I've been here for about five months now and I very quickly gained a friend group who are very active. They like me, I like them. Outside of that group I have other friends as well (Hi Alan and AJ!), but I definitely find myself keeping everybody at arms distance away. I'm worried that will affect my ability to create strong relationships, all because of how negatively things ended with other friends recently.
The funny thing though is, just as I mentioned a moment ago, even if they did go south I know I have it in me to just keep going forward anyway. One thing I recognize about myself is that I will never stop being active, and will never stop reaching out to others. So I've got that going for me at least.
But yeah, I do fear every day that everything is going to fall apart again. But I have faith in myself that if it does I'll still survive.
TL;DR: had some great times, had some awful times, and now I'm living in Portland trying to find a job. On the plus side I've started doing freelance copyediting for tabletop game core rulebooks and the like, super involved with game developer community here, and... that's pretty much my life right now! Hooray!
Okay, I posted, I feel better about myself now.
I remember how I felt in the dream. I was upset, but not upset about losing the job. I was upset because what Jim was basically saying, according to dream logic, was that I was stupid and incompetent and lazy and a piece of shit who didn't deserve to work there and 'laying me off' was just his polite way of giving me the boot. I wasn't angry at losing the job. I was angry about being called stupid.
Which is why yesterday when Jim called me into his office and essentially said all of those things like he did in my dream, I quit.
I quit my job yesterday is what I'm saying.
He said, in more diplomatic terms than these (he's a lawyer, so he knows just how to word things to get their point across but with just enough haze), that I was too fucking stupid and lazy to do my job, got borderline racist, and that I was intentionally making things more difficult for him "for no reason."
He said that if he could terminate me right then and there he would, but he had to go through due process first (my phrase, not his) and give me a written warning first, then the next step was to fire me.
All this after almost a year of hating my job, dealing with interoffice sexism from a woman I work with, and seeing things I just plain did not like about their practices (who the fuck condones putting a five year old dog down after its owner passes away?!). There is one person (the woman mentioned above) who has just made me miserable the entire time, gone out of her way to convince her best friend, the paralegal at work, to institute rules that only applied to me (even when said paralegal's stepdaughter did the same actions).
So I quit. I hate not doing my job right, but moreover I hate being called stupid. Worse, I had begun to start to believe it. I really did. My self-esteem is already kinda shitty, but this job was making it worse.
The funny thing is though, I wasn't GOING to quit. I left for lunch immediately after the "poor performance" review and called my mom at work. I'd done this a few times before, telling her "I want to quit so bad right now." and each time she reminded me that I had obligations and that it was in my best interest to stay. So go figure, the one time I tell her "No, I'm not going to quit. I really want to, but I can't." She says, "Just do it."
So, I went back into the office, packed up my shit, deleted my files off the computer, and quit. I deposited my last paycheck into the bank and already it's almost all gone to bills and other things.
I am freaking out, of course. I don't have an income. I WON'T have any money for god knows how long. I have school to get to, things to pay for, and other things I need to take care of. I'm going to have to pretty much stop going to all the comedy shows I've been going to, which is killing me inside, but I have to.
But it was definitely the best decision I could have made.
I wrote a paper today for my editing class on the half-horror, half-documentary style movie Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, talking about the duality of film styles going on in the movie. By all accounts, it was probably the shittiest, most half-assed paper I have written in my long college career. Shit, I didn't even know how to end it so I just said fuck it, typed "HOORAY!" and called it a day. I then posted about this on twitter, tagging the @LeslieVernon twitter account because why the fuck not.
Well, now the director of the movie, Scott Glosserman, wants to read my paper. WHAT IS THIS I DONT EVEN
I have written a ton of what I'd consider really great papers in my day, on all kinds of subjects. This one? This is not among those great papers. Great papers include my 25 page paper for a sociology class on the correlation between alternative rock music and sexual/gender identity which my teacher pushed emphatically for me to turn into a full on book and was also used at least three times I'm aware of as citation for other friends own research papers, one of whom was in GRAD SCHOOL at the time (I was in community college); and a paper for a psychology class on sexual fetishism that I found out semesters later that my teacher still held up as a god example of a well-written project (which, incidentally, I did the night before). I am not too shabby with the writing thingy, y'know? This paper is funny in my opinion, but definitely not of high quality.
