.

I went to grab a quick lunch in Silverlake, then I went to Intelligentsia to get some delicious coffee and work on some writing. While there, I saw Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (the red head from Modern Family). Then I went to West LA for a meeting and then off to Venice for a date.

I met my date at The Other Room a bar on Abbott Kinney. We were just hanging out and laughing when I realized that Stefan from The Vampire Diaries was standing next to me. Drinking cabernet. He is super skinny and pale and it was priceless to see him drinking what looked like blood.

Anyway, I told him that I loved his show and promised not to bother him. He said "Thank you," rather snidely. I was on Team Damon anyway.

As I was telling my stories, my date told me that I have to do standup. Because I'm not only just funny but ridiculously funny. He also told me that I sell myself short...that I'm a cute girl that is hilarious. Which is a bonus in his eyes. So we started plotting out my stand up routine.

It scares me to think of trying it...but I guess I'm generally scared of most new things. Especially now. FUNemployment is great fun but it's also made me more fragile than I've ever been. Vulnerability feels like I'm wearing a purple and yellow poncho. But I guess it just may be the most fashionable look that I can wear right now. Especially on a Wednesday in LA.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Money Tree

"How about I pay your rent for a month while you write your book?" He asked.

"Ummmm, what?" I said incredulously.

To a struggling writer hoping to sell a book, the question asked by that gentleman would seem like a good deal, or at least progress. But not if you're on a date.

The promo director contacted me on OKCupid and we started an email exchange. He is from New Jersey (which he apologized for) and seemed a bit obnoxious when he slammed my LA neighborhood (Hollywood Hills). I was a little reluctant to meet him but gave him the benefit of the doubt.

When I met him, the date started off rocky. He criticized the venue that I picked. I was ready to leave, but thought that I should try to connect with him before writing him off. We started to talk and while it was no love connection (on my part), it was progress. He was starting to touch my arm and my hair which was making me feel a little uncomfortable. And then, he asked me about my book. After explaining the topic, he made the offer. He said that he thought it was a good investment, I'd write the book and then I'd pay him back when it sold.

I tried to take it as a positive vote of confidence but it didn't sit well with me. I feel that it's inappropriate to offer someone money that you've just met...much less on a date. He also offered to pay for a standup comedy class, which I had told him that I didn't even really want to take. Shortly after this exchange, he grabbed my face and slobbered on my closed lips.

I think he was trying to buy a connection to me. Maybe that works on naive girls in LA but I certainly don't want to feel like I was bought and paid for. Or maybe it was about him...he was overweight and in his mid-40s. Maybe he feels like he has nothing else to offer a woman.

I just try to take these dates with a grain of salt. It's nice that they're attracted to me. It's good that I'm getting practice. But for godsakes, when will I meet someone decent? And by decent, I mean a man who doesn't offer me money (with strings of course) and who doesn't ask me about my views on anal sex (Mr. Wasp Jaw). At least not on the first date (kidding!).

I guess it's always darkest before the dawn. Here's hoping it's 4:55am in my dating land.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sitting on top of opportunity

Reflecting is good. So good in fact, it lets you realize when you've been an a$$hole.

I sent out my non-ficton book proposal to 9 agents in July. I'm awaiting word from 5. As I looked back at the emails, I realized that I sent queries to 2 agents not accepting submissions. So, I'm really awaiting word from 3. I took a look at my initial list of agents...and I have at least 30 more agents to whom I can submit.

I really can't explain why I stalled. I think it was fear to put myself out there. Maybe feeling overwhelmed.Well, I guess it's understandable but incredibly stupid. I've been sitting on this proposal for 3 months when I could've made a lot of headway. I feel like as a$$hole.

I'm not going to dwell on it. That would take time away from sending. So, I'm transmitting. Like a maniac. So far, I sent to 15 agents last night. I'm aiming for another 15 today.

I'm on fire. FINALLY.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lady in the Mirror

As I approach the one-year anniversary of my layoff, I've realized that I’m light years ahead of the old me.

A year ago, I was an angry workaholic. I threw myself into work to avoid other areas of my life that needed much attention. I let the demanding, dysfunctional world of advertising agencies rule my life. I was overweight, exhausted and miserable.

As of today, I can honestly say that I’m in a much better place. Since my re-birthday (10/23/09), I’ve (started) to learn to surf, do a mean vinyasa, written a 46-page non-fiction book proposal and go on dates at least twice a week. I’m working on a standup act, blogging and selling designer shoes, clothes and handbags on eBay that I never should’ve bought in the first place. I’ve been a movie extra, gone to countless TV show tapings and have met some really interesting characters. I had a hat project (I “borrowed” cute gentleman’s hats for photo shoots), learned to love quinoa and was enamored by Mad Men and MI-5 on DVD. I even gave my number to Scott Speedman.

Most of all, I’ve learned that I need to do a better job expressing myself, that spinning and running provide a means to process my anger and frustration, what my real strengths and weaknesses are and what I really want in the man that will be my husband. I've lost 15-20 lbs. and no longer have chronic dark circles under my eyes.

Make no mistake…losing one’s job can be a blow to self-esteem and I’m no different. I’ve had to learn to like myself for achievements and activities that are outside of work. In fact, I’ve learned that I need to like myself even if I achieve nothing. Since I’m an overachiever, it's been hard but I finally feel a little bit of peace. I'm not running to out do myself.

So what's up for the next year? I'm living the question. But I'm hopeful, much more so than when I was working. Every once and a while, I see the ghost of my old self in the mirror and I barely recognize her. She fades, but is not forgotten. I'll never let myself slip that low again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Doggone it!

Ohhh, best laid plans. My big entrepreneurial idea was to launch a dogwalking business. I figured that I'd make money walking and bonding with dogs while having a flexible schedule to write the book. Sounds good, right? 

Well, it turns out dogwalking is super competitive. And dealing with pet parents is frustrating. Not because they are overly informative…it’s actually the opposite. I also had a kneepocolyse, which precluded me from, well, walking.

All of these issues were minor obstacles. Actually, the knee issue was a huge obstacle. Regardless, there was one, unforeseen issue that I never remotely anticipated. 


While my mom and brother are severely allergic to dogs, I was always ok. I thought I had my dad’s nose. Nope.

Being a Benadryled zombie is not good for business. And, really, who has a business servicing only hypoallergenic dogs? I guess the whole business is torpedoed...or gone to the dogs...evaporated faster than steam on a dog day afternoon...doggone it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


When you find yourself dancing around in a motorcycle helmut with painted flames at 2am, you may need to reevaluate your situation. I know this first hand.

Last Thursday, I went out. Typical night. A drink, a few chats with gentlemen, some food, a little flirting and a shoulder shimmy or two.

Then Pabst Blue Ribbon happened.

I’ve avoided this particular beverage like it were rat poison. But when you’re FUNemployed and others are kind enough to buy you drinks, you roll with it.

I was displaying my best dance moves, helping a man with his pool game by knocking his striped balls into the side pockets and making friends left and right.

As I was heading for the door, my eyes landed on a motorcycle helmut. A festive one, resting all by it’s lonesome, engulfed in painted flames. I did what came naturally: put it on my head, started dancing and shaking my index fingers like they were wands and screamed “Hurry! Take a picture! Did you get it?! It’s sweaty in here!!”

Sweet Jesus lord, with every adult beverage, my age decreases by 4 years, which must be why I was acting like a 12-year old. Just call me Benjamin Button.