Before I leave, let me list a few other really cool things that have happened in recent history that I have really not been sharing with many people, even in real life:
- Wil Wheaton came into the law office I work for because we're doing something for he and his wife, and as he was leaving pointed enthusiastically at my Nerdist shirt and proclaimed "That's my friends company's shirt! I'm gonna go and tell him about this!" and high stepped (but seriously) away. I got very red in the face and tried to subdue my nerdgasm.
- I have spent time with Donald Glover, Tom Wilson (aka: Biff), Mark Maron, Todd Glass, Jonah Ray, and a plethora of comedians I have admired for a long time, as well as comedians I have come to admire recently.
- I recently applied for jobs at E! and G4 using references from on-air personalities and producers for shows on each channel, because they like me.
- I am working on a documentary on the alternative comedy scene that is REALLY HAPPENING, YOU GUYS.
- I have started doing stand up myself finally, and I am actually making people laugh. I am kinda okay at this, which is awesome. I will bomb eventually, probably sooner rather than later, but I can honestly say it won't stop me.
- A few months back I met Kerry O'Quinn of Starlog and Fangoria magazine and got to talking. I have an official invite to his birthday party, which is incidentally the same date as mine, which he plans on holding at Nichelle Nichols' (Uhura, y'all) house.
There are other things, but those are some highlights I thought were worth mentioning. Hooray!
Oh yeah, and it's genetic. Yeah, my grandparents definitely had one of those "Oh, that explains why so and so was that way."
Diabetes. High blood pressure. Thyroid problems. And now, celiac disease. All things I'm finding out I'm prone to WELL INTO ADULTHOOD.
On a positive note, I have kept myself steadily under 250 pounds for two weeks now, despite my levels of activity going down. I'm eating less and eating better. My goal is to at least be in the 230's by the end of the year.
The MAIN thing that occurred? I did my FIRST OPEN MIC. Finally. I fucking killed it, you guys. You can hear my shoddily recorded set here:
My friend Kyle who was co-hosting the show came on stage after my set and said "Believe it or not you guys, that was his first time doing stand up." That got a lot of stunned reactions, and a fist bump from another comic. I had a few people come up to me after the show and tell me they thought I was funny, and that they were surprised it was my first time. I seemed so natural.
There's more to say, good and not so great, but I'm tired so I'll leave it for tomorrow. But for now? Listen! LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN!
And I do it again tomorrow at the show Long Way Down, which is a comedy show on some dude's apartment complex's roof! So. Excited.
Sunday, poppin' that comedy cherry. And hopefully, I'll become a stand up slut and fuck all the open mics all the time.
There were all these things I'm sure are metaphors, most of which I can't recall. But there are three things that stick out.
I slept in the bathtub, which wasn't how it was when I was growing up. It was yellow and claw footed, and the walls of the bathroom were wood rather than stucco or whatever. And when I looked out the back it looked up at a hill, which didn't exist anywhere but through the bathroom window (if I went outside it was no longer there). And the fact that I slept in the bathtub both bothered, and didn't bother me in a weird way. It bothered me because it was embarrassing, but I was used to it for some reason so I just didn't complain.
Also there were constantly flowers everywhere. The ones that stuck out the most were these white flowers my grandparents house used to have but have since died away. They're these huge stemmed things, with a big bulb of a flower, usually just two large white or orange pedals, and a huge yellow stamen in the middle. I have no idea what they're called. They were usually moist with dew for some reason, even when it didn't make sense.
Also, there was a thing with windows. There was always something weird about them-- not just the windows themselves, but what you saw through them, or what they represented. For instance the windows were always closed-- they HAD to be closed for one reason or another. Also, often times I would look out the window and there would be views of things that just plain were not actually there (like the hill mentioned above) and I'd go outside to find that the thing I saw wasn't there.
But the most upsetting thing was when I was in my grandparents room and my grandma was lying on the bed, sick. I remember looking out the window and seeing her out in the yard, but also on the bed. I went and opened the window and she was still outside, AND still in the bed, so I ran out the backdoor to find she was gone, but when I looked back at the window I understood why they had to stay closed-- we were trying to keep my grandma from dying, and I had just let her go.
The thing about all this though is that my grandma passed away over a year ago. I remembered that IMMEDIATELY upon waking up. So I have no real idea what it could all mean. I have theories-- mainly that I need to let go of my past and my childhood, because everything in my dream somehow reminded me of that (not to mention other things I've been noticing)-- but overall it's still confusing.
I was also very fatigued through the entire dream. Stumbling around, exhausted and nonsensical at times. Not sure why.
Anyway. I've got to create more dreams now. If anyone has any theories, I'd be more than happy to hear 'em.
Also, I totally forgot next week was Valentine's day. I really did. See, because the holiday has never meant shit to me. I don't hate it. I love the idea of love, and how happy it makes other people. But it's never been a special occasion for me, not for my twenty-seven years on Earth. I've never dated anybody around the time, nobody ever gave me special notice on the day, and overall it's just been a moot day in my book. So I forget it comes up, and don't feel anything about it.
At least until somebody asks me about it, and when I respond back with "Nothing. I've never had a reason to care about it before, so there we go." And they reply back with a sincere, "AWWWWWWWWW, well maybe next year you'll have somebody!"
MOTHER FUCKER, why do you have to do that? Why do you have to pity me over it? I didn't give any amount of shits before, and now I only have negative feelings BECAUSE OF YOU. Ass.
But the show was great otherwise. Going to another one tomorrow. Yay!
I'm a mad man.
So, I date my friend. Some of the greatest romantic moments I've had in my entire life have been completely platonic in nature. I've never been able to really connect with somebody on a deeper level during an important moment in my life because there was always that buffer of oh, they're dating somebody. Oh, they're straight. Oh, they're a girl. Oh, we're just not into each other like that. I wouldn't trade those moments with those friends for anything, I honestly wouldn't, but I'm sad that I can't let myself really fall into a feeling in a moment like that.
Not to mention that I demand a lot of my friends attention. I wouldn't call myself a jerk like that, because I'm always more than willing to share adventures with anyone they want to bring along, and I always take "I can't tonight" for an answer without guilting anyone, but that's just the thing-- I constantly have adventures and I desperately need someone with me for these things. I was speaking about this with my friend Adrienne recently and she came to the conclusion that I am, for lack of a better descriptor, like The Doctor (Doctor Who, y'all). I do an insane amount of things with my life, I meet all sorts of incredibly interesting people and go to all sorts of unique and awesome places, and if I have to do it I will go alone-- but I operate best when I have a companion along. When I have somebody there with me, somebody to share things with, I get the most enjoyment out of it because I can SHARE it with someone.
But like with The Doctor, eventually my companions leave the TARDIS that is my crazy life. I can point at countless examples of people slipping away because they want to live their own lives, or they started dating someone new, or school took them away, bands, plays, whatever.
I find it depressingly easy to let people slip out of my life. I expect it, honestly. I outright look for the signs that somebody is about to step away from my life in that capacity (we'll almost always still be friends, but just not like that anymore) and I just wait it out. And I'm always happy when my friends find their own adventures. I'm ecstatic. I love when my friends are happy, in whatever way they find it, and I always hope it's for the better (it usually is).
This is happening right now. My friend Adrienne, who I just mentioned, has started dating this new guy. I met him tonight for the first time. He seems nice. Not amazing, but I only met him the once so I'll withhold further comments. But he's definitely different, and as such Adrienne is different. Happy, absolutely, but different. But I can see it. She's on a new adventure, and so the girl that joined me on so many nights every week to comedy shows, just hanging out, just going for walks, whatever-- she's not my companion anymore.
Dana is working on that comicbook Alpha Girl, and isn't interested in the things I'm interested in anymore. Megan is dating Andrew. Andrew doesn't like to go out. Eric lives too far away and has a girlfriend now. And now Adrienne is dating somebody. All my companions, gone.
I think it's time to break the cycle. Not necessarily meaning I have to find me a boyfriend to plug the drain I'm circling, but I have to stop putting all my chips in one basket, so to speak. Stop dating my friends. Stop finding companions. I don't want to be alone anymore, but this pattern I've had since I was a little kid has got to stop or else I'll never be able to be happy, I don't think. I'll always find myself depressed when another friend can't be my pillar of strength anymore.
The idea is pretty terrifying to me.
The first person I called was an old band mate from my time in Lutheran Gun Club I had recently reconnected with through comedy, Kyle Clark who hosts the show Pizza Day in the middle of a pizza restaurant in Simi Valley, CA. For my Seattle area friends, imagine Bonny Lake in comparison to Seattle. It's kinda like hosting a show there. It's known less for its arts scene and more for its "We have roads now!"'ness. But his show is fucking amazing regardless, and had to be included. He was an awesome interview subject as I expected, but more than that he is SUPER well connected. He's an intern at NerdMelt, which for those of you who are podcast fans is a part of the Nerdist Industries, and was able to hook me up with the contact info for a lot of awesome people.
I emailed a few of them and they all said 'Yes'. Fuck. Yes.
This past Wednesday I went down to NerdMelt (it's an actual comedy club in the back of a comicbook shop called Meltdown Comics, it's fucking AMAZING) and met up with Danielle Kramer and Katie Levine who are both major players in the Nerdist industry, and also alternately produce weekly sister shows called Odd Thursday (1st and 3rd thursday of month) and Golden Palace (2nd and 4th thursday) in this awesome little open room that sits above an active, open for business Chinese restaurant. It was just a laid back meet and greet kind of thing-- that's something I like to do if I have the chance when interviewing subjects for something, because it puts both of us at ease and makes asking/answering questions less uncomfortable. So we hung out, talked, had fun and decided to meet again the following saturday, today, at a Starbucks in Hollywood to do the actual interview.
In the mean time I was messaging back and forth with two other guys and through a series of snags and kerfuffles wound up scheduling BOTH of their interviews for today as well! OH NOOOOO! But whatever, I thought to myself. I'm a tough as nails kid from the street. I can handle myself.
So today rolls around and I wake up at 8am, pull on my fingerless leather gloves (because I'm TUFF like Ponyboy), go get my oil changed, buy a few pairs of pants and underwear, eat a cinnabon with a knife and fork 'cause it was hot, take a nap, wake up AND BURN RUBBER TO HOLLYWOOD, BITCHES! Or Hollyweird, if you're nasty.
I met up with Katie and Danielle and we had a totally awesome double-interview in the middle of a super busy Starbucks. I bought them coffee, and they regaled me with fun stories about what it's like to run two different but related comedy shows in the space above an active restaurant. They also talked about themselves, their past, their connection with the Nerdist network, and how they only produce the shows there, not host. I hadn't even considered that people did that, so that was a pleasant turn of events I'm stoked to include in the article.
After that I met with Eli Olsberg who, along with T.J. Miller, hosts a show called Performance Anxiety in the middle of a (high end) porn shop in West Hollywood. He was a great talker, but his interview was a bit stilted because we weren't able to really talk beforehand and so it took us a little while to get on the same wavelength. But he was totally fucking awesome regardless, and he had a lot of really fantastic things to add to this thing.
The last dude I interviewed was somebody I was almost hesitant to even ask. He's the guy that semi-founded one of the hottest alt comedy spaces right now, which was almost the reason I didn't want to include it. Thank god I realized how fucking retarded about that, and he was super awesome and was down to be a part of this story.
So after I was done with Eli I hopped in my car and headed over to the East LA area to Jonah Ray's house. If you're a comedy podcast fan, you almost definitely know who this is, as he's one of the co-hosts for the flagship Nerdist podcast. He was a super cool dude, and we got along really well. We bonded on punk rock, skateboarding, comedy, and all that stuff before, during, and after the interview. Way easy dude to talk to. And a great interview subject, of course. Super nice too, 'cause as I was leaving he was like "You're a good dude. Super smart and really nice. And you know a lot about comedy." That's actually what he said, not my 'well that's close enough' style quoting. I do believe I impressed him a little.
All in all a really fucking awesome day. I was going to head out to a show tonight, but when I got home I wound up getting sick all up in the bathroom (I blame the cinnabon and tuna melt I ate, and only those things today) so I'm chilling out at home now.
So now I have an insane amount of material to work with for this article that only needs to be between 750 and 1000 words. Should be super fun!
And on top of that, I posited the idea of turning this article into a documentary with all these comics. The reason being that starting next week for one of my film classes I have to, y'know, shoot a documentary on any subject of my choosing. And then NEXT semester I have a whole class dedicated to shooting a documentary. Apropos, don't you think? And everyone I asked was totally down for this.
Part of the other reason I want to do that is because every single person I interviewed kept saying "Oh, have you talked to so-and-so who runs such-and-such? You totally need to, they have an amazing and weird show." And I'm like "AH! I can only cover so much in this article! I may have too much already!" So I figure, shit, there's a story that needs to be told, and these people WANT to tell it.
So yeah. I will be insanely busy for a while, and I am so fucking happy you have no idea.
But one thing that is hard for me to avoid is my need to wear belts. Especially now that I am losing weight and my pants do NOT stay up very well. And almost all belts have metal grippy thingies (someone else can tell me what it's scientific name is). Usually lately, since it's winter and all, I have been able to wear a thermal or wife beater (I seriously hate the common names of those things but don't know what else to call them) tucked into my pants, but the past week or so has been pretty mild temperature wise so I haven't had the need to wear them.
And now my stomach is breaking out in a rash. Because my gut hangs over my pants. I desperately need to lose this weight faster. I'm sick of being PHYSICALLY MISERABLE because I'm overweight. Emotionally and psychologically fucked is one thing, but I ITCH LIKE A BITCH!
So yeah, after all the self imposed stress all this week, I wound up showing up too late for the show for the sign ups. All because my friend missed the bus and needed a ride home. I'm irritated right now. I'm nowhere near relieved, like I feel I should say given the situation. I'm just irritated because I need to start doing this or else no one is going to take me seriously at this rate. I sure as shit won't.
On the plus side I got to see two shows tonight. One with the dude who is gonna be on Conan O'Brien this Tuesday, and another with Todd Glass.
I hung out with Todd Glass a bit but, in typical Jeremy fashion, mentally shut down. I've notices a trend in myself to distance myself from people if I feel their attention is more on someone else. I get stand offish when I feel I'm intruding, which is all the time. Starting in a new social circle is difficult, even if I do it fairly frequently. I never did figure out a way to do it well. I've always been either very weird and feel intrusive, or I'm very assertive and outgoing. It's hard for me to strike a balance.
I have a lot more thoughts in my head right now but I'm bored with complaining. It's not fun being negative.
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- Current Location:US, California, Los Angeles, Mayall St, 18568
Went out tonight to go see a video series event. Showed up late due to friends being slow. Wound up going to a goth club (new experience for me) and wound up seeing an AMAZING fucking show by a band called Street Drum Core who everyone should check out because holy hell.
And yet im upset right now, for stupid reasons. I love my friends, but they're all finding people (all of whom I also love and I'm super happy for them all) and tonight was a big reminder that I may lead an interesting and event filled life (not to sound douchy, but I do) but I have and will, it seems, always come home alone.
I am very outgoing and witty and charming and I'm not bad looking, but I'm that six year old boy who doesn't know how to talk to pretty girls (or guys) and its something I can't seem to over come. If there is the possibly that someone is interested in me I freak out and shut down. I just can't do it and it's starting to break my heart.
I should stop there. I had a few beers tonight so I'll chalk it up to that, but i am still pretty fuxking unhappy with myself and my inability to do anything about this. And please, don sole out advice. Your heart is surely in the right place but it just makes me uncomfortable.
Good night iPhone luvejournal. Wish me luck for tomorrows open night. I'm still dreaking out but I'm committed.
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- Current Location:US, California, Los Angeles, Canby Ave, 9819
This awesome pillar of the community was parked one inch behind my car, and more than two feet in front of the other car. YOU WIN ALL THE MEDALS!
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- Current Location:US, California, Burbank, Los Angeles, N Brighton St, 1493
I interviewed my friend Kyle last night for that article. Totally awesome interview, and he has a few leads for me for other alt comedy show hosts. I. Am. Excite.
Then this happened:
he semi-co-hosts the open mic I'm going to this Sunday, the one I've signed up for twice and don't get any time, so he told me that if I don't get called this time he is going to walk me across the street to the a really shitty assholey open mic and make me do it there. He's serious. And now I'm like OH FUCK WHAT AM I GOING TO DO.
I'm kinda freaking out because I'm still not sure I'm ready for it. Everyone says its jut a matter of getting up and doing it and sucking if you have to, but just do it. But my perfectionist OCD self is like NO NO NO I NEED MORE TIME I DON'T HAVE JOKES OH GOD IM NOT FUNNY FOREVER ALONE AAAAAAAAAAAAAHH! And AAAAAAAAGH.
What the fuck am I doing? I'm fisting the comedy scene and expecting no one to notice. I'm fuh-reaking out right now.
I was supposed to be trying to pump myself up for this sunday with this post, but I think I just wound up freaking myself out more. I'm not backing out. But GRAAAAAAAH I'm AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH
Maybe I'll die before Sunday? That'd be awesome.
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- Current Location:US, California, Los Angeles, Magnolia Blvd, 11